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Macbeth
Entire Play

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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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ACT 1
Scene 1
Thunder and Lightning. Enter three Witches.

FIRST WITCH 
 When shall we three meet again?
 In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
SECOND WITCH 
 When the hurly-burly’s done,
 When the battle’s lost and won.
THIRD WITCH 
5 That will be ere the set of sun.
FIRST WITCH 
 Where the place?
SECOND WITCH  Upon the heath.
THIRD WITCH 
 There to meet with Macbeth.
FIRST WITCH I come, Graymalkin.
SECOND WITCH 10Paddock calls.
THIRD WITCH Anon.
ALL 
 Fair is foul, and foul is fair;
 Hover through the fog and filthy air.
They exit.



7

9
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 2

Scene 2
Alarum within. Enter King Duncan, Malcolm,
Donalbain, Lennox, with Attendants, meeting a bleeding
Captain.


DUNCAN 
 What bloody man is that? He can report,
 As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
 The newest state.
MALCOLM  This is the sergeant
5 Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought
 ’Gainst my captivity.—Hail, brave friend!
 Say to the King the knowledge of the broil
 As thou didst leave it.
CAPTAIN Doubtful it stood,
10 As two spent swimmers that do cling together
 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
15 Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied;
 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,
20 Which smoked with bloody execution,
 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,
25 And fixed his head upon our battlements.
DUNCAN 
 O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!
CAPTAIN 
 As whence the sun ’gins his reflection
 Shipwracking storms and direful thunders break,

11
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 2

 So from that spring whence comfort seemed to
30 come
 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,
35 With furbished arms and new supplies of men,
 Began a fresh assault.
DUNCAN 
 Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and
 Banquo?
CAPTAIN 
 Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
40 If I say sooth, I must report they were
 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,
45 I cannot tell—
 But I am faint. My gashes cry for help.
DUNCAN 
 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 50 The worthy Thane of Ross.
LENNOX 
 What a haste looks through his eyes!
 So should he look that seems to speak things
 strange.
ROSS God save the King.
DUNCAN 55Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane?
ROSS From Fife, great king,
 Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky

13
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 3

 And fan our people cold.
 Norway himself, with terrible numbers,
60 Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,
 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,
65 Curbing his lavish spirit. And to conclude,
 The victory fell on us.
DUNCAN  Great happiness!
ROSS That now Sweno,
 The Norways’ king, craves composition.
70 Nor would we deign him burial of his men
 Till he disbursèd at Saint Colme’s Inch
 Ten thousand dollars to our general use.
DUNCAN 
 No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
 Our bosom interest. Go, pronounce his present
75 death,
 And with his former title greet Macbeth.
ROSS I’ll see it done.
DUNCAN 
 What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.
They exit.


Scene 3
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

FIRST WITCH Where hast thou been, sister?
SECOND WITCH Killing swine.
THIRD WITCH Sister, where thou?
FIRST WITCH 
 A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap
5 And munched and munched and munched. “Give
 me,” quoth I.
 “Aroint thee, witch,” the rump-fed runnion cries.

15
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ th’ Tiger;
 But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
10 And, like a rat without a tail,
 I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.
SECOND WITCH 
 I’ll give thee a wind.
FIRST WITCH 
 Th’ art kind.
THIRD WITCH 
 And I another.
FIRST WITCH 
15 I myself have all the other,
 And the very ports they blow;
 All the quarters that they know
 I’ th’ shipman’s card.
 I’ll drain him dry as hay.
20 Sleep shall neither night nor day
 Hang upon his penthouse lid.
 He shall live a man forbid.
 Weary sev’nnights, nine times nine,
 Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine.
25 Though his bark cannot be lost,
 Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.
 Look what I have.
SECOND WITCH Show me, show me.
FIRST WITCH 
 Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
30 Wracked as homeward he did come.Drum within.
THIRD WITCH 
 A drum, a drum!
 Macbeth doth come.
ALL, dancing in a circle 
 The Weïrd Sisters, hand in hand,
 Posters of the sea and land,
35 Thus do go about, about,
 Thrice to thine and thrice to mine

17
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 3

 And thrice again, to make up nine.
 Peace, the charm’s wound up.

Enter Macbeth and Banquo.

MACBETH 
 So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
BANQUO 
40 How far is ’t called to Forres?—What are these,
 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
45 me
 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 50 Speak if you can. What are you?
FIRST WITCH 
 All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
SECOND WITCH 
 All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!
THIRD WITCH 
 All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!
BANQUO 
 Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear
55 Things that do sound so fair?—I’ th’ name of truth,
 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,
60 That he seems rapt withal. To me you speak not.
 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.

19
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 3

FIRST WITCH 65Hail!
SECOND WITCH Hail!
THIRD WITCH Hail!
FIRST WITCH 
 Lesser than Macbeth and greater.
SECOND WITCH 
 Not so happy, yet much happier.
THIRD WITCH 
70 Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
 So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
FIRST WITCH 
 Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
MACBETH 
 Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more.
 By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis.
75 But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives
 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
80 Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
 With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.
Witches vanish.
BANQUO 
 The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
 And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?
MACBETH 
 Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted,
85 As breath into the wind. Would they had stayed!
BANQUO 
 Were such things here as we do speak about?
 Or have we eaten on the insane root
 That takes the reason prisoner?
MACBETH 
 Your children shall be kings.
BANQUO 90 You shall be king.

21
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 3

MACBETH 
 And Thane of Cawdor too. Went it not so?
BANQUO 
 To th’ selfsame tune and words.—Who’s here?

Enter Ross and Angus.

ROSS 
 The King hath happily received, Macbeth,
 The news of thy success, and, when he reads
95 Thy personal venture in the rebels’ fight,
 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,
100 Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
 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 105 We are sent
 To give thee from our royal master thanks,
 Only to herald thee into his sight,
 Not pay thee.
ROSS 
 And for an earnest of a greater honor,
110 He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor,
 In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,
 For it is thine.
BANQUO  What, can the devil speak true?
MACBETH 
 The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me
115 In borrowed robes?
ANGUS  Who was the Thane lives yet,
 But under heavy judgment bears that life
 Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was
 combined

23
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 3

120 With those of Norway, or did line the rebel
 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 125 Glamis and Thane of Cawdor!
 The greatest is behind. To Ross and Angus. Thanks
 for your pains.
 Aside to Banquo. Do you not hope your children
 shall be kings,
130 When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me
 Promised no less to them?
BANQUO  That, trusted home,
 Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,
 Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ’tis strange.
135 And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
 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 140 Two truths are told
 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,
145 Why hath it given me earnest of success
 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
150 Against the use of nature? Present fears
 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,
155 And nothing is but what is not.

25
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 4

BANQUO Look how our partner’s rapt.
MACBETH, aside 
 If chance will have me king, why, chance may
 crown me
 Without my stir.
BANQUO 160 New honors come upon him,
 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.
BANQUO 
165 Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.
MACBETH 
 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.
170 Aside to Banquo. Think upon what hath chanced,
 and at more time,
 The interim having weighed it, let us speak
 Our free hearts each to other.
BANQUO Very gladly.
MACBETH 175Till then, enough.—Come, friends.
They exit.


Scene 4
Flourish. Enter King Duncan, Lennox, Malcolm,
Donalbain, and Attendants.


DUNCAN 
 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
5 With one that saw him die, who did report

27
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 4

 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
10 As one that had been studied in his death
 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.
15 He was a gentleman on whom I built
 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
20 That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
 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.
MACBETH 
25 The service and the loyalty I owe
 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
30 Safe toward your love and honor.
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
35 No less to have done so, let me enfold thee
 And hold thee to my heart.
BANQUO  There, if I grow,
 The harvest is your own.

29
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 4

DUNCAN  My plenteous joys,
40 Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves
 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
45 The Prince of Cumberland; which honor must
 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.
MACBETH 
50 The rest is labor which is not used for you.
 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.
MACBETH, aside 
55 The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step
 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
60 Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.
He exits.
DUNCAN 
 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.
65 It is a peerless kinsman.
Flourish. They exit.




31
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 5

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
5 made themselves air, into which they vanished.
 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,
10 king that shalt be.” This have I thought good to deliver
 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.

15 Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
 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
20 The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst
 highly,
 That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false
 And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou ’dst have, great
 Glamis,
25 That which cries “Thus thou must do,” if thou have
 it,
 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
30 And chastise with the valor of my tongue
 All that impedes thee from the golden round,
 Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
 To have thee crowned withal.

33
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 5

Enter Messenger.

 What is your tidings?
MESSENGER 
35 The King comes here tonight.
LADY MACBETH  Thou ’rt mad to say it.
 Is not thy master with him, who, were ’t so,
 Would have informed for preparation?
MESSENGER 
 So please you, it is true. Our thane is coming.
40 One of my fellows had the speed of him,
 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.
45 The raven himself is hoarse
 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
50 Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.
 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
55 And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
 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,
60 Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
 To cry “Hold, hold!”

Enter Macbeth.

 Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor,
 Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter!

35
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 6

 Thy letters have transported me beyond
65 This ignorant present, and I feel now
 The future in the instant.
MACBETH  My dearest love,
 Duncan comes here tonight.
LADY MACBETH  And when goes hence?
MACBETH 
70 Tomorrow, as he purposes.
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,
75 Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye,
 Your hand, your tongue. Look like th’ innocent
 flower,
 But be the serpent under ’t. He that’s coming
 Must be provided for; and you shall put
80 This night’s great business into my dispatch,
 Which shall to all our nights and days to come
 Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
MACBETH 
 We will speak further.
LADY MACBETH  Only look up clear.
85 To alter favor ever is to fear.
 Leave all the rest to me.
They exit.


Scene 6
Hautboys and Torches. Enter King Duncan, Malcolm,
Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus, and
Attendants.


DUNCAN 
 This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air
 Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
 Unto our gentle senses.

37
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 6

BANQUO  This guest of summer,
5 The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,
 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.
10 Where they most breed and haunt, I have
 observed,
 The air is delicate.

Enter Lady Macbeth.

DUNCAN See, see our honored hostess!—
 The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
15 Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you
 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,
20 Were poor and single business to contend
 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 25 Where’s the Thane of Cawdor?
 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
 him
30 To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,
 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,
35 Still to return your own.
DUNCAN  Give me your hand.

39
Macbeth
ACT 1. SC. 7

Taking her hand.
 Conduct me to mine host. We love him highly
 And shall continue our graces towards him.
 By your leave, hostess.
They exit.


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.


ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter Banquo, and Fleance with a torch before him.

BANQUO How goes the night, boy?
FLEANCE 
 The moon is down. I have not heard the clock.
BANQUO And she goes down at twelve.
FLEANCE I take ’t ’tis later, sir.
BANQUO 
5 Hold, take my sword.He gives his sword to Fleance.
 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,
10 Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature
 Gives way to in repose.

Enter Macbeth, and a Servant with a torch.

 Give me my sword.—Who’s
 there?
MACBETH A friend.
BANQUO 
15 What, sir, not yet at rest? The King’s abed.
 He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
 Sent forth great largess to your offices.
 This diamond he greets your wife withal,
49

51
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 1

 By the name of most kind hostess, and shut up
20 In measureless content.
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.
25 I dreamt last night of the three Weïrd Sisters.
 To you they have showed some truth.
MACBETH  I think not of
 them.
 Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
30 We would spend it in some words upon that
 business,
 If you would grant the time.
BANQUO  At your kind’st leisure.
MACBETH 
 If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,
35 It shall make honor for you.
BANQUO  So I lose none
 In seeking to augment it, but still keep
 My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,
 I shall be counseled.
MACBETH 40 Good repose the while.
BANQUO Thanks, sir. The like to you.
Banquo and Fleance exit.
MACBETH 
 Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
 She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.
Servant exits.
 Is this a dagger which I see before me,
45 The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch
 thee.
 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

53
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 1

50 A dagger of the mind, a false creation
 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,
55 And such an instrument I was to use.
 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.
60 It is the bloody business which informs
 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,
65 Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,
 Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
 With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his
 design
 Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
70 Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
 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.
75 I go, and it is done. The bell invites me.
 Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
 That summons thee to heaven or to hell.
He exits.




55
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 2

Scene 2
Enter Lady Macbeth.

LADY MACBETH 
 That which hath made them drunk hath made me
 bold.
 What hath quenched them hath given me fire.
 Hark!—Peace.
5 It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
 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
 their possets,
10 That death and nature do contend about them
 Whether they live or die.
MACBETH, within  Who’s there? what, ho!
LADY MACBETH 
 Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
 And ’tis not done. Th’ attempt and not the deed
15 Confounds us. Hark!—I laid their daggers ready;
 He could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled
 My father as he slept, I had done ’t.

Enter Macbeth with bloody daggers.

 My husband?
MACBETH 
 I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
LADY MACBETH 
20 I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
 Did not you speak?
MACBETH  When?
LADY MACBETH  Now.
MACBETH  As I descended?
LADY MACBETH 25Ay.
MACBETH Hark!—Who lies i’ th’ second chamber?
LADY MACBETH Donalbain.

57
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 2

MACBETH This is a sorry sight.
LADY MACBETH 
 A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
MACBETH 
30 There’s one did laugh in ’s sleep, and one cried
 “Murder!”
 That they did wake each other. I stood and heard
 them.
 But they did say their prayers and addressed them
35 Again to sleep.
LADY MACBETH  There are two lodged together.
MACBETH 
 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”
40 When they did say “God bless us.”
LADY MACBETH Consider it not so deeply.
MACBETH 
 But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?
 I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”
 Stuck in my throat.
LADY MACBETH 45 These deeds must not be thought
 After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
MACBETH 
 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,
50 The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
 Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
 Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
LADY MACBETH  What do you mean?
MACBETH 
 Still it cried “Sleep no more!” to all the house.
55 “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore
 Cawdor
 Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”

59
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 2

LADY MACBETH 
 Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
 You do unbend your noble strength to think
60 So brainsickly of things. Go get some water
 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 65 I’ll go no more.
 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
70 Are but as pictures. ’Tis the eye of childhood
 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
75 knocking?
 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
80 The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
 Making the green one red.

Enter Lady Macbeth.

LADY MACBETH 
 My hands are of your color, but I shame
 To wear a heart so white.Knock.
 I hear a knocking
85 At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber.
 A little water clears us of this deed.
 How easy is it, then! Your constancy
 Hath left you unattended.Knock.

61
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Hark, more knocking.
90 Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
 And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
 So poorly in your thoughts.
MACBETH 
 To know my deed ’twere best not know myself.
Knock.
 Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou
95 couldst.
They exit.


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
5 himself on th’ expectation of plenty. Come in time!
 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
10 scale, who committed treason enough for God’s
 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
15 you may roast your goose. (Knock.) Knock, knock!
 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.)
20 Anon, anon!

The Porter opens the door to Macduff and Lennox.

 I pray you, remember the porter.

63
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 3

MACDUFF 
 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
25 cock, and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three
 things.
MACDUFF What three things does drink especially
 provoke?
PORTER Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.
30 Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes. It provokes
 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
35 persuades him and disheartens him; makes him
 stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates
 him in a sleep and, giving him the lie, leaves
 him.
MACDUFF I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.
PORTER 40That it did, sir, i’ th’ very throat on me; but I
 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?

Enter Macbeth.

45 Our knocking has awaked him. Here he comes.
Porter exits.
LENNOX 
 Good morrow, noble sir.
MACBETH  Good morrow, both.
MACDUFF 
 Is the King stirring, worthy thane?
MACBETH  Not yet.
MACDUFF 
50 He did command me to call timely on him.
 I have almost slipped the hour.

65
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 3

MACBETH  I’ll bring you to him.
MACDUFF 
 I know this is a joyful trouble to you,
 But yet ’tis one.
MACBETH 
55 The labor we delight in physics pain.
 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 60He does. He did appoint so.
LENNOX 
 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
 death,
65 And prophesying, with accents terrible,
 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 70 ’Twas a rough night.
LENNOX 
 My young remembrance cannot parallel
 A fellow to it.

Enter Macduff.

MACDUFF  O horror, horror, horror!
 Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!
MACBETH AND LENNOX 75What’s the matter?
MACDUFF 
 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.

67
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 3

MACBETH 80 What is ’t you say? The life?
LENNOX Mean you his Majesty?
MACDUFF 
 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.
85 Awake, awake!
 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
90 The great doom’s image. Malcolm, Banquo,
 As from your graves rise up and walk like sprites
 To countenance this horror.—Ring the bell.
Bell rings.

Enter Lady Macbeth.

LADY MACBETH What’s the business,
 That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
95 The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!
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.

Enter Banquo.

100 O Banquo, Banquo,
 Our royal master’s murdered.
LADY MACBETH  Woe, alas!
 What, in our house?
BANQUO  Too cruel anywhere.—
105 Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself
 And say it is not so.

69
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 3

Enter Macbeth, Lennox, and Ross.

MACBETH 
 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.
110 All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead.
 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.
115 The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
 Is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.
MACDUFF 
 Your royal father’s murdered.
MALCOLM  O, by whom?
LENNOX 
 Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done ’t.
120 Their hands and faces were all badged with blood.
 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.
MACBETH 
 O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
125 That I did kill them.
MACDUFF  Wherefore did you so?
MACBETH 
 Who can be wise, amazed, temp’rate, and furious,
 Loyal, and neutral, in a moment? No man.
 Th’ expedition of my violent love
130 Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
 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,

71
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers
135 Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain
 That had a heart to love, and in that heart
 Courage to make ’s love known?
LADY MACBETH  Help me hence, ho!
MACDUFF 
 Look to the lady.
MALCOLM, aside to Donalbain 140 Why do we hold our
 tongues,
 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?
145 Let’s away. Our tears are not yet brewed.
MALCOLM, aside to Donalbain 
 Nor our strong sorrow upon the foot of motion.
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
150 And question this most bloody piece of work
 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 155 And so do I.
ALL  So all.
MACBETH 
 Let’s briefly put on manly readiness
 And meet i’ th’ hall together.
ALL  Well contented.
All but Malcolm and Donalbain exit.
MALCOLM 
160 What will you do? Let’s not consort with them.
 To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
 Which the false man does easy. I’ll to England.

73
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 4

DONALBAIN 
 To Ireland I. Our separated fortune
 Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are,
165 There’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood,
 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,
170 And let us not be dainty of leave-taking
 But shift away. There’s warrant in that theft
 Which steals itself when there’s no mercy left.
They exit.


Scene 4
Enter Ross with an Old Man.

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
 night
5 Hath trifled former knowings.
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.
10 Is ’t night’s predominance or the day’s shame
 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
15 A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,
 Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.
ROSS 
 And Duncan’s horses (a thing most strange and
 certain),

75
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 4

 Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
20 Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
 Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would
 Make war with mankind.
OLD MAN  ’Tis said they eat each
 other.
ROSS 
25 They did so, to th’ amazement of mine eyes
 That looked upon ’t.

Enter Macduff.

 Here comes the good
 Macduff.—
 How goes the world, sir, now?
MACDUFF 30 Why, see you not?
ROSS 
 Is ’t known who did this more than bloody deed?
MACDUFF 
 Those that Macbeth hath slain.
ROSS  Alas the day,
 What good could they pretend?
MACDUFF 35 They were suborned.
 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!
40 Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up
 Thine own lives’ means. Then ’tis most like
 The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
MACDUFF 
 He is already named and gone to Scone
 To be invested.
ROSS 45 Where is Duncan’s body?
MACDUFF Carried to Colmekill,
 The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
 And guardian of their bones.

77
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 4

ROSS  Will you to Scone?
MACDUFF 
50 No, cousin, I’ll to Fife.
ROSS  Well, I will thither.
MACDUFF 
 Well, may you see things well done there. Adieu,
 Lest our old robes sit easier than our new.
ROSS Farewell, father.
OLD MAN 
55 God’s benison go with you and with those
 That would make good of bad and friends of foes.
All exit.


ACT 3
Scene 1
Enter Banquo.

BANQUO 
 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,
5 But that myself should be the root and father
 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,
10 And set me up in hope? But hush, no more.

Sennet sounded. Enter Macbeth as King, Lady
Macbeth, Lennox, Ross, Lords, and Attendants.


MACBETH 
 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.
MACBETH 
15 Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
 And I’ll request your presence.
BANQUO  Let your Highness
81

83
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Command upon me, to the which my duties
 Are with a most indissoluble tie
20 Forever knit.
MACBETH Ride you this afternoon?
BANQUO Ay, my good lord.
MACBETH 
 We should have else desired your good advice
 (Which still hath been both grave and prosperous)
25 In this day’s council, but we’ll take tomorrow.
 Is ’t far you ride?
BANQUO 
 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
30 For a dark hour or twain.
MACBETH  Fail not our feast.
BANQUO My lord, I will not.
MACBETH 
 We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed
 In England and in Ireland, not confessing
35 Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
 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?
BANQUO 
40 Ay, my good lord. Our time does call upon ’s.
MACBETH 
 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
45 Till seven at night. To make society
 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.

85
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
 Our pleasure?
SERVANT 
50 They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
MACBETH 
 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
55 Reigns that which would be feared. ’Tis much he
 dares,
 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
60 Whose being I do fear; and under him
 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,
65 They hailed him father to a line of kings.
 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,
70 For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;
 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
75 To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings.
 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.

87
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 1

80 Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
MURDERERS 
 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
85 So under fortune, which you thought had been
 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
 instruments,
90 Who wrought with them, and all things else that
 might
 To half a soul and to a notion crazed
 Say “Thus did Banquo.”
FIRST MURDERER  You made it known to us.
MACBETH 
95 I did so, and went further, which is now
 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,
100 Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave
 And beggared yours forever?
FIRST MURDERER  We are men, my liege.
MACBETH 
 Ay, in the catalogue you go for men,
 As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels,
105 curs,
 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
110 According to the gift which bounteous nature
 Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive

89
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Particular addition, from the bill
 That writes them all alike. And so of men.
 Now, if you have a station in the file,
115 Not i’ th’ worst rank of manhood, say ’t,
 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,
120 Which in his death were perfect.
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 125 And I another
 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
130 Know Banquo was your enemy.
MURDERERS  True, my lord.
MACBETH 
 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
135 With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
 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
140 That I to your assistance do make love,
 Masking the business from the common eye
 For sundry weighty reasons.
SECOND MURDERER  We shall, my lord,
 Perform what you command us.
FIRST MURDERER 145 Though our lives—

91
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 2

MACBETH 
 Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at
 most
 I will advise you where to plant yourselves,
 Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’ th’ time,
150 The moment on ’t, for ’t must be done tonight
 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,
155 Whose absence is no less material to me
 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.
MACBETH 
160 I’ll call upon you straight. Abide within.
Murderers exit.
 It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight,
 If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.
He exits.


Scene 2
Enter Macbeth’s Lady and a Servant.

LADY MACBETH Is Banquo gone from court?
SERVANT 
 Ay, madam, but returns again tonight.
LADY MACBETH 
 Say to the King I would attend his leisure
 For a few words.
SERVANT 5Madam, I will.He exits.
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.

93
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 2

Enter Macbeth.

10 How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
 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.
MACBETH 
15 We have scorched the snake, not killed it.
 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
 suffer,
20 Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
 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
25 In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave.
 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 30 Come on, gentle my lord,
 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
35 Apply to Banquo; present him eminence
 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 40 You must leave this.
MACBETH 
 O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
 Thou know’st that Banquo and his Fleance lives.

95
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 3

LADY MACBETH 
 But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.
MACBETH 
 There’s comfort yet; they are assailable.
45 Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown
 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 50 What’s to be done?
MACBETH 
 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
55 Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
 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
60 rouse.—
 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.


Scene 3
Enter three Murderers.

FIRST MURDERER 
 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
5 To the direction just.

97
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 3

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
10 The subject of our watch.
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
15 Already are i’ th’ court.
FIRST MURDERER His horses go about.
THIRD MURDERER 
 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 20A light, a light!
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.
BANQUO 
25 O treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
 Thou mayst revenge—O slave!
He dies. Fleance exits.
THIRD MURDERER 
 Who did strike out the light?
FIRST MURDERER  Was ’t not the way?
THIRD MURDERER There’s but one down. The son is
30 fled.
SECOND MURDERER We have lost best half of our
 affair.
FIRST MURDERER 
 Well, let’s away and say how much is done.
They exit.




99
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 4

Scene 4
Banquet prepared. Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth,
Ross, Lennox, Lords, and Attendants.


MACBETH 
 You know your own degrees; sit down. At first
 And last, the hearty welcome.They sit.
LORDS Thanks to your Majesty.
MACBETH 
 Ourself will mingle with society
5 And play the humble host.
 Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time
 We will require her welcome.
LADY MACBETH 
 Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends,
 For my heart speaks they are welcome.

Enter First Murderer to the door.

MACBETH 
10 See, they encounter thee with their hearts’ thanks.
 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 15’Tis Banquo’s then.
MACBETH 
 ’Tis better thee without than he within.
 Is he dispatched?
MURDERER 
 My lord, his throat is cut. That I did for him.
MACBETH 
 Thou art the best o’ th’ cutthroats,
20 Yet he’s good that did the like for Fleance.
 If thou didst it, thou art the nonpareil.
MURDERER 
 Most royal sir, Fleance is ’scaped.
MACBETH, aside 
 Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect,

101
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 4

 Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
25 As broad and general as the casing air.
 But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
 To saucy doubts and fears.—But Banquo’s safe?
MURDERER 
 Ay, my good lord. Safe in a ditch he bides,
 With twenty trenchèd gashes on his head,
30 The least a death to nature.
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
35 We’ll hear ourselves again.Murderer exits.
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;
40 From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony;
 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 45 May ’t please your Highness sit.
MACBETH 
 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 50 His absence, sir,
 Lays blame upon his promise. Please ’t your
 Highness
 To grace us with your royal company?
MACBETH 
 The table’s full.

103
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 4

LENNOX 55 Here is a place reserved, sir.
MACBETH Where?
LENNOX 
 Here, my good lord. What is ’t that moves your
 Highness?
MACBETH 
 Which of you have done this?
LORDS 60 What, my good lord?
MACBETH, to the Ghost 
 Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake
 Thy gory locks at me.
ROSS 
 Gentlemen, rise. His Highness is not well.
LADY MACBETH 
 Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus
65 And hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep seat.
 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.
70 Are you a man?
MACBETH 
 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.
75 This is the air-drawn dagger which you said
 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!
80 Why do you make such faces? When all’s done,
 You look but on a stool.
MACBETH 
 Prithee, see there. Behold, look! To the Ghost. Lo,
 how say you?

105
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 4

 Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.—
85 If charnel houses and our graves must send
 Those that we bury back, our monuments
 Shall be the maws of kites.Ghost exits.
LADY MACBETH What, quite unmanned in folly?
MACBETH 
 If I stand here, I saw him.
LADY MACBETH 90 Fie, for shame!
MACBETH 
 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
95 That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
 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 100 My worthy lord,
 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
105 To those that know me. Come, love and health to
 all.
 Then I’ll sit down.—Give me some wine. Fill full.

Enter Ghost.

 I drink to th’ general joy o’ th’ whole table
 And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss.
110 Would he were here! To all, and him we thirst,
 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;

107
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 4

115 Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
 Which thou dost glare with.
LADY MACBETH  Think of this, good
 peers,
 But as a thing of custom. ’Tis no other;
120 Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.
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
125 Shall never tremble. Or be alive again
 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.
130 Why so, being gone,
 I am a man again.—Pray you sit still.
LADY MACBETH 
 You have displaced the mirth, broke the good
 meeting
 With most admired disorder.
MACBETH 135 Can such things be
 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
140 And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks
 When mine is blanched with fear.
ROSS  What sights, my
 lord?
LADY MACBETH 
 I pray you, speak not. He grows worse and worse.
145 Question enrages him. At once, good night.
 Stand not upon the order of your going,
 But go at once.
LENNOX  Good night, and better health
 Attend his Majesty.

109
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 4

LADY MACBETH 150A kind good night to all.
Lords and all but Macbeth and Lady Macbeth exit.
MACBETH 
 It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.
 Stones have been known to move, and trees to
 speak.
 Augurs and understood relations have
155 By maggot pies and choughs and rooks brought
 forth
 The secret’st man of blood.—What is the night?
LADY MACBETH 
 Almost at odds with morning, which is which.
MACBETH 
 How say’st thou that Macduff denies his person
160 At our great bidding?
LADY MACBETH  Did you send to him, sir?
MACBETH 
 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
165 (And betimes I will) to the Weïrd Sisters.
 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,
170 Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
 Strange things I have in head that will to hand,
 Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.
LADY MACBETH 
 You lack the season of all natures, sleep.
MACBETH 
 Come, we’ll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
175 Is the initiate fear that wants hard use.
 We are yet but young in deed.
They exit.




111
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 5

Scene 5
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecate.

FIRST WITCH 
 Why, how now, Hecate? You look angerly.
HECATE 
 Have I not reason, beldams as you are?
 Saucy and overbold, how did you dare
 To trade and traffic with Macbeth
5 In riddles and affairs of death,
 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?
10 And which is worse, all you have done
 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,
15 And at the pit of Acheron
 Meet me i’ th’ morning. Thither he
 Will come to know his destiny.
 Your vessels and your spells provide,
 Your charms and everything beside.
20 I am for th’ air. This night I’ll spend
 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.
25 I’ll catch it ere it come to ground,
 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.
30 He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
 His hopes ’bove wisdom, grace, and fear.

113
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 6

 And you all know, security
 Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.
Music and a song.
 Hark! I am called. My little spirit, see,
35 Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me.Hecate exits.
Sing within Come away, come away, etc.
FIRST WITCH 
 Come, let’s make haste. She’ll soon be back again.
They exit.


Scene 6
Enter Lennox and another Lord.

LENNOX 
 My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
 Which can interpret farther. Only I say
 Things have been strangely borne. The gracious
 Duncan
5 Was pitied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead.
 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
10 It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
 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?
15 Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely, too,
 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
20 (As, an ’t please heaven, he shall not) they should
 find
 What ’twere to kill a father. So should Fleance.

115
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 6

 But peace. For from broad words, and ’cause he
 failed
25 His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear
 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)
30 Lives in the English court and is received
 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
35 To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward
 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,
40 Do faithful homage, and receive free honors,
 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?
LORD 
45 He did, and with an absolute “Sir, not I,”
 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
50 Advise him to a caution t’ hold what distance
 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
55 Under a hand accursed.
LORD I’ll send my prayers with him.
They exit.


ACT 4
Scene 1
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

FIRST WITCH 
 Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.
SECOND WITCH 
 Thrice, and once the hedge-pig whined.
THIRD WITCH 
 Harpier cries “’Tis time, ’tis time!”
FIRST WITCH 
 Round about the cauldron go;
5 In the poisoned entrails throw.
 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.
ALL 
10 Double, double toil and trouble;
 Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
SECOND WITCH 
 Fillet of a fenny snake
 In the cauldron boil and bake.
 Eye of newt and toe of frog,
15 Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
 Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting,
119

121
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
 For a charm of powerful trouble,
 Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL 
20 Double, double toil and trouble;
 Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
THIRD WITCH 
 Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
 Witch’s mummy, maw and gulf
 Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
25 Root of hemlock digged i’ th’ dark,
 Liver of blaspheming Jew,
 Gall of goat and slips of yew
 Slivered in the moon’s eclipse,
 Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
30 Finger of birth-strangled babe
 Ditch-delivered by a drab,
 Make the gruel thick and slab.
 Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron
 For th’ ingredience of our cauldron.
ALL 
35 Double, double toil and trouble;
 Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
SECOND WITCH 
 Cool it with a baboon’s blood.
 Then the charm is firm and good.

Enter Hecate to the other three Witches.

HECATE 
 O, well done! I commend your pains,
40 And everyone shall share i’ th’ gains.
 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.

123
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 1

SECOND WITCH 
 By the pricking of my thumbs,
45 Something wicked this way comes.
 Open, locks,
 Whoever knocks.

Enter Macbeth.

MACBETH 
 How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags?
 What is ’t you do?
ALL 50 A deed without a name.
MACBETH 
 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
55 Confound and swallow navigation up,
 Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown
 down,
 Though castles topple on their warders’ heads,
 Though palaces and pyramids do slope
60 Their heads to their foundations, though the
 treasure
 Of nature’s germens tumble all together
 Even till destruction sicken, answer me
 To what I ask you.
FIRST WITCH 65 Speak.
SECOND WITCH  Demand.
THIRD WITCH  We’ll answer.
FIRST WITCH 
 Say if th’ hadst rather hear it from our mouths
 Or from our masters’.
MACBETH 70 Call ’em. Let me see ’em.
FIRST WITCH 
 Pour in sow’s blood that hath eaten
 Her nine farrow; grease that’s sweaten

125
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 1

 From the murderers’ gibbet throw
 Into the flame.
ALL 75 Come high or low;
 Thyself and office deftly show.

Thunder. First Apparition, an Armed Head.

MACBETH 
 Tell me, thou unknown power—
FIRST WITCH  He knows thy
 thought.
80 Hear his speech but say thou naught.
FIRST APPARITION 
 Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff!
 Beware the Thane of Fife! Dismiss me. Enough.
He descends.
MACBETH 
 Whate’er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks.
 Thou hast harped my fear aright. But one word
85 more—
FIRST WITCH 
 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.
SECOND APPARITION 
90 Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn
 The power of man, for none of woman born
 Shall harm Macbeth.He descends.
MACBETH 
 Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee?
 But yet I’ll make assurance double sure
95 And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live,
 That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,
 And sleep in spite of thunder.

127
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 1

Thunder. Third Apparition, a Child Crowned, with a tree
in his hand.


 What is this
 That rises like the issue of a king
100 And wears upon his baby brow the round
 And top of sovereignty?
ALL Listen but speak not to ’t.
THIRD APPARITION 
 Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
 Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are.
105 Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
 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
110 Unfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements, good!
 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
115 Throbs to know one thing. Tell me, if your art
 Can tell so much: shall Banquo’s issue ever
 Reign in this kingdom?
ALL  Seek to know no more.
MACBETH 
 I will be satisfied. Deny me this,
120 And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know!
Cauldron sinks. Hautboys.
 Why sinks that cauldron? And what noise is this?
FIRST WITCH Show.
SECOND WITCH Show.
THIRD WITCH Show.
ALL 
125 Show his eyes and grieve his heart.
 Come like shadows; so depart.

129
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 1

A show of eight kings, the eighth king with a glass in
his hand, and Banquo last.


MACBETH 
 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.
130 A third is like the former.—Filthy hags,
 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
135 Which shows me many more, and some I see
 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.
140 What, is this so?
FIRST WITCH 
 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.
145 I’ll charm the air to give a sound
 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.
MACBETH 
 Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour
150 Stand aye accursèd in the calendar!—
 Come in, without there.

Enter Lennox.

LENNOX  What’s your Grace’s will?

131
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 1

MACBETH 
 Saw you the Weïrd Sisters?
LENNOX  No, my lord.
MACBETH 
155 Came they not by you?
LENNOX  No, indeed, my lord.
MACBETH 
 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?
LENNOX 
160 ’Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word
 Macduff is fled to England.
MACBETH  Fled to England?
LENNOX Ay, my good lord.
MACBETH, aside 
 Time, thou anticipat’st my dread exploits.
165 The flighty purpose never is o’ertook
 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
170 done:
 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;
175 This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool.
 But no more sights!—Where are these gentlemen?
 Come bring me where they are.
They exit.




133
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 2

Scene 2
Enter Macduff’s Wife, her Son, and Ross.

LADY MACDUFF 
 What had he done to make him fly the land?
ROSS 
 You must have patience, madam.
LADY MACDUFF  He had none.
 His flight was madness. When our actions do not,
5 Our fears do make us traitors.
ROSS  You know not
 Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.
LADY MACDUFF 
 Wisdom? To leave his wife, to leave his babes,
 His mansion and his titles in a place
10 From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
 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,
15 As little is the wisdom, where the flight
 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
20 The fits o’ th’ season. I dare not speak much
 further;
 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,
25 But float upon a wild and violent sea
 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,
30 Blessing upon you.

135
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 2

LADY MACDUFF 
 Fathered he is, and yet he’s fatherless.
ROSS 
 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 35Sirrah, your father’s dead.
 And what will you do now? How will you live?
SON 
 As birds do, mother.
LADY MACDUFF  What, with worms and flies?
SON 
 With what I get, I mean; and so do they.
LADY MACDUFF 
40 Poor bird, thou ’dst never fear the net nor lime,
 The pitfall nor the gin.
SON 
 Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set
 for.
 My father is not dead, for all your saying.
LADY MACDUFF 
45 Yes, he is dead. How wilt thou do for a father?
SON Nay, how will you do for a husband?
LADY MACDUFF 
 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,
50 And yet, i’ faith, with wit enough for thee.
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 55And be all traitors that do so?
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?

137
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 2

LADY MACDUFF Every one.
SON 60Who must hang them?
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 65Now God help thee, poor monkey! But
 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
 new father.
LADY MACDUFF 70Poor prattler, how thou talk’st!

Enter a Messenger.

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,
75 Be not found here. Hence with your little ones!
 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
 you!
80 I dare abide no longer.Messenger exits.
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
85 Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas,
 Do I put up that womanly defense
 To say I have done no harm?

Enter Murderers.

 What are these faces?
MURDERER Where is your husband?

139
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

LADY MACDUFF 
90 I hope in no place so unsanctified
 Where such as thou mayst find him.
MURDERER  He’s a traitor.
SON 
 Thou liest, thou shag-eared villain!
MURDERER  What, you egg?
95 Stabbing him. Young fry of treachery!
SON  He has killed
 me, mother.
 Run away, I pray you.
Lady Macduff exits, crying “Murder!” followed by the
Murderers bearing the Son’s body.



Scene 3
Enter Malcolm and Macduff.

MALCOLM 
 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,
5 Bestride our downfall’n birthdom. Each new morn
 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 10What I believe, I’ll wail;
 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,
15 Was once thought honest. You have loved him well.
 He hath not touched you yet. I am young, but
 something

141
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

 You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom
 To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
20 T’ appease an angry god.
MACDUFF 
 I am not treacherous.
MALCOLM  But Macbeth is.
 A good and virtuous nature may recoil
 In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your
25 pardon.
 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
 grace,
30 Yet grace must still look so.
MACDUFF  I have lost my hopes.
MALCOLM 
 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,
35 Without leave-taking? I pray you,
 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!
40 Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
 For goodness dare not check thee. Wear thou thy
 wrongs;
 The title is affeered.—Fare thee well, lord.
 I would not be the villain that thou think’st
45 For the whole space that’s in the tyrant’s grasp,
 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.
50 It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
 Is added to her wounds. I think withal

143
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

 There would be hands uplifted in my right;
 And here from gracious England have I offer
 Of goodly thousands. But, for all this,
55 When I shall tread upon the tyrant’s head
 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 60 What should he be?
MALCOLM 
 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
65 Esteem him as a lamb, being compared
 With my confineless harms.
MACDUFF  Not in the legions
 Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
 In evils to top Macbeth.
MALCOLM 70 I grant him bloody,
 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,
75 Your matrons, and your maids could not fill up
 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 80 Boundless intemperance
 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
85 Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty
 And yet seem cold—the time you may so hoodwink.

145
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

 We have willing dames enough. There cannot be
 That vulture in you to devour so many
 As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
90 Finding it so inclined.
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,
95 Desire his jewels, and this other’s house;
 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 100 This avarice
 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
105 Of your mere own. All these are portable,
 With other graces weighed.
MALCOLM 
 But I have none. The king-becoming graces,
 As justice, verity, temp’rance, stableness,
 Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
110 Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
 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,
115 Uproar the universal peace, confound
 All unity on earth.
MACDUFF  O Scotland, Scotland!
MALCOLM 
 If such a one be fit to govern, speak.
 I am as I have spoken.
MACDUFF 120 Fit to govern?

147
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

 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
125 By his own interdiction stands accursed
 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.
130 These evils thou repeat’st upon thyself
 Hath banished me from Scotland.—O my breast,
 Thy hope ends here!
MALCOLM  Macduff, this noble passion,
 Child of integrity, hath from my soul
135 Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts
 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
140 Deal between thee and me, for even now
 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
145 Unknown to woman, never was forsworn,
 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
150 Was this upon myself. What I am truly
 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.
155 Now we’ll together, and the chance of goodness
 Be like our warranted quarrel. Why are you silent?

149
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

MACDUFF 
 Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
 ’Tis hard to reconcile.

Enter a Doctor.

MALCOLM  Well, more anon.—
160 Comes the King forth, I pray you?
DOCTOR 
 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)
165 They presently amend.
MALCOLM  I thank you, doctor.
Doctor exits.
MACDUFF 
 What’s the disease he means?
MALCOLM  ’Tis called the evil:
 A most miraculous work in this good king,
170 Which often since my here-remain in England
 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,
175 Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
 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,
180 And sundry blessings hang about his throne
 That speak him full of grace.

Enter Ross.

MACDUFF  See who comes here.
MALCOLM 
 My countryman, but yet I know him not.

151
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

MACDUFF 
 My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.
MALCOLM 
185 I know him now.—Good God betimes remove
 The means that makes us strangers!
ROSS  Sir, amen.
MACDUFF 
 Stands Scotland where it did?
ROSS  Alas, poor country,
190 Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
 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
195 A modern ecstasy. The dead man’s knell
 Is there scarce asked for who, and good men’s lives
 Expire before the flowers in their caps,
 Dying or ere they sicken.
MACDUFF 
 O relation too nice and yet too true!
MALCOLM 200What’s the newest grief?
ROSS 
 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 205And all my children?
ROSS Well too.
MACDUFF 
 The tyrant has not battered at their peace?
ROSS 
 No, they were well at peace when I did leave ’em.
MACDUFF 
 Be not a niggard of your speech. How goes ’t?
ROSS 
210 When I came hither to transport the tidings

153
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

 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.
215 Now is the time of help. Your eye in Scotland
 Would create soldiers, make our women fight
 To doff their dire distresses.
MALCOLM  Be ’t their comfort
 We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
220 Lent us good Siward and ten thousand men;
 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
225 That would be howled out in the desert air,
 Where hearing should not latch them.
MACDUFF  What concern
 they—
 The general cause, or is it a fee-grief
230 Due to some single breast?
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,
235 Keep it not from me. Quickly let me have it.
ROSS 
 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.
ROSS 
240 Your castle is surprised, your wife and babes
 Savagely slaughtered. To relate the manner
 Were on the quarry of these murdered deer
 To add the death of you.
MALCOLM  Merciful heaven!—

155
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

245 What, man, ne’er pull your hat upon your brows.
 Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak
 Whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break.
MACDUFF My children too?
ROSS 
 Wife, children, servants, all that could be found.
MACDUFF 
250 And I must be from thence? My wife killed too?
ROSS I have said.
MALCOLM Be comforted.
 Let’s make us med’cines of our great revenge
 To cure this deadly grief.
MACDUFF 
255 He has no children. All my pretty ones?
 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 260I shall do so,
 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,
265 They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am,
 Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
 Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now.
MALCOLM 
 Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let grief
 Convert to anger. Blunt not the heart; enrage it.
MACDUFF 
270 O, I could play the woman with mine eyes
 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,
275 Heaven forgive him too.

157
Macbeth
ACT 4. SC. 3

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
280 Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you
 may.
 The night is long that never finds the day.
They exit.


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
 last walked?
GENTLEWOMAN Since his Majesty went into the field, I
5 have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown
 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
 sleep.
DOCTOR 10A great perturbation in nature, to receive at
 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 15That, sir, which I will not report after
 her.
DOCTOR You may to me, and ’tis most meet you
 should.
GENTLEWOMAN Neither to you nor anyone, having no
20 witness to confirm my speech.

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.
161

163
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 1

DOCTOR How came she by that light?
GENTLEWOMAN Why, it stood by her. She has light by
25 her continually. ’Tis her command.
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
 her hands.
GENTLEWOMAN 30It is an accustomed action with her to
 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
35 from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more
 strongly.
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
40 who knows it, when none can call our power to
 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
45 she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean? No
 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
 not.
GENTLEWOMAN 50She has spoke what she should not,
 I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has
 known.
LADY MACBETH Here’s the smell of the blood still. All
 the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
55 hand. O, O, O!
DOCTOR What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely
 charged.
GENTLEWOMAN I would not have such a heart in my
 bosom for the dignity of the whole body.

165
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 2

DOCTOR 60Well, well, well.
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 65Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown.
 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
70 gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your
 hand. What’s done cannot be undone. To bed, to
 bed, to bed.Lady Macbeth exits.
DOCTOR Will she go now to bed?
GENTLEWOMAN Directly.
DOCTOR 
75 Foul whisp’rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds
 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.
80 Remove from her the means of all annoyance
 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.
They exit.


Scene 2
Drum and Colors. Enter Menteith, Caithness, Angus,
Lennox, and Soldiers.


MENTEITH 
 The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
 His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.

167
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Revenges burn in them, for their dear causes
 Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
5 Excite the mortified man.
ANGUS  Near Birnam Wood
 Shall we well meet them. That way are they coming.
CAITHNESS 
 Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?
LENNOX 
 For certain, sir, he is not. I have a file
10 Of all the gentry. There is Siward’s son
 And many unrough youths that even now
 Protest their first of manhood.
MENTEITH  What does the tyrant?
CAITHNESS 
 Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
15 Some say he’s mad; others that lesser hate him
 Do call it valiant fury. But for certain
 He cannot buckle his distempered cause
 Within the belt of rule.
ANGUS  Now does he feel
20 His secret murders sticking on his hands.
 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
25 Upon a dwarfish thief.
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 30 Well, march we on
 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 35 Or so much as it needs

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Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 3

 To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
 Make we our march towards Birnam.
They exit marching.


Scene 3
Enter Macbeth, the Doctor, and Attendants.

MACBETH 
 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
5 All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:
 “Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of woman
 Shall e’er have power upon thee.” Then fly, false
 thanes,
 And mingle with the English epicures.
10 The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
 Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.

Enter Servant.

 The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
 Where got’st thou that goose-look?
SERVANT There is ten thousand—
MACBETH 15Geese, villain?
SERVANT Soldiers, sir.
MACBETH 
 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
20 Are counselors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?
SERVANT The English force, so please you.
MACBETH 
 Take thy face hence.Servant exits.
 Seyton!—I am sick at heart
 When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This push

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Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 3

25 Will cheer me ever or disseat me now.
 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,
30 I must not look to have, but in their stead
 Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath
 Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare
 not.—
 Seyton!

Enter Seyton.

SEYTON 
35 What’s your gracious pleasure?
MACBETH  What news more?
SEYTON 
 All is confirmed, my lord, which was reported.
MACBETH 
 I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked.
 Give me my armor.
SEYTON 40’Tis not needed yet.
MACBETH I’ll put it on.
 Send out more horses. Skirr the country round.
 Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine
 armor.—
45 How does your patient, doctor?
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.
50 Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
 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
55 Which weighs upon the heart?

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Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 4

DOCTOR  Therein the patient
 Must minister to himself.
MACBETH 
 Throw physic to the dogs. I’ll none of it.—
 Come, put mine armor on. Give me my staff.
Attendants begin to arm him.
60 Seyton, send out.—Doctor, the thanes fly from
 me.—
 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,
65 I would applaud thee to the very echo
 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
 them?
DOCTOR 
70 Ay, my good lord. Your royal preparation
 Makes us hear something.
MACBETH  Bring it after me.—
 I will not be afraid of death and bane
 Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.
DOCTOR, aside 
75 Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
 Profit again should hardly draw me here.
They exit.


Scene 4
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, Siward, Macduff,
Siward’s son, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Soldiers,
marching.


MALCOLM 
 Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
 That chambers will be safe.

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Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 4

MENTEITH  We doubt it nothing.
SIWARD 
 What wood is this before us?
MENTEITH 5 The Wood of Birnam.
MALCOLM 
 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 10 It shall be done.
SIWARD 
 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;
15 For, where there is advantage to be given,
 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
20 Attend the true event, and put we on
 Industrious soldiership.
SIWARD  The time approaches
 That will with due decision make us know
 What we shall say we have and what we owe.
25 Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,
 But certain issue strokes must arbitrate;
 Towards which, advance the war.
They exit marching.




177
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 5

Scene 5
Enter Macbeth, Seyton, and Soldiers, with Drum and
Colors.


MACBETH 
 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.
5 Were they not forced with those that should be
 ours,
 We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
 And beat them backward home.
A cry within of women.
 What is that noise?
SEYTON 
10 It is the cry of women, my good lord.He exits.
MACBETH 
 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
15 As life were in ’t. I have supped full with horrors.
 Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
 Cannot once start me.

Enter Seyton.

 Wherefore was that cry?
SEYTON The Queen, my lord, is dead.
MACBETH 20She should have died hereafter.
 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,
25 And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
 The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

179
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 5

 Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
 That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
 And then is heard no more. It is a tale
30 Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
 Signifying nothing.

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,
35 But know not how to do ’t.
MACBETH  Well, say, sir.
MESSENGER 
 As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
 I looked toward Birnam, and anon methought
 The Wood began to move.
MACBETH 40 Liar and slave!
MESSENGER 
 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,
45 Upon the next tree shall thou hang alive
 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,
50 That lies like truth. “Fear not till Birnam Wood
 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.
55 I ’gin to be aweary of the sun
 And wish th’ estate o’ th’ world were now
 undone.—

181
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 6/7

 Ring the alarum bell!—Blow wind, come wrack,
 At least we’ll die with harness on our back.
They exit.


Scene 6
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, Siward, Macduff, and
their army, with boughs.


MALCOLM 
 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
5 Shall take upon ’s what else remains to do,
 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.
MACDUFF 
10 Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,
 Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.
They exit.
Alarums continued.


Scene 7
Enter Macbeth.

MACBETH 
 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 5What is thy name?

183
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 7

MACBETH Thou ’lt be afraid to hear it.
YOUNG SIWARD 
 No, though thou call’st thyself a hotter name
 Than any is in hell.
MACBETH  My name’s Macbeth.
YOUNG SIWARD 
10 The devil himself could not pronounce a title
 More hateful to mine ear.
MACBETH  No, nor more fearful.
YOUNG SIWARD 
 Thou liest, abhorrèd tyrant. With my sword
 I’ll prove the lie thou speak’st.
They fight, and young Siward is slain.
MACBETH 15 Thou wast born of
 woman.
 But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
 Brandished by man that’s of a woman born.
He exits.

Alarums. Enter Macduff.

MACDUFF 
 That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face!
20 If thou beest slain, and with no stroke of mine,
 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
25 I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;
 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.

SIWARD 
 This way, my lord. The castle’s gently rendered.
30 The tyrant’s people on both sides do fight,

185
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 8

 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
35 That strike beside us.
SIWARD  Enter, sir, the castle.
They exit. Alarum.


Scene 8
Enter Macbeth.

MACBETH 
 Why should I play the Roman fool and die
 On mine own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashes
 Do better upon them.

Enter Macduff.

MACDUFF  Turn, hellhound, turn!
MACBETH 
5 Of all men else I have avoided thee.
 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
10 Than terms can give thee out.Fight. Alarum.
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;
15 I bear a charmèd life, which must not yield
 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
20 Untimely ripped.

187
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 8

MACBETH 
 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,
25 That keep the word of promise to our ear
 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,
30 Painted upon a pole, and underwrit
 “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.
35 Though Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane
 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.


MALCOLM 
40 I would the friends we miss were safe arrived.
SIWARD 
 Some must go off; and yet by these I see
 So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
MALCOLM 
 Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
ROSS 
 Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt.
45 He only lived but till he was a man,

189
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 8

 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?
ROSS 
50 Ay, and brought off the field. Your cause of sorrow
 Must not be measured by his worth, for then
 It hath no end.
SIWARD  Had he his hurts before?
ROSS 
 Ay, on the front.
SIWARD 55 Why then, God’s soldier be he!
 Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
 I would not wish them to a fairer death;
 And so his knell is knolled.
MALCOLM 
 He’s worth more sorrow, and that I’ll spend for
60 him.
SIWARD He’s worth no more.
 They say he parted well and paid his score,
 And so, God be with him. Here comes newer
 comfort.

Enter Macduff with Macbeth’s head.

MACDUFF 
65 Hail, King! for so thou art. Behold where stands
 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.
70 Hail, King of Scotland!
ALL Hail, King of Scotland!Flourish.
MALCOLM 
 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
75 kinsmen,

191
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 8

 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
80 That fled the snares of watchful tyranny,
 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
85 That calls upon us, by the grace of grace,
 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.