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stage directions:
dumb show
Thunder and Lightning.
Enter three Witches.
They exit.
Alarum within.
Enter King Duncan, Malcolm,Donalbain, Lennox, with Attendants, meeting a bleedingCaptain.
The Captain is led off by Attendants.
Enter Ross and Angus.
They exit.
Enter the three Witches.
Drum within.
, dancing in a circle
Enter Macbeth and Banquo.
Witches vanish.
Enter Ross and Angus.
, aside
To Ross and Angus.
Aside to Banquo.
They step aside.
, aside
, aside
, aside
Aside to Banquo.
They exit.
Enter King Duncan, Lennox, Malcolm,Donalbain, and Attendants.
Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus.
, aside
He exits.
They exit.
Enter Macbeth’s Wife, alone, with a letter.
, reading the letter
Enter Messenger.
Messenger exits.
Enter Macbeth.
They exit.
Hautboys and Torches.
Enter King Duncan, Malcolm,Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus, andAttendants.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
Taking her hand.
They exit.
Hautboys. Torches.
Enter a Sewer and divers Servantswith dishes and service
over the stage.
Then enterMacbeth.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
They exit.
Enter Banquo, and Fleance with a torch before him.
Giving his sword to Fleance.
Enter Macbeth, and a Servant with a torch.
He gives Macbeth a diamond.
Banquo and Fleance exit.
Servant exits.
He draws his dagger.
A bell rings.
He exits.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
, within
Enter Macbeth with bloody daggers.
She exits with the daggers.
Knock within.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
They exit.
Knocking within.
Enter a Porter.
The Porter opens the door
to Macduff and Lennox.
Enter Macbeth.
Porter exits.
Macduff exits.
Enter Macduff.
Macbeth and Lennox exit.
Bell rings.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
Enter Banquo.
Enter Macbeth, Lennox, and Ross.
Enter Malcolm and Donalbain.
, aside to Donalbain
, aside to Malcolm
, aside to Donalbain
Lady Macbeth is assisted to leave.
All but Malcolm and Donalbain exit.
They exit.
Enter Ross with an Old Man.
Enter Macduff.
All exit.
Enter Banquo.
Sennet sounded.
Enter Macbeth as King, LadyMacbeth, Lennox, Ross, Lords, and Attendants.
Banquo exits.
Lords and all but Macbeth and a Servant exit.
Servant exits.
Enter Servant and two Murderers.
To the Servant.
Servant exits.
Murderers exit.
He exits.
Enter Macbeth’s Lady and a Servant.
He exits.
Enter Macbeth.
They exit.
Enter three Murderers.
, to the First Murderer
, within
Enter Banquo and Fleance, with a torch.
The three Murderers attack.
He dies.
Fleance exits.
They exit.
Banquet prepared.
Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth,Ross, Lennox, Lords, and Attendants.
They sit.
Enter First Murderer to the door.
Approaching the Murderer.
, aside
Murderer exits.
Enter the Ghost of Banquo, and sits in Macbeth’s place.
, to Lady Macbeth
, to the Ghost
Drawing Macbeth aside.
To the Ghost.
Ghost exits.
Enter Ghost.
They raise their drinking cups.
, to the Ghost
, to the Ghost
Ghost exits.
Lords and all but Macbeth and Lady Macbeth exit.
They exit.
Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecate.
Music and a song.
Hecate exits.
Sing within etc.
They exit.
Enter Lennox and another Lord.
They exit.
Enter the three Witches.
The Witches circle the cauldron.
Enter Hecate to the other three Witches.
Music and a song: etc.
Hecate exits.
Enter Macbeth.
First Apparition, an Armed Head.
He descends.
Second Apparition, a Bloody Child.
He descends.
Third Apparition, a Child Crowned, with atree in his hand.
He descends.
Cauldron sinks. Hautboys.
A show of eight kings, the eighth king with a glass inhis hand, and Banquo last.
The Apparitions disappear.
The Witches dance and vanish.
Enter Lennox.
, aside
They exit.
Enter Macduff’s Wife, her Son, and Ross.
Ross exits.
Enter a Messenger.
Messenger exits.
Enter Murderers.
Stabbing him.
Lady Macduff exits, crying Murder! followed by theMurderers bearing the Son’s body.
Enter Malcolm and Macduff.
Enter a Doctor.
Doctor exits.
Enter Ross.
They exit.
Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman.
Enter Lady Macbeth with a taper.
Lady Macbeth exits.
They exit.
Drum and Colors. Enter Menteith, Caithness, Angus,Lennox, and Soldiers.
They exit marching.
Enter Macbeth, the Doctor, and Attendants.
Enter Servant.
Servant exits.
Enter Seyton.
Attendants begin to arm him.
, aside
They exit.
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, Siward, Macduff,Siward’s son, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Soldiers,marching.
They exit marching.
Enter Macbeth, Seyton, and Soldiers, with Drum andColors.
A cry within of women.
He exits.
Enter Seyton.
Enter a Messenger.
They exit.
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, Siward, Macduff, andtheir army, with boughs.
They exit.
Alarums continued.
Enter Macbeth.
Enter young Siward.
They fight, and young Siward is slain.
He exits.
Enter Macduff.
He exits.
Enter Malcolm and Siward.
They exit.
Enter Macbeth.
Enter Macduff.
Fight. Alarum.
They exit fighting.
They enter fighting,
Macbeth is slain.
Macduffexits carrying off Macbeth’s body.
Retreat and flourish.
Enter, with Drum and Colors, Malcolm, Siward, Ross,Thanes, and Soldiers.
Enter Macduff with Macbeth’s head.
All exit.
Three Witches, the Weïrd Sisters

When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Where the place?

I come, Graymalkin.

Fair is foul, and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Where hast thou been, sister?

A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap
And munched and munched and munched. Giveme, quoth I.
Aroint thee, witch, the rump-fed runnion cries.
Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ th’ Tiger;
But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
And, like a rat without a tail,
I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.

Th’ art kind.

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.
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.
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.
Look what I have.

Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
Wracked as homeward he did come.

The Weïrd Sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about,
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace, the charm’s wound up.

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!


Lesser than Macbeth and greater.

Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!

Why, how now, Hecate? You look angerly.

Come, let’s make haste. She’ll soon be back again.

Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.

Round about the cauldron go;
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.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

A deed without a name.


Say if th’ hadst rather hear it from our mouths
Or from our masters’.

Pour in sow’s blood that hath eaten
Her nine farrow; grease that’s sweaten
From the murderers’ gibbet throw
Into the flame.

Come high or low;
Thyself and office deftly show.

He knows thy
Hear his speech but say thou naught.

He will not be commanded. Here’s another
More potent than the first.

Listen but speak not to ’t.

Seek to know no more.


Show his eyes and grieve his heart.
Come like shadows; so depart.

Ay, sir, all this is so. But why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites
And show the best of our delights.
I’ll charm the air to give a sound
While you perform your antic round,
That this great king may kindly say
Our duties did his welcome pay.


When the hurly-burly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.

Upon the heath.

Paddock calls.

Fair is foul, and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Killing swine.

I’ll give thee a wind.

Show me, show me.

The Weïrd Sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about,
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace, the charm’s wound up.

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!


Not so happy, yet much happier.

Thrice, and once the hedge-pig whined.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake
In the cauldron boil and bake.
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood.
Then the charm is firm and good.

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

A deed without a name.


Come high or low;
Thyself and office deftly show.

Listen but speak not to ’t.

Seek to know no more.


Show his eyes and grieve his heart.
Come like shadows; so depart.


That will be ere the set of sun.

There to meet with Macbeth.


Fair is foul, and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Sister, where thou?

And I another.

A drum, a drum!
Macbeth doth come.

The Weïrd Sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about,
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace, the charm’s wound up.

All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!


Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

Harpier cries ’Tis time, ’tis time!

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch’s mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged i’ th’ dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat and slips of yew
Slivered in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron
For th’ ingredience of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

A deed without a name.

We’ll answer.

Come high or low;
Thyself and office deftly show.

Listen but speak not to ’t.

Seek to know no more.


Show his eyes and grieve his heart.
Come like shadows; so depart.

king of Scotland

What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.

O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!

Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and

So well thy words become thee as thy wounds:
They smack of honor both.—Go, get him surgeons.
Who comes here?

Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane?

Great happiness!

No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest. Go, pronounce his present
And with his former title greet Macbeth.

What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.

Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not
Those in commission yet returned?

There’s no art
To find the mind’s construction in the face.
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.
O worthiest cousin,
The sin of my ingratitude even now
Was heavy on me. Thou art so far before
That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
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.

Welcome hither.
I have begun to plant thee and will labor
To make thee full of growing.—Noble Banquo,
That hast no less deserved nor must be known
No less to have done so, let me enfold thee
And hold thee to my heart.

My plenteous joys,
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
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.

My worthy Cawdor.

True, worthy Banquo. He is full so valiant,
And in his commendations I am fed:
It is a banquet to me.—Let’s after him,
Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome.
It is a peerless kinsman.

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

See, see our honored hostess!—
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
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.

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
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest tonight.

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

his elder son

This is the sergeant
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.

The worthy Thane of Ross.

My liege,
They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
With one that saw him die, who did report
That very frankly he confessed his treasons,
Implored your Highness’ pardon, and set forth
A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it. He died
As one that had been studied in his death
To throw away the dearest thing he owed
As ’twere a careless trifle.

O, by whom?

Why do we hold our
That most may claim this argument for ours?

Nor our strong sorrow upon the foot of motion.

So all.

Well contented.

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.

This murderous shaft that’s shot
Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefore to horse,
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking
But shift away. There’s warrant in that theft
Which steals itself when there’s no mercy left.

Let us seek out some desolate shade and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty.

What 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,
Was once thought honest. You have loved him well.
He hath not touched you yet. I am young, but
You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom
To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
T’ appease an angry god.

But Macbeth is.
A good and virtuous nature may recoil
In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your
That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose.
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.
Though all things foul would wear the brows of
Yet grace must still look so.

Perchance even there where I did find my doubts.
Why in that rawness left you wife and child,
Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,
Without leave-taking? I pray you,
Let not my jealousies be your dishonors,
But mine own safeties. You may be rightly just,
Whatever I shall think.

Be not offended.
I speak not as in absolute fear of you.
I think our country sinks beneath the yoke.
It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds. I think withal
There would be hands uplifted in my right;
And here from gracious England have I offer
Of goodly thousands. But, for all this,
When I shall tread upon the tyrant’s head
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.

It is myself I mean, in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted
That, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state
Esteem him as a lamb, being compared
With my confineless harms.

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,
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.

With this there grows
In my most ill-composed affection such
A stanchless avarice that, were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands,
Desire his jewels, and this other’s house;
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.

But I have none. The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temp’rance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
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,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.

If such a one be fit to govern, speak.
I am as I have spoken.

Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
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
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
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
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.
Now we’ll together, and the chance of goodness
Be like our warranted quarrel. Why are you silent?

Well, more anon.—Comes the King forth,
I pray you?

I thank you, doctor.

’Tis called the evil:
A most miraculous work in this good king,
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,
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,
And sundry blessings hang about his throne
That speak him full of grace.

My countryman, but yet I know him not.

I know him now.—Good God betimes remove
The means that makes us strangers!

What’s the newest grief?

Be ’t their comfort
We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
Lent us good Siward and ten thousand men;
An older and a better soldier none
That Christendom gives out.

Merciful heaven!
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.

Be comforted.
Let’s make us med’cines of our great revenge
To cure this deadly grief.

Dispute it like a man.

Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let grief
Convert to anger. Blunt not the heart; enrage it.

This tune goes manly.
Come, go we to the King. Our power is ready;
Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above
Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you
The night is long that never finds the day.

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

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.

’Tis his main hope;
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.

Now near enough. Your leafy screens throw down
And show like those you are.—You, worthy uncle,
Shall with my cousin, your right noble son,
Lead our first battle. Worthy Macduff and we
Shall take upon ’s what else remains to do,
According to our order.

We have met with foes
That strike beside us.

I would the friends we miss were safe arrived.

Macduff is missing, and your noble son.

He’s worth more sorrow, and that I’ll spend for

We shall not spend a large expense of time
Before we reckon with your several loves
And make us even with you. My thanes and
Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
In such an honor named. What’s more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time,
As calling home our exiled friends abroad
That fled the snares of watchful tyranny,
Producing forth the cruel ministers
Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen
(Who, as ’tis thought, by self and violent hands,
Took off her life)—this, and what needful else
That calls upon us, by the grace of grace,
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.

Duncan’s younger son

What is amiss?

What should be spoken here, where our fate,
Hid in an auger hole, may rush and seize us?
Let’s away. Our tears are not yet brewed.

So all.

Well contented.

To Ireland I. Our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are,
There’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood,
The nearer bloody.

thane of Glamis

So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

Speak if you can. What are you?

Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis.
But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives
A prosperous gentleman, and to be king
Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.

Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted,
As breath into the wind. Would they had stayed!

Your children shall be kings.

And Thane of Cawdor too. Went it not so?

The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me
In borrowed robes?

Glamis and Thane of Cawdor!
The greatest is behind. Thanks
for your pains.
Do you not hope your children
shall be kings
When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me
Promised no less to them?

Two truths are told
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme.—I thank you, gentlemen.
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
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
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,
And nothing is but what is not.

If chance will have me king, why, chance may
crown me
Without my stir.

Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.

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.
Think upon what hath chanced,
and at more time,
The interim having weighed it, let us speak
Our free hearts each to other.

Till then enough.—Come, friends.

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
Safe toward your love and honor.

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.

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
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.

My dearest love,
Duncan comes here tonight.

Tomorrow, as he purposes.

We will speak further.

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly. If th’ assassination
Could trammel up the consequence and catch
With his surcease success, that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here, that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague th’ inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends th’ ingredience of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked newborn babe
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
And falls on th’ other—
How now, what news?

Hath he asked for me?

We will proceed no further in this business.
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.

Prithee, peace.
I dare do all that may become a man.
Who dares do more is none.

If we should fail—

Bring forth men-children only,
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
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?

I am settled and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
Away, and mock the time with fairest show.
False face must hide what the false heart doth

A friend.

Being unprepared,
Our will became the servant to defect,
Which else should free have wrought.

I think not of
Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that
If you would grant the time.

If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,
It shall make honor for you.

Good repose the while.

Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation
Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshal’st me the way that I was going,
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.
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,
Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his
Moves like a ghost. Thou sureand firm-set earth,
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.
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.

Who’s there? what, ho!

I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?


As I descended?

Hark!—Who lies i’ th’ second chamber?

This is a sorry sight.

There’s one did laugh in ’s sleep, and one cried
That they did wake each other. I stood and heard
But they did say their prayers and addressed them
Again to sleep.

One cried God bless us and Amen the other,
As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands,
List’ning their fear. I could not say Amen
When they did say God bless us.

But wherefore could not I pronounce Amen?
I had most need of blessing, and Amen
Stuck in my throat.

Methought I heard a voice cry Sleep no more!Macbeth does murder sleep—the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

Still it cried Sleep no more! to all the house.
Glamis hath murdered sleep, and thereforeCawdor
Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.

I’ll go no more.
I am afraid to think what I have done.
Look on ’t again I dare not.

Whence is that
How is ’t with me when every noise appalls me?
What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.

To know my deed ’twere best not know myself.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou

Good morrow, both.

Not yet.

I’ll bring you to him.

The labor we delight in physics pain.
This is the door.

He does. He did appoint so.

’Twas a rough night.

What’s the matter?

What is ’t you say? The life?

Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived a blessèd time; for from this instant
There’s nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead.
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.

You are, and do not know ’t.
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.

O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.

Who can be wise, amazed, temp’rate, and furious,
Loyal, and neutral, in a moment? No man.
Th’ expedition of my violent love
Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature
For ruin’s wasteful entrance; there the murderers,
Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make ’s love known?

So all.

Let’s briefly put on manly readiness
And meet i’ the hall together.

Here’s our chief guest.

Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
And I’ll request your presence.

Ride you this afternoon?

We should have else desired your good advice
(Which still hath been both grave and prosperous)
In this day’s council, but we’ll take tomorrow.
Is ’t far you ride?

Fail not our feast.

We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed
In England and in Ireland, not confessing
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?

I wish your horses swift and sure of foot,
And so I do commend you to their backs.
Let every man be master of his time
Till seven at night. To make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till suppertime alone. While then, God be with you.
Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
Our pleasure?

Bring them before us.
To be thus is nothing,
But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be feared. ’Tis much he
And to that dauntless temper of his mind
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear; and under him
My genius is rebuked, as it is said
Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me
And bade them speak to him. Then, prophet-like,
They hailed him father to a line of kings.
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
And put a barren scepter in my grip,
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If ’t be so,
For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered,
Put rancors in the vessel of my peace
Only for them, and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man
To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings.
Rather than so, come fate into the list,
And champion me to th’ utterance.—Who’s there?
Now go to the door, and stay there
till we call.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?

Well then, now
Have you considered of my speeches? Know
That it was he, in the times past, which held you
So under fortune, which you thought had been
Our innocent self. This I made good to you
In our last conference, passed in probation with you
How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the
Who wrought with them, and all things else that
To half a soul and to a notion crazed
Say Thus did Banquo.

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,
Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave
And beggared yours forever?

Ay, in the catalogue you go for men,
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels,
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
All by the name of dogs. The valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
Particular addition, from the bill
That writes them all alike. And so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i’ th’ worst rank of manhood, say ’t,
And I will put that business in your bosoms
Whose execution takes your enemy off,
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect.

Both of you
Know Banquo was your enemy.

So is he mine, and in such bloody distance
That every minute of his being thrusts
Against my near’st of life. And though I could
With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
For certain friends that are both his and mine,
Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Who I myself struck down. And thence it is
That I to your assistance do make love,
Masking the business from the common eye
For sundry weighty reasons.

Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at
I will advise you where to plant yourselves,
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’ the time,
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,
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.

I’ll call upon you straight. Abide within.
It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.

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
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
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.

So shall I, love,
And so I pray be you. Let your remembrance
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.

O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know’st that Banquo and his Fleance lives.

There’s comfort yet; they are assailable.
Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown
His cloistered flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons
The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.

Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed.—Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day
And with thy bloody and invisible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
Which keeps me pale. Light thickens, and the crow
Makes wing to th’ rooky wood.
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do
Thou marvel’st at my words, but hold thee still.
Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
So prithee go with me.

You know your own degrees; sit down. At first
And last, the hearty welcome.

Ourself will mingle with society
And play the humble host.
Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time
We will require her welcome.

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. There’s
blood upon thy face.

’Tis better thee without than he within.
Is he dispatched?

Thou art the best o’ th’ cutthroats,
Yet he’s good that did the like for Fleance.
If thou didst it, thou art the nonpareil.

Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect,
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air.
But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears.—But Banquo’s safe?

Thanks for that.
There the grown serpent lies. The worm that’s fled
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
No teeth for th’ present. Get thee gone. Tomorrow
We’ll hear ourselves again.

Sweet remembrancer!—
Now, good digestion wait on appetite
And health on both!

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.

The table’s full.


Which of you have done this?

Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appall the devil.

Prithee, see there. Behold, look! Lo,
how say you?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.—
If charnel houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.

If I stand here, I saw him.

Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ th’ olden time,
Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been performed
Too terrible for the ear. The time has been
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
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.

I do forget.—
Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends.
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, love and health to
Then I’ll sit down.—Give me some wine. Fill full.
I drink to th’ general joy o’ th’ whole table
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss.
Would he were here! To all and him we thirst,
And all to all.

Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee.
Thy bones are marrowless; thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with.

What man dare, I dare.
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The armed rhinoceros, or th’ Hyrcan tiger;
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble. Or be alive again
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!
Why so, being gone,
I am a man again.—Pray you sit still.

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
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks
When mine is blanched with fear.

It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.
Stones have been known to move, and trees to
Augurs and understood relations have
By maggot pies and choughs and rooks brought
The secret’st man of blood.—What is the night?

How say’st thou that Macduff denies his person
At our great bidding?

I hear it by the way; but I will send.
There’s not a one of them but in his house
I keep a servant fee’d. I will tomorrow
(And betimes I will) to the Weïrd Sisters.
More shall they speak, for now I am bent to know
By the worst means the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.

Come, we’ll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
Is the initiate fear that wants hard use.
We are yet but young in deed.

How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags?
What is ’t you do?

I conjure you by that which you profess
(Howe’er you come to know it), answer me.
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches, though the yeasty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up,
Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown
Though castles topple on their warders’ heads,
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations, though the
Of nature’s germens tumble all together
Even till destruction sicken, answer me
To what I ask you.

Call ’em. Let me see ’em.

Tell me, thou unknown power—

Whate’er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks.
Thou hast harped my fear aright. But one word

Had I three ears, I’d hear thee.

Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee?
But yet I’ll make assurance double sure
And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live,
That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,
And sleep in spite of thunder.
What is this
That rises like the issue of a king
And wears upon his baby brow the round
And top of sovereignty?

That will never be.
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
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
Throbs to know one thing. Tell me, if your art
Can tell so much: shall Banquo’s issue ever
Reign in this kingdom?

I will be satisfied. Deny me this,
And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know!
Why sinks that cauldron? And what noise is this?

Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo. Down!
Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs. And thy hair,
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first.
A third is like the former.—Filthy hags,
Why do you show me this?—A fourth? Start, eyes!
What, will the line stretch out to th’ crack of doom?
Another yet? A seventh? I’ll see no more.
And yet the eighth appears who bears a glass
Which shows me many more, and some I see
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.
What, is this so?

Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour
Stand aye accursèd in the calendar!—
Come in, without there.

Saw you the Weïrd Sisters?

Came they not by you?

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?

Fled to England?

Time, thou anticipat’st my dread exploits.
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
The castle of Macduff I will surprise,
Seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool.
But no more sights!—Where are these gentlemen?
Come bring me where they are.

Bring me no more reports. Let them fly all.
Till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane
I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm?
Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:
Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of womanShall e’er have power upon thee. Then fly, false
And mingle with the English epicures.
The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
Where got’st thou that goose-look?

Geese, villain?

Go prick thy face and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-livered boy. What soldiers, patch?
Death of thy soul! Those linen cheeks of thine
Are counselors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?

Take thy face hence.
Seyton!—I am sick at heart
When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This push
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,
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

What news more?

I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked.
Give me my armor.

I’ll put it on.
Send out more horses. Skirr the country round.
Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine
How does your patient, doctor?

Cure her of that.
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
Which weighs upon the heart?

Throw physic to the dogs. I’ll none of it.—
Come, put mine armor on. Give me my staff.
Seyton, send out.—Doctor, the thanes fly from
Come, sir, dispatch.—If thou couldst, doctor, cast
The water of my land, find her disease,
And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
I would applaud thee to the very echo
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

Bring it after me.—
I will not be afraid of death and bane
Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.

Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
The cry is still They come! Our castle’s strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn. Here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up.
Were they not forced with those that should be
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.
What is that noise?

I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in ’t. I have supped full with horrors.
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me.
Wherefore was that cry?

She 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,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Thou com’st to use thy tongue: thy story quickly.

Well, say, sir.

Liar and slave!

If thou speak’st false,
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,
That lies like truth. Fear not till Birnam WoodDo come to Dunsinane, and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane.—Arm, arm, and out!—
If this which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
I ’gin to be aweary of the sun
And wish th’ estate o’ th’ world were now
Ring the alarum bell.—Blow wind, come wrack,
At least we’ll die with harness on our back.

They 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.

Thou ’lt be afraid to hear it.

My name’s Macbeth.

No, nor more fearful.

Thou wast born of
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandished by man that’s of a woman born.

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

Of all men else I have avoided thee.
But get thee back. My soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.

Thou losest labor.
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmèd life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.

Accursèd be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cowed my better part of man!
And be these juggling fiends no more believed
That palter with us in a double sense,
That keep the word of promise to our ear
And break it to our hope. I’ll not fight with thee.

I will not yield
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet
And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.
Though Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane
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!

Lady Macbeth

They met me in the
day of success, and I have learned by the perfect’st
report they have more in them than mortal knowledge.
When I burned in desire to question them further, they
made themselves air, into which they vanished.
Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives
from the King, who all-hailed me Thane of Cawdor,
by which title, before, these Weïrd Sisters saluted me
and referred me to the coming on of time with Hail,king that shalt be. This have I thought good to deliver
thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou
might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant
of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy
heart, and farewell.
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false
And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou ’dst have, great
That which cries Thus thou must do, if thou have
And that which rather thou dost fear to do,
Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear
And chastise with the valor of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crowned withal.
What is your tidings?

Thou ’rt mad to say it.
Is not thy master with him, who, were ’t so,
Would have informed for preparation?

Give him tending.
He brings great news.
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
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
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,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry Hold, hold!
Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor,
Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.

And when goes hence?

O, never
Shall sun that morrow see!
Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue. Look like th’ innocent
But be the serpent under ’t. He that’s coming
Must be provided for; and you shall put
This night’s great business into my dispatch,
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.

Only look up clear.
To alter favor ever is to fear.
Leave all the rest to me.

All our service,
In every point twice done and then done double,
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.

Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs in compt
To make their audit at your Highness’ pleasure,
Still to return your own.

He has almost supped. Why have you left the

Know you not he has?

Was the hope drunk
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
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?

What beast was ’t,
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.
They have made themselves, and that their fitness
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.

We fail?
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
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
Th’ unguarded Duncan? What not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?

Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar
Upon his death?

That which hath made them drunk hath made me
What hath quenched them hath given me fire.
It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
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,
That death and nature do contend about them
Whether they live or die.

Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
And ’tis not done. Th’ attempt and not the deed
Confounds us. Hark!—I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done ’t.
My husband?

I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak?




A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

There are two lodged together.

Consider it not so deeply.

These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

What do you mean?

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.—
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go, carry them and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.

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,
I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.

My hands are of your color, but I shame
To wear a heart so white.
I hear a knocking
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.
Hark, more knocking.
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.

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

Woe, alas!
What, in our house?

Help me hence, ho!

If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast
And all-thing unbecoming.

Is Banquo gone from court?

Say to the King I would attend his leisure
For a few words.

Naught’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content.
’Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
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.

Come on, gentle my lord,
Sleek o’er your rugged looks. Be bright and jovial
Among your guests tonight.

You must leave this.

But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.

What’s to be done?

Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends,
For my heart speaks they are welcome.

My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer. The feast is sold
That is not often vouched, while ’tis a-making,
’Tis given with welcome. To feed were best at home;
From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.

Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus
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.
Are you a man?

O, proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear.
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!
Why do you make such faces? When all’s done,
You look but on a stool.

What, quite unmanned in folly?

Fie, for shame!

My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.

Think of this, good
But as a thing of custom. ’Tis no other;
Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.

You have displaced the mirth, broke the good
With most admired disorder.

I pray you, speak not. He grows worse and worse.
Question enrages him. At once, good night.
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once.

A kind good night to all.

Almost at odds with morning, which is which.

Did you send to him, sir?

You lack the season of all natures, sleep.

Yet here’s a spot.

Out, damned spot, out, I say! One. Two.
Why then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my
lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear
who knows it, when none can call our power to
account? Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him?

The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is
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.

Here’s the smell of the blood still. All
the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
hand. O, O, O!

Wash 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.

To bed, to bed. There’s knocking at the
gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your
hand. What’s done cannot be undone. To bed, to
bed, to bed.

attendant to Macbeth

What’s your gracious pleasure?

All is confirmed, my lord, which was reported.

’Tis not needed yet.

It is the cry of women, my good lord.

The Queen, my lord, is dead.

Three Murderers in Macbeth’s service

Where is your husband?

He’s a traitor.


It was, so please your Highness.

You made it known to us.

We are men, my liege.

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.

True, my lord.

Though our lives—

We are resolved, my lord.

But who did bid thee join with us?

Then stand with us.—
The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day.
Now spurs the lated traveler apace
To gain the timely inn, and near approaches
The subject of our watch.

His horses go about.

Stand to ’t.

Let it come down!

Was ’t not the way?

Well, let’s away and say how much is done.

’Tis Banquo’s then.

My lord, his throat is cut. That I did for him.

Most royal sir, Fleance is ’scaped.

Ay, my good lord. Safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenchèd gashes on his head,
The least a death to nature.


It was, so please your Highness.

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.

True, my lord.

We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.

We are resolved, my lord.

He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers
Our offices and what we have to do
To the direction just.

Then ’tis he. The rest
That are within the note of expectation
Already are i’ th’ court.

A light, a light!

We have lost best half of our



Hark, I hear horses.

Almost a mile; but he does usually
(So all men do) from hence to th’ palace gate
Make it their walk.

’Tis he.

Who did strike out the light?

There’s but one down. The son is

both attending upon Lady Macbeth
A Doctor

I have two nights watched with you but can
perceive no truth in your report. When was it she
last walked?

A 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?

You may to me, and ’tis most meet you

How came she by that light?

You see her eyes are open.

What is it she does now? Look how she rubs
her hands.

Hark, she speaks. I will set down what comes
from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more

Do you mark that?

Go to, go to. You have known what you should

What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely

Well, well, well.

This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have
known those which have walked in their sleep,
who have died holily in their beds.

Even so?

Will she go now to bed?

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.
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.

Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies
That keep her from her rest.

Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.

Ay, my good lord. Your royal preparation
Makes us hear something.

Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
Profit again should hardly draw me here.

A Gentlewoman

Since his Majesty went into the field, I
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

That, sir, which I will not report after

Neither to you nor anyone, having no
witness to confirm my speech.
Lo you, here she comes. This is her very guise and,
upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.

Why, it stood by her. She has light by
her continually. ’Tis her command.

Ay, but their sense are shut.

It is an accustomed action with her to
seem thus washing her hands. I have known her
continue in this a quarter of an hour.

She has spoke what she should not,
I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has

I would not have such a heart in my
bosom for the dignity of the whole body.

Pray God it be, sir.


Good night, good doctor.

A Porter

Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter
of hell gate, he should have old turning the
key. Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’
th’ name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged
himself on th’ expectation of plenty. Come in time!
Have napkins enough about you; here you’ll sweat
for ’t. 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, come in,
equivocator. 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!
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.
Anon, anon!
I pray you, remember the porter.

Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second
cock, and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three

Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.
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
stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates
him in a sleep and, giving him the lie, leaves

That 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.

commander, with Macbeth, of Duncan’s army

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
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.

Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear
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,
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.

The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?

Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?

You shall be king.

To th’ selfsame tune and words.—Who’s here?

What, can the devil speak true?

That, trusted home,
Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,
Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ’tis strange.
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s
In deepest consequence.—
Cousins, a word, I pray you.

Look how our partner’s rapt.

New honors come upon him,
Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold
But with the aid of use.

Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.

Very gladly.

There, if I grow,
The harvest is your own.

This guest of summer,
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.
Where they most breed and haunt, I have
The air is delicate.

How goes the night, boy?

And she goes down at twelve.

Hold, take my sword.
There’s husbandry in heaven;
Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose.
Give me my sword.—Who’s

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,
By the name of most kind hostess, and shut up
In measureless content.

All’s well.
I dreamt last night of the three Weïrd Sisters.
To you they have showed some truth.

At your kind’st leisure.

So I lose none
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,
I shall be counseled.

Thanks, sir. The like to you.

Too cruel anywhere.—
Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself
And say it is not so.

Look to the lady.
And when we have our naked frailties hid,
That suffer in exposure, let us meet
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.

Well contented.

Thou hast it now—King, Cawdor, Glamis, all
As the Weïrd Women promised, and I fear
Thou played’st most foully for ’t. Yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity,
But that myself should be the root and father
Of many kings. If there come truth from them
(As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine)
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,
And set me up in hope? But hush, no more.

Let your Highness
Command upon me, to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
Forever knit.

Ay, my good lord.

As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
’Twixt this and supper. Go not my horse the better,
I must become a borrower of the night
For a dark hour or twain.

My lord, I will not.

Ay, my good lord. Our time does call upon ’s.

Give us a light there, ho!

It will be rain tonight.

O treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
Thou mayst revenge—O slave!

his son

The moon is down. I have not heard the clock.

I take ’t ’tis later, sir.

a Scottish noble

Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed
That you do lie so late?

What three things does drink especially

I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.

Is thy master stirring?
Our knocking has awaked him. Here he comes.

Is the King stirring, worthy thane?

He did command me to call timely on him.
I have almost slipped the hour.

I know this is a joyful trouble to you,
But yet ’tis one.

I’ll make so bold to call,
For ’tis my limited service.

O horror, horror, horror!
Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!

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.

Approach the chamber and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon. Do not bid me speak.
See and then speak yourselves.
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
The great doom’s image. Malcolm, Banquo,
As from your graves rise up and walk like sprites
To countenance this horror.—Ring the bell.

O gentle lady,
’Tis not for you to hear what I can speak.
The repetition in a woman’s ear
Would murder as it fell.
O Banquo, Banquo,
Our royal master’s murdered.

Your royal father’s murdered.

Wherefore did you so?

Look to the lady.

And so do I.

Well contented.

Why, see you not?

Those that Macbeth hath slain.

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.

He is already named and gone to Scone
To be invested.

Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
And guardian of their bones.

No, cousin, I’ll to Fife.

Well, may you see things well done there. Adieu,
Lest our old robes sit easier than our new.

As birds do, mother.

With what I get, I mean; and so do they.

Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set
My father is not dead, for all your saying.

Nay, how will you do for a husband?

Then you’ll buy ’em to sell again.

Was my father a traitor, mother?

What is a traitor?

And be all traitors that do so?

And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

Who must hang them?

Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there
are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest
men and hang up them.

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.

Thou liest, thou shag-eared villain!

He has killed
me, mother.
Run away, I pray you.

Let us rather
Hold fast the mortal sword and, like good men,
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.

I am not treacherous.

I have lost my hopes.

Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dare not check thee. Wear thou thy
The title is affeered.—Fare thee well, lord.
I would not be the villain that thou think’st
For the whole space that’s in the tyrant’s grasp,
And the rich East to boot.

What should he be?

Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
In evils to top Macbeth.

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
Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty
And yet seem cold—the time you may so hoodwink.
We have willing dames enough. There cannot be
That vulture in you to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclined.

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
Of your mere own. All these are portable,
With other graces weighed.

O Scotland, Scotland!

Fit to govern?
No, not to live.—O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-sceptered,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accursed
And does blaspheme his breed?—Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king. The queen that bore thee,
Oft’ner upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived. Fare thee well.
These evils thou repeat’st upon thyself
Hath banished me from Scotland.—O my breast,
Thy hope ends here!

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

What’s the disease he means?

See who comes here.

My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.

Stands Scotland where it did?

O relation too nice and yet too true!

How does my wife?

And all my children?

The tyrant has not battered at their peace?

Be not a niggard of your speech. How goes ’t?

What concern
The general cause, or is it a fee-grief
Due to some single breast?

If it be mine,
Keep it not from me. Quickly let me have it.

Hum! I guess at it.

My children too?

And I must be from thence? My wife killed too?

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?

I 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,
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.

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,
Heaven forgive him too.

Let our just censures
Attend the true event, and put we on
Industrious soldiership.

Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,
Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.

That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face!
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
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.

Turn, hellhound, turn!

I have no words;
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out.

Despair thy charm,
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripped.

Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o’ th’ time.
We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole, and underwrit
Here may you see the tyrant.

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.
Hail, King of Scotland!

Hail, King of Scotland!

Lady Macduff

What had he done to make him fly the land?

He had none.
His flight was madness. When our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.

Wisdom? To leave his wife, to leave his babes,
His mansion and his titles in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
He wants the natural touch; for the poor wren
(The most diminutive of birds) will fight,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
All is the fear, and nothing is the love,
As little is the wisdom, where the flight
So runs against all reason.

Fathered he is, and yet he’s fatherless.

Sirrah, your father’s dead.
And what will you do now? How will you live?

What, with worms and flies?

Poor bird, thou ’dst never fear the net nor lime,
The pitfall nor the gin.

Yes, he is dead. How wilt thou do for a father?

Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.

Thou speak’st with all thy wit,
And yet, i’ faith, with wit enough for thee.

Ay, that he was.

Why, one that swears and lies.

Every one that does so is a traitor
and must be hanged.

Every one.

Why, the honest men.

Now God help thee, poor monkey! But
how wilt thou do for a father?

Poor prattler, how thou talk’st!

Whither should I fly?
I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world, where to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas,
Do I put up that womanly defense
To say I have done no harm?
What are these faces?

I hope in no place so unsanctified
Where such as thou mayst find him.

Their son

As birds do, mother.

With what I get, I mean; and so do they.

Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set
My father is not dead, for all your saying.

Nay, how will you do for a husband?

Then you’ll buy ’em to sell again.

Was my father a traitor, mother?

What is a traitor?

And be all traitors that do so?

And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

Who must hang them?

Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there
are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest
men and hang up them.

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.

Thou liest, thou shag-eared villain!

He has killed
me, mother.
Run away, I pray you.

Scottish Nobles

What a haste looks through his eyes!
So should he look that seems to speak things

Good morrow, noble sir.

Goes the King hence today?

The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i’ th’ air, strange screams of
And prophesying, with accents terrible,
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.

My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.

What’s the matter?

Mean you his Majesty?

Those of his chamber, as it seemed, 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 was to be trusted with them.

So all.

Well contented.

May ’t please your Highness sit.

Here is a place reserved, sir.

Here, my good lord. What is ’t that moves your

Good night, and better health
Attend his Majesty.

My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret farther. Only I say
Things have been strangely borne. The gracious
Was pitied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead.
And the right valiant Banquo walked too late,
Whom you may say, if ’t please you, Fleance killed,
For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought how monstrous
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father? Damnèd fact,
How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight
In pious rage the two delinquents tear
That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely, too,
For ’twould have angered any heart alive
To hear the men deny ’t. So that I say
He has borne all things well. And I do think
That had he Duncan’s sons under his key
(As, an ’t please heaven, he shall not) they should
What ’twere to kill a father. So should Fleance.
But peace. For from broad words, and ’cause he
His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear
Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?

Sent he to Macduff?

And that well might
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
Under a hand accursed.

What’s your Grace’s will?

No, my lord.

No, indeed, my lord.

’Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word
Macduff is fled to England.

Ay, my good lord.

For certain, sir, he is not. I have a file
Of all the gentry. There is Siward’s son
And many unrough youths that even now
Protest their first of manhood.

Or so much as it needs
To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
Make we our march towards Birnam.


God save the King.

From Fife, great king,
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
And fan our people cold.
Norway himself, with terrible numbers,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,
The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict,
Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point, rebellious arm ’gainst arm,
Curbing his lavish spirit. And to conclude,
The victory fell on us.

That now Sweno,
The Norways’ king, craves composition.
Nor would we deign him burial of his men
Till he disbursèd at Saint Colme’s Inch
Ten thousand dollars to our general use.

I’ll see it done.

The King hath happily received, Macbeth,
The news of thy success, and, when he reads
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,
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.

And for an earnest of a greater honor,
He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor,
In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,
For it is thine.

So all.

Well contented.

Ha, good father,
Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,
Threatens his bloody stage. By th’ clock ’tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.
Is ’t night’s predominance or the day’s shame
That darkness does the face of earth entomb
When living light should kiss it?

And Duncan’s horses (a thing most strange and
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would
Make war with mankind.

They did so, to th’ amazement of mine eyes
That looked upon ’t.
Here comes the good
How goes the world, sir, now?

Is ’t known who did this more than bloody deed?

Alas the day,
What good could they pretend?

’Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up
Thine own lives’ means. Then ’tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

Where is Duncan’s body?

Will you to Scone?

Well, I will thither.

Farewell, father.

His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please ’t your
To grace us with your royal company?

Gentlemen, rise. His Highness is not well.

What sights, my

You must have patience, madam.

You know not
Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.

My dearest coz,
I pray you school yourself. But for your husband,
He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows
The fits o’ th’ season. I dare not speak much
But cruel are the times when we are traitors
And do not know ourselves; when we hold rumor
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and move—I take my leave of you.
Shall not be long but I’ll be here again.
Things at the worst will cease or else climb upward
To what they were before.—My pretty cousin,
Blessing upon you.

I am so much a fool, should I stay longer
It would be my disgrace and your discomfort.
I take my leave at once.

Sir, amen.

Alas, poor country,
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
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.

That of an hour’s age doth hiss the speaker.
Each minute teems a new one.

Why, well.

Well too.

No, they were well at peace when I did leave ’em.

When I came hither to transport the tidings
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumor
Of many worthy fellows that were out;
Which was to my belief witnessed the rather
For that I saw the tyrant’s power afoot.
Now is the time of help. Your eye in Scotland
Would create soldiers, make our women fight
To doff their dire distresses.

Would I could answer
This comfort with the like. But I have words
That would be howled out in the desert air,
Where hearing should not latch them.

No mind that’s honest
But in it shares some woe, though the main part
Pertains to you alone.

Let not your ears despise my tongue forever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.

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.

Wife, children, servants, all that could be found.

I have said.

Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt.
He only lived but till he was a man,
The which no sooner had his prowess confirmed
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.

Ay, and brought off the field. Your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.

Ay, on the front.

Hail, King of Scotland!


We are sent
To give thee from our royal master thanks,
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Not pay thee.

Who was the Thane lives yet,
But under heavy judgment bears that life
Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was
With those of Norway, or did line the rebel
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.

Near Birnam Wood
Shall we well meet them. That way are they coming.

Now does he feel
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
Upon a dwarfish thief.


The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.
Revenges burn in them, for their dear causes
Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
Excite the mortified man.

What does the tyrant?

Who, then, shall blame
His pestered senses to recoil and start
When all that is within him does condemn
Itself for being there?

We doubt it nothing.

The wood of Birnam.


Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?

Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
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.

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.

commander of the English forces

What wood is this before us?

We learn no other but the confident tyrant
Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure
Our setting down before ’t.

The time approaches
That will with due decision make us know
What we shall say we have and what we owe.
Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,
But certain issue strokes must arbitrate;
Towards which, advance the war.

Fare you well.
Do we but find the tyrant’s power tonight,
Let us be beaten if we cannot fight.

This way, my lord. The castle’s gently rendered.
The tyrant’s people on both sides do fight,
The noble thanes do bravely in the war,
The day almost itself professes yours,
And little is to do.

Enter, sir, the castle.

Some must go off; and yet by these I see
So great a day as this is cheaply bought.

Then he is dead?

Had he his hurts before?

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.

He’s worth no more.
They say he parted well and paid his score,
And so, God be with him. Here comes newer

Hail, King of Scotland!

Young Siward
Siward’s son

What is thy name?

No, though thou call’st thyself a hotter name
Than any is in hell.

The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear.

Thou liest, abhorrèd tyrant. With my sword
I’ll prove the lie thou speak’st.

A Captain in Duncan’s army

Doubtful it stood,
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
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied;
And Fortune, on his damnèd quarrelsmiling,
Showed like a rebel’s whore. But all’s too weak;
For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valor’s minion, carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops,
And fixed his head upon our battlements.

As whence the sun ’gins his reflection
Shipwracking storms and direful thunders break,
So from that spring whence comfort seemed to
Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:
No sooner justice had, with valor armed,
Compelled these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
With furbished arms and new supplies of men,
Began a fresh assault.

Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
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,
I cannot tell—
But I am faint. My gashes cry for help.

An Old Man

Threescore and ten I can remember well,
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange, but this sore
Hath trifled former knowings.

’Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last
A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.

’Tis said they eat each

God’s benison go with you and with those
That would make good of bad and friends of foes.

A Doctor at the English court

Ay, sir. There are a crew of wretched souls
That stay his cure. Their malady convinces
The great assay of art, but at his touch
(Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand)
They presently amend.


Have I not reason, beldams as you are?
Saucy and overbold, how did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death,
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never called to bear my part
Or show the glory of our art?
And which is worse, all you have done
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now. Get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meet me i’ th’ morning. Thither he
Will come to know his destiny.
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and everything beside.
I am for th’ air. This night I’ll spend
Unto a dismal and a fatal end.
Great business must be wrought ere noon.
Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vap’rous drop profound.
I’ll catch it ere it come to ground,
And that, distilled by magic sleights,
Shall raise such artificial sprites
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion.
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes ’bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
And you all know, security
Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.
Hark! I am called. My little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me.

O, well done! I commend your pains,
And everyone shall share i’ the gains.
And now about the cauldron sing
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.

Apparitions: an Armed Head, a Bloody Child, a Crowned Child, and eight nonspeaking kings

Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff!
Beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.


Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!—

Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.


Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are.
Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
Shall come against him.

Three Messengers, Three Servants, a Lord, a Soldier

The King comes here tonight.

So please you, it is true. Our thane is coming.
One of my fellows had the speed of him,
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make up his message.


Bless you, fair dame. I am not to you known,
Though in your state of honor I am perfect.
I doubt some danger does approach you nearly.
If you will take a homely man’s advice,
Be not found here. Hence with your little ones!
To fright you thus methinks I am too savage;
To do worse to you were fell cruelty,
Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve
I dare abide no longer.


Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do ’t.

As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I looked toward Birnam, and anon methought
The wood began to move.

Let me endure your wrath, if ’t be not so.
Within this three mile may you see it coming.
I say, a moving grove.


They are, my lord, without the palace gate.

Ay, madam, but returns again tonight.

Madam, I will.

There is ten thousand—

Soldiers, sir.

The English force, so please you.


The son of Duncan
(From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth)
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
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,
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.

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 timeThat clogs me with this answer.

I’ll send my prayers with him.


It shall be done.

Attendants, a Sewer, Servants, Lords, Thanes, Soldiers (all nonspeaking)

Thanks to your Majesty.

What, my good lord?

Our duties, and the pledge.


Hail, King of Scotland!


Hail, King of Scotland!



"To See or Not to See" is a web-based tool for the visualization and analysis of quantitative characteristics of Shakespeare plays.

We use resources from the Folger Digital Texts as input data for our tool. The Folger Shakespeare texts are annotated with structural markup from the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI).

Our tool interactively visualizes which character says what and how much at a particular point in time, allowing customized interpretations of Shakespeare plays on the basis of quantitative aspects, without having to care about technical hurdles such as markup or programming languages.

Please see our corresponding paper for more detailed information about the project.

Feel free to report errors to the author.


Wilhelm, T., Burghardt, M. & Wolff, C. (2013). "To See or Not to See" - An Interactive Tool for the Visualization and Analysis of Shakespeare Plays. In Franken-Wendelstorf, R., Lindinger, E. & Sieck J. (eds): Kultur und Informatik - Visual Worlds & Interactive Spaces, Berlin (pp. 175-185). Glückstadt: Verlag Werner Hülsbusch.