The Tragedy of Macbeth Act Four Scene One A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron. Thunder. Enter the three WITCHES. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron. Thunder. The three WITCHES enter. FIRST WITCH Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed. FIRST WITCH The tawny cat has meowed three times. SECOND WITCH Thrice, and once the hedge-pig whined. SECOND WITCH Three times. And the hedgehog has whined once.
THIRD WITCH Harpier cries, 'Tis time, tis time. THIRD WITCH My spirit friend, Harpier, is yelling, Its time, its time! FIRST WITCH Round about the cauldron go, In the poisoned entrails throw. Toad, that under cold stone Days and nights has thirtyone Sweltered venom sleeping got, Boil thou first i' th' charmd pot. ALL Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. FIRST WITCH Dance around the cauldron and throw in the poisoned entrails. (holding up a toad) Youll go in firsta toad that sat under a cold rock for a month, oozing
poison from its pores. ALL Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. SECOND WITCH Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake. Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adders fork and blind-worms sting, Lizards leg and owlets wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. SECOND WITCH (holding something up) Well boil you in the cauldron nexta slice of swamp snake. All the rest of you in too: a newts eye, a frogs tongue, fur from a bat, a dogs tongue, the forked tongue of an adder, the stinger of a
burrowing worm, a lizards leg, an owls wing. (speaking to the ingredients) Make a charm to cause powerful trouble, and boil and bubble like a broth of hell. ALL Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble. THIRD WITCH Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witches' 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 moons eclipse, Nose of Turk and Tartars lips, Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-delivered by a drab, Make the gruel thick and slab. Add thereto a tigers chaudron, For the ingredients of our cauldron. ALL Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble. THIRD WITCH
Here come some more ingredients: the scale of a dragon, a wolfs tooth, a witchs mummified flesh, the gullet and stomach of a ravenous shark, a root of hemlock that was dug up in the dark, a Jews liver, a goats bile, some twigs of yew that were broken off during a lunar eclipse, a Turks nose, a Tartars lips, the finger of a baby that was strangled as a prostitute gave birth to it in a ditch. (to the ingredients) Make this potion thick and gluey. (to the other WITCHES) Now lets add a tigers entrails to the mix. ALL Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble. SECOND WITCH Cool it with a baboons blood, Then the charm is firm and good. HECATE Oh well done! I commend your pains, And every one shall share i' th' gains. And now about the cauldron sing, Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in. ALL Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble. SECOND WITCH Well cool the mixture with baboon blood. After that the charm is finished. HECATE Well done! I admire your efforts, and all of you will share the rewards. Now come sing around the cauldron like a ring of elves and fairies, enchanting everything you put in. Music and a song: Black spirits, &c. HECATE retires SECOND WITCH By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. Open, locks, Whoever knocks. Enter MACBETH MACBETH How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags? What is t you do?
Music plays and the six WITCHES sing a song called Black Spirits. HECATE leaves. SECOND WITCH I can tell that something wicked is coming by the tingling in my thumbs. Doors, open up for whoever is knocking! MACBETH enters. MACBETH Whats going on here, you secret, evil, midnight hags? What are you doing? ALL A deed without a name. MACBETH I conjure you by that which you profess Howe'er you come to know itanswer 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 down, Though castles topple on their warders' heads, Though palaces and pyramids do slope Their heads to their foundations, though the treasure
Of natures germens tumble all together, Even till destruction sicken, answer me To what I ask you. ALL Something there isnt a word for. MACBETH I dont know how you know the things you do, but I insist that you answer my questions. I command you in the name of whatever dark powers you serve. I dont care if you unleash violent winds that tear down churches, make the foamy waves overwhelm ships and send sailors to their deaths, flatten crops and trees, make castles fall down on their inhabitants' heads, make palaces and pyramids collapse, and mix up everything in nature. Tell me what I want to know. FIRST WITCH Speak. FIRST WITCH Speak.
SECOND WITCH Demand. SECOND WITCH Demand. THIRD WITCH Well answer. FIRST WITCH Say, if th' hadst rather hear it from our mouths, Or from our masters'. MACBETH Call 'em. Let me see 'em. THIRD WITCH Well answer. FIRST WITCH Would you rather hear these things from our mouths or from our masters? MACBETH Call them. Let me see them. FIRST WITCH Pour in sows blood, that hath eaten Her nine farrow; grease thats sweaten From the murderers gibbet throw Into the flame.
ALL Come, high or low; Thyself and office deftly show! Thunder. FIRST APPARITION : an armed head FIRST WITCH Pour in the blood of a sow who has eaten her nine offspring. Take the sweat of a murderer on the gallows and throw it into the flame. ALL Come, high or low spirits. Show yourself and what you do. Thunder. The FIRST APPARITION appears, looking like a head with an armored helmet. MACBETH Tell me, thou unknown power MACBETH Tell me, you unknown power FIRST WITCH He knows thy thought. Hear his speech but say thou nought.
FIRST WITCH He can read your thoughts. Listen, but dont speak. FIRST APPARITION Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff. Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough. Descends MACBETH Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks. Thou hast harped my fear aright. But one word more FIRST APPARITION Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff. Beware the thane of Fife. Let me go. Enough. The FIRST APPARITION descends. MACBETH Whatever you are, thanks for your advice. You have guessed exactly what I feared. But one word more FIRST WITCH He will not be commanded. Heres another More potent than the
first. Thunder. SECOND APPARITION : a bloody child SECOND APPARITION Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! MACBETH Had I three ears, Id hear thee. FIRST WITCH He will not be commanded by you. Heres another, stronger than the first. Thunder. The SECOND APPARITION appears, looking like a bloody child. SECOND APPARITION Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! MACBETH If I had three ears Id listen with all three. SECOND APPARITION Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn The power of man, for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth. SECOND APPARITION Be violent, bold, and firm.
Laugh at the power of other men, because nobody born from a woman will ever harm Macbeth. Descends The SECOND APPARITION descends. MACBETH Then live, Macduff. What need I fear of thee? But yet Ill 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. MACBETH Then I dont need to kill Macduff. I have no reason to fear him. But even so, Ill make doubly sure. Ill guarantee my own fate by having you killed, Macduff. That way I can conquer my own fear and sleep easy at night. Thunder. THIRD APPARITION : a child
crowned, with a tree in his hand Thunder. The THIRD APPARITION appears, in the form of a child with a crown on his head and a tree in his hand. MACBETH What is this That rises like the issue of a king, And wears upon his babybrow the round And top of sovereignty? MACBETH What is this spirit that looks like the son of a king and wears a crown on his young head? ALL Listen but speak not to t. ALL Listen but dont speak to it. THIRD APPARITION 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. THIRD APPARITION Be brave like the lion and proud. Dont even worry about who hates you, who resents you, and who conspires against you. Macbeth will never be defeated until Birnam Wood marches to fight you at Dunsinane Hill. Descends The THIRD APPARITION descends. MACBETH 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 Banquos issue ever Reign in this kingdom? MACBETH That will never happen. Who can command the forest and make the trees pull their roots out of the earth? These were sweet omens! Good! My murders will never come back to threaten me until the forest of Birnam gets up and moves, and I will be king for my entire natural life. But my heart is still throbbing to know one thing. Tell me, if your dark powers can see this far: will Banquos sons ever reign in this kingdom? ALL Seek to know no more. ALL Dont try to find out
more. MACBETH 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? MACBETH I demand to be satisfied. If you refuse, let an eternal curse fall on you. Let me know. Why is that cauldron sinking? And what is that music? Hautboys Hautboys play music for a ceremonial procession. FIRST WITCH Show. FIRST WITCH Show. SECOND WITCH Show. THIRD WITCH Show.
ALL Show his eyes and grieve his heart. Come like shadows; so depart! A show of eight kings, the last with a glass in his hand, followed by BANQUO SECOND WITCH Show. THIRD WITCH Show. ALL Show him and make him grieve. Come like shadows and depart in the same way! Eight kings march across the stage, the last one with a mirror in his hand, followed by the GHOST OF BANQUO. MACBETH Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo. Down! Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs. And thy hair, Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first.
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? Ill 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. MACBETH You look too much like the ghost of Banquo. Go away! (to the first) Your crown hurts my eyes. (to the second) Your blond hair, which looks like another crown underneath the one youre wearing, looks just like the first kings hair. Now I see a third king who looks just like the second. Filthy hags! Why are you showing me this? A fourth! My eyes are bulging out of their sockets! Will this line stretch on forever? Another one! And a seventh! I dont want to see any more. And yet an eighth appears, holding a
mirror in which I see many more men. And some are carrying double balls and triple scepters, meaning theyre kings of more than one country! Horrible sight! Now I see it is true, they are Banquos descendants. Banquo, with his blood-clotted hair, is smiling at me and pointing to them as his. Apparitions vanish MACBETH What, is this so? FIRST WITCH Ay, sir, all this is so. But why Stands Macbeth thus amazedly? Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites, And show the best of our delights. Ill charm th' air to give a sound, While you perform your antic round. That this great king may kindly say, Our duties did his welcome pay. The spirits of the kings and the GHOST OF BANQUO vanish. MACBETH What? Is this true? FIRST WITCH
Yes, this is true, but why do you stand there so dumbfounded? Come, sisters, lets cheer him up and show him our talents. I will charm the air to produce music while you all dance around like crazy, so this king will say we did our duty and entertained him. Music. The WITCHES dance and then Music plays. The WITCHES dance vanish and then vanish. MACBETH Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour Stand aye accursd in the calendar! Come in, without there. Enter LENNOX LENNOX Whats your graces will? MACBETH Where are they? Gone? Let this evil hour be marked forever in the calendar as cursed.
(calls to someone offstage) You outside, come in! LENNOX enters. LENNOX What does your grace want? MACBETH Saw you the weird sisters? LENNOX No, my lord. MACBETH Came they not by you? LENNOX No, indeed, my lord. MACBETH Infected be the air whereon they ride, And damned all those that trust them! I did hear The galloping of horse. Who was t came by? MACBETH Did you see the weird sisters? LENNOX No, my lord. MACBETH Didnt they pass by you? LENNOX No, indeed, my lord. MACBETH
The air on which they ride is infected. Damn all those who trust them! I heard the galloping of horses. Who was it that came here? LENNOX 'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word Macduff is fled to England. MACBETH Fled to England? LENNOX Ay, my good lord. LENNOX Two or three men, my lord, who brought the message that Macduff has fled to England. MACBETH Fled to England? LENNOX Yes, my good lord. MACBETH Time, thou anticipatst 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 done: The castle of Macduff I will surprise, Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge o' th' sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool. This deed Ill do before this purpose cool. But no more sights!Where are these gentlemen? Come, bring me where they are. Exeunt MACBETH Time, you thwart my dreadful plans. Unless a person does something the second he thinks of it, hell never get a chance to do it. From now on, as soon as I decide to do something Im going to act immediately. In fact, Ill start following up my thoughts with actions right now. Ill raid Macduffs castle, seize the town of Fife, and kill his wife, his children, and anyone else unfortunate enough to stand in line for
his inheritance. No more foolish talk. I will do this deed before I lose my sense of purpose. But no more spooky visions!Where are the messengers? Come, bring me to them. They exit. Act Three Scene Two Enter LADY MACDUFF, her SON, and ROSS LADY MACDUFF What had he done to make him fly the land? ROSS You must have patience, madam. LADY MACDUFF He had none. His flight was madness. When our actions do not, Our fears do make us traitors. LADY MACDUFF, her SON, and ROSS enter. LADY MACDUFF What did he do that made him flee this land? ROSS You have to be
patient, madam. LADY MACDUFF He had no patience. He was crazy to run away. Even if youre not a traitor, youre going to look like one if you run away. ROSS You know not Whether it was his wisdom or his fear. LADY MACDUFF Wisdom! To leave his wife, to leave his babes, His mansion and his titles in a place 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. ROSS You dont know whether it was wisdom or fear that made him flee. LADY MACDUFF
How could it be wisdom! To leave his wife, his children, his house, and his titles in a place so unsafe that he himself flees it! He doesnt love us. He lacks the natural instinct to protect his family. Even the fragile wren, the smallest of birds, will fight against the owl when it threatens her young ones in the nest. His running away has everything to do with fear and nothing to do with love. And since its so unreasonable for him to run away, it has nothing to do with wisdom either. ROSS My dearest coz, I pray you school yourself. But for your husband, He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows The fits o' th' season. I dare not speak much further; But cruel are the times when we are traitors And do not know ourselves; when we hold rumor
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear, But float upon a wild and violent sea Each way and none. I take my leave of you. Shall not be long but Ill be here again. Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward To what they were before.My pretty cousin, Blessing upon you. ROSS My dearest relative, Im begging you, pull yourself together. As for your husband, he is noble, wise, and judicious, and he understands what the times require. Its not safe for me to say much more than this, but times are bad when people get denounced as traitors and dont even know why. In times like these, we believe frightening rumors but we dont even know what were afraid of. Its like being tossed around on the ocean in every direction, and finally getting nowhere. Ill say good-bye now. It wont be long before Im back. When things are at their worst they
have to stop, or else improve to the way things were before. My young cousin, I put my blessing upon you. LADY MACDUFF Fathered he is, and yet hes fatherless. ROSS I am so much a fool, should I stay longer It would be my disgrace and your discomfort. I take my leave at once. Exit LADY MACDUFF He has a father, and yet he is fatherless. ROSS I have to go. If I stay longer, Ill embarrass you and disgrace myself by crying. Im leaving now. ROSS exits. LADY MACDUFF Sirrah, your fathers dead. And what will you do now? How will you live? SON As birds do, Mother.
LADY MACDUFF What, with worms and flies? LADY MACDUFF Young man, your fathers dead. What are you going to do now? How are you going to live? SON I will live the way birds do, Mother. LADY MACDUFF What? Are you going to start eating worms and flies? SON With what I get, I mean, and so do they. LADY MACDUFF Poor bird! Thou dst never fear the net nor lime, The pitfall nor the gin. SON I mean I will live on whatever I get, like birds do. LADY MACDUFF Youd be a
pitiful bird. You wouldnt know enough to be afraid of traps. SON Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for. SON My father is not dead, for all your saying. Why should I be afraid of them, Mother? If Im a pitiful bird, like you say, hunters wont want me. No matter what you say, my father is not dead. LADY MACDUFF Yes, he is dead. How wilt thou do for a father? SON Nay, how will you do for a husband? LADY MACDUFF Yes, he is dead. What are you going to do for a father? SON Maybe you should ask,
what will you do for a husband? LADY MACDUFF Why, I can buy me twenty at LADY MACDUFF any market. Oh, I can buy twenty SON Then youll buy 'em to sell again. husbands at any market. SON If so, youd be buying them to sell again. LADY MACDUFF Thou speakst with all thy wit; and yet, i' faith, With wit enough for thee. SON Was my father a traitor, Mother? LADY MACDUFF Ay, that he was. SON What is a traitor? LADY MACDUFF Why, one that swears and lies. LADY MACDUFF You talk like a child, but youre very smart anyway.
SON Was my father a traitor, Mother? LADY MACDUFF Yes, he was. SON What is a traitor? LADY MACDUFF Someone who makes a promise and breaks it. SON And be all traitors that do so? LADY MACDUFF Every one that does so is a traitor and must be hanged. SON And is everyone who swears and lies a traitor? LADY MACDUFF Everyone who does so is a traitor and should be hanged. SON And must they all be hanged SON that swear and lie? And should everyone LADY MACDUFF Every one.
who makes promises and breaks them be hanged? LADY MACDUFF Everyone. SON Who must hang them? LADY MACDUFF Why, the honest men. SON Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men and hang up them. SON Who should hang them? LADY MACDUFF The honest men. SON Then the liars are fools, for there are enough liars in the world to beat up the honest men and hang them. LADY MACDUFF Now, God help thee, poor
monkey! But how wilt thou do for a father? SON If he were dead, youd weep for him. If you would not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father. LADY MACDUFF Poor prattler, how thou talkst! LADY MACDUFF (laughing) Heaven help you for saying that, boy! (sad again) But what will you do without a father? SON If he were dead, youd be weeping for him. If you arent weeping, its a good sign that Ill soon have a new father. LADY MACDUFF Silly babbler, how you talk! Enter a MESSENGER A MESSENGER enters.
MESSENGER Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known, Though in your state of honor I am perfect. I doubt some danger does approach you nearly. If you will take a homely mans 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 you! I dare abide no longer. MESSENGER Bless you, fair lady! You dont know me, but I know youre an important person. Im afraid something dangerous is coming toward you. If youll take a simple mans advice, dont be here when it arrives. Go away and take your children. I feel bad for scaring you like this, but it would be much worse for me to let you come to harm. And harm is
getting close! Heaven keep you safe! Exit The MESSENGER exits. LADY MACDUFF Whither should I fly? I have done no harm. But I remember now I am in this earthly world, where to do harm Is often laudable, to do good sometime Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas, Do I put up that womanly defense, To say I have done no harm? Enter MURDERERS What are these faces? LADY MACDUFF Where should I go? I havent done anything wrong. But I have to remember that Im here on Earth, where doing evil is often praised, and doing good is sometimes a stupid and dangerous
mistake. So then why should I offer this womanish defense that Im innocent? The MURDERERS enter . Who are these men? FIRST MURDERER Where is your husband? LADY MACDUFF I hope, in no place so unsanctified Where such as thou mayst find him. FIRST MURDERER Hes a traitor. SON Thou liest, thou shag-haired villain! FIRST MURDERER Where is your husband? LADY MACDUFF I hope hes not anywhere so disreputable that thugs like you can find him. FIRST MURDERER Hes a traitor. SON Youre lying, you
shaggy-haired villain! FIRST MURDERER (Stabbing him) What, you egg? Young fry of treachery! SON He has killed me, mother. Run away, I pray you! He dies. Exit LADY MACDUFF, crying Murder! followed by MURDERERS FIRST MURDERER Whats that, you runt? (stabbing him) Young son of a traitor! SON He has killed me, Mother. Run away, I beg you! The SON dies. LADY MACDUFF exits, crying Murder! The MURDERERS exit, following her. Act Four Scene Three Enter MALCOLM and MACDUFF
MALCOLM Let us seek out some desolate shade and there Weep our sad bosoms empty. MACDUFF Let us rather Hold fast the mortal sword and, like good men, Bestride our downfall'n birthdom. Each new morn New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds As if it felt with Scotland and yelled out Like syllable of dolor. MALCOLM and MACDUFF enter. MALCOLM Lets seek out some shady place where we can sit down alone and cry our hearts out. MACDUFF Instead of crying, lets keep hold of our swords and defend our fallen homeland like honorable men. Each day new widows howl, new orphans cry, and new sorrows slap heaven
in the face, until it sounds like heaven itself feels Scotlands anguish and screams in pain. MALCOLM What I believe Ill 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 something You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb T' appease an angry god. MALCOLM I will avenge whatever I believe is wrong. And Ill believe whatever Im sure is true. And Ill put right whatever I can when the time comes. What you just said may perhaps be true. This tyrant, whose mere name is so awful it hurts
us to say it, was once considered an honest man. You were one of his favorites. He hasnt done anything to harm you yet. Im inexperienced, but maybe youre planning to win Macbeths favor by betraying me to him. It would be smart to offer someone poor and innocent like me as a sacrificial lamb to satisfy an angry god like Macbeth. MACDUFF I am not treacherous. MALCOLM But Macbeth is. A good and virtuous nature may recoil In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your pardon. That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose. Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell. Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace, Yet grace must still look so. MACDUFF I am not
treacherous. MALCOLM But Macbeth is. Even someone with a good and virtuous nature might give way to a royal command. But I beg your pardon. My fears cant actually make you evil. Angels are still bright even though Lucifer, the brightest angel, fell from heaven. Even though everything evil wants to look good, good still has to look good too. MACDUFF I have lost my hopes. MALCOLM Perchance even there where I did find my doubts. Why in that rawness left you wife and child, Those precious motives, those strong knots of love, Without leave-taking? I pray you, Let not my jealousies be your dishonors, But mine own safeties. You may be
rightly just, Whatever I shall think. MACDUFF I have lost my hope of convincing you to fight against Macbeth. MALCOLM Maybe you lost your hopes about me where I found my doubts about you. Why did you leave your wife and child vulnerablethe most precious things in your life, those strong bonds of love? How could you leave them behind? But I beg you, dont interpret my suspicions as slander against you. You must understand that I want to protect myself. You may really be honest, no matter what I think. MACDUFF Bleed, bleed, poor country! Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure, For goodness dare not check thee. Wear thou thy wrongs; The title is affeered.Fare thee
well, lord. I would not be the villain that thou thinkst For the whole space thats in the tyrants grasp, And the rich East to boot. MACDUFF Bleed, bleed, poor country! Great tyrant, go ahead and build yourself up, because good people are afraid to stand up to you. Enjoy everything you stole, because your title is safe! Farewell, lord. I wouldnt be the villain you think I am even if I were offered all of Macbeths kingdom and the riches of the East too. MALCOLM Be not offended. I speak not as in absolute fear of you. I think our country sinks beneath the yoke. It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash 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 tyrants 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. MALCOLM Dont be offended. I dont completely distrust you. I do think Scotland is sinking under Macbeths oppression. Our country weeps, it bleeds, and each day a fresh cut is added to her wounds. I also think there would be many people willing to fight for me. The English have promised me thousands of troops. But even so, when I have Macbeths head under my foot, or stuck on the end of my sword, then my poor country will be plagued by worse evil
than it was before. It will suffer worse and in more ways than ever under the reign of the king who follows Macbeth. MACDUFF What should he be? MALCOLM It is myself I mean, in whom I know All the particulars of vice so grafted That, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state Esteem him as a lamb, being compared With my confineless harms. MACDUFF Who are you talking about? MALCOLM Im talking about myself. I know I have so many vices that when people see all of them exposed, evil Macbeth will seem as pure as snow in comparison, and poor Scotland will call him a sweet lamb when they
compare him to me and my infinite evils. MACDUFF Not in the legions Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned In evils to top Macbeth. MALCOLM I grant him bloody, Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful, Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin That has a name. But theres 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. MACDUFF Even in hell you couldnt find a devil worse than Macbeth. MALCOLM I admit that hes murderous, lecherous, greedy, lying, deceitful, violent, malicious, and guilty of every sin that has a name. But there is
no end, absolutely none, to my sexual desires. Your wives, your daughters, your old women, and your young maids together could not satisfy my lust. My desire would overpower all restraints and anyone who stood in my way. It would be better for Macbeth to rule than someone like me. MACDUFF Boundless intemperance In nature is a tyranny. It hath been The 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.
MACDUFF Endless greed and lust in a mans nature is a kind of tyranny. It has caused the downfall of many kings. But dont be afraid to take the crown that belongs to you. You can find a way to satisfy your desires in secret, while still appearing virtuous. You can deceive everyone. There are more than enough willing women around. Your lust cant possibly be so strong that youd use up all the women willing to give themselves to the king once they find out he wants them. MALCOLM With this there grows In my most ill-composed affection such A stanchless avarice that, were I king, I should cut off the nobles for their lands, Desire his jewels and this others 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. MALCOLM Along with being full of lust, Im also incredibly greedy. If I became king, I would steal the nobles' lands, taking jewels from one guy and houses from another. The more I had, the greedier I would grow, until Id invent false quarrels with my good and loyal subjects, destroying them so I could get my hands on their wealth. MACDUFF 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. MACDUFF The greed youre talking about is worse than lust because you wont outgrow it. Greed has been the downfall of many kings. But dont be afraid. Scotland has enough treasures to satisfy you out of your own royal coffers. These bad qualities are bearable when balanced against your good sides. MALCOLM But I have none. The king-becoming graces, As justice, verity, temperance, 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. MALCOLM But I dont have any good sides. I dont have a trace of the qualities a king needs, such as justice, truth, moderation, stability, generosity, perseverance, mercy, humility, devotion, patience, courage, and bravery. Instead, I overflow with every variation of all the different vices. No, if I had power I would take world peace and throw it down to hell. MACDUFF O Scotland, Scotland! MACDUFF Oh Scotland,
Scotland! MALCOLM MALCOLM If such a one be fit to govern, speak. If someone like I am as I have spoken. me is fit to be king, let me know. I really am exactly as I have described myself to you. MACDUFF 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, Oftener upon her knees than on her feet, Died every day she lived. Fare thee well! These evils thou repeatst upon thyself Have banished me from Scotland.O my breast, Thy hope ends here! MACDUFF
(to MALCOLM) Fit to be king? Youre not fit to live! Oh miserable nation, ruled by a usurping, murderous tyrant, when will you see peaceful days again? The man who has a legal right to the throne is, by his own admission, a cursed man and a disgrace to the royal family.Your royal father Duncan was a virtuous king. Your mother spent more time on her knees in prayer than she did standing up, and she lived a life of absolute piety. Good-bye. The evils you have described inside yourself have driven me out of Scotland forever. Oh my heart, your hope is dead! MALCOLM 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 MALCOLM Macduff, this passionate outburst, which proves your integrity, has removed my doubts about you and made me realize that you really are trustworthy and honorable. That devil Macbeth has tried many times to trick me and lure me into his power, and prudence prevents me from believing people too quickly. But with God as my witness, I will let myself be guided by you, and I take back my confession. MALCOM 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 countrys to command. MALCOM I take back all the bad things I said about myself, because none of those flaws are really part of my character. Im still a virgin. I have never told a lie. I barely care about what I already own, let alone feel jealous of anothers possessions. I have never broken a promise. I wouldnt betray the devil himself. I love truth as much as I love life. The lies I told about my character are actually the first false words I have ever spoken. The person who I really am is ready to serve you and our poor country.
MALCOLM Whither indeed, before thy hereapproach, Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men, Already at a point, was setting forth. Now well together, and the chance of goodness Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent? MACOLM Indeed, before you arrived here, old Siward, with ten thousand soldiers already prepared for battle, was making his way here. Now we will fight Macbeth together, and may the chances of our success be as great as the justice of our cause! Why are you silent? MACDUFF Such welcome and unwelcome things at once 'Tis hard to reconcile.
MACDUFF Its hard to make sense of such different stories. A DOCTOR enters. Enter a DOCTOR MALCOLM Well, more anon.Comes the king forth, I pray you? DOCTOR Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls That stay his cure. Their malady convinces The great assay of art, but at his touch Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand They presently amend. MALCOLM Well, well speak more soon. (to the DOCTOR) Is King Edward coming out? DOCTOR Yes, sir. A crowd of sick people is waiting for him to heal them. Their illness confounds the most advanced techniques of modern medicine, but when he touches them, they heal immediately because of the power
granted to him by heaven. MALCOLM I thank you, doctor. Exit DOCTOR MACDUFF Whats the disease he means? MALCOLM Thank you, doctor. The DOCTOR exits. MACDUFF What disease is he talking about? MALCOLM '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,
MALCOLM Its called the evil. Edwards healing touch is a miracle that I have seen him perform many times during my stay in England. How he receives these gifts from heaven, only he can say. But he cures people with strange conditions all swollen, plagued by ulcers, and pitiful to look at, patients who are beyond the help of surgeryby placing a gold coin around their necks and saying holy prayers over them. MALCOLM 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. Enter ROSS
MACDUFF See, who comes here? MALCOLM They say that he bequeaths this ability to heal to his royal descendants. Along with this strange power, he also has the gift of prophecy and various other abilities. All of these signs mark him as a man graced by God. ROSS enters. MACDUFF Whos that coming over here? MALCOLM My countryman, but yet I know him not. MACDUFF My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither. MALCOLM I know him now.Good God, betimes remove The means that makes us strangers! ROSS Sir, amen.
MALCOLM By his dress I can tell hes my countryman, but I dont recognize him. MACDUFF My noble kinsman, welcome. MALCOLM I recognize him now. May God alter the circumstances that keep us apart! ROSS Hello, sir. MACDUFF Stands Scotland where it did? ROSS 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 rend the air Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems A modern ecstasy. The dead mans knell Is there scarce asked for who, and good mens lives Expire before the flowers in their caps, Dying or ere they sicken.
MACDUFF Is Scotland the same as when I left it? ROSS Alas, our poor country! Its too frightened to look at itself. Scotland is no longer the land where we were born; its the land where well die. Where no one ever smiles except for the fool who knows nothing. Where sighs, groans, and shrieks rip through the air but no one notices. Where violent sorrow is a common emotion. When the funeral bells ring, people no longer ask who died. Good men die before the flowers in their caps wilt. They die before they even fall sick. MACDUFF Oh, relation Too nice and yet too true! MALCOLM Whats the newest grief? ROSS That of an hours age doth
hiss the speaker. Each minute teems a new one. MACDUFF How does my wife? MACDUFF Oh, your report is too poetic, but it sounds so true! MALCOLM What is the most recent news? ROSS Even news an hour old is old news. Every minute another awful thing happens. MACDUFF How is my wife? ROSS Why, well. ROSS Shes well. MACDUFF And all my children? MACDUFF And all my children? ROSS
Well too. ROSS Theyre well too. MACDUFF The tyrant has not battered at their peace? MACDUFF Macbeth hasnt attacked them? ROSS No, they were well at peace when I did leave 'em. ROSS They were at peace when I left them. MACDUFF Be not a niggard of your speech. How goes t? MACDUFF Dont be stingy with your words. Whats the news? ROSS 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 tyrants power afoot. Now is the time of help. Your eye in Scotland Would create soldiers, make our women fight, To doff their dire distresses. ROSS While I was coming here to tell you my sad news, I heard rumors that many good men are arming themselves to rebel against Macbeth. When I saw Macbeths army on the move, I knew the rumors must be true. Now is the time when we need your help. Your presence in Scotland would inspire people to fight. Even the women would fight to rid themselves of Macbeths oppression. MALCOLM 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. ROSS 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. MALCOLM Let them be comforted Im returning to Scotland. Gracious King Edward has sent us noble Siward and ten thousand soldiers. There is no soldier more experienced or successful than Siward in the entire Christian world. ROSS I wish I could repay this happy news with good news of my own. But I have some news that should be howled in a barren desert where nobody can hear it. MACDUFF What concern they?
The general cause, or is it a fee-grief Due to some single breast? MACDUFF What is this news about? Does it affect all of us? Or just one of us? ROSS No mind thats honest But in it shares some woe, though the main part Pertains to you alone. ROSS No decent man can keep from sharing in the sorrow, but my news affects you alone. MACDUFF MACDUFF If it be mine, If its for me, dont Keep it not from me. Quickly keep it from me. Let let me have it. me have it now. ROSS Let not your ears despise my tongue forever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound That ever yet they heard. MACDUFF Hum! I guess at it. ROSS 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. ROSS I hope you wont hate me forever after I say these things, because I will soon fill your ears with the most dreadful news you have ever heard. MACDUFF I think I can guess what youre about to say. ROSS Your castle was attacked. Your wife and children were savagely slaughtered. If I told you how they were killed, it would cause you so much pain that it would kill you too, and add your body to the pile of murdered corpses.
MALCOLM 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. MACDUFF My children too? ROSS Wife, children, servants, all that could be found. MALCOLM Merciful heaven! (to MACDUFF) Come on, man, dont keep your grief hidden. Put your sorrow into words. The grief you keep inside you will whisper in your heart until it breaks. MACDUFF They killed my children too? ROSS They killed your wife, your children, your servants, anyone they could find.
MACDUFF And I must be from thence! My wife killed too? MACDUFF And I had to be away! My wife was killed too? ROSS I have said. ROSS I said she was. MALCOLM Be comforted. Lets make us med'cines of our great revenge, To cure this deadly grief. MALCOLM Take comfort. Lets cure this awful grief by taking revenge on Macbeth. MACDUFF 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?
MACDUFF He doesnt have children. All my pretty little children? Did you say all? Oh, that bird from hell! All of them? What, all my children and their mother dead in one fell swoop? MALCOLM Dispute it like a man. MALCOLM Fight it like a man. MACDUFF 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. MACDUFF I will. But I also have to feel it like a man. I cant help
remembering the things that were most precious to me. Did heaven watch the slaughter and not send down any help? Sinful Macduff, they were killed because of you! As wicked as I am, they were slaughtered because of me, not because of anything they did. May God give their souls rest. MALCOLM Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let grief Convert to anger. Blunt not the heart, enrage it. MACDUFF Oh, 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 swords length set him; if he scape, Heaven forgive him too. MALCOLM Let this anger
sharpen your sword. Transform your grief into anger. Dont block the feelings in your heart; let them loose as rage. MACDUFF I could go on weeping like a woman and bragging about how I will avenge them! But gentle heavens, dont keep me waiting. Bring me face to face with Macbeth, that devil of Scotland. Put him within the reach of my sword, and if he escapes, may heaven forgive him as well! MALCOLM This tune goes manly. Come, go we to the king. Our power is ready; Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may. The night is long that never finds the day. Exeunt
MALCOLM Now you sound like a man. Come on, lets go see King Edward. The army is ready. All we have to do now is say goodbye to the king. Macbeth is ripe for the picking. Well be acting as Gods agents. Cheer up as much as you can. A new day will come at last. They exit.