Out out brief candle Life’s but a walking shadow (ACT V, Scene V)

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The Macbeth Quote from ACT V, SCENE V “Out out brief candle Life’s but a walking shadow” is a famous Shakespeare Quote on death. These lines are spoken by Macbeth after hearing the news of his wife’s death. According to Macbeth, this news should have come someday or another. Each day passes by slowly until the end comes and each yesterday takes us much closer to death. “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time…“.

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.

In the above lines, the brief candle is related with short life span and Macbeth in the state of numbness and pain after his wife’s death compares life with a brief candle, a walking shadow, a poor player, a tale told by an idiot. According to Macbeth, life is nothing but an illusion. Life is like a poor actor who worries for his short act on stage and is heard no more after that. Life is like a story told by an idiot, which is full of tantrums and dramas, but it has no importance.

We start to think that Shakespeare wrote these lines for Macbeth in the state of absolute pessimism. Macbeth throughout the play has been pictured as a weak character. He has no control over his actions and his entire deeds are controlled by his wife and witches, who take over his mind. His ambitions overshadow his conscience, he starts to think that he is above fate and can’t die. In the quote “Out out brief candle Life’s but a walking shadow“, he shows his pessimistic approach towards life.

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