I have seen this quotation from Ed Miliband's current rhetoric:

"Strip away all of the sound and fury and what people across England, Scotland and Wales, across every part of the UK, are saying is that this country doesn't care about me," Miliband then says. "Politics doesn't listen. The economy doesn't work. And they're right. But this Labour party has a plan to put it right."

So what does it mean? I do know that "sound" could mean "calm and sane" and "fury" could mean "angry and violent", but how do they fit in here?

  • 3
    It's referencing a quote from MacBeth and refers to the babbling of idiots. Draw your own conclusions.
    – Robusto
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 16:37
  • @Robusto Sounds like an answer to me. Commented May 21, 2015 at 16:43
  • 5
    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. Macbeth, scene V
    – mplungjan
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 16:49
  • 1
    @Vim 'sound and fury' together suggest all the activity of the idiot, lots of talking and gesturing. Robusto was saying that sound and fury is the babbling that idiots do, not that either is a synonym for idiot.
    – Mitch
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 16:52
  • 1
    @Vim, Theatrical Superstition. Wiki:- "Shakespeare's play Macbeth is said to be cursed, so actors avoid saying its name when in the theatre (the euphemism "The Scottish Play" is used instead). Actors also avoid even quoting the lines from Macbeth before performances, particularly the Witches' incantations."
    – Hugh
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


The quote is explaining the core meaning, if you take out all the drama and emotions, of what people are saying.


In this case 'sound and fury' is meant to mean "angry polemics." (Polemics because he is implicitly complaining that the arguments are one-sided, and therefore merely noise.)

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