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    #1

    Lay on Macduff?

    Almost everyone knows the play MacBeth, so what do MacBeth means when he says:33I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
    34 And damn'd be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!

    What does it mean :Lay on?

  1. oregeezer's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Start the fight!

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    #3

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Hi belly_ttt,

    I suppose, I'm able to afford to interpolate into your very brief, consisting only of two lines Macbeth's quoting, another in my opinion very important lines, in order to ensure the success of your understanding of the present theme.To facilitate your insight into the point of the matter I supplemented
    an concise, auxiliary Shakespeare-English Dictionary right after the cues of Macduff and Macbeth.

    Macduff

    Then yield thee, coward.
    And live to be the show and gaze o’ tj’ time:
    We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
    Fainted upon a pole, and underwrit,
    “Here may you see the tyrant”.

    Macbeth

    I will not yield,
    To kiss the ground before young Malkolm’s feet,
    And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.
    Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
    And thou opposed, being of no woman born,
    Yet I will try the last: before my body
    I throw my warlike shield: lay on, Macduff;
    And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”

    yield thee = give yourself up
    the show and gaze o’ th’ time = the object of show and gaze of all the world (th’ time)
    rarer monsters = stranger animals
    painted upon a pole = pictures of strange animals and other things (e.g. the painted devil were painted on cloth or board and fixed for people to look at).
    underwrit = (with title) written beneath
    To kiss .. Malkolm’s feet” = to honor him as king of Scotland
    And thou opposed .. women born = and (although) you, being of no women born, (are) opposed (to me)
    Before my body .. warlike shield = I thrust (throw) my shield , ready for battle, in front of my body.
    Lay on Macduff = come and fight, Macduff
    Damned be him that = let him be damned who…
    lay on = inflict blows; attack
    Hold! = Stop!

    Macbeth is at the beginning a loyal general who shows great personal courage in defence of his king and country. He has however a tragic flaw that is his undoing, and in the course of the play he becomes a shattered shadow of the man he once was. Facing the vengeful Macduff, who calls him a coward, Macbeth’s former resolve stiffens in him one last time.
    In the battle with Macduff, Macbeth showed his fortitude towards death.
    “I will not yield…..

    He shouts to Mucduff his last words
    “Before my body, I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff! And damned be him that first cries “Hold enough!”.

    Macbeth did regain a shred of his previous distinction when he faced his adversaries like a true warrior. Macbeth last words are those of a good man who faces his own problems. Macbeth has no lived well, but he dies well. Macbeth here is challenging Macduff to attack.

    “Lay it on!” means speak or act with intensity, probably even with vehemence. It usually connotes that the intensity is excessive from the amusement to strongly impatient annoyance.

    If Macbeth won’t fight, he’ll be taken to prison and paraded about for people to jeer at.
    This is too much for Macbeth to take and he regains is courage. Knowing that Birnam wood has come to Dunsinane, knowing that Macduff is not of a woman born, knowing that he nas no chance, Macbeth determine to fight on saying “Lay on. Macduff! And damned be him that first cries “Hold enough.” They are Macbeth’s last words meaning “ go for it, Macduff! Let’s fight to the death!” before Macduff kills him in combat. I would say that Macbeth is a coward as a man and a hero as a soldier, whose dying words sound heroic.

    I rather like the “damn be him that first cries “Hold enough”. I think it a fine irony to have the merciless Macbeth finals crying for mercy – and thus damned himself. The lack of mercy in Macduff is equally pleasing. He says before: ”As I grow older and more cynical, I see the play as completely cyclical”. Macduff replaces Macbeth at play’s end, and here we go again.

    At the old saying goes: "The bigger they are, the harder - and further they fall."

    Regards.

    V.


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    #4

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi belly_ttt,

    I suppose, I'm able to afford to interpolate into your very brief, consisting only of two lines Macbeth's quoting, another in my opinion very important lines, in order to ensure the success of your understanding of the present theme.To facilitate your insight into the point of the matter I supplemented
    an concise, auxiliary Shakespeare-English Dictionary right after the cues of Macduff and Macbeth.

    Macduff

    Then yield thee, coward.
    And live to be the show and gaze o’ tj’ time:
    We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
    Fainted upon a pole, and underwrit,
    “Here may you see the tyrant”.

    Macbeth

    I will not yield,
    To kiss the ground before young Malkolm’s feet,
    And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.
    Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
    And thou opposed, being of no woman born,
    Yet I will try the last: before my body
    I throw my warlike shield: lay on, Macduff;
    And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”

    yield thee = give yourself up
    the show and gaze o’ th’ time = the object of show and gaze of all the world (th’ time)
    rarer monsters = stranger animals
    painted upon a pole = pictures of strange animals and other things (e.g. the painted devil were painted on cloth or board and fixed for people to look at).
    underwrit = (with title) written beneath
    To kiss .. Malkolm’s feet” = to honor him as king of Scotland
    And thou opposed .. women born = and (although) you, being of no women born, (are) opposed (to me)
    Before my body .. warlike shield = I thrust (throw) my shield , ready for battle, in front of my body.
    Lay on Macduff = come and fight, Macduff
    Damned be him that = let him be damned who…
    lay on = inflict blows; attack
    Hold! = Stop!

    Macbeth is at the beginning a loyal general who shows great personal courage in defence of his king and country. He has however a tragic flaw that is his undoing, and in the course of the play he becomes a shattered shadow of the man he once was. Facing the vengeful Macduff, who calls him a coward, Macbeth’s former resolve stiffens in him one last time.
    In the battle with Macduff, Macbeth showed his fortitude towards death.
    “I will not yield…..

    He shouts to Mucduff his last words
    “Before my body, I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff! And damned be him that first cries “Hold enough!”.

    Macbeth did regain a shred of his previous distinction when he faced his adversaries like a true warrior. Macbeth last words are those of a good man who faces his own problems. Macbeth has no lived well, but he dies well. Macbeth here is challenging Macduff to attack.

    “Lay it on!” means speak or act with intensity, probably even with vehemence. It usually connotes that the intensity is excessive from the amusement to strongly impatient annoyance.

    If Macbeth won’t fight, he’ll be taken to prison and paraded about for people to jeer at.
    This is too much for Macbeth to take and he regains is courage. Knowing that Birnam wood has come to Dunsinane, knowing that Macduff is not of a woman born, knowing that he nas no chance, Macbeth determine to fight on saying “Lay on. Macduff! And damned be him that first cries “Hold enough.” They are Macbeth’s last words meaning “ go for it, Macduff! Let’s fight to the death!” before Macduff kills him in combat. I would say that Macbeth is a coward as a man and a hero as a soldier, whose dying words sound heroic.

    I rather like the “damn be him that first cries “Hold enough”. I think it a fine irony to have the merciless Macbeth finals crying for mercy – and thus damned himself. The lack of mercy in Macduff is equally pleasing. He says before: ”As I grow older and more cynical, I see the play as completely cyclical”. Macduff replaces Macbeth at play’s end, and here we go again.

    At the old saying goes: "The bigger they are, the harder - and further they fall."

    Regards.

    V.

    Wonderful explanation Vill. But could you explain to me some of the green words above?

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    #5

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Hi belly_ttt,

    stiffen = to make stiff or stiffer
    to make or become tense

    stiff = rigid or firm, strong, forceful, powerful, resolute, firm in purpose, unyielding

    stiffen = make or become harder

    live, lived = to be alive, exist etc.

    Regards.

    V.


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    #6

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Hi,
    but what I asked about here is not the meaning but the fuction of its, Vil
    Facing the vengeful Macduff, who calls him a coward, Macbeth’s former resolve stiffens in him one last time.
    Stiffens you used here looks like a noun (with plural forms, resolve is a verb or a noun)

    Macbeth has no lived well, but he dies well. Macbeth here is challenging Macduff to attack.
    I think it would be better to use has not lived well, but I wonder if your usage is archaic

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    #7

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Hi belly_ttt,

    Well, I have plenty of time to explain to you the difference between a verb an a noun.

    Even my little great child (6 years old) knows that resolve is a verb with the following meaning "to make a firm decision about" and "stiffens" is verb (do you know something about "the third person singular Present Indefinite Indicative?- he speaks ( not he speak).

    The noun "stiffness" is very different from the your whimsical "stiffen" which is
    a verb (please see its meaning in my previous post above). The properly meaning of the noun "stiffness" is " the physical property of being inflexible and hard to bent".

    Macbeth has no lived well, but he dies well. Macbeth here is challenging Macduff to attack.

    Everyone could drop a stitch by knitting.
    Shakespeare is my favorite writer (maybe I am influenced of his manner of expression). I think, he (Shakespeare) sounds more contemporary than many writers of today, especially than the great number of small-minded, fastidious readers with double-dyed brains.

    Regards.

    V.


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    #8

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi belly_ttt,

    stiffen = to make stiff or stiffer
    to make or become tense

    stiff = rigid or firm, strong, forceful, powerful, resolute, firm in purpose, unyielding

    stiffen = make or become harder

    live, lived = to be alive, exist etc.

    Regards.

    V.
    Hi Vil,
    Even my little great child (6 years old) knows that resolve is a verb with the following meaning "to make a firm decision about" and "stiffens" is verb (do you know something about "the third person singular Present Indefinite Indicative?- he speaks ( not he speak).
    Resolve is also a now,too it means resolution. Hm... I certainly never heard of that so-called Present Indefinite Indicative , but I do know the rule of adding s when the subject is aThird person

    Facing the vengeful Macduff, who calls him a coward, Macbeth’s former resolve stiffens in him one last time.
    The noun "stiffness" is very different from the your whimsical "stiffen" which is
    a verb (please see its meaning in my previous post above). The properly meaning of the noun "stiffness" is " the physical property of being inflexible and hard to bent".
    Sorry but I did not write stiffen as a noun, but you did, Vil, you can look back to your first post in this topic to see it

    Macbeth has no lived well, but he dies well. Macbeth here is challenging Macduff to attack.

    Everyone could drop a stitch by knitting.
    Would you be so kind as explain the meaning of "Everyone could drop a stitch by knitting" in this context?

    Thanks for your posts,
    Belly

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    #9

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    It's certainly true that there is no noun "stiffen". In the sentence:

    "Macbeth’s former resolve stiffens in him one last time."

    the verb is "stiffen"; the subject is "Macbeth's former resolve".

    Confusion is understandable here: the problem is that English uses the ending -s for many things: the plural of a noun, the possesive form of a noun (when it's written with an apostrophe) and the third-person singular of the present tense of a verb. If you're unfamiliar with English, this can make it very difficult to locate the verb in a sentence, since there are no obvious markers for verbs.

    vil, may I ask you to be a little more careful with your language? Comparing somebody to your granddaughter might be seen as insulting.

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    #10

    Re: Lay on Macduff?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    It's certainly true that there is no noun "stiffen". In the sentence:

    "Macbeth’s former resolve stiffens in him one last time."

    the verb is "stiffen"; the subject is "Macbeth's former resolve".

    Confusion is understandable here: the problem is that English uses the ending -s for many things: the plural of a noun, the possesive form of a noun (when it's written with an apostrophe) and the third-person singular of the present tense of a verb. If you're unfamiliar with English, this can make it very difficult to locate the verb in a sentence, since there are no obvious markers for verbs.

    vil, may I ask you to be a little more careful with your language? Comparing somebody to your granddaughter might be seen as insulting.
    Hey, Rewboss...lighten up...

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