Macbeth


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter a Porter. Knocking within


PORTER

Here's a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of

hell-gate, he should have old turning the key.
old (adj.) 4 plenty of, abundant, more than enough

Knock

Knock, knock, knock! Who's there i'the name of

Belzebub? Here's a farmer that hanged himself on the

expectation of plenty. Come in time! Have napkins enow
enow (adv.) enough
napkin (n.) 1 handkerchief

about you; here you'll sweat for't.

Knock

Knock, knock! Who's there in the other devil's name?

Faith, here's an equivocator that could swear in both the
equivocator (n.) dealer in ambiguities, trader in double meanings

scales against either scale, who committed treason

enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to

heaven. O, come in, equivocator.
equivocator (n.) dealer in ambiguities, trader in double meanings

Knock

Knock, knock, knock! Who's there? Faith, here's an

English tailor come hither for stealing out of a French

hose. Come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose.
goose (n.) 3 smoothing iron
hose (n.) [pair of] breeches See Topics: Clothing

Knock

Knock, knock! Never at quiet! What are you? – But this

place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further.

I had thought to have let in some of all professions that

go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire.

Knock

Anon, anon! I pray you remember the porter.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

He opens the gate. Enter Macduff and Lennox


MACDUFF

Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,

That you do lie so late?


PORTER

Faith sir, we were carousing till the second

cock; and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.


MACDUFF

What three things does drink especially

provoke?


PORTER

Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.

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
equivocator (n.) dealer in ambiguities, trader in double meanings

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
stand to (v.) 3 come forward, set to work

him in a sleep and giving him the lie, leaves him.
lie, give the deceive; [wrestling] lay someone out; make urinate


MACDUFF

I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.


PORTER

That it did, sir, i' the very throat on me. But I

requited him for his lie and, I think, being too strong

for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I

made a shift to cast him.
cast (v.) 8 [wrestling] throw down, make fall
shift (n.) 3 stratagem, contriving, trick


MACDUFF

Is thy master stirring?

Enter Macbeth

Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.


LENNOX

Good morrow, noble sir.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


MACBETH

                         Good morrow both.


MACDUFF

Is the King stirring, worthy thane?


MACBETH

                         Not yet.


MACDUFF

He did command me to call timely on him.
timely (adv.) 1 early, in good time

I have almost slipped the hour.
slip (v.) 2 fail to keep, allow to pass by


MACBETH

                         I'll bring you to him.


MACDUFF

I know this is a joyful trouble to you,

But yet 'tis one.


MACBETH

The labour we delight in physics pain.
pain (n.) effort, endeavour, exertion, labour
physic (v.) 1 cure, correct, dose with medicine

This is the door.


MACDUFF

                         I'll make so bold to call,

For 'tis my limited service.
limited (adj.) 1 appointed, designated, nominated

Exit


LENNOX

Goes the King hence today?
appoint (v.) 6 determine, resolve, purpose


MACBETH

                         He does; he did appoint so.


LENNOX

The night has been unruly. Where we lay,

Our chimneys were blown down, and, as they say,

Lamentings heard i'the air, strange screams of death,

And prophesying, with accents terrible,

Of dire combustion and confused events
combustion (n.) tumult, confusion, disorder

New-hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird

Clamoured the live-long night. Some say the earth

Was feverous and did shake.


MACBETH

                         'Twas a rough night.


LENNOX

My young remembrance cannot parallel
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

A fellow to it.

Enter Macduff


MACDUFF

                         O horror, horror, horror!

Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!


MACBETH and LENNOX

What's the matter?


MACDUFF

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece;
confusion (n.) 1 destruction, overthrow, ruin

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope

The Lord's anointed temple and stole thence

The life o'the building.


MACBETH

                         What is't you say? The life?


LENNOX

Mean you his majesty?


MACDUFF

Approach the chamber and destroy your sight

With a new Gorgon. Do not bid me speak.

See, and then speak yourselves.

Exeunt Macbeth and Lennox

                         Awake, awake!

Ring the alarum bell! Murder and treason!

Banquo and Donalbain, Malcolm, awake!

Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
counterfeit (n.) 1 false imitation, spurious image
downy (adj.) 1 soft as down, comfort-giving

And look on death itself! Up, up, and see

The Great Doom's image! Malcolm, Banquo,
doom (n.) 3 doomsday, day of judgement
image (n.) 1 embodiment, instance, form

As from your graves rise up and walk like sprites
sprite, spright (n.) 1 spirit, ghost, supernatural being

To countenance this horror. Ring the bell!
countenance (v.) 3 face up to, confront

Bell rings

Enter Lady Macbeth


LADY

What's the business,
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count

That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
parle, parley (n.) 2 argument, altercation, exchange

The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


MACDUFF

                         O gentle lady,

'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak.

The repetition in a woman's ear

Would murder as it fell.

Enter Banquo

                         O Banquo, Banquo!

Our royal master's murdered!


LADY

                         Woe, alas!

What, in our house!


BANQUO

                         Too cruel, anywhere.

Dear Duff, I prithee contradict thyself

And say it is not so.

Enter Macbeth, Lennox, and Ross


MACBETH

Had I but died an hour before this chance
chance (n.) 1 event, occurrence, situation [especially, bad]

I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant

There's nothing serious in mortality.
mortality (n.) 1 mortal nature, human life

All is but toys, renown and grace is dead,

The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
lees (n.) (plural) dregs, remains, remnants
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

Is left this vault to brag of.

Enter Malcolm and Donalbain


DONALBAIN

What is amiss?


MACBETH

                         You are, and do not know't.

The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
fountain (n.) spring, source, well

Is stopped, the very source of it is stopped.


MACDUFF

Your royal father's murdered.


MALCOLM

                         O, by whom?


LENNOX

Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done't:

Their hands and faces were all badged with blood,
badge (v.) mark [as if by a badge], stain

So were their daggers, which unwiped, we found

Upon their pillows; they stared and were distracted;
distracted (adj.) 1 perplexed, confused, agitated

No man's life was to be trusted with them.


MACBETH

O yet I do repent me of my fury,

That I did kill them.


MACDUFF

                         Wherefore did you so?


MACBETH

Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,
temperate (adj.) 2 calm, moderate, composed

Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.

The expedition of my violent love
expedition (n.) 1 haste, speedy action, prompt dispatch

Outrun the pauser reason. Here lay Duncan,
pauser (adj.) prompting a pause, circumspect

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,
wasteful (adj.) 1 destructive, devastating, ruinous

Steeped in the colours of their trade, their daggers

Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain,
breech (v.) 2 cover [as if with breeches]
unmannerly (adv.) inappropriately, improperly, insultingly

That had a heart to love, and in that heart

Courage to make's love known?


LADY

(swooning)

                         Help me hence, ho!


MACDUFF

Look to the lady!


MALCOLM

(to Donalbain)

                         Why do we hold our tongues,

That most may claim this argument for ours?
argument (n.) 3 subject, point, theme, target


DONALBAIN

(to Malcolm)

What should be spoken here where our fate,

Hid in an auger-hole, may rush and seize us?
auger-hole (n.) hole drilled by an auger; tiny spot

Let's away. Our tears are not yet brewed.
brewed (adj.) matured, made up, ready to appear


MALCOLM

(to Donalbain)

Nor our strong sorrow upon the foot of motion.


BANQUO

Look to the lady!

Lady Macbeth is taken out

And when we have our naked frailties hid
frailty (n.) 2 body, frame

That suffer in exposure, let us meet

And question this most bloody piece of work

To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us.
scruple (n.) 4 objection, difficulty, doubt

In the great hand of God I stand, and thence

Against the undivulged pretence I fight
pretence (n.) 1 plan, design, intention, purpose

Of treasonous malice.


MACDUFF

                         And so do I.


ALL

                                                         So all.


MACBETH

Let's briefly put on manly readiness,

And meet i'the hall together.


ALL

                         Well contented.

Exeunt all but Malcolm and Donalbain
contented (adj.) 1 willing, ready, agreeable


MALCOLM

What will you do? Let's not consort with them.

To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count
unfelt (adj.) 2 not experienced

Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.
easy (adv.) easily
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count


DONALBAIN

To Ireland, I. Our separated fortune

Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are

There's daggers in men's smiles. The nea'er in blood,
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship

The nearer bloody.
bloody (adj.) 2 able to cause bloodshed


MALCOLM

                         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,
dainty (adj.) 3 fastidious, scrupulous, refined, particular

But shift away. There's warrant in that theft
shift (v.) 2 escape, flee, slip [away]
warrant (n.) 2 licence, sanction, authorization

Which steals itself when there's no mercy left.

Exeunt

 
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