Friday, April 17, 2015

she should have died hereafter

What is the point and purpose of Macbeth's "She should have died hereafter" soliloquy?  Please comment to this post with your thoughts based upon our reading of the play so far.

MACBETHShe should have died hereafter;

There would have been a time for such a word.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time,

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.


  1. The point of this soliloquy is to answer the age-old question of "What is the point of life?" Macbeth understands life to be meaningless. He sees our lives being laid out before us and we are only players playing the part that was dished out to us on life's stage. This was seen in the beginning of the play when the witches were foreshadowing the part Macbeth would play in the prophecy.

  2. The first line to the soliloquy, "she should have died hereafter," is saying that Macbeth thinks that he should of at least received one last moment with Lady Macbeth. But because Macbeth has built up so much guilt throughout the play and the way she's been treating him, he thinks it's insignificant to see Lady Macbeth then. And goes on with the rest of the soliloquy justifying the ends and means. To what ends do we see a future and hold the grudge against any tragic experience and the means of getting nowhere by hurting oneself.

  3. Macbeth's soliloquy is about the meaninglessness of life now that his wife has died. The first two lines are Macbeth grieving wishing that Lady Macbeth died later in a time where there would have been a proper place/time to mourn her death. He's upset that he had finally gained the thrown of his kingdom and now, he can't even celebrate his success with the demanding motivation behind it all. He's lost everything; his wife, purpose of life, and much more as it is expressed in the bitter lines of the passage.

  4. Macbeth is saying that life, to him, is somewhat worthless. It is a "poor player" that gets its moments to be and then dies out. He's a pretty pessimistic guy. It seems like a lot of Shakespeare's characters are constantly depressed, or fail to see the good in life. His bitch of a wife is dead, so why is he upset? Because he actually loved her? Lame. As far as I'm concerned, he should be jumping for joy.

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  6. The soliloquy shows Macbeth's feelings about his life; he attempts to kill anyone in order to take his position and power but now he sees that all those things are not worth it for him to bring happiness. Throughout the play, Macbeth is always afraid of something and fears that he would lose his things. We can also see that he does not have anyone that he can rely on, including his wife, Lady Macbeth.

  7. The purpose of the soliloquy is to show Macbeth's realization that life is meaningless. He even compares life to the equivalent of a "shadow" to the extent that we serve no real purpose. In the words of Shakespeare, we are all just rushing towards a "dusty death."

  8. Macbeth's soliloquy shows his emotions towards the passage of time and the meaning of life. He feels that time passes in an absurd and decieptful manner, with tomorrow always sneaking up on you. The consequences of ones actions will be had, whether it's today or a year from today, and Macbeth is seeing the consequences of what he's done. He makes an analogy to resemble what he thinks pure despair looks like. A fool with his candle, walking down the path to his death that his past has led him to. The fools candle doesn't burn long enough, and leaves him to wander in the dark. I think this analogy was created to show that Macbeth doesn't believe people can learn from their mistakes. Analyzing ones past can not help them secure their future. The soliloquy continues compare life to "a walking shadow". The shadow is clearly referring to an unimportant and easily forgotten actor in a play. Macbeth sees life as irrelevant and petty, with everyone just showing up and squandering what little time they have until they die, and are forgotten.

    1. Great analysis here. Hit all the right notes. Shout out to my boy Elmo still killing it, always bein' out here takin' names. Dr. Dre two thousand and twenty!

  9. Macbeth is contemplating life and how there i a time and place for death and all the death he witnessed was too soon in the lives lost. Hereafter means the future so he was commenting on the fact that death is expected to happen at an older age than when it did in the play and Macbeth was not emotionally ready for his actions and the actions of those around him. Life is unfair and cruel but awesome in the moment until it realizes that its time in the spot light is up. Macbeth is having a mid-life crisis and wants to know why he even walks this earth.

  10. This soliloquy obviously signifies Macbeth's fragile state of mind and the warped thing it has become after ingraining in his head all of these "slaughterous and horrific thoughts". It not only shows Macbeth's callous care for his once beloved wife but also displays the danger of engrained thought patterns, he lost his humanity due to simply thinking constantly about what he had done to Duncan.

  11. The first two lines represent Macbeth’s knowledge that he shall not succeed without her and wishes that she could have been here so if they both failed they would have a semblance of solace instead of being a half a person from that point on without her. Macbeth takes a turn for the worse when he speaks about life being a meager illusion that confides nothing but people who go out in blazes of glory or emotional uproar until their impending demise in which they all do in vain because at the end everyone die’s meaning nothing to the universe.

  12. This soliloquy defines that Macbeth's perspective of life has no significance if we are all going to die anyway. Macbeth talks about how each and every day is lived with a useless reason to keep going on with life. He also has complete control of his own self because his wife is telling him what the "right" choice for them to do. The soliloquy demonstrates how Hamlet has no voice for himself and how with no character would bring a negative outlook the rest of your life.

  13. Macbeth reveals his existential side in this soliloquy. He comments about how life is just a pointless passage of time, waiting for tomorrow, and eventually death. The dusty death he speaks of is a metaphor for the clouded space the fool attempts to navigate through with the hopes of being remembered somehow amidst the rest of the forgotten. To Macbeth, life is a bunch of walking shadows, waiting for the day the sun sets on them, never to be remembered. Ooooh, that was a pretty good one-liner.