Macbeth


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Banquo


BANQUO

Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all

As the weird women promised; and I fear

Thou playedst most foully for't. Yet it was said

It should not stand in thy posterity
posterity (n.) family, line of descendants, succession
stand (v.) 2 continue, remain, wait, stay put

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
verity (n.) 2 truth, reality, actuality

May they not be my oracles as well

And set me up in hope? But hush! No more.

Sennet sounded. Enter Macbeth, as King, Lady Macbeth,

Lennox, Ross, Lords, and Attendants


MACBETH

Here's our chief guest.


LADY

                         If he had been forgotten

It had been as a gap in our great feast

And all-thing unbecoming.
all-thing (adv.) completely, altogether, wholly


MACBETH

Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
solemn (adj.) 1 formal, ceremonious, stately

And I'll request your presence.


BANQUO

                         Let your highness

Command upon me, to the which my duties

Are with a most indissoluble tie

For ever knit.


MACBETH

Ride you this afternoon?


BANQUO

                         Ay, my good lord.


MACBETH

We should have else desired your good advice,

Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,
grave (adj.) 1 respected, revered, wise
prosperous (adj.) 1 profitable, beneficial, leading to a successful outcome
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

In this day's council; but we'll take tomorrow.

Is't far you ride?


BANQUO

As far, my lord, as will fill up the time

'Twixt this and supper. Go not my horse the better,

I must become a borrower of the night

For a dark hour or twain.


MACBETH

                         Fail not our feast.


BANQUO

My lord, I will not.


MACBETH

We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed
bestow (v.) 4 accommodate, lodge, quarter

In England and in Ireland, not confessing

Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
parricide (n.) 1 patricide, murder of a father

With strange invention. But of that tomorrow,
invention (n.) 6 fiction, fabrication, contrivance

When therewithal we shall have cause of state
cause (n.) 4 affair, business, subject

Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse. Adieu
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count

Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?


BANQUO

Ay, my good lord; our time does call upon's.


MACBETH

I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;

And so I do commend you to their backs.
commend (v.) 2 commit, entrust, hand over

Farewell.

Exit Banquo

Let every man be master of his time

Till seven at night.

To make society the sweeter welcome,
society (n.) 1 companionship, fellowship, association

We will keep ourself till supper-time alone.

While then, God be with you!

Exeunt Lords and Lady Macbeth

                         Sirrah!

A word with you. Attend those men our pleasure?
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count


SERVANT

They are, my lord, without the palace gate.


MACBETH

Bring them before us.

Exit Servant

                         To be thus is nothing;

But to be safely thus! – Our fears in Banquo

Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
nature (n.) 5 personality, innate disposition, character
royalty (n.) 2 regal quality, majestic character, lordliness
stick (v.) 3 pierce, stab, wound

Reigns that which would be feared. 'Tis much he dares,

And to that dauntless temper of his mind

He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour

To act in safety. There is none but he
safety (n.) 1 prudent course of action, best safeguard

Whose being I do fear; and under him

My genius is rebuked as, it is said,
genius (n.) 3 attendant spirit, guardian spirit
rebuke (v.) repress, put down, check

Mark Antony's was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

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 sceptre in my grip,
gripe (n.) 1 grip, hold, grasp

Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
unlineal (adj.) not of the same family, of different descent

No son of mine succeeding. If it be so,

For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind,
file (v.) 3 defile, corrupt, taint
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered,
gracious (adj.) 1 filled with divine grace, godly, devout

Put rancours in the vessel of my peace,
rancour (n.) bitterness, hatred, malice

Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
eternal (adj.) immortal, everlasting

Given to the common enemy of man,

To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings!

Rather than so, come fate into the list
list (n.) 1 (usually plural) combat arena at a tournament

And champion me to the utterance! Who's there?
champion (v.) challenge, defy, face
utterance, to the to the bitter end, to the death

Enter Servant and two Murderers

Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.

Exit Servant

Was it not yesterday we spoke together?


MURDERERS

It was, so please your highness.


MACBETH

                         Well then now,

Have you considered of my speeches? Know

That it was he in the times past which held you

So under fortune, which you thought had been
fortune (n.) 1 good fortune, success

Our innocent self. This I made good to you

In our last conference; passed in probation with you
conference (n.) 1 conversation, talk, discourse
pass (v.) 9 go through, go over
probation (n.) 1 proof, demonstration

How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the instruments,
bear in hand 1 abuse, take advantage of, delude, deceive
cross (v.) 3 afflict, plague, go against
instrument (n.) 1 agent, means, method

Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
work (v.), past form wrought 8 practise, proceed, plot

To half a soul and to a notion crazed
notion (n.) understanding, awareness, intellect
soul, half a halfwit, cretin, simpleton

Say, ‘ Thus did Banquo.’


FIRST MURDERER

                         You made it known to us.


MACBETH

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 gospelled,
gospelled (adj.) converted to the gospel, Christian

To pray for this good man and for his issue,
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave,
heavy (adj.) 10 brutal, oppressive, wicked

And beggared yours for ever?


FIRST MURDERER

                         We are men, my liege.


MACBETH

Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
catalogue (n.) list, register, roll-call

As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
cur (n.) dog, mastiff, watch-dog [without a contemptuous sense]

Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
clepe (v.), past form clept [archaism] call, name, style See Topics: Archaisms
demi-wolf (n.) dog/wolf cross-breed
shough (n.) [pron: shok] shaggy-haired Icelandic dog
water-rug (n.) rough-haired water-dog

All by the name of dogs. The valued file
file (n.) 2 register, list, roll
valued (adj.) showing value, discriminating

Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,

The house-keeper, the hunter, every one
housekeeper, house-keeper (n.) 2 domestic watchdog, housedog

According to the gift which bounteous nature

Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
close (v.) 4 enclose, include, contain

Particular addition from the bill
addition (n.) 2 attribute, mark of honour, distinction [as if added to a coat of arms]
bill (n.) 4 inventory, list, catalogue

That writes them all alike. And so of men.

Now, if you have a station in the file,
file (n.) 1 rank of soldiers, formation

Not i'the 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.
perfect (adj.) 9 in a state of complete satisfaction, totally content


SECOND MURDERER

                         I am one, my liege,

Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world

Hath so incensed that I am reckless what I do

To spite the world.
spite (v.) irritate, mortify, vex


FIRST MURDERER

                         And I another

So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune,
disaster (n.) 3 misfortune, instance of bad luck
tugged (adj.) battered, mauled, knocked about

That I would set my life on any chance
set (v.) 2 rate, stake, gamble

To mend it or be rid on't.


MACBETH

                         Both of you

Know Banquo was your enemy.


MURDERERS

                         True, my lord.


MACBETH

So is he mine, and in such bloody distance
distance (n.) 2 [fencing: see sense 1] enmity, discord, dissension

That every minute of his being thrusts

Against my near'st of life; and though I could
near (adj.) 4 closely affecting, intimately touching

With bare-faced power sweep him from my sight
power (n.) 4 force, strength, might

And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
avouch (v.) 2 justify, warrant, defend

For certain friends that are both his and mine,

Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
wail (v.) bewail, lament, grieve [for]

Who I myself struck down. And thence it is

That I to your assistance do make love,

Masking the business from the common eye
eye (n.) 1 sight, view, presence

For sundry weighty reasons.


SECOND MURDERER

                         We shall, my lord,

Perform what you command us.


FIRST MURDERER

                         Though our lives –


MACBETH

Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour, at most,

I will advise you where to plant yourselves,

Acquaint you with the perfect spy o'the time,
spy (n.) 2 [unclear meaning] opportunity to spy, watch-keeping

The moment on't; for't must be done tonight;

And something from the palace; always thought
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

That I require a clearness; and with him,
clearness (n.) freedom from suspicion, appearance of innocence

To leave no rubs nor botches in the work,
botch (n.) 1 flaw, blemish, clumsy result
rub (n.) 2 roughness, unevenness, inequality

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;
apart (adv.) away from here; or: separately
resolve (v.) 4 decide, make up one's mind

I'll come to you anon.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count


MURDERERS

                         We are resolved, my lord.


MACBETH

I'll call upon you straight. Abide within.
abide (v.) 3 stay, remain, stop [in a position]
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt Murderers

It is concluded! Banquo, thy soul's flight,
conclude (v.) 1 decide, resolve, settle

If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.

Exit

 
  Previous scene     Next scene
--%>