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Macbeth Soliloquy Glossary: If it were done when 'tis done... (1.7.1-29)

Will plead like angels...couriers of the air (19-23)
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air.
plead: advocate; plead their case.

taking-off: a euphemism for Duncan's death.

striding: standing with legs apart.

blast: gust of air.

cherubim: an order of angels. The hierarchy of angels ranked from lowest to highest into the following nine orders: angels, archangels, principalities, powers, virtues, dominions, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim. Note that the First Folio has cherubin but most editors believe the plural is required here. Compare The Tempest (1.2.178) and Timon of Athens (4.3.65).

sightless couriers: invisible messengers -- i.e. the winds.

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How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Macbeth Soliloquy Glossary. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < >.

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The Cherubim. From Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels by John Geraghty, 1635