THE SCRIPT FOR MACBETH
By William Shakespeare
Edited by Colleen Stovall
from the First Folio
Characters in the Play
Three Witches, the Weïrd Sisters
DUNCAN, king of Scotland
MALCOLM, his elder son
DONALBAIN, Duncan’s younger son
MACBETH, thane of Glamis
SEYTON, attendant to Macbeth
Three Murderers in Macbeth’s service
Both attending upon Lady Macbeth:
BANQUO, commander, with Macbeth,
of Duncan’s army
FLEANCE, his son
MACDUFF, a Scottish noble
LENNOX, ROSS, ANGUS, MENTEITH, CAITHNESS
SIWARD, commander of the English forces
YOUNG SIWARD, Siward’s son
A Captain in Duncan’s army
An Old Man
A Doctor at the English court
Apparitions: an Armed Head, a Bloody Child, a Crowned Child, and eight nonspeaking kings
a Lord, a Soldier
Attendants, a Sewer, Servants, Lords, Thanes, Soldiers (all nonspeaking)
ACT 1 Scene 1
Thunder and Lightning. Enter three Witches.
When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
When the hurly-burly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.
That will be ere the set of sun. 5
Where the place?
SECOND WITCH Upon the heath.
There to meet with Macbeth.
FIRST WITCH I come, Graymalkin.
SECOND WITCH Paddock calls. 10
THIRD WITCH Anon.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair;
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
ACT 1 SCENE 2
Alarum within. Enter King Duncan, Malcolm,
Donalbain, Lennox, with Attendants, meeting a bleeding
What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.
MALCOLM This is the sergeant
Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought 5
’Gainst my captivity.—Hail, brave friend!
Say to the King the knowledge of the broil
As thou didst leave it.
CAPTAIN Doubtful it stood,
As two spent swimmers that do cling together 10
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald
(Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villainies of nature
Do swarm upon him) from the Western Isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied; 15
And Fortune, on his damnèd quarrel smiling,
Showed like a rebel’s whore. But all’s too weak;
For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution, 20
Like Valor’s minion, carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops,
And fixed his head upon our battlements. 25
O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!
As whence the sun ’gins his reflection
Shipwracking storms and direful thunders break,
So from that spring whence comfort seemed to
Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:
No sooner justice had, with valor armed,
Compelled these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
With furbished arms and new supplies of men, 35
Began a fresh assault.
Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and
Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report they were 40
As cannons overcharged with double cracks,
So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds
Or memorize another Golgotha,
I cannot tell— 45
But I am faint. My gashes cry for help.
So well thy words become thee as thy wounds:
They smack of honor both.—Go, get him surgeons.
The Captain is led off by Attendants.
Enter Ross and Angus.
Who comes here?
MALCOLM The worthy Thane of Ross. 50
What a haste looks through his eyes!
So should he look that seems to speak things
ROSS God save the King.
DUNCAN Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane? 55
ROSS From Fife, great king,
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
And fan our people cold.
Norway himself, with terrible numbers,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor, 60
The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict,
Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point, rebellious arm ’gainst arm,
Curbing his lavish spirit. And to conclude, 65
The victory fell on us.
DUNCAN Great happiness!
ROSS That now Sweno,
The Norways’ king, craves composition.
Nor would we deign him burial of his men 70
Till he disbursèd at Saint Colme’s Inch
Ten thousand dollars to our general use.
No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest. Go, pronounce his present
And with his former title greet Macbeth.
ROSS I’ll see it done.
What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.
Act 1 Scene 3
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
FIRST WITCH Where hast thou been, sister?
SECOND WITCH Killing swine.
THIRD WITCH Sister, where thou?
A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap
And munched and munched and munched. “Give 5
me,” quoth I.
“Aroint thee, witch,” the rump-fed runnion cries.
Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ th’ Tiger;
But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
And, like a rat without a tail, 10
I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.
I’ll give thee a wind.
Th’ art kind.
And I another.
I myself have all the other, 15
And the very ports they blow;
All the quarters that they know
I’ th’ shipman’s card.
I’ll drain him dry as hay.
Sleep shall neither night nor day 20
Hang upon his penthouse lid.
He shall live a man forbid.
Weary sev’nnights, nine times nine,
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine.
Though his bark cannot be lost, 25
Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.
Look what I have.
SECOND WITCH Show me, show me.
Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
Wracked as homeward he did come. Drum within. 30
A drum, a drum!
Macbeth doth come.
ALL, dancing in a circle
The Weïrd Sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about, 35
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace, the charm’s wound up.
Enter Macbeth and Banquo.
So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
How far is ’t called to Forres?—What are these, 40
So withered, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th’ inhabitants o’ th’ Earth
And yet are on ’t?—Live you? Or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips. You should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.
MACBETH Speak if you can. What are you? 50
All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!
All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!
Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear
Things that do sound so fair?—I’ th’ name of truth, 55
Are you fantastical, or that indeed
Which outwardly you show? My noble partner
You greet with present grace and great prediction
Of noble having and of royal hope,
That he seems rapt withal. To me you speak not. 60
If you can look into the seeds of time
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favors nor your hate.
FIRST WITCH Hail! 65
SECOND WITCH Hail!
THIRD WITCH Hail!
Lesser than Macbeth and greater.
Not so happy, yet much happier.
Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. 70
So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis.
But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives 75
A prosperous gentleman, and to be king
Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way 80
With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.
The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?
Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted,
As breath into the wind. Would they had stayed! 85
Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?
Your children shall be kings.
BANQUO You shall be king. 90
And Thane of Cawdor too. Went it not so?
To th’ selfsame tune and words.—Who’s here?
Enter Ross and Angus.
The King hath happily received, Macbeth,
The news of thy success, and, when he reads
Thy personal venture in the rebels’ fight, 95
His wonders and his praises do contend
Which should be thine or his. Silenced with that,
In viewing o’er the rest o’ th’ selfsame day
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make, 100
Strange images of death. As thick as tale
Came post with post, and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom’s great defense,
And poured them down before him.
ANGUS We are sent 105
To give thee from our royal master thanks,
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Not pay thee.
And for an earnest of a greater honor,
He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor, 110
In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,
For it is thine.
BANQUO What, can the devil speak true?
The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me
In borrowed robes? 115
ANGUS Who was the Thane lives yet,
But under heavy judgment bears that life
Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was
With those of Norway, or did line the rebel 120
With hidden help and vantage, or that with both
He labored in his country’s wrack, I know not;
But treasons capital, confessed and proved,
Have overthrown him.
MACBETH, aside Glamis and Thane of Cawdor! 125
The greatest is behind. To Ross and Angus. Thanks
for your pains.
Aside to Banquo. Do you not hope your children
shall be kings,
When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me 130
Promised no less to them?
BANQUO That, trusted home,
Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,
Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ’tis strange.
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, 135
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s
In deepest consequence.—
Cousins, a word, I pray you. They step aside.
MACBETH, aside Two truths are told 140
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme.—I thank you, gentlemen.
Aside. This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success 145
Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
Against the use of nature? Present fears 150
Are less than horrible imaginings.
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man
That function is smothered in surmise,
And nothing is but what is not. 155
BANQUO Look how our partner’s rapt.
If chance will have me king, why, chance may
Without my stir.
BANQUO New honors come upon him, 160
Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold
But with the aid of use.
MACBETH, aside Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure. 165
Give me your favor. My dull brain was wrought
With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains
Are registered where every day I turn
The leaf to read them. Let us toward the King.
Aside to Banquo. Think upon what hath chanced, 170
and at more time,
The interim having weighed it, let us speak
Our free hearts each to other.
BANQUO Very gladly.
MACBETH Till then, enough.—Come, friends. 175
Act 1 Scene 4
Flourish. Enter King Duncan, Lennox, Malcolm,
Donalbain, and Attendants.
Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not
Those in commission yet returned?
MALCOLM My liege,
They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
With one that saw him die, who did report 5
That very frankly he confessed his treasons,
Implored your Highness’ pardon, and set forth
A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it. He died
As one that had been studied in his death 10
To throw away the dearest thing he owed
As ’twere a careless trifle.
DUNCAN There’s no art
To find the mind’s construction in the face.
He was a gentleman on whom I built 15
An absolute trust.
Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus.
O worthiest cousin,
The sin of my ingratitude even now
Was heavy on me. Thou art so far before
That swiftest wing of recompense is slow 20
To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved,
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine! Only I have left to say,
More is thy due than more than all can pay.
The service and the loyalty I owe 25
In doing it pays itself. Your Highness’ part
Is to receive our duties, and our duties
Are to your throne and state children and servants,
Which do but what they should by doing everything
Safe toward your love and honor. 30
DUNCAN Welcome hither.
I have begun to plant thee and will labor
To make thee full of growing.—Noble Banquo,
That hast no less deserved nor must be known
No less to have done so, let me enfold thee 35
And hold thee to my heart.
BANQUO There, if I grow,
The harvest is your own.
DUNCAN My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves 40
In drops of sorrow.—Sons, kinsmen, thanes,
And you whose places are the nearest, know
We will establish our estate upon
Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter
The Prince of Cumberland; which honor must 45
Not unaccompanied invest him only,
But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers.—From hence to Inverness
And bind us further to you.
The rest is labor which is not used for you. 50
I’ll be myself the harbinger and make joyful
The hearing of my wife with your approach.
So humbly take my leave.
DUNCAN My worthy Cawdor.
The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step 55
On which I must fall down or else o’erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. 60
True, worthy Banquo. He is full so valiant,
And in his commendations I am fed:
It is a banquet to me.—Let’s after him,
Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome.
It is a peerless kinsman. 65
Flourish. They exit.
Act 1 Scene 5
Enter Macbeth’s Wife, alone, with a letter.
LADY MACBETH, reading the letter They met me in the
day of success, and I have learned by the perfect’st
report they have more in them than mortal knowledge.
When I burned in desire to question them further, they
made themselves air, into which they vanished. 5
Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives
from the King, who all-hailed me “Thane of Cawdor,”
by which title, before, these Weïrd Sisters saluted me
and referred me to the coming on of time with “Hail,
king that shalt be.” This have I thought good to deliver 10
thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou
might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant
of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy
heart, and farewell.
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be 15
What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst 20
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false
And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou ’dst have, great
That which cries “Thus thou must do,” if thou have 25
And that which rather thou dost fear to do,
Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear
And chastise with the valor of my tongue 30
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crowned withal.
What is your tidings?
The King comes here tonight. 35
LADY MACBETH Thou ’rt mad to say it.
Is not thy master with him, who, were ’t so,
Would have informed for preparation?
So please you, it is true. Our thane is coming.
One of my fellows had the speed of him, 40
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make up his message.
LADY MACBETH Give him tending.
He brings great news. Messenger exits.
The raven himself is hoarse 45
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. 50
Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers, 55
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark 60
To cry “Hold, hold!”
Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor,
Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now 65
The future in the instant.
MACBETH My dearest love,
Duncan comes here tonight.
LADY MACBETH And when goes hence?
Tomorrow, as he purposes. 70
LADY MACBETH O, never
Shall sun that morrow see!
Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, 75
Your hand, your tongue. Look like th’ innocent
But be the serpent under ’t. He that’s coming
Must be provided for; and you shall put
This night’s great business into my dispatch, 80
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
We will speak further.
LADY MACBETH Only look up clear.
To alter favor ever is to fear. 85
Leave all the rest to me.
Act 1 Scene 6
Hautboys and Torches. Enter King Duncan, Malcolm,
Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus, and
This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.
BANQUO This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve, 5
By his loved mansionry, that the heaven’s breath
Smells wooingly here. No jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle.
Where they most breed and haunt, I have 10
The air is delicate.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
DUNCAN See, see our honored hostess!—
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you 15
How you shall bid God ’ild us for your pains
And thank us for your trouble.
LADY MACBETH All our service,
In every point twice done and then done double,
Were poor and single business to contend 20
Against those honors deep and broad wherewith
Your Majesty loads our house. For those of old,
And the late dignities heaped up to them,
We rest your hermits.
DUNCAN Where’s the Thane of Cawdor? 25
We coursed him at the heels and had a purpose
To be his purveyor; but he rides well,
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath helped
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess, 30
We are your guest tonight.
LADY MACBETH Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs in compt
To make their audit at your Highness’ pleasure,
Still to return your own. 35
DUNCAN Give me your hand.
Taking her hand.
Conduct me to mine host. We love him highly
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.
Act 1 Scene 7
Hautboys. Torches. Enter a Sewer and divers Servants
with dishes and service over the stage. Then enter
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly. If th’ assassination
Could trammel up the consequence and catch
With his surcease success, that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here, 5
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here, that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague th’ inventor. This even-handed justice 10
Commends th’ ingredience of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door, 15
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off; 20
And pity, like a naked newborn babe
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur 25
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
And falls on th’ other—
Enter Lady Macbeth.
How now, what news?
He has almost supped. Why have you left the 30
Hath he asked for me?
LADY MACBETH Know you not he has?
We will proceed no further in this business.
He hath honored me of late, and I have bought 35
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.
LADY MACBETH Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? 40
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that 45
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,”
Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?
MACBETH Prithee, peace. 50
I dare do all that may become a man.
Who dares do more is none.
LADY MACBETH What beast was ’t,
That made you break this enterprise to me? 55
When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both.
They have made themselves, and that their fitness 60
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums 65
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.
MACBETH If we should fail—
LADY MACBETH We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking place 70
And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep
(Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey
Soundly invite him), his two chamberlains
Will I with wine and wassail so convince
That memory, the warder of the brain, 75
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only. When in swinish sleep
Their drenchèd natures lies as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
Th’ unguarded Duncan? What not put upon 80
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?
MACBETH Bring forth men-children only,
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males. Will it not be received, 85
When we have marked with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
That they have done ’t?
LADY MACBETH Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar 90
Upon his death?
MACBETH I am settled and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
Away, and mock the time with fairest show.
False face must hide what the false heart doth 95
ACT 2 Scene 1
Enter Banquo, and Fleance with a torch before him.
BANQUO How goes the night, boy?
The moon is down. I have not heard the clock.
BANQUO And she goes down at twelve.
FLEANCE I take ’t ’tis later, sir.
Hold, take my sword. He gives his sword to Fleance. 5
There’s husbandry in heaven;
Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature 10
Gives way to in repose.
Enter Macbeth, and a Servant with a torch.
Give me my sword.—Who’s
MACBETH A friend.
What, sir, not yet at rest? The King’s abed. 15
He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
Sent forth great largess to your offices.
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess, and shut up
In measureless content. 20
He gives Macbeth a jewel.
MACBETH Being unprepared,
Our will became the servant to defect,
Which else should free have wrought.
BANQUO All’s well.
I dreamt last night of the three Weïrd Sisters. 25
To you they have showed some truth.
MACBETH I think not of
Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that 30
If you would grant the time.
BANQUO At your kind’st leisure.
If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,
It shall make honor for you. 35
BANQUO So I lose none
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,
I shall be counseled.
MACBETH Good repose the while. 40
BANQUO Thanks, sir. The like to you.
Banquo and Fleance exit.
Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch 45
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation 50
Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw. He draws his dagger.
Thou marshal’st me the way that I was going,
And such an instrument I was to use. 55
Mine eyes are made the fools o’ th’ other senses
Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still,
And, on thy blade and dudgeon, gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There’s no such thing.
It is the bloody business which informs 60
Thus to mine eyes. Now o’er the one-half world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate’s off’rings, and withered murder,
Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf, 65
Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his
Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear 70
Thy very stones prate of my whereabouts
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives.
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
A bell rings.
I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. 75
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell.
Act 2 Scene 2
Enter Lady Macbeth.
That which hath made them drunk hath made me
What hath quenched them hath given me fire.
It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, 5
Which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it.
The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged
That death and nature do contend about them 10
Whether they live or die.
MACBETH, within Who’s there? what, ho!
Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
And ’tis not done. Th’ attempt and not the deed
Confounds us. Hark!—I laid their daggers ready; 15
He could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done ’t.
Enter Macbeth with bloody daggers.
I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry. 20
Did not you speak?
LADY MACBETH Now.
MACBETH As I descended?
LADY MACBETH Ay. 25
MACBETH Hark!—Who lies i’ th’ second chamber?
LADY MACBETH Donalbain.
MACBETH This is a sorry sight.
A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
There’s one did laugh in ’s sleep, and one cried 30
That they did wake each other. I stood and heard
But they did say their prayers and addressed them
Again to sleep. 35
LADY MACBETH There are two lodged together.
One cried “God bless us” and “Amen” the other,
As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands,
List’ning their fear. I could not say “Amen”
When they did say “God bless us.” 40
LADY MACBETH Consider it not so deeply.
But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?
I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”
Stuck in my throat.
LADY MACBETH These deeds must not be thought 45
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, 50
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
LADY MACBETH What do you mean?
Still it cried “Sleep no more!” to all the house.
“Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore 55
Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”
Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength to think
So brainsickly of things. Go get some water 60
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.—
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go, carry them and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
MACBETH I’ll go no more. 65
I am afraid to think what I have done.
Look on ’t again I dare not.
LADY MACBETH Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
Are but as pictures. ’Tis the eye of childhood 70
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.
She exits with the daggers. Knock within.
MACBETH Whence is that knocking? 75
How is ’t with me when every noise appalls me?
What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine, 80
Making the green one red.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
My hands are of your color, but I shame
To wear a heart so white. Knocking.
I hear a knocking
At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber. 85
A little water clears us of this deed.
How easy is it, then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended. Knocking.
Hark, more knocking.
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us 90
And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.
To know my deed ’twere best not know myself.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou
Act 2 Scene 3
Knocking within. Enter a Porter.
PORTER Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were
porter of hell gate, he should have old turning the
key. (Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’
th’ name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged
himself on th’ expectation of plenty. Come in time! 5
Have napkins enough about you; here you’ll sweat
for ’t. (Knock.) Knock, knock! Who’s there, in th’
other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator
that could swear in both the scales against either
scale, who committed treason enough for God’s 10
sake yet could not equivocate to heaven. O, come in,
equivocator. (Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who’s
there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither for
stealing out of a French hose. Come in, tailor. Here
you may roast your goose. (Knock.) Knock, knock! 15
Never at quiet.—What are you?—But this place is
too cold for hell. I’ll devil-porter it no further. I had
thought to have let in some of all professions that go
the primrose way to th’ everlasting bonfire. (Knock.)
Anon, anon! 20
The Porter opens the door to Macduff and Lennox.
I pray you, remember the porter.
Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed
That you do lie so late?
PORTER Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second
cock, and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three 25
MACDUFF What three things does drink especially
PORTER Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.
Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes. It provokes 30
the desire, but it takes away the performance.
Therefore much drink may be said to be an
equivocator with lechery. It makes him, and it
mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it
persuades him and disheartens him; makes him 35
stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates
him in a sleep and, giving him the lie, leaves
MACDUFF I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.
PORTER That it did, sir, i’ th’ very throat on me; but I 40
requited him for his lie, and, I think, being too
strong for him, though he took up my legs sometime,
yet I made a shift to cast him.
MACDUFF Is thy master stirring?
Our knocking has awaked him. Here he comes. 45
Good morrow, noble sir.
MACBETH Good morrow, both.
Is the King stirring, worthy thane?
MACBETH Not yet.
He did command me to call timely on him. 50
I have almost slipped the hour.
MACBETH I’ll bring you to him.
I know this is a joyful trouble to you,
But yet ’tis one.
The labor we delight in physics pain. 55
This is the door.
MACDUFF I’ll make so bold to call,
For ’tis my limited service. Macduff exits.
LENNOX Goes the King hence today?
MACBETH He does. He did appoint so. 60
The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i’ th’ air, strange screams of
And prophesying, with accents terrible, 65
Of dire combustion and confused events
New hatched to th’ woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamored the livelong night. Some say the Earth
Was feverous and did shake.
MACBETH ’Twas a rough night. 70
My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.
MACDUFF O horror, horror, horror!
Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!
MACBETH AND LENNOX What’s the matter? 75
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord’s anointed temple and stole thence
The life o’ th’ building.
MACBETH What is ’t you say? The life? 80
LENNOX Mean you his Majesty?
Approach the chamber and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon. Do not bid me speak.
See and then speak yourselves.
Macbeth and Lennox exit.
Awake, awake! 85
Ring the alarum bell.—Murder and treason!
Banquo and Donalbain, Malcolm, awake!
Shake off this downy sleep, death’s counterfeit,
And look on death itself. Up, up, and see
The great doom’s image. Malcolm, Banquo, 90
As from your graves rise up and walk like sprites
To countenance this horror.—Ring the bell.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
LADY MACBETH What’s the business,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak! 95
MACDUFF O gentle lady,
’Tis not for you to hear what I can speak.
The repetition in a woman’s ear
Would murder as it fell.
O Banquo, Banquo, 100
Our royal master’s murdered.
LADY MACBETH Woe, alas!
What, in our house?
BANQUO Too cruel anywhere.—
Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself 105
And say it is not so.
Enter Macbeth, Lennox, and Ross.
Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived a blessèd time; for from this instant
There’s nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead. 110
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
Enter Malcolm and Donalbain.
DONALBAIN What is amiss?
MACBETH You are, and do not know ’t.
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood 115
Is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.
Your royal father’s murdered.
MALCOLM O, by whom?
Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done ’t.
Their hands and faces were all badged with blood. 120
So were their daggers, which unwiped we found
Upon their pillows. They stared and were distracted.
No man’s life was to be trusted with them.
O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them. 125
MACDUFF Wherefore did you so?
Who can be wise, amazed, temp’rate, and furious,
Loyal, and neutral, in a moment? No man.
Th’ expedition of my violent love
Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan, 130
His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature
For ruin’s wasteful entrance; there the murderers,
Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain 135
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make ’s love known?
LADY MACBETH Help me hence, ho!
Look to the lady.
MALCOLM, aside to Donalbain Why do we hold our 140
That most may claim this argument for ours?
DONALBAIN, aside to Malcolm
What should be spoken here, where our fate,
Hid in an auger hole, may rush and seize us?
Let’s away. Our tears are not yet brewed. 145
MALCOLM, aside to Donalbain
Nor our strong sorrow upon the foot of motion.
Lady Macbeth feigns to faint
BANQUO Look to the lady.
Lady Macbeth is assisted to leave.
And when we have our naked frailties hid,
That suffer in exposure, let us meet
And question this most bloody piece of work 150
To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us.
In the great hand of God I stand, and thence
Against the undivulged pretense I fight
Of treasonous malice.
MACDUFF And so do I. 155
ALL So all.
Let’s briefly put on manly readiness
And meet i’ th’ hall together.
ALL Well contented.
All but Malcolm and Donalbain exit.
What will you do? Let’s not consort with them. 160
To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
Which the false man does easy. I’ll to England.
To Ireland I. Our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are,
There’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood, 165
The nearer bloody.
MALCOLM This murderous shaft that’s shot
Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefore to horse,
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking 170
But shift away. There’s warrant in that theft
Which steals itself when there’s no mercy left.
Act 2 Scene 4
Enter Ross with an Old Man.
Threescore and ten I can remember well,
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange, but this sore
Hath trifled former knowings. 5
ROSS Ha, good father,
Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,
Threatens his bloody stage. By th’ clock ’tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.
Is ’t night’s predominance or the day’s shame 10
That darkness does the face of earth entomb
When living light should kiss it?
OLD MAN ’Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last
A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place, 15
Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.
And Duncan’s horses (a thing most strange and
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, 20
Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would
Make war with mankind.
OLD MAN ’Tis said they eat each
They did so, to th’ amazement of mine eyes 25
That looked upon ’t.
Here comes the good
How goes the world, sir, now?
MACDUFF Why, see you not? 30
Is ’t known who did this more than bloody deed?
Those that Macbeth hath slain.
ROSS Alas the day,
What good could they pretend?
MACDUFF They were suborned. 35
Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s two sons,
Are stol’n away and fled, which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.
ROSS ’Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up 40
Thine own lives’ means. Then ’tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
He is already named and gone to Scone
To be invested.
ROSS Where is Duncan’s body? 45
MACDUFF Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
And guardian of their bones.
ROSS Will you to Scone?
No, cousin, I’ll to Fife. 50
ROSS Well, I will thither.
Well, may you see things well done there. Adieu,
Lest our old robes sit easier than our new.
ROSS Farewell, father.
God’s benison go with you and with those 55
That would make good of bad and friends of foes. All exit.
ACT 3 Scene 1
Thou hast it now—king, Cawdor, Glamis, all
As the Weïrd Women promised, and I fear
Thou played’st most foully for ’t. Yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity,
But that myself should be the root and father 5
Of many kings. If there come truth from them
(As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine)
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,
And set me up in hope? But hush, no more. 10
Sennet sounded. Enter Macbeth as King, Lady
Macbeth, Lennox, Ross, Lords, and Attendants.
Here’s our chief guest.
LADY MACBETH If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast
And all-thing unbecoming.
Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir, 15
And I’ll request your presence.
BANQUO Let your Highness
Command upon me, to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
Forever knit. 20
MACBETH Ride you this afternoon?
BANQUO Ay, my good lord.
We should have else desired your good advice
(Which still hath been both grave and prosperous)
In this day’s council, but we’ll take tomorrow. 25
Is ’t far you ride?
As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
’Twixt this and supper. Go not my horse the better,
I must become a borrower of the night
For a dark hour or twain. 30
MACBETH Fail not our feast.
BANQUO My lord, I will not.
We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed
In England and in Ireland, not confessing
Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers 35
With strange invention. But of that tomorrow,
When therewithal we shall have cause of state
Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse. Adieu,
Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?
Ay, my good lord. Our time does call upon ’s. 40
I wish your horses swift and sure of foot,
And so I do commend you to their backs.
Farewell. Banquo exits.
Let every man be master of his time
Till seven at night. To make society 45
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till suppertime alone. While then, God be with you.
Lords and all but Macbeth and a Servant exit.
Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
They are, my lord, without the palace gate. 50
Bring them before us. Servant exits.
To be thus is nothing,
But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be feared. ’Tis much he 55
And to that dauntless temper of his mind
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear; and under him 60
My genius is rebuked, as it is said
Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me
And bade them speak to him. Then, prophet-like,
They hailed him father to a line of kings. 65
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
And put a barren scepter in my grip,
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If ’t be so,
For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind; 70
For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered,
Put rancors in the vessel of my peace
Only for them, and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man
To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings. 75
Rather than so, come fate into the list,
And champion me to th’ utterance.—Who’s there?
Enter Servant and two Murderers.
To the Servant. Now go to the door, and stay there
till we call. Servant exits.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together? 80
It was, so please your Highness.
MACBETH Well then, now
Have you considered of my speeches? Know
That it was he, in the times past, which held you
So under fortune, which you thought had been 85
Our innocent self. This I made good to you
In our last conference, passed in probation with you
How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the
Who wrought with them, and all things else that 90
To half a soul and to a notion crazed
Say “Thus did Banquo.”
FIRST MURDERER You made it known to us.
I did so, and went further, which is now 95
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature
That you can let this go? Are you so gospeled
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave 100
And beggared yours forever?
FIRST MURDERER We are men, my liege.
Ay, in the catalogue you go for men,
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels,
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
All by the name of dogs. The valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature 110
Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
Particular addition, from the bill
That writes them all alike. And so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i’ th’ worst rank of manhood, say ’t, 115
And I will put that business in your bosoms
Whose execution takes your enemy off,
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect. 120
SECOND MURDERER I am one, my liege,
Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
Hath so incensed that I am reckless what
I do to spite the world.
FIRST MURDERER And I another 125
So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune,
That I would set my life on any chance,
To mend it or be rid on ’t.
MACBETH Both of you
Know Banquo was your enemy. 130
MURDERERS True, my lord.
So is he mine, and in such bloody distance
That every minute of his being thrusts
Against my near’st of life. And though I could
With barefaced power sweep him from my sight 135
And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
For certain friends that are both his and mine,
Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Who I myself struck down. And thence it is
That I to your assistance do make love, 140
Masking the business from the common eye
For sundry weighty reasons.
SECOND MURDERER We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.
FIRST MURDERER Though our lives— 145
Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at
I will advise you where to plant yourselves,
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’ th’ time,
The moment on ’t, for ’t must be done tonight 150
And something from the palace; always thought
That I require a clearness. And with him
(To leave no rubs nor botches in the work)
Fleance, his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me 155
Than is his father’s, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart.
I’ll come to you anon.
MURDERERS We are resolved, my lord.
I’ll call upon you straight. Abide within. 160
It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.
Act 3 Scene 2
Enter Macbeth’s Lady and a Servant.
LADY MACBETH Is Banquo gone from court?
Ay, madam, but returns again tonight.
Say to the King I would attend his leisure
For a few words.
SERVANT Madam, I will. Servant exits. 5
LADY MACBETH Naught’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content.
’Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
How now, my lord, why do you keep alone, 10
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard. What’s done is done.
We have scorched the snake, not killed it. 15
She’ll close and be herself whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds
Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep 20
In the affliction of these terrible dreams
That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave. 25
After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.
Treason has done his worst; nor steel nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing
Can touch him further.
LADY MACBETH Come on, gentle my lord, 30
Sleek o’er your rugged looks. Be bright and jovial
Among your guests tonight.
MACBETH So shall I, love,
And so I pray be you. Let your remembrance
Apply to Banquo; present him eminence 35
Both with eye and tongue: unsafe the while that we
Must lave our honors in these flattering streams
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
Disguising what they are.
LADY MACBETH You must leave this. 40
O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know’st that Banquo and his Fleance lives.
But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.
There’s comfort yet; they are assailable.
Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown 45
His cloistered flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons
The shard-born beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.
LADY MACBETH What’s to be done? 50
Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed.—Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day
And with thy bloody and invisible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond 55
Which keeps me pale. Light thickens, and the crow
Makes wing to th’ rooky wood.
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do
Thou marvel’st at my words, but hold thee still.
Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
So prithee go with me. They exit.
Act 3 Scene 3
Enter three Murderers.
But who did bid thee join with us?
THIRD MURDERER Macbeth.
SECOND MURDERER, to the First Murderer
He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers
Our offices and what we have to do
To the direction just. 5
FIRST MURDERER Then stand with us.—
The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day.
Now spurs the lated traveler apace
To gain the timely inn, and near approaches
The subject of our watch. 10
THIRD MURDERER Hark, I hear horses.
BANQUO, within Give us a light there, ho!
SECOND MURDERER Then ’tis he. The rest
That are within the note of expectation
Already are i’ th’ court. 15
FIRST MURDERER His horses go about.
Almost a mile; but he does usually
(So all men do) from hence to th’ palace gate
Make it their walk.
Enter Banquo and Fleance, with a torch.
SECOND MURDERER A light, a light! 20
THIRD MURDERER ’Tis he.
FIRST MURDERER Stand to ’t.
BANQUO, to Fleance It will be rain tonight.
FIRST MURDERER Let it come down!
The three Murderers attack.
O treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! 25
Thou mayst revenge—O slave!
He dies. Fleance exits.
Who did strike out the light?
FIRST MURDERER Was ’t not the way?
THIRD MURDERER There’s but one down. The son is
SECOND MURDERER We have lost best half of our
Well, let’s away and say how much is done.
Act 3 Scene 4
Banquet prepared. Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth,
Ross, Lennox, Lords, and Attendants.
You know your own degrees; sit down. At first
And last, the hearty welcome. They sit.
LORDS Thanks to your Majesty.
Ourself will mingle with society
And play the humble host. 5
Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time
We will require her welcome.
Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends,
For my heart speaks they are welcome.
Enter First Murderer to the door.
See, they encounter thee with their hearts’ thanks. 10
Both sides are even. Here I’ll sit i’ th’ midst.
Be large in mirth. Anon we’ll drink a measure
The table round. He approaches the Murderer. There’s
blood upon thy face.
MURDERER ’Tis Banquo’s then. 15
’Tis better thee without than he within.
Is he dispatched?
My lord, his throat is cut. That I did for him.
Thou art the best o’ th’ cutthroats,
Yet he’s good that did the like for Fleance. 20
If thou didst it, thou art the nonpareil.
Most royal sir, Fleance is ’scaped.
Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect,
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air. 25
But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears.—But Banquo’s safe?
Ay, my good lord. Safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenchèd gashes on his head,
The least a death to nature. 30
MACBETH Thanks for that.
There the grown serpent lies. The worm that’s fled
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
No teeth for th’ present. Get thee gone. Tomorrow
We’ll hear ourselves again. Murderer exits. 35
LADY MACBETH My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer. The feast is sold
That is not often vouched, while ’tis a-making,
’Tis given with welcome. To feed were best at home;
From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony; 40
Meeting were bare without it.
Enter the Ghost of Banquo, and sits in Macbeth’s place.
MACBETH, to Lady Macbeth Sweet remembrancer!—
Now, good digestion wait on appetite
And health on both!
LENNOX May ’t please your Highness sit. 45
Here had we now our country’s honor roofed,
Were the graced person of our Banquo present,
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance.
ROSS His absence, sir, 50
Lays blame upon his promise. Please ’t your
To grace us with your royal company?
The table’s full.
LENNOX Here is a place reserved, sir. 55
Here, my good lord. What is ’t that moves your
Which of you have done this?
LORDS What, my good lord? 60
MACBETH, to the Ghost
Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake
Thy gory locks at me.
Gentlemen, rise. His Highness is not well.
Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus
And hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep seat. 65
The fit is momentary; upon a thought
He will again be well. If much you note him
You shall offend him and extend his passion.
Feed and regard him not. Drawing Macbeth aside.
Are you a man? 70
Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appall the devil.
LADY MACBETH O, proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear.
This is the air-drawn dagger which you said 75
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
Impostors to true fear, would well become
A woman’s story at a winter’s fire,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all’s done, 80
You look but on a stool.
Prithee, see there. Behold, look! To the Ghost. Lo,
how say you?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.—
If charnel houses and our graves must send 85
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites. Ghost exits.
LADY MACBETH What, quite unmanned in folly?
If I stand here, I saw him.
LADY MACBETH Fie, for shame! 90
Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ th’ olden time,
Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been performed
Too terrible for the ear. The time has been
That, when the brains were out, the man would die, 95
And there an end. But now they rise again
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns
And push us from our stools. This is more strange
Than such a murder is.
LADY MACBETH My worthy lord, 100
Your noble friends do lack you.
MACBETH I do forget.—
Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends.
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, love and health to 105
Then I’ll sit down.—Give me some wine. Fill full.
I drink to th’ general joy o’ th’ whole table
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss.
Would he were here! To all, and him we thirst, 110
And all to all.
LORDS Our duties, and the pledge.
They raise their drinking cups.
MACBETH, to the Ghost
Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee.
Thy bones are marrowless; thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes 115
Which thou dost glare with.
LADY MACBETH Think of this, good
But as a thing of custom. ’Tis no other;
Only it spoils the pleasure of the time. 120
MACBETH, to the Ghost What man dare, I dare.
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The armed rhinoceros, or th’ Hyrcan tiger;
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble. Or be alive again 125
And dare me to the desert with thy sword.
If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow!
Unreal mock’ry, hence! Ghost exits.
Why so, being gone, 130
I am a man again.—Pray you sit still.
You have displaced the mirth, broke the good
With most admired disorder.
MACBETH Can such things be 135
And overcome us like a summer’s cloud,
Without our special wonder? You make me strange
Even to the disposition that I owe
When now I think you can behold such sights
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks 140
When mine is blanched with fear.
ROSS What sights, my
I pray you, speak not. He grows worse and worse.
Question enrages him. At once, good night. 145
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once.
LENNOX Good night, and better health
Attend his Majesty.
LADY MACBETH A kind good night to all. 150
Lords and all but Macbeth and Lady Macbeth exit.
It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.
Stones have been known to move, and trees to
Augurs and understood relations have
By maggot pies and choughs and rooks brought 155
The secret’st man of blood.—What is the night?
Almost at odds with morning, which is which.
How say’st thou that Macduff denies his person
At our great bidding? 160
LADY MACBETH Did you send to him, sir?
I hear it by the way; but I will send.
There’s not a one of them but in his house
I keep a servant fee’d. I will tomorrow
(And betimes I will) to the Weïrd Sisters. 165
More shall they speak, for now I am bent to know
By the worst means the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er. 170
Strange things I have in head that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.
You lack the season of all natures, sleep.
Come, we’ll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
Is the initiate fear that wants hard use. 175
We are yet but young in deed.
Act 3 Scene 5
Thunder. Enter the three Witches,
Why, how now, Hecate? You look angerly.
Have I not reason, beldams as you are?
Saucy and overbold, how did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death, 5
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never called to bear my part
Or show the glory of our art?
And which is worse, all you have done 10
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now. Get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron 15
Meet me i’ th’ morning. Thither he
Will come to know his destiny.
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and everything beside.
I am for th’ air. This night I’ll spend 20
Unto a dismal and a fatal end.
Great business must be wrought ere noon.
Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vap’rous drop profound.
I’ll catch it ere it come to ground, 25
And that, distilled by magic sleights,
Shall raise such artificial sprites
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion.
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear 30
His hopes ’bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
And you all know, security
Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.
Music and a song.
Hark! I am called. My little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me. Hecate exits. 35
Sing within “Come away, come away,” etc.
Come, let’s make haste. She’ll soon be back again.
Act 3 Scene 6
Enter Lennox and another Lord.
My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret farther. Only I say
Things have been strangely borne. The gracious
Was pitied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead. 5
And the right valiant Banquo walked too late,
Whom you may say, if ’t please you, Fleance killed,
For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought how monstrous
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain 10
To kill their gracious father? Damnèd fact,
How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight
In pious rage the two delinquents tear
That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely, too, 15
For ’twould have angered any heart alive
To hear the men deny ’t. So that I say
He has borne all things well. And I do think
That had he Duncan’s sons under his key
(As, an ’t please heaven, he shall not) they should 20
What ’twere to kill a father. So should Fleance.
But peace. For from broad words, and ’cause he
His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear 25
Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?
LORD The son of Duncan
(From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth)
Lives in the English court and is received 30
Of the most pious Edward with such grace
That the malevolence of fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduff
Is gone to pray the holy king upon his aid
To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward 35
That, by the help of these (with Him above
To ratify the work), we may again
Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
Do faithful homage, and receive free honors, 40
All which we pine for now. And this report
Hath so exasperate the King that he
Prepares for some attempt of war.
LENNOX Sent he to Macduff?
He did, and with an absolute “Sir, not I,” 45
The cloudy messenger turns me his back
And hums, as who should say “You’ll rue the time
That clogs me with this answer.”
LENNOX And that well might
Advise him to a caution t’ hold what distance 50
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England and unfold
His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accursed. 55
LORD I’ll send my prayers with him.
ACT 4 Scene 1
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.
Thrice, and once the hedge-pig whined.
Harpier cries “’Tis time, ’tis time!”
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poisoned entrails throw. 5
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweltered venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ th’ charmèd pot.
The Witches circle the cauldron.
Double, double toil and trouble; 10
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake
In the cauldron boil and bake.
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 15
Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble; 20
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch’s mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged i’ th’ dark, 25
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat and slips of yew
Slivered in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe 30
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron
For th’ ingredience of our cauldron.
Double, double toil and trouble; 35
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood.
Then the charm is firm and good.
Enter Hecate to the other three Witches.
O, well done! I commend your pains,
And everyone shall share i’ th’ gains. 40
And now about the cauldron sing
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.
Music and a song: “Black Spirits,” etc. Hecate exits.
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes. 45
How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags?
What is ’t you do?
ALL A deed without a name. 50
I conjure you by that which you profess
(Howe’er you come to know it), answer me.
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches, though the yeasty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up, 55
Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown
Though castles topple on their warders’ heads,
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations, though the 60
Of nature’s germens tumble all together
Even till destruction sicken, answer me
To what I ask you.
FIRST WITCH Speak. 65
SECOND WITCH Demand.
THIRD WITCH We’ll answer.
Say if th’ hadst rather hear it from our mouths
Or from our masters’.
MACBETH Call ’em. Let me see ’em. 70
Pour in sow’s blood that hath eaten
Her nine farrow; grease that’s sweaten
From the murderers’ gibbet throw
Into the flame.
ALL Come high or low; 75
Thyself and office deftly show.
Thunder. First Apparition, an Armed Head.
Tell me, thou unknown power—
FIRST WITCH He knows thy
Hear his speech but say thou naught. 80
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff!
Beware the Thane of Fife! Dismiss me. Enough.
Whate’er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks.
Thou hast harped my fear aright. But one word
He will not be commanded. Here’s another
More potent than the first.
Thunder. Second Apparition, a Bloody Child.
SECOND APPARITION Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!—
MACBETH Had I three ears, I’d hear thee.
Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn 90
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth. He descends.
Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee?
But yet I’ll make assurance double sure
And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live, 95
That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,
And sleep in spite of thunder.
Thunder. Third Apparition, a Child Crowned, with a tree
in his hand.
What is this
That rises like the issue of a king
And wears upon his baby brow the round 100
And top of sovereignty?
ALL Listen but speak not to ’t.
Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are.
Macbeth shall never vanquished be until 105
Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
Shall come against him. He descends.
MACBETH That will never be.
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
Unfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements, good! 110
Rebellious dead, rise never till the Wood
Of Birnam rise, and our high-placed Macbeth
Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath
To time and mortal custom. Yet my heart
Throbs to know one thing. Tell me, if your art 115
Can tell so much: shall Banquo’s issue ever
Reign in this kingdom?
ALL Seek to know no more.
I will be satisfied. Deny me this,
And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know! 120
Cauldron sinks. Hautboys.
Why sinks that cauldron? And what noise is this?
FIRST WITCH Show.
SECOND WITCH Show.
THIRD WITCH Show.
Show his eyes and grieve his heart. 125
Come like shadows; so depart.
A show of eight kings, the eighth king with a glass in
his hand, and Banquo last.
Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo. Down!
Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs. And thy hair,
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first.
A third is like the former.—Filthy hags, 130
Why do you show me this?—A fourth? Start, eyes!
What, will the line stretch out to th’ crack of doom?
Another yet? A seventh? I’ll see no more.
And yet the eighth appears who bears a glass
Which shows me many more, and some I see 135
That twofold balls and treble scepters carry.
Horrible sight! Now I see ’tis true,
For the blood-boltered Banquo smiles upon me
And points at them for his.
The Apparitions disappear.
What, is this so? 140
Ay, sir, all this is so. But why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites
And show the best of our delights.
I’ll charm the air to give a sound 145
While you perform your antic round,
That this great king may kindly say
Our duties did his welcome pay.
Music. The Witches dance and vanish.
Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour
Stand aye accursèd in the calendar!— 150
Come in, without there.
LENNOX What’s your Grace’s will?
Saw you the Weïrd Sisters?
LENNOX No, my lord.
Came they not by you? 155
LENNOX No, indeed, my lord.
Infected be the air whereon they ride,
And damned all those that trust them! I did hear
The galloping of horse. Who was ’t came by?
’Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word 160
Macduff is fled to England.
MACBETH Fled to England?
LENNOX Ay, my good lord.
Time, thou anticipat’st my dread exploits.
The flighty purpose never is o’ertook 165
Unless the deed go with it. From this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and
The castle of Macduff I will surprise,
Seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool. 175
But no more sights!—Where are these gentlemen?
Come bring me where they are.
Act 4 Scene 2
Enter Macduff’s Wife, her Son, and Ross.
What had he done to make him fly the land?
You must have patience, madam.
LADY MACDUFF He had none.
His flight was madness. When our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors. 5
ROSS You know not
Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.
Wisdom? To leave his wife, to leave his babes,
His mansion and his titles in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not; 10
He wants the natural touch; for the poor wren,
The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
All is the fear, and nothing is the love,
As little is the wisdom, where the flight 15
So runs against all reason.
ROSS My dearest coz,
I pray you school yourself. But for your husband,
He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows
The fits o’ th’ season. I dare not speak much 20
But cruel are the times when we are traitors
And do not know ourselves; when we hold rumor
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea 25
Each way and move—I take my leave of you.
Shall not be long but I’ll be here again.
Things at the worst will cease or else climb upward
To what they were before.—My pretty cousin,
Blessing upon you. 30
Fathered he is, and yet he’s fatherless.
I am so much a fool, should I stay longer
It would be my disgrace and your discomfort.
I take my leave at once. Ross exits.
LADY MACDUFF Sirrah, your father’s dead. 35
And what will you do now? How will you live?
As birds do, mother.
LADY MACDUFF What, with worms and flies?
With what I get, I mean; and so do they.
Poor bird, thou ’dst never fear the net nor lime, 40
The pitfall nor the gin.
Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set
My father is not dead, for all your saying.
Yes, he is dead. How wilt thou do for a father? 45
SON Nay, how will you do for a husband?
Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.
SON Then you’ll buy ’em to sell again.
LADY MACDUFF Thou speak’st with all thy wit,
And yet, i’ faith, with wit enough for thee. 50
SON Was my father a traitor, mother?
LADY MACDUFF Ay, that he was.
SON What is a traitor?
LADY MACDUFF Why, one that swears and lies.
SON And be all traitors that do so? 55
LADY MACDUFF Every one that does so is a traitor
and must be hanged.
SON And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?
LADY MACDUFF Every one.
SON Who must hang them? 60
LADY MACDUFF Why, the honest men.
SON Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there
are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest
men and hang up them.
LADY MACDUFF Now God help thee, poor monkey! But 65
how wilt thou do for a father?
SON If he were dead, you’d weep for him. If you would
not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a
LADY MACDUFF Poor prattler, how thou talk’st! 70
Enter a Messenger.
Bless you, fair dame. I am not to you known,
Though in your state of honor I am perfect.
I doubt some danger does approach you nearly.
If you will take a homely man’s advice,
Be not found here. Hence with your little ones! 75
To fright you thus methinks I am too savage;
To do worse to you were fell cruelty,
Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve
I dare abide no longer. Messenger exits. 80
LADY MACDUFF Whither should I fly?
I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world, where to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas, 85
Do I put up that womanly defense
To say I have done no harm?
What are these faces?
MURDERER Where is your husband?
I hope in no place so unsanctified 90
Where such as thou mayst find him.
MURDERER He’s a traitor.
Thou liest, thou shag-eared villain!
MURDERER What, you egg?
Stabbing him. Young fry of treachery! 95
SON He has killed
Run away, I pray you.
Lady Macduff exits, crying “Murder!” followed by the
Murderers bearing the Son’s body.
Act 4 Scene 3
Enter Malcolm and Macduff.
Let us seek out some desolate shade and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty.
MACDUFF Let us rather
Hold fast the mortal sword and, like good men,
Bestride our downfall’n birthdom. Each new morn 5
New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland, and yelled out
Like syllable of dolor.
MALCOLM What I believe, I’ll wail; 10
What know, believe; and what I can redress,
As I shall find the time to friend, I will.
What you have spoke, it may be so, perchance.
This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues,
Was once thought honest. You have loved him well. 15
He hath not touched you yet. I am young, but
You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom
To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
T’ appease an angry god. 20
I am not treacherous.
MALCOLM But Macbeth is.
A good and virtuous nature may recoil
In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your
That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose.
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.
Though all things foul would wear the brows of
Yet grace must still look so. 30
MACDUFF I have lost my hopes.
Perchance even there where I did find my doubts.
Why in that rawness left you wife and child,
Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,
Without leave-taking? I pray you, 35
Let not my jealousies be your dishonors,
But mine own safeties. You may be rightly just,
Whatever I shall think.
MACDUFF Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure, 40
For goodness dare not check thee. Wear thou thy
The title is affeered.—Fare thee well, lord.
I would not be the villain that thou think’st
For the whole space that’s in the tyrant’s grasp, 45
And the rich East to boot.
MALCOLM Be not offended.
I speak not as in absolute fear of you.
I think our country sinks beneath the yoke.
It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash 50
Is added to her wounds. I think withal
There would be hands uplifted in my right;
And here from gracious England have I offer
Of goodly thousands. But, for all this,
When I shall tread upon the tyrant’s head 55
Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country
Shall have more vices than it had before,
More suffer, and more sundry ways than ever,
By him that shall succeed.
MACDUFF What should he be? 60
It is myself I mean, in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted
That, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state
Esteem him as a lamb, being compared 65
With my confineless harms.
MACDUFF Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
In evils to top Macbeth.
MALCOLM I grant him bloody, 70
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name. But there’s no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness. Your wives, your daughters,
Your matrons, and your maids could not fill up 75
The cistern of my lust, and my desire
All continent impediments would o’erbear
That did oppose my will. Better Macbeth
Than such an one to reign.
MACDUFF Boundless intemperance 80
In nature is a tyranny. It hath been
Th’ untimely emptying of the happy throne
And fall of many kings. But fear not yet
To take upon you what is yours. You may
Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty 85
And yet seem cold—the time you may so hoodwink.
We have willing dames enough. There cannot be
That vulture in you to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclined. 90
MALCOLM With this there grows
In my most ill-composed affection such
A stanchless avarice that, were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands,
Desire his jewels, and this other’s house; 95
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more, that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.
MACDUFF This avarice 100
Sticks deeper, grows with more pernicious root
Than summer-seeming lust, and it hath been
The sword of our slain kings. Yet do not fear.
Scotland hath foisons to fill up your will
Of your mere own. All these are portable, 105
With other graces weighed.
But I have none. The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temp’rance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude, 110
I have no relish of them but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound 115
All unity on earth.
MACDUFF O Scotland, Scotland!
If such a one be fit to govern, speak.
I am as I have spoken.
MACDUFF Fit to govern? 120
No, not to live.—O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-sceptered,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accursed 125
And does blaspheme his breed?—Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king. The queen that bore thee,
Oft’ner upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived. Fare thee well.
These evils thou repeat’st upon thyself 130
Hath banished me from Scotland.—O my breast,
Thy hope ends here!
MALCOLM Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts 135
To thy good truth and honor. Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
From overcredulous haste. But God above
Deal between thee and me, for even now 140
I put myself to thy direction and
Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself
For strangers to my nature. I am yet
Unknown to woman, never was forsworn, 145
Scarcely have coveted what was mine own,
At no time broke my faith, would not betray
The devil to his fellow, and delight
No less in truth than life. My first false speaking
Was this upon myself. What I am truly 150
Is thine and my poor country’s to command—
Whither indeed, before thy here-approach,
Old Siward with ten thousand warlike men,
Already at a point, was setting forth.
Now we’ll together, and the chance of goodness 155
Be like our warranted quarrel. Why are you silent?
Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
’Tis hard to reconcile.
Enter a Doctor.
MALCOLM Well, more anon.—
Comes the King forth, I pray you? 160
Ay, sir. There are a crew of wretched souls
That stay his cure. Their malady convinces
The great assay of art, but at his touch
(Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand)
They presently amend. 165
MALCOLM I thank you, doctor.
What’s the disease he means?
MALCOLM ’Tis called the evil:
A most miraculous work in this good king,
Which often since my here-remain in England 170
I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven
Himself best knows, but strangely visited people
All swoll’n and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
The mere despair of surgery, he cures,
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks, 175
Put on with holy prayers; and, ’tis spoken,
To the succeeding royalty he leaves
The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy,
And sundry blessings hang about his throne 180
That speak him full of grace.
MACDUFF See who comes here.
My countryman, but yet I know him not.
My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.
I know him now.—Good God betimes remove 185
The means that makes us strangers!
ROSS Sir, amen.
Stands Scotland where it did?
ROSS Alas, poor country,
Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot 190
Be called our mother, but our grave, where nothing
But who knows nothing is once seen to smile;
Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rent the air
Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy. The dead man’s knell 195
Is there scarce asked for who, and good men’s lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
Dying or ere they sicken.
O relation too nice and yet too true!
MALCOLM What’s the newest grief? 200
That of an hour’s age doth hiss the speaker.
Each minute teems a new one.
MACDUFF How does my wife?
ROSS Why, well.
MACDUFF And all my children? 205
ROSS Well too.
The tyrant has not battered at their peace?
No, they were well at peace when I did leave ’em.
Be not a niggard of your speech. How goes ’t?
When I came hither to transport the tidings 210
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumor
Of many worthy fellows that were out;
Which was to my belief witnessed the rather
For that I saw the tyrant’s power afoot.
Now is the time of help. Your eye in Scotland 215
Would create soldiers, make our women fight
To doff their dire distresses.
MALCOLM Be ’t their comfort
We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
Lent us good Siward and ten thousand men; 220
An older and a better soldier none
That Christendom gives out.
ROSS Would I could answer
This comfort with the like. But I have words
That would be howled out in the desert air, 225
Where hearing should not latch them.
MACDUFF What concern
The general cause, or is it a fee-grief
Due to some single breast? 230
ROSS No mind that’s honest
But in it shares some woe, though the main part
Pertains to you alone.
MACDUFF If it be mine,
Keep it not from me. Quickly let me have it. 235
Let not your ears despise my tongue forever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.
MACDUFF Hum! I guess at it.
Your castle is surprised, your wife and babes 240
Savagely slaughtered. To relate the manner
Were on the quarry of these murdered deer
To add the death of you.
MALCOLM Merciful heaven!—
What, man, ne’er pull your hat upon your brows. 245
Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break.
MACDUFF My children too?
Wife, children, servants, all that could be found.
And I must be from thence? My wife killed too? 250
ROSS I have said.
MALCOLM Be comforted.
Let’s make us med’cines of our great revenge
To cure this deadly grief.
He has no children. All my pretty ones? 255
Did you say “all”? O hell-kite! All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?
MALCOLM Dispute it like a man.
MACDUFF I shall do so, 260
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were
That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am, 265
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now.
Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let grief
Convert to anger. Blunt not the heart; enrage it.
O, I could play the woman with mine eyes 270
And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,
Cut short all intermission! Front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself.
Within my sword’s length set him. If he ’scape,
Heaven forgive him too. 275
MALCOLM This tune goes manly.
Come, go we to the King. Our power is ready;
Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above
Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you 280
The night is long that never finds the day.
ACT 5 Scene 1
Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman.
DOCTOR I have two nights watched with you but can
perceive no truth in your report. When was it she
GENTLEWOMAN Since his Majesty went into the field, I
have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown 5
upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper,
fold it, write upon ’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and
again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast
DOCTOR A great perturbation in nature, to receive at 10
once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of
watching. In this slumb’ry agitation, besides her
walking and other actual performances, what at any
time have you heard her say?
GENTLEWOMAN That, sir, which I will not report after 15
DOCTOR You may to me, and ’tis most meet you
GENTLEWOMAN Neither to you nor anyone, having no
witness to confirm my speech. 20
Enter Lady Macbeth with a taper.
Lo you, here she comes. This is her very guise and,
upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.
DOCTOR How came she by that light?
GENTLEWOMAN Why, it stood by her. She has light by
her continually. ’Tis her command. 25
DOCTOR You see her eyes are open.
GENTLEWOMAN Ay, but their sense are shut.
DOCTOR What is it she does now? Look how she rubs
GENTLEWOMAN It is an accustomed action with her to 30
seem thus washing her hands. I have known her
continue in this a quarter of an hour.
LADY MACBETH Yet here’s a spot.
DOCTOR Hark, she speaks. I will set down what comes
from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more 35
LADY MACBETH Out, damned spot, out, I say! One. Two.
Why then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my
lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear
who knows it, when none can call our power to 40
account? Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him?
DOCTOR Do you mark that?
LADY MACBETH The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is
she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean? No 45
more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that. You mar all
with this starting.
DOCTOR Go to, go to. You have known what you should
GENTLEWOMAN She has spoke what she should not, 50
I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has
LADY MACBETH Here’s the smell of the blood still. All
the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
hand. O, O, O! 55
DOCTOR What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely
GENTLEWOMAN I would not have such a heart in my
bosom for the dignity of the whole body.
DOCTOR Well, well, well. 60
GENTLEWOMAN Pray God it be, sir.
DOCTOR This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have
known those which have walked in their sleep,
who have died holily in their beds.
LADY MACBETH Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. 65
Look not so pale. I tell you yet again, Banquo’s
buried; he cannot come out on ’s grave.
DOCTOR Even so?
LADY MACBETH To bed, to bed. There’s knocking at the
gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your 70
hand. What’s done cannot be undone. To bed, to
bed, to bed. Lady Macbeth exits.
DOCTOR Will she go now to bed?
Foul whisp’rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds 75
Do breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.
More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all. Look after her.
Remove from her the means of all annoyance 80
And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night.
My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.
I think but dare not speak.
GENTLEWOMAN Good night, good doctor.
Act 5 Scene 2
Drum and Colors. Enter Menteith, Caithness, Angus,
Lennox, and Soldiers.
The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.
Revenges burn in them, for their dear causes
Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
Excite the mortified man. 5
ANGUS Near Birnam Wood
Shall we well meet them. That way are they coming.
Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?
For certain, sir, he is not. I have a file
Of all the gentry. There is Siward’s son 10
And many unrough youths that even now
Protest their first of manhood.
MENTEITH What does the tyrant?
Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
Some say he’s mad; others that lesser hate him 15
Do call it valiant fury. But for certain
He cannot buckle his distempered cause
Within the belt of rule.
ANGUS Now does he feel
His secret murders sticking on his hands. 20
Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach.
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
Upon a dwarfish thief. 25
MENTEITH Who, then, shall blame
His pestered senses to recoil and start
When all that is within him does condemn
Itself for being there?
CAITHNESS Well, march we on 30
To give obedience where ’tis truly owed.
Meet we the med’cine of the sickly weal,
And with him pour we in our country’s purge
Each drop of us.
LENNOX Or so much as it needs 35
To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
Make we our march towards Birnam.
They exit marching.
Act 5 Scene 3
Enter Macbeth, the Doctor, and Attendants.
Bring me no more reports. Let them fly all.
Till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane
I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm?
Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus: 5
“Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of woman
Shall e’er have power upon thee.” Then fly, false
And mingle with the English epicures.
The mind I sway by and the heart I bear 10
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
Where got’st thou that goose-look?
SERVANT There is ten thousand—
MACBETH Geese, villain? 15
SERVANT Soldiers, sir.
Go prick thy face and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-livered boy. What soldiers, patch?
Death of thy soul! Those linen cheeks of thine
Are counselors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face? 20
SERVANT The English force, so please you.
Take thy face hence. Servant exits.
Seyton!—I am sick at heart
When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This push
Will cheer me ever or disseat me now. 25
I have lived long enough. My way of life
Is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf,
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have, but in their stead 30
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath
Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare
What’s your gracious pleasure? 35
MACBETH What news more?
All is confirmed, my lord, which was reported.
I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked.
Give me my armor.
SEYTON ’Tis not needed yet. 40
MACBETH I’ll put it on.
Send out more horses. Skirr the country round.
Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine
How does your patient, doctor? 45
DOCTOR Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies
That keep her from her rest.
MACBETH Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, 50
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart? 55
DOCTOR Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
Throw physic to the dogs. I’ll none of it.—
Come, put mine armor on. Give me my staff.
Attendants begin to arm him.
Seyton, send out.—Doctor, the thanes fly from 60
Come, sir, dispatch.—If thou couldst, doctor, cast
The water of my land, find her disease,
And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
I would applaud thee to the very echo 65
That should applaud again.—Pull ’t off, I say.—
What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug
Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of
Ay, my good lord. Your royal preparation 70
Makes us hear something.
MACBETH Bring it after me.—
I will not be afraid of death and bane
Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.
Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, 75
Profit again should hardly draw me here.
Act 5 Scene 4
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, Siward, Macduff,
Siward’s son, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Soldiers,
Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
That chambers will be safe.
MENTEITH We doubt it nothing.
What wood is this before us?
MENTEITH The Wood of Birnam. 5
Let every soldier hew him down a bough
And bear ’t before him. Thereby shall we shadow
The numbers of our host and make discovery
Err in report of us.
SOLDIER It shall be done. 10
We learn no other but the confident tyrant
Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure
Our setting down before ’t.
MALCOLM ’Tis his main hope;
For, where there is advantage to be given, 15
Both more and less have given him the revolt,
And none serve with him but constrainèd things
Whose hearts are absent too.
MACDUFF Let our just censures
Attend the true event, and put we on 20
SIWARD The time approaches
That will with due decision make us know
What we shall say we have and what we owe.
Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate, 25
But certain issue strokes must arbitrate;
Towards which, advance the war.
They exit marching.
Act 5 Scene 5
Enter Macbeth, Seyton, and Soldiers, with Drum and
Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
The cry is still “They come!” Our castle’s strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn. Here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up.
Were they not forced with those that should be ours, 5
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.
A cry within of women.
What is that noise?
It is the cry of women, my good lord. He exits. 10
I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in ’t. I have supped full with horrors. 15
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me.
Wherefore was that cry?
SEYTON The Queen, my lord, is dead.
MACBETH She should have died hereafter. 20
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools 25
The way to dusty death. 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, 30
Enter a Messenger.
Thou com’st to use thy tongue: thy story quickly.
MESSENGER Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do ’t. 35
MACBETH Well, say, sir.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I looked toward Birnam, and anon methought
The Wood began to move.
MACBETH Liar and slave! 40
Let me endure your wrath if ’t be not so.
Within this three mile may you see it coming.
I say, a moving grove.
MACBETH If thou speak’st false,
Upon the next tree shall thou hang alive 45
Till famine cling thee. If thy speech be sooth,
I care not if thou dost for me as much.—
I pull in resolution and begin
To doubt th’ equivocation of the fiend,
That lies like truth. “Fear not till Birnam Wood 50
Do come to Dunsinane,” and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane.—Arm, arm, and out!—
If this which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
I ’gin to be aweary of the sun 55
And wish th’ estate o’ th’ world were now
Ring the alarum bell!—Blow wind, come wrack,
At least we’ll die with harness on our back. They exit.
Act 5 Scene 6
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, Siward, Macduff, and
their army, with boughs.
Now near enough. Your leafy screens throw down
And show like those you are.—You, worthy uncle,
Shall with my cousin, your right noble son,
Lead our first battle. Worthy Macduff and we
Shall take upon ’s what else remains to do, 5
According to our order.
SIWARD Fare you well.
Do we but find the tyrant’s power tonight,
Let us be beaten if we cannot fight.
Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath, 10
Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.
Act 5 Scene 7
They have tied me to a stake. I cannot fly,
But, bear-like, I must fight the course. What’s he
That was not born of woman? Such a one
Am I to fear, or none.
Enter young Siward.
YOUNG SIWARD What is thy name? 5
MACBETH Thou ’lt be afraid to hear it.
No, though thou call’st thyself a hotter name
Than any is in hell.
MACBETH My name’s Macbeth.
The devil himself could not pronounce a title 10
More hateful to mine ear.
MACBETH No, nor more fearful.
Thou liest, abhorrèd tyrant. With my sword
I’ll prove the lie thou speak’st.
They fight, and young Siward is slain.
MACBETH Thou wast born of 15
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandished by man that’s of a woman born. He exits.
Alarums. Enter Macduff.
That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face!
If thou beest slain, and with no stroke of mine, 20
My wife and children’s ghosts will haunt me still.
I cannot strike at wretched kerns, whose arms
Are hired to bear their staves. Either thou, Macbeth,
Or else my sword with an unbattered edge
I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be; 25
By this great clatter, one of greatest note
Seems bruited. Let me find him, Fortune,
And more I beg not. He exits. Alarums.
Enter Malcolm and Siward.
This way, my lord. The castle’s gently rendered.
The tyrant’s people on both sides do fight, 30
The noble thanes do bravely in the war,
The day almost itself professes yours,
And little is to do.
MALCOLM We have met with foes
That strike beside us. 35
SIWARD Enter, sir, the castle.
They exit. Alarum.
Act 5 Scene 8
Why should I play the Roman fool and die
On mine own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashes
Do better upon them.
MACDUFF Turn, hellhound, turn!
Of all men else I have avoided thee. 5
But get thee back. My soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.
MACDUFF I have no words;
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out. Fight. Alarum. 10
MACBETH Thou losest labor.
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmèd life, which must not yield 15
To one of woman born.
MACDUFF Despair thy charm,
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripped. 20
Accursèd be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cowed my better part of man!
And be these juggling fiends no more believed
That palter with us in a double sense,
That keep the word of promise to our ear 25
And break it to our hope. I’ll not fight with thee.
MACDUFF Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o’ th’ time.
We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole, and underwrit 30
“Here may you see the tyrant.”
MACBETH I will not yield
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet
And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.
Though Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane 35
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!”
They exit fighting. Alarums.
They enter fighting, and Macbeth is slain. Macduff
exits carrying off Macbeth’s body. Retreat and flourish.
Enter, with Drum and Colors, Malcolm, Siward, Ross,
Thanes, and Soldiers.
I would the friends we miss were safe arrived. 40
Some must go off; and yet by these I see
So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt.
He only lived but till he was a man, 45
The which no sooner had his prowess confirmed
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.
SIWARD Then he is dead?
Ay, and brought off the field. Your cause of sorrow 50
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.
SIWARD Had he his hurts before?
Ay, on the front.
SIWARD Why then, God’s soldier be he! 55
Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
I would not wish them to a fairer death;
And so his knell is knolled.
He’s worth more sorrow, and that I’ll spend for
SIWARD He’s worth no more.
They say he parted well and paid his score,
And so, God be with him. Here comes newer
Enter Macduff with Macbeth’s head.
Hail, King! for so thou art. Behold where stands 65
Th’ usurper’s cursèd head. The time is free.
I see thee compassed with thy kingdom’s pearl,
That speak my salutation in their minds,
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine.
Hail, King of Scotland! 70
ALL Hail, King of Scotland! Flourish.
We shall not spend a large expense of time
Before we reckon with your several loves
And make us even with you. My thanes and
Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
In such an honor named. What’s more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time,
As calling home our exiled friends abroad
That fled the snares of watchful tyranny, 80
Producing forth the cruel ministers
Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen
(Who, as ’tis thought, by self and violent hands,
Took off her life)—this, and what needful else
That calls upon us, by the grace of grace, 85
We will perform in measure, time, and place.
So thanks to all at once and to each one,
Whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone.
Flourish. All exit.