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Macbeth
Act 1, scene 7

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Macbeth, set primarily in Scotland, mixes witchcraft, prophecy, and murder. Three “Weïrd Sisters” appear to Macbeth and his comrade Banquo…

Act 1, scene 1

Three witches plan to meet Macbeth.

Act 1, scene 2

Duncan, king of Scotland, hears an account of the success in battle of his noblemen Macbeth and Banquo. Duncan orders…

Act 1, scene 3

The three witches greet Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis” (as he is), “Thane of Cawdor,” and “king hereafter.” They then…

Act 1, scene 4

Duncan demands and receives assurances that the former thane of Cawdor has been executed. When Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus…

Act 1, scene 5

Lady Macbeth reads her husband’s letter about his meeting the witches. She fears that Macbeth lacks the ruthlessness he needs…

Act 1, scene 6

Duncan and his attendants arrive at Inverness. Lady Macbeth welcomes them.

Act 1, scene 7

Macbeth contemplates the reasons why it is a terrible thing to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth mocks his fears and offers…

Act 2, scene 1

Banquo, who has accompanied Duncan to Inverness, is uneasy because he too is tempted by the witches’ prophecies, although only…

Act 2, scene 2

Lady Macbeth waits anxiously for Macbeth to return from killing Duncan. When Macbeth enters, he is horrified by what he…

Act 2, scene 3

A drunken porter, answering the knocking at the gate, plays the role of a devil-porter at the gates of hell….

Act 2, scene 4

An old man and Ross exchange accounts of recent unnatural happenings. Macduff joins them to report that Malcolm and Donalbain…

Act 3, scene 1

Banquo suspects that Macbeth killed Duncan in order to become king. Macbeth invites Banquo to a feast that night. Banquo…

Act 3, scene 2

Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth express their unhappiness. Macbeth speaks of his fear of Banquo especially. He refers to a…

Act 3, scene 3

A third man joins the two whom Macbeth has already sent to kill Banquo and Fleance. The three assassins manage…

Act 3, scene 4

As Macbeth’s banquet begins, one of Banquo’s murderers appears at the door to tell Macbeth of Banquo’s death and Fleance’s…

Act 3, scene 5

The presentation of the witches in this scene (as in 4.1.38 SD–43 and 141–48) differs from their presentation in the…

Act 3, scene 6

Lennox and an unnamed lord discuss politics in Scotland. Lennox comments sarcastically upon Macbeth’s “official” versions of the many recent…

Act 4, scene 1

Macbeth approaches the witches to learn how to make his kingship secure. In response they summon for him three apparitions:…

Act 4, scene 2

Ross visits Lady Macduff and tries to justify to her Macduff’s flight to England, a flight that leaves his family…

Act 4, scene 3

Macduff finds Malcolm at the English court and urges him to attack Macbeth at once. Malcolm suspects that Macduff is…

Act 5, scene 1

A gentlewoman who waits on Lady Macbeth has seen her walking in her sleep and has asked a doctor’s advice….

Act 5, scene 2

A Scottish force, in rebellion against Macbeth, marches toward Birnam Wood to join Malcolm and his English army.

Act 5, scene 3

Reports are brought to Macbeth of the Scottish and English forces massed against him. He seeks assurance in the apparitions’…

Act 5, scene 4

The rebel Scottish forces have joined Malcolm’s army at Birnam Wood. Malcolm orders each soldier to cut down and carry…

Act 5, scene 5

Macbeth is confident that he can withstand any siege from Malcolm’s forces. He is then told of Lady Macbeth’s death…

Act 5, scene 6

Malcolm arrives with his troops before Dunsinane Castle.

Act 5, scene 7

On the battlefield Macbeth kills young Siward, the son of the English commander. After Macbeth exits, Macduff arrives in search…

Act 5, scene 8

Macduff finds Macbeth, who is reluctant to fight with him because Macbeth has already killed Macduff’s whole family and is…

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Scene 7
Hautboys. Torches. Enter a Sewer and divers Servants
with dishes and service over the stage.
 Then enter
Macbeth.


MACBETH 
 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
5 Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
 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
10 To plague th’ inventor. This even-handed justice
 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,
15 Who should against his murderer shut the door,
 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
20 The deep damnation of his taking-off;
 And pity, like a naked newborn babe
 Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin horsed

41
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 7

 Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
 Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
25 That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
 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?
LADY MACBETH 
30 He has almost supped. Why have you left the
 chamber?
MACBETH 
 Hath he asked for me?
LADY MACBETH  Know you not he has?
MACBETH 
 We will proceed no further in this business.
35 He hath honored me of late, and I have bought
 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
40 Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
 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
45 As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
 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 50 Prithee, peace.
 I dare do all that may become a man.
 Who dares do more is none.

43
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 7

LADY MACBETH  What beast was ’t,
 then,
55 That made you break this enterprise to me?
 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.
60 They have made themselves, and that their fitness
 now
 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,
65 Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums
 And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
 Have done to this.
MACBETH  If we should fail—
LADY MACBETH  We fail?
70 But screw your courage to the sticking place
 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
75 That memory, the warder of the brain,
 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
80 Th’ unguarded Duncan? What not put upon
 His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
 Of our great quell?
MACBETH  Bring forth men-children only,
 For thy undaunted mettle should compose
85 Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
 When we have marked with blood those sleepy two
 Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
 That they have done ’t?

45
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 7

LADY MACBETH  Who dares receive it other,
90 As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar
 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.
95 False face must hide what the false heart doth
 know.
They exit.