Macbeth


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Macduff's Wife, her Son, and Ross


WIFE

What had he done to make him fly the land?


ROSS

You must have patience, madam.


WIFE

                         He had none.

His flight was madness; when our actions do not,

Our fears do make us traitors.


ROSS

                         You know not

Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.


WIFE

Wisdom! To leave his wife, to leave his babes,

His mansion and his titles, in a place
title (n.) 2 possession, lordship, dominion

From whence himself does fly? He loves us not.

He wants the natural touch; for the poor wren,
natural (adj.) 1 feeling proper affection, having normal feelings
touch (n.) 1 trait, quality, feature
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
diminitive (adj.) diminutive

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

                         My dearest cuz,

I pray you school yourself. But, for your husband,
school (v.) 1 control, correct, teach wisdom to

He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows

The fits o'the season. I dare not speak much further,
fit (n.) 4 conflict, beating, turmoil
season (n.) 6 age [period of history], time

But cruel are the times when we are traitors

And do not know, ourselves; when we hold rumour

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!


WIFE

Fathered he is, and yet he's 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


WIFE

Sirrah, your father's dead.

And what will you do now? How will you live?


SON

As birds do, mother.


WIFE

                         What, with worms and flies?


SON

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


WIFE

Poor bird! thou'dst never fear

The net nor lime, the pitfall nor the gin!
gin (n.) snare, trap
lime (n.) 1 birdlime
pitfall (n.) bird-trap, fowler's snare


SON

Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for.

My father is not dead, for all your saying.


WIFE

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


SON

Nay, how will you do for a husband?


WIFE

Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.


SON

Then you'll buy 'em to sell again.


WIFE

Thou speak'st with all thy wit;
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

And yet, i' faith, with wit enough for thee.


SON

Was my father a traitor, mother?


WIFE

Ay, that he was.


SON

What is a traitor?


WIFE

Why, one that swears and lies.
swear (v.) promise, vow, pledge


SON

And be all traitors that do so?


WIFE

Every one that does so is a traitor,

And must be hanged.


SON

And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?


WIFE

Every one.


SON

Who must hang them?


WIFE

Why, the honest men.


SON

Then the liars and swearers are fools; for there are

liars and swearers enow to beat the honest men and hang
enow (adv.) enough

up them.


WIFE

Now God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt

thou do for a father?


SON

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.


WIFE

Poor prattler, how thou talk'st!

Enter a Messenger


MESSENGER

Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,
dame (n.) 3 lady, mistress, woman of rank

Though in your state of honour I am perfect.
perfect (adj.) 8 well aware, fully informed
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position

I doubt some danger does approach you nearly.
doubt (v.) 1 fear, be afraid [for], feel anxious [for]
nearly (adv.) closely, particularly, especially

If you will take a homely man's advice,
advice (n.) 2 judgement, opinion, warning

Be not found here. Hence with your little ones!

To fright you thus methinks I am too savage;
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

To do worse to you were fell cruelty,
fell (adj.) 2 mighty, terrible

Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve you!
nigh (adj.) near, close

I dare abide no longer.

Exit


WIFE

                         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 defence
womanly (adj.) womanish, feeble, fearful

To say I have done no harm?

Enter Murderers

                         What are these faces?


MUDERER

Where is your husband?


WIFE

I hope in no place so unsanctified
unsanctified (adj.) unholy, wicked, ungodly

Where such as thou mayst find him.


MURDERER

                         He's a traitor.


SON

Thou liest, thou shag-haired villain!
shag-haired (adj.) having shaggy hair, rough-haired


MURDERER

                         What, you egg,

Young fry of treachery!

He stabs him
fry (n.) 2 brood, offspring, progeny


SON

                         He has killed me, mother!

Run away, I pray you.

Son dies. Exit Wife crying ‘ Murder ’

 
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