Posted in Macbeth, Quiz, Study Help

Free Macbeth Revision Quiz

Test your knowledge with our free revision quiz! Answers are revealed at the end of the quiz, along with your test score! Good luck ūüôā


Didn’t do so well? Need to brush up on your Macbeth knowledge? Don’t worry, QuickLits is here to help! Check out our FREE resources here, or go for gold with our brand-new, instant download, QuickLits Guide to Macbeth!



Posted in Macbeth, Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week: “I am settled, and bend up/ Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.”

This week’s quote of the week comes from Act I, Scene VII of¬†Macbeth.

I am settled, and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.”

To help us better understand this quote, let’s first put it into some context. In this scene of the play, we find Macbeth and Lay Macbeth discussing the murder of King Duncan. Specifically, Lady Macbeth is trying to reassure Macbeth that nobody will suspect them of the murder.

Now we’ve got the context, let’s look more closely at Macbeth’s words. When he talks about being “settled,” for instance, he means that he has come to a decision, like when your mind is settled on doing something particular. So we see that Macbeth has decided that he will go ahead with the murder.

As for the second part of this quote, it’s a little bit trickier because of the language used. The “corporal agent,” for example, refers to the muscles of the body. (Note: “corporal” comes from the Latin word¬†corpus which¬†means “body”).

And what about “terrible feat?” What could Macbeth be referring to? That’s right, he’s talking about the murder of Duncan. By using the word “terrible,” Macbeth shows us that he knows that committing murder is wrong – why else would he call it a “terrible feat?” The problem is that Macbeth is so ambitious that he cannot walk away from the chance of being king.

If we put these ideas together, Macbeth is basically saying that he has decided to kill Duncan and, more importantly, he will use every muscle in his body to ensure that the murder takes place.

This quote, therefore, not only provides strong evidence of Macbeth’s ambition but also of his determination to be king.


Like this post? For more Quotes of the Week, take a look here:

For more in-depth Macbeth quotes, please check out our study guide here.


Posted in Macbeth

Introducing the New and Improved PDF: QuickLits Guide to Macbeth

We have just updated our¬†QuickLits Guide to Macbeth. We’ve refreshed the look and made it available to download instantly as a PDF!

We’d love for you to come and check it out here.

Not sure about it? Take a look at some of our recent reviews:

A great, concise guide for many students like me, who have to memorise the quotes. These quotes have a straightforward ‘Who, What and Why’ layout which makes it easy for people to make notes on. This makes it possible to use in essays and remember them easily, with context and explain why it links to the question. It also allows you to start your paragraphs and be precise.¬† This study guide is different to many other guides I have used a student myself – other guides waffle on, and sometimes use flowery vocab which can confuse many GCSE students.¬†¬†I would definitely recommend this to students who are stuck wondering which quotations are necessary to learn.
Amber, aged 15: QuickLits Guide to Macbeth.
A very clear, structured guide which highlights the most vital quotes to use for Macbeth. It provides information about the most important ones, as well as context and reasoning for them. Has helped my revision nicely.
Ryan, aged 16. QuickLits Guide to Macbeth.
The guide contains many many helpful quotes with detailed explanations. Honestly a really helpful guide and it has saved me from almost failing English literature. Amazing cheat sheet at the end as well. Nice and concise.
Joe, aged 16. QuickLits Guide to Macbeth.



Posted in Macbeth, Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week: “Fair Is Foul And Foul Is Fair.”

This week’s Quote of the Week is another famous one from¬†Macbeth. Spoken by the witches in Act I, Scene I, this quote can be tricky to analyse but QuickLits is about to show you just how easy it is …

“Fair is foul and foul is fair.”

First impressions of this quote is that it doesn’t make any sense. How can something be both fair (nice and pleasant) and foul (nasty)? It can’t … or can it?

This quote is an example¬†of a¬†paradox¬†because, at first glance, it doesn’t make any sense. However, if we look a little deeper, there is some truth in there (as in all paradoxes).

So what’s the truth?

Well, sometimes, we do encounter things that look really nice but are, in fact, quite nasty. Take a lovely-looking dog, for example. It might have a cute face but a pretty nasty temper. Just because something looks good, it doesn’t mean it is good!

How does this relate to Macbeth?¬†The point is, Shakespeare is giving the reader a warning. He’s saying that we should not accept anything at face value in this story because although it might look nice, it’s actually hiding something far more sinister. He is, therefore, introducing the theme of false appearances. But what’s he also doing, rather subtly,¬† is using the witches to¬†foreshadow¬†the murder of King Duncan later on. Clever, eh?


Like this post? Want more Macbeth quotes and analysis? Check out our study guide here.


Posted in Macbeth

How Are The Witches Presented In Macbeth?

The Witches, or the Weird Sisters, don’t appear too often in¬†Macbeth, but they play a major role in the story, especially on the character of Macbeth.


Here are some key points to note about their presentation in Act I, Scene I (when they make their first appearance):

  • The Witches are the first characters we meet in the play. Their link to magic and the dark arts helps Shakespeare to establish the¬†theme of the supernatural.
  • The thunder and lightning (which is present in this scene) also helps Shakespeare to establish a¬†tense, foreboding mood. Perfect for maintaining the reader’s attention.

Macbeth & the Presentation of the Witches.

Probably the most famous quote spoken by the Witches is:

“Fair is foul and foul is fair.”

(We explore this quote in more detail in this Quote of the Week post. Read it here). However, for now, it’s really worth noting that when we meet Macbeth for the first time (in Act I, Scene III), he basically repeats this phrase:

“So fair and foul day I have not seen.”

This similarity causes us to think about a really important question: Why would Shakespeare have Macbeth say the same thing as the Witches? What point is he trying to make?

Well, we could argue that Shakespeare uses this similarity to present the Witches as being the controllers of Macbeth’s destiny. Instead of having free will, Macbeth is, in fact, under the Witches’ spell. And if that’s true, it has important repercussions for our understanding of Macbeth and the crimes that he commits in the play.

Another interesting aspect of the Witches’ presentation in Act I, Scene III, comes from Banquo’s observations. For example, take a look at this quote:

“What are these

So withered and so wild in their attire,

That look not like th’ inhabitants o’ th’ Earth,

And yet are on ‚Äôt?‚ÄĒLive you? Or are you aught

That man may question?”

When Banquo sees the Witches, he is overcome by their physical appearance. They look “withered” and “wild”, and Banquo wonders if they are from a different planet or if they are even alive.
Through these observations, Shakespeare presents the Witches as being other-worldly. They are not quite human nor are they ghosts from another realm. On one level, this links to the supernatural theme and tone of the play. But if we look deeper, the confused identity of the Witches also helps to establish the theme of deception and appearances. We never really know the Witches’ true identity, just as we never truly know if Macbeth was a victim of their spell or simply an over-ambitious man, prepared to kill to get the throne.
Like this post? Want more Macbeth quotes and analysis? Check out our study guide here.