Macbeth Soliloquy Glossary: Is this a dagger which I see before me (2.1.33-61)
Tarquin's ravishing strides (25)
The Roman king, Tarquin (Sextus Tarquinius), rapes Lucrece, the act upon which Shakespeare's long poem of the same name is based. Macbeth and Tarquin have many similarities.
Compare Macbeth's soliloquy to the following two stanzas from The Rape of Lucrece:
Now stole upon the time the dead of night,
When heavy sleep had closed up mortal eyes:
No comfortable star did lend his light,
No noise but owls' and wolves' death-boding cries;
Now serves the season that they may surprise
The silly lambs: pure thoughts are dead and still,
While lust and murder wake to stain and kill.
And now this lustful lord leap'd from his bed,
Throwing his mantle rudely o'er his arm;
Is madly toss'd between desire and dread;
Th' one sweetly flatters, th' other feareth harm;
But honest fear, bewitch'd with lust's foul charm,
Doth too too oft betake him to retire,
Beaten away by brain-sick rude desire.
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Macbeth Soliloquy Glossary. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < http://shakespeare-online.com/plays/macbeth/soliloquies/tarquin.html >.