Study Guide

Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Macbeth eText - Act II

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Act II

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[Inverness. Court of Macbeth's castle.]

Enter Banquo, and Fleance, with a Torch* before him.

BANQUO:
How goes the night, boy?
BANQUO:
How’s your night going, boy?
FLEANCE:
The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
FLEANCE:
The moon’s down. I haven’t heard the clock chime.
BANQUO:
And she goes down at twelve.
BANQUO:
The moon goes down at twelve.
FLEANCE:
I take't ’tis later, sir.
FLEANCE:
I think it’s later than that, sir.
BANQUO:
Hold, take my sword. There's husbandry in heaven,(5)
Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose!(10)

Enter Macbeth, and a Servant with a Torch.]

Give me my sword.
Who's there?
BANQUO:
Stop, take my sword. They are saving light in heaven.
Their candles are all out. You take that, too.
A serious calling lies on me like lead,
And still I couldn't sleep. Merciful powers,
Hold me back from the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to when we sleep! Give me my sword.
Who's there?
MACBETH:
A friend.
MACBETH:
A friend.
BANQUO:
What, sir, not yet at rest? The King's a-bed.
He hath been in unusual pleasure and(15)
Sent forth great largess to your offices:
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess, and shut up
In measureless content.
BANQUO:
What, sir, not in bed yet? The king's in bed.
He has been unusually pleased and
Sent great generous gifts to your officers.
He greets your wife with this diamond, calling her
By the name of “most kind hostess,” and he went to bed
Contented beyond measure.
MACBETH:
Being unprepared,(20)
Our will became the servant to defect,
Which else should free have wrought.
MACBETH:
Being unprepared,
Our wishes became the servants to what we lacked,
Which has worked out very well.
BANQUO:
All's well.
I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:
To you they have show'd some truth.(25)
BANQUO:
All's well.
Last night, I dreamed about the three weird sisters.
They have shown some truth to you.
MACBETH:
I think not of them:
Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that business,
If you would grant the time.
MACBETH:
I don’t think about them.
Yet, when we can find an hour we’re both free,
We should talk about that business,
If you can spare the time.
BANQUO:
At your kind'st leisure.(30)
BANQUO:
Whenever you like.
MACBETH:
If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,
It shall make honor for you.
MACBETH:
If you agree with my opinion, when it is time,
It’ll be more honor for you.
BANQUO:
So I lose none
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,(35)
I shall be counsell'd.
BANQUO:
So I don’t lose any honor
In seeking to make my honor grow, only if I can still keep
My heart free and allegiance clear,
I’ll come to a decision.
MACBETH:
Good repose the while.
MACBETH:
Good rest in the meantime!
BANQUO:
Thanks, sir, the like to you.
BANQUO:
Thanks, sir. The same to you!

Exeunt Banquo [and Fleance].

MACBETH:
Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.(40)

Exit [Servant].

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
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(45)
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going,(50)
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o’ the 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:(55)
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 curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd Murder,(60)
Alarum'd 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,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear(65)
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives;
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives. A bell rings.
I go, and it is done: the bell invites me.(70)
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.
MACBETH:
Go tell your mistress that, when my drink is ready,
She should ring the bell. Get to bed. Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle pointed toward my hand? Come, let me clutch you.
I don’t hold you, and yet I still see you!
Are you, fatal vision, as insensitive
To feeling as you are to sight? Or are you only
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the brain oppressed by heat?
I still see you, in form as evident to my touch
As the one I now draw.
You guide me on the way that I was going,
And show me the instrument I was to use.
My eyes are made the fools of by the other senses,
Or else my eyes are worth all the rest. I still see you,
And I see great, large clots of blood on your blade,
Which were not there before. There's no such thing.
It is the bloody business I’ve planned that makes
Me see you. Now, over the one half-world
Sleep makes people seem dead, and wicked dreams abuse
Their sleep in beds with curtains. Now witchcraft celebrates
Offerings to the pale goddess of magic. And decayed murder,
Alarmed by his watchman, the wolf,
Who howls as he watches, and in this sneaky way,
With ravishing strides like Tarquin, the ancient king, moves like a ghost
Towards his target. Sure and firm-set earth,
Don’t hear my steps, which ever way they walk, for fear
Your very stones disclose my whereabouts,
And take the current horror from the time,
Which now suits it. While I threaten, he lives;
Words give breath to the heat of deeds that are too cold.
I go, and it’s done; the bell invites me.
Don’t hear it, Duncan, for it is a sorrowful omen of death
That summons you to heaven or to hell.

Exit.

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[The same.]

Enter Lady [Macbeth.]

LADY MACBETH:
That which hath made them drunk hath
made me bold;
What hath quench'd them hath given me fire. Hark! Peace!
It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it:(5)
The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd their
possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die.(10)
LADY MACBETH:
The wine that has made them drunk has made me bold.
What has quenched their thirst has given me fire. Listen! Peace!
It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
That gives even the worst dispositions a good night. He’s doing it.
The doors are open; and the grooms, filled to excess,
Defy their duty with snores. I have drugged their hot milk and wine
So that death and sleep argue about them, to decide
Whether they live or die.

Enter Macbeth

MACBETH:
Who's there? what, ho!
MACBETH:
Who's there? What, hello!
LADY MACBETH:
Alack, I am afraid they have awaked
And ’tis not done. The attempt and not the deed
Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss ‘em. Had he not resembled(15)
My father as he slept, I had done't.
My husband!
LADY MACBETH:
For shame! I am afraid they have gotten up,
And the deed’s not done. The attempt, and not the deed,
Confuses us. Listen! I laid their daggers ready.
He couldn’t have missed them. If the King hadn’t resembled
My father as he slept, I would’ve done it. My husband!
MACBETH:
I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
MACBETH:
I have done the deed. Didn’t you hear a noise?
LADY MACBETH:
I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak?(20)
LADY MACBETH:
I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Didn’t you speak?
MACBETH:
When?
MACBETH:
When?
LADY MACBETH:
Now.
LADY MACBETH:
Now.
MACBETH:
As I descended?
MACBETH:
As I came down?
LADY MACBETH:
Ay.
LADY MACBETH:
Yes.
MACBETH:
Hark!(25)
Who lies i’ the second chamber?
MACBETH:
Listen!
Who’s in the second chamber?
LADY MACBETH:
Donalbain.
LADY MACBETH:
Donalbain.
MACBETH:
This is a sorry sight.
MACBETH:
This is a sorry sight.
LADY MACBETH:
A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
LADY MACBETH:
A foolish thought, to say “a sorry sight.”
MACBETH:
There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried,(30)
“Murder!”
That they did wake each other: I stood and heard them:
But they did say their prayers and address'd them
Again to sleep.
MACBETH:
There's one who laughed in his sleep, and one cried, "Murder!"
So they woke each other up. I stood and heard them.
Only they said their prayers, and went back
To sleep again.
LADY MACBETH:
There are two lodged together.(35)
LADY MACBETH:
There are two in the same room.
MACBETH:
One cried, “God bless us!” and “Amen” the other,
As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say “Amen,”
When they did say “God bless us!”
MACBETH:
One cried, "God bless us!" and the other, "Amen."
As if they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
Listening to their fear, I couldn’t say "Amen,"
When they said, "God bless us."
LADY MACBETH:
Consider it not so deeply.(40)
LADY MACBETH:
Don’t think about it so deeply.
MACBETH:
But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?
I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”
Stuck in my throat.
MACBETH:
Only why couldn’t I say, "Amen"?
I really needed blessing, and the "Amen"
Stuck in my throat.
LADY MACBETH:
These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.(45)
LADY MACBETH:
These deeds must not be thought
About like this. If we think this way, it’ll make us crazy.
MACBETH:
Me thought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!
Macbeth doth Murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,(50)
Chief nourisher in life's feast—
MACBETH:
I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more!
Macbeth murders sleep," the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, the bath of serious work,
First aid for hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
LADY MACBETH:
What do you mean?
LADY MACBETH:
What do you mean?
MACBETH:
Still it cried, “Sleep no more!” to all the house;
“Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”(55)
MACBETH:
Still it cried, "Sleep no more!" to all the house.
"Glamis has murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more!"
LADY MACBETH:
Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy
Thane,
You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brainsickly of things. Go, get some water
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.(60)
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go carry them, and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
LADY MACBETH:
Who was it that cried in this way? Why, worthy baron,
You weaken your noble strength to think
About things in such a crazy way. Go get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hands.
Why did you bring these daggers from the room?
They must lie there. Go carry them, and smear
The sleepy guards with blood.
MACBETH:
I'll go no more:
I am afraid to think what I have done;(65)
Look on't again I dare not.
MACBETH:
I'm not going back.
I am afraid to think about what I have done.
I don’t dare look on it again.
LADY MACBETH:
Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
Are but as pictures; ’tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,(70)
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.
LADY MACBETH:
Weak of purpose!
Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
Are only like pictures. It is the eye of childhood
That’s afraid of a painted devil. If he bleeds,
I'll smear the faces of the grooms with it,
Because it must seem that they are guilty.

Exit. Knocking within.

MACBETH:
Whence is that knocking?
How is't with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here? Ha, they pluck out mine eyes!(75)
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.
MACBETH:
Who is that knocking?
What’s wrong with me, that every noise makes me jump?
What kind of hands are these? Ha, they pluck out my eyes!
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, my hand will rather
Redden the many seas,
Making the green one red.

[Re]-enter Lady [Macbeth.]

LADY MACBETH:
My hands are of your color, but I shame(80)
To wear a heart so white. Knock
I hear a knocking
At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber.
A little water clears us of this deed:(85)
How easy is it then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended. Knock
Hark! more knocking:
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
And show us to be watchers. Be not lost(90)
So poorly in your thoughts.
LADY MACBETH:
My hands are the same color as yours, only I would be ashamed
To have such a white heart. [Knocking within.] I hear knocking
At the south entrance. Let’s go to our bedroom.
A little water cleans us of this deed.
How easy it is then! Your fortitude
Has left you alone. [Knocking within.] Listen, more
knocking.
Get on your nightgown, in case we are called by chance
And it shows us to be watchers. Don’t be lost
So badly in your thoughts.
MACBETH:
To know my deed, ’twere best not know myself. Knock
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!
MACBETH:
To know my deed, it’s best not know myself. [Knocking within.]
Wake Duncan with your knocking! I wish you could!

Exeunt.

Scene III

Original Text Modern Translation

[The same.]

Enter a Porter. Knocking within.

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, knock! Who's there, i’ the name of
Belzebub? Here's a farmer that hanged himself on th’
expectation of plenty. Come in time! Have napkins(5)
enow about you; here you'll sweat for't. Knock
Knock, knock! Who's there, in th’ other devil's name?
Faith, here's an equivocator that could swear in both the
scales against either scale, who committed treason enough
for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O,(10)
come in, equivocator. Knock
Knock, knock, knock! Who's there? Faith, here's an
English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French
hose. Come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. Knock
Knock, knock! Never at quiet! What are you? But this(15)
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 the everlasting bonfire. Knock
Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.
PORTER:
Here's loud knocking indeed! If a man were answering the doors of hell, he
would grow old turning the key. [Knocking.] Knock, knock, knock.
Who's there, in the name of the Devil? It must be a farmer that hanged
himself on the expectation of a large crop. I’m coming, and I have napkins
enough about you, but here you'll sweat for it. [Knocking.] Knock,
knock! Who's there, in the other devil's name? Truly, it must be a
liar who could swear on both sides of the scale against either
side, who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet couldn’t
lie to heaven. O, come in, liar. [Knocking.] Knock,
knock, knock! Who's there? Truly, it must be an English tailor sent here
for skimping on the fabric for a pair of a French hose. Come in, tailor; here
you may roast your goose. [Knocking.] Knock, knock. Never
quiet! What are you? But this place is too cold for hell.
I'll be a devil-porter no further. I had thought to have let in
some of all professions that go the primrose way to the
everlasting bonfire. [Knocking.] In a minute, in a minute! I beg you, remember
the porter.

[Opens the gate.]

Enter Macduff and Lennox.

MACDUFF:
Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,(20)
That you do lie so late?
MACDUFF:
Was it so late, friend, before you went to bed,
That you overslept?
PORTER:
Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock:
and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.
PORTER:
Faith, sir, we were carousing until about three o’clock. And
drink, sir, is a great instigator of three things.
MACDUFF:
What three things does drink especially provoke?
MACDUFF:
What three things does drink especially instigate?
PORTER:
Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.(25)
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 persuades him and disheartens him; makes him(30)
stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in
a sleep, and giving him the lie, leaves him.
PORTER:
By Mary, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lust, sir,
it instigates and un-instigates. It instigates the desire, only it
takes away the performance. Therefore much drink may be said to
be a liar to lechery. It makes him, and it mars him; it
sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and
disheartens him; makes him put up with pain, and not put up with pain. In
conclusion, lies him into a sleep, and giving him the lie,
leaves him.
MACDUFF:
I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.
MACDUFF:
I believe drink gave you the lie last night.
PORTER:
That it did, sir, i’ the very throat on me: but I
requited him for his lie, and, I think, being too strong for(35)
him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a
shift to cast him.
PORTER:
That it did, sir, in the very throat of me; only I paid him back
for his lie; and, I think, being too strong for him,
though he knocked me off my feet a few times, I still made a joke to throw
him off.

Enter Macbeth.

MACDUFF:
Is thy master stirring?
Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.
MACDUFF:
Is your master awake yet?
Our knocking has awakened him. Here he comes.
LENNOX:
Good morrow, noble sir.(40)
LENNOX:
Good morning, noble sir!
MACBETH:
Good morrow, both.
MACBETH:
Good morning to you both!
MACDUFF:
Is the King stirring, worthy Thane?
MACDUFF:
Is the king awake yet, worthy baron?
MACBETH:
Not yet.
MACBETH:
Not yet.
MACDUFF:
He did command me to call timely on him;
I have almost slipp'd the hour.(45)
MACDUFF:
He commanded me to call him early.
I almost missed the hour.
MACBETH:
I'll bring you to him.
MACBETH:
I'll bring you to him.
MACDUFF:
I know this is a joyful trouble to you;
But yet ’tis one.
MACDUFF:
I know this is a joyful trouble to you,
It is still only one.
MACBETH:
The labor we delight in physics pain.
This is the door.(50)
MACBETH:
The labor we delight in cures pain.
This is the door.
MACDUFF:
I'll make so bold to call,
For ’tis my limited service.
MACDUFF:
I'll make so bold to call,
Because it is my limited service.

Exit, Macduff.

LENNOX:
Goes the King hence today?
LENNOX:
Does the king leave here today?
MACBETH:
He does: he did appoint so.
MACBETH:
He does. He did decide so.
LENNOX:
The night has been unruly. Where we lay,(55)
Our chimneys were blown down, and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i’ the air, strange screams of death,
And prophesying with accents terrible
Of dire combustion and confused events
New hatch'd to the woeful time. The obscure bird(60)
Clamor'd the livelong night. Some say the earth
Was feverous and did shake.
LENNOX:
The night has been unruly. Where we were sleeping,
Our chimneys were blown down. And, as they say,
Cries were heard in the air, strange screams of death;
And speaking in tongues, with terrible accents,
Of dreadful confusion and confused events,
Newly born into the terrible age. The hidden bird
Screamed all night long; some say the earth
Was feverish, and shook.
MACBETH:
’Twas a rough night.
MACBETH:
It was a rough night.
LENNOX:
My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.(65)
LENNOX:
I can’t remember there being another
Like it.

[Re]-enter Macduff.

MACDUFF:
O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart
Cannot conceive nor name thee.
MACDUFF:
O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart
Cannot comprehend or name you!
MACBETH:
What's the matter?
MACBETH:
What's the matter?
LENNOX:
What's the matter?
LENNOX:
What's the matter?
MACDUFF:
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.(70)
Most sacrilegious Murder hath broke ope
The Lord's anointed temple and stole thence
The life o’ the building.
MACDUFF:
Confusion has now made his masterpiece!
Most unholy murder has broken open
The Lord's anointed temple, and then stolen
The life of the building.
MACBETH:
What is't you say? the life?
MACBETH:
What are you saying? The life?
LENNOX:
Mean you his Majesty?(75)
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. (Awake, awake!)

Exeunt Macbeth and Lennox.

Ring the alarum bell. Murder and treason!
Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm, awake!(80)
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself! Up, up, and see
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.(85)
MACDUFF:
Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
With a new monster to turn you to stone. Don’t ask me to speak.
See, and then speak for yourselves.
Awake, awake! Ring the alarms bell. Murder and treason!
Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm! Awake!
Shake off this soft sleep, death's disguise,
And look on death itself! Go up, go up, and see
The great destruction's image! Malcolm! Banquo!
Rise up as you would from your graves, and walk like spirits
To see this horror!

Enter Lady [Macbeth.]

LADY MACBETH:
What's the business,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!
LADY MACBETH:
What's happened,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to summon
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(90)
Would murder as it fell.

Enter Banquo.

O Banquo, Banquo!
Our royal master's murdered.
MACDUFF:
O gentle lady,
It is not for you to hear what I can speak.
The repetition, in a woman's ear,
Would murder you as you heard it. O Banquo, Banquo!
Our royal master's murdered!
LADY MACBETH:
Woe, alas!
What, in our house?(95)
LADY MACBETH:
Woe, alas! What, in our house?
BANQUO:
Too cruel any where.
Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,
And say it is not so.
BANQUO:
Too cruel any where.
Dear Duff, I beg you, contradict yourself,
And say it is not so.

[Re]-enter Macbeth, Lennox, Ross.

MACBETH:
Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant(100)
There's nothing serious in mortality:
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.
MACBETH:
If I had only died an hour before this event,
I would have lived a blessed life, because, from this instant,
There's nothing serious in mortality.
Everything is only toys. Renown and grace are dead;
The wine of life is spilled, and the mere dregs
Are all that is left for this empty pit to brag of.

Enter Malcolm and Donalbain.

DONALBAIN:
What is amiss?(105)
DONALBAIN:
What’s wrong?
MACBETH:
You are, and do not know't:
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopp'd; the very source of it is stopp'd.
MACBETH:
You are, and don’t know it.
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.
MACDUFF:
Your royal father's murdered.
MACDUFF:
Your royal father's murdered.
MALCOLM:
O, by whom?(110)
MALCOLM:
O, by whom?
LENNOX:
Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done't:
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(115)
Was to be trusted with them.
LENNOX:
Those of his chamber, as it seems, had done it.
Their hands and faces were all covered with blood;
So were their daggers, which we found, unwiped,
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,
That I did kill them.
MACBETH:
O, I’m sorry I was so angry
That I did kill them.
MACDUFF:
Wherefore did you so?
MACDUFF:
Why did you it?
MACBETH:
Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,(120)
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man:
The expedition of my violent love
Outrun the pauser reason. Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature(125)
For ruin's wasteful entrance: there, the murderers,
Steep'd in the colors of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breech'd with gore. Who could refrain,
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make's love known?(130)
MACBETH:
Who can be wise, amazed, temperate, and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
The speedy execution of my violent love
Outran the thinking that should have stopped me. There was Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood;
And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature
For ruin to make a wasteful entrance. There, the murderers,
Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers
Improperly covered with gore. Who could refrain,
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make his love known?
LADY MACBETH:
Help me hence, ho!
LADY MACBETH:
Help me here, hello!
MACDUFF:
Look to the lady.
MACDUFF:
Look to the lady.
MALCOLM:
[Aside to Donalbain.] Why do we hold our
tongues,
That most may claim this argument for ours?(135)
MALCOLM:
Why do we stop talking,
That most may claim we did this?
DONALBAIN:
[Aside to Malcolm.] What should be spoken here,
where our fate,
Hid in an auger-hole, may rush and seize us?
Let's away;
Our tears are not yet brew'd.(140)
DONALBAIN:
What should we say her, where our fate,
Hidden in a very small carpenter’s hole, may rush up and seize us?
Let's get away.
Our tears are not yet ready to be cried.
MALCOLM:
[Aside to Donalbain.] Nor our strong sorrow
Upon the foot of motion.
MALCOLM:
Nor our strong sorrow
Ready to be revealed.
BANQUO:
Look to the lady:
And when we have our naked frailties hid,
That suffer in exposure, let us meet(145)
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 pretence I fight
Of treasonous malice.(150)
BANQUO:
Look to the lady.
And when we have changed out of our night clothes,
That are not right in public, let us meet,
And question this most bloody piece of work
To know the details. Fears and scruples shake us.
In the great hand of God I stand; and then,
I fight against the unknown lie
Of treasonous malice.
MACDUFF:
And so do I.
MACDUFF:
And so do I.
ALL:
So all.
ALL:
So do we all.
MACBETH:
Let's briefly put on manly readiness
And meet i’ the hall together.
MACBETH:
Let's briefly put on our manly clothes,
And meet in the hall together.
ALL:
Well contented.(155)
ALL:
That will be fine.

Exeunt [all but Malcolm and Donalbain].

MALCOLM:
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.
MALCOLM:
What will you do? Let's not stay with them.
To show an unfelt sorrow is something
That the false man does easily. I'll go to England.
DONALBAIN:
To Ireland, I; our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are(160)
There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
The nearer bloody.
DONALBAIN:
I’ll go to Ireland. Our separate journeys
Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are now,
There are daggers in men's smiles. The nearer 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;(165)
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.
MALCOLM:
This murderous arrow that's been shot
Has not yet hit its target, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefore, get to your horse,
And let us not be too dainty in saying goodbye,
But only sneak away. There’s protection in the theft
That steals itself when there's no mercy left.

Exeunt.

Scene IV

Original Text Modern Translation

[Outside Macbeth's castle.]

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
Hath trifled former knowings.
OLD MAN:
I can remember seventy years well.
Within that time, I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange. Only this painful night
Has made all those things trivial.
ROSS:
Ah, good father,(5)
Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage. By the clock ’tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp.
Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,(10)
When living light should kiss it?
ROSS:
Ah, good father,
You see the heavens, troubled with man's acting,
Threaten his bloody stage. By the clock, it is day,
And yet dark night puts the lamp we travel with out;
Is it night's superior influence, or the day's shame,
That darkness buries the face of earth,
When living light should kiss it?
OLD MAN:
’Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last
A falcon towering in her pride of place
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.(15)
OLD MAN:
It’s unnatural,
Even like the deed that's been done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was hawked at and killed by an owl that usually eats mice.
ROSS:
And Duncan's horses—a thing most strange and
certain—
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would make(20)
War with mankind.
ROSS:
And Duncan's horses, a thing most strange and certain,
Beautiful and swift, the darlings of their race,
Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flew out,
Rebelling against obeying their masters, as if they would make
War with mankind.
OLD MAN:
’Tis said they eat each other.
OLD MAN:
It is said they ate each other.
ROSS:
They did so, to the amazement of mine eyes
That look'd upon't.

Enter Macduff.

Here comes the good Macduff.(25)
How goes the world, sir, now?
ROSS:
They did, to the amazement of my eyes,
That saw it. Here comes the good Macduff.
How is the world going now, sir?
MACDUFF:
Why, see you not?
MACDUFF:
Why, don’t you see it?
ROSS:
Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?
ROSS:
Is it known who did this more than bloody deed?
MACDUFF:
Those that Macbeth hath slain.
MACDUFF:
Those guards that Macbeth has slain.
ROSS:
Alas, the day!(30)
What good could they pretend?
ROSS:
Alas, the day!
What good could they claim?
MACDUFF:
They were suborn'd:
Malcolm and Donalbain, the King's two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled, which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.(35)
MACDUFF:
They were counterfeit.
Malcolm and Donalbain, the king's two sons,
Are stolen away and fled; which puts them under
Suspicion of murder.
ROSS:
’Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life's means! Then ’tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
ROSS:
Also against nature.
Thriftless ambition, that will plunder
Your own life's means! Then it is most likely that
The crown will fall upon Macbeth.
MACDUFF:
He is already named, and gone to Scone(40)
To be invested.
MACDUFF:
He is already named King; and gone to Scone
To be invested.
ROSS:
Where is Duncan's body?
ROSS:
Where is Duncan's body?
MACDUFF:
Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
And guardian of their bones.(45)
MACDUFF:
Carried to Colme creek,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.
ROSS:
Will you to Scone?
ROSS:
Will you be going to Scone?
MACDUFF:
No, cousin, I'll to Fife.
MACDUFF:
No, cousin, I'm going to Fife.
ROSS:
Well, I will thither.
ROSS:
Well, I’ll there.
MACDUFF:
Well, may you see things well done there, Adieu,
Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!(50)
MACDUFF:
Well, I hope you see things are done well there, adieu!
In case our old uniforms fit better than our new ones!
ROSS:
Farewell, father.
ROSS:
Farewell, father.
OLD MAN:
God's benison go with you and with those
That would make good of bad and friends of foes!
OLD MAN:
God's blessings go with you; and with those
That would make a good situation out of a bad one and friends of foes!

Exeunt.