First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter a Porter. Knocking within.Enter a Porter. Knocking within Mac II.iii.1
Here's a knocking indeede: if a man were Porter ofHere's a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of Mac II.iii.1
Hell Gate, hee should haue old turning the Key.hell-gate, he should have old turning the key.old (adj.)
plenty of, abundant, more than enough
Mac II.iii.2
Knock.Knock Mac II.iii.2
Knock, Knock, Knock. Who's there i'th' name ofKnock, knock, knock! Who's there i'the name of Mac II.iii.3
Belzebub? Here's a Farmer, that hang'd himselfe on th'Belzebub? Here's a farmer that hanged himself on theBeelzebub, Belzebub (n.)
[pron: bee'elzebub, 'belzebub] in Christian tradition, the Devil; or, a principal devil
Mac II.iii.4
expectation of Plentie: Come in time, haue Napkins enowexpectation of plenty. Come in time! Have napkins enowenow (adv.)
Mac II.iii.5
napkin (n.)
about you, here you'le sweat for't. about you; here you'll sweat for't. Mac II.iii.6
Knock.Knock Mac II.iii.6
Knock, knock. Who's there in th' other Deuils Name?Knock, knock! Who's there in the other devil's name? Mac II.iii.7
Faith here's an Equiuocator, that could sweare in both theFaith, here's an equivocator that could swear in both theequivocator (n.)

old form: Equiuocator
dealer in ambiguities, trader in double meanings
Mac II.iii.8
Scales against eyther Scale, who committed Treasonscales against either scale, who committed treason Mac II.iii.9
enough for Gods sake, yet could not equiuocate toenough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to Mac II.iii.10
Heauen: oh come in, Equiuocator.heaven. O, come in, equivocator. Mac II.iii.11
Knock.Knock Mac II.iii.11
Knock, Knock, Knock. Who's there? 'Faith here's anKnock, knock, knock! Who's there? Faith, here's an Mac II.iii.12
English Taylor come hither, for stealing out of a FrenchEnglish tailor come hither for stealing out of a French Mac II.iii.13
Hose: Come in Taylor, here you may rost your Goose.hose. Come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose.goose (n.)
smoothing iron
Mac II.iii.14
hose (n.)
[pair of] breeches
Knock.Knock Mac II.iii.14
Knock, Knock. Neuer at quiet: What are you? but thisKnock, knock! Never at quiet! What are you? – But this Mac II.iii.15
place is too cold for Hell. Ile Deuill-Porter it no further:place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further. Mac II.iii.16
I had thought to haue let in some of all Professions, thatI had thought to have let in some of all professions that Mac II.iii.17
goe the Primrose way to th' euerlasting Bonfire.go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. Mac II.iii.18
Knock.Knock Mac II.iii.18
Anon, anon, I pray you remember the Porter.Anon, anon! I pray you remember the porter.anon (adv.)
soon, shortly, presently
Mac II.iii.19
Enter Macduff, and Lenox.He opens the gate. Enter Macduff and Lennox Mac II.iii.19
Was it so late, friend, ere you went to Bed,Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed, Mac II.iii.20
That you doe lye so late?That you do lie so late? Mac II.iii.21
Faith Sir, we were carowsing till the secondFaith sir, we were carousing till the second Mac II.iii.22
Cock: And Drinke, Sir, is a great prouoker of three things.cock; and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things. Mac II.iii.23
What three things does Drinke especiallyWhat three things does drink especially Mac II.iii.24
prouoke?provoke? Mac II.iii.25
Marry, Sir, Nose-painting, Sleepe, and Vrine.Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.marry (int.)
[exclamation] by Mary
Mac II.iii.26
Lecherie, Sir, it prouokes, and vnprouokes: it prouokesLechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes Mac II.iii.27
the desire, but it takes away the performance. Thereforethe desire but it takes away the performance. Therefore Mac II.iii.28
much Drinke may be said to be an Equiuocator withmuch drink may be said to be an equivocator withequivocator (n.)
dealer in ambiguities, trader in double meanings
Mac II.iii.29
Lecherie: it makes him, and it marres him; it sets him on, andlechery; it makes him and it mars him; it sets him on and Mac II.iii.30
it takes him off; it perswades him, and dis-heartens him;it takes him off; it persuades him and disheartens him, Mac II.iii.31
makes him stand too, and not stand too: in conclusion, equiuocatesmakes him stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocatesstand to (v.)

old form: too
come forward, set to work
Mac II.iii.32
him in a sleepe, and giuing him the Lye, leaues him.him in a sleep and giving him the lie, leaves him.lie, give the

old form: giuing, Lye
deceive; [wrestling] lay someone out; make urinate
Mac II.iii.33
I beleeue, Drinke gaue thee the Lye last Night.I believe drink gave thee the lie last night. Mac II.iii.34
That it did, Sir, i'the very Throat on me: but IThat it did, sir, i' the very throat on me. But I Mac II.iii.35
requited him for his Lye, and (I thinke) being too strongrequited him for his lie and, I think, being too strongrequite (v.), past forms requit, requited
reward, repay, recompense
Mac II.iii.36
for him, though he tooke vp my Legges sometime, yet Ifor him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I Mac II.iii.37
made a Shift to cast him.made a shift to cast him.shift (n.)
stratagem, contriving, trick
Mac II.iii.38
cast (v.)
[wrestling] throw down, make fall
Is thy Master stirring?Is thy master stirring? Mac II.iii.39
Enter Macbeth.Enter Macbeth Mac II.iii.9
Our knocking ha's awak'd him: here he comes.Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes. Mac II.iii.40
Good morrow, Noble Sir.Good morrow, noble sir.morrow (n.)
Mac II.iii.41.1
Good morrow both.Good morrow both. Mac II.iii.41.2
Is the King stirring, worthy Thane?Is the King stirring, worthy thane? Mac II.iii.42.1
Not yet.Not yet. Mac II.iii.42.2
He did command me to call timely on him,He did command me to call timely on him.timely (adv.)
early, in good time
Mac II.iii.43
I haue almost slipt the houre.I have almost slipped the hour.slip (v.)

old form: slipt
fail to keep, allow to pass by
Mac II.iii.44.1
Ile bring you to him.I'll bring you to him. Mac II.iii.44.2
I know this is a ioyfull trouble to you:I know this is a joyful trouble to you, Mac II.iii.45
But yet 'tis one.But yet 'tis one. Mac II.iii.46
The labour we delight in, Physicks paine:The labour we delight in physics pain.physic (v.)

old form: Physicks
cure, correct, dose with medicine
Mac II.iii.47
pain (n.)

old form: paine
effort, endeavour, exertion, labour
This is the Doore.This is the door. Mac II.iii.48.1
Ile make so bold to call,I'll make so bold to call, Mac II.iii.48.2
for 'tis my limitted seruice.For 'tis my limited (adj.)
appointed, designated, nominated
Mac II.iii.49
Exit Macduffe.Exit Mac II.iii.49
Goes the King hence to day?Goes the King hence today? Mac II.iii.50.1
He does: he did appoint so.He does; he did appoint so.appoint (v.)
determine, resolve, purpose
Mac II.iii.50.2
The Night ha's been vnruly: / Where we lay,The night has been unruly. Where we lay, Mac II.iii.51
our Chimneys were blowne downe, / And (as they say)Our chimneys were blown down, and, as they say, Mac II.iii.52
lamentings heard i'th' Ayre; / Strange Schreemes of Death,Lamentings heard i'the air, strange screams of death, Mac II.iii.53
And Prophecying, with Accents terrible,And prophesying, with accents terrible, Mac II.iii.54
Of dyre Combustion, and confus'd Euents,Of dire combustion and confused eventscombustion (n.)
tumult, confusion, disorder
Mac II.iii.55
New hatch'd toth' wofull time. / The obscure BirdNew-hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird Mac II.iii.56
clamor'd the liue-long Night. / Some say, the EarthClamoured the livelong night. Some say the earth Mac II.iii.57
was Feuorous, / And did shake.Was feverous and did shake. Mac II.iii.58.1
'Twas a rough Night.'Twas a rough night. Mac II.iii.58.2
My young remembrance cannot paralellMy young remembrance cannot parallelremembrance (n.)
memory, bringing to mind, recollection
Mac II.iii.59
A fellow to it.A fellow to it. Mac II.iii.60.1
Enter Macduff.Enter Macduff Mac II.iii.60
O horror, horror, horror,O horror, horror, horror! Mac II.iii.60.2
Tongue nor Heart cannot conceiue, nor name thee.Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee! Mac II.iii.61
Macb. and Lenox.MACBETH and LENNOX 
What's the matter?What's the matter? Mac II.iii.62
Confusion now hath made his Master-peece:Confusion now hath made his masterpiece;confusion (n.)
destruction, overthrow, ruin
Mac II.iii.63
Most sacrilegious Murther hath broke opeMost sacrilegious murder hath broke opeope (adj.)
Mac II.iii.64
The Lords anoynted Temple, and stole thenceThe Lord's anointed temple and stole thence Mac II.iii.65
The Life o'th' Building.The life o'the building. Mac II.iii.66.1
What is't you say, the Life?What is't you say? The life? Mac II.iii.66.2
Meane you his Maiestie?Mean you his majesty? Mac II.iii.67
Approch the Chamber, and destroy your sightApproach the chamber and destroy your sight Mac II.iii.68
With a new Gorgon. Doe not bid me speake:With a new Gorgon. Do not bid me speak.Gorgon (n.)
generally applied to Medusa, one of three monsters who had snakes in their hair, ugly faces, huge wings, and whose staring eyes could turn people to stone
Mac II.iii.69
See, and then speake your selues:,See, and then speak yourselves. Mac II.iii.70.1
Exeunt Macbeth and Lenox.Exeunt Macbeth and Lennox Mac II.iii.70
awake, awakeAwake, awake! Mac II.iii.70.2
Ring the Alarum Bell: Murther, and Treason,Ring the alarum bell! Murder and treason!alarum-bell, 'larum-bell (n.)

old form: Alarum Bell
warning bell
Mac II.iii.71
Banquo, and Donalbaine: Malcolme awake,Banquo and Donalbain, Malcolm, awake! Mac II.iii.72
Shake off this Downey sleepe, Deaths counterfeit,Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,downy (adj.)

old form: Downey
soft as down, comfort-giving
Mac II.iii.73
counterfeit (n.)
false imitation, spurious image
And looke on Death it selfe: vp, vp, and seeAnd look on death itself! Up, up, and see Mac II.iii.74
The great Doomes Image: Malcolme, Banquo,The Great Doom's image! Malcolm, Banquo,image (n.)
embodiment, instance, form
Mac II.iii.75
doom (n.)

old form: Doomes
doomsday, day of judgement
As from your Graues rise vp, and walke like Sprights,As from your graves rise up and walk like spritessprite, spright (n.)
spirit, ghost, supernatural being
Mac II.iii.76
To countenance this horror. Ring the Bell.To countenance this horror. Ring the bell!countenance (v.)
face up to, confront
Mac II.iii.77
Bell rings. Bell rings Mac II.iii.77
Enter Lady.Enter Lady Macbeth Mac II.iii.77
What's the Businesse?What's the business, Mac II.iii.78
That such a hideous Trumpet calls to parleyThat such a hideous trumpet calls to parleyparle, parley (n.)
argument, altercation, exchange
Mac II.iii.79
parle, parley (n.)
negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms]
The sleepers of the House? speake, speake.The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak! Mac II.iii.80.1
O gentle Lady,O gentle lady,gentle (adj.)
well-born, honourable, noble
Mac II.iii.80.2
'Tis not for you to heare what I can speake:'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak. Mac II.iii.81
The repetition in a Womans eare,The repetition in a woman's ear Mac II.iii.82
Would murther as it fell.Would murder as it fell. Mac II.iii.83.1
Enter Banquo.Enter Banquo Mac II.iii.83
O Banquo, Banquo,O Banquo, Banquo! Mac II.iii.83.2
Our Royall Master's murther'd.Our royal master's murdered! Mac II.iii.84.1
Woe, alas:Woe, alas! Mac II.iii.84.2
What, in our House?What, in our house! Mac II.iii.85.1
Too cruell, any where.Too cruel, anywhere. Mac II.iii.85.2
Deare Duff, I prythee contradict thy selfe,Dear Duff, I prithee contradict thyself Mac II.iii.86
And say, it is not so.And say it is not so. Mac II.iii.87
Enter Macbeth, Lenox, and Rosse.Enter Macbeth, Lennox, and Ross Mac II.iii.87
Had I but dy'd an houre before this chance,Had I but died an hour before this chancechance (n.)
event, occurrence, situation [especially, bad]
Mac II.iii.88
I had liu'd a blessed time: for from this instant,I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant Mac II.iii.89
There's nothing serious in Mortalitie:There's nothing serious in mortality.mortality (n.)

old form: Mortalitie
mortal nature, human life
Mac II.iii.90
All is but Toyes: Renowne and Grace is dead,All is but toys, renown and grace is dead, Mac II.iii.91
The Wine of Life is drawne, and the meere LeesThe wine of life is drawn, and the mere leesmere (adj.)

old form: meere
complete, total, absolute, utter
Mac II.iii.92
lees (n.)
(plural) dregs, remains, remnants
Is left this Vault, to brag of.Is left this vault to brag of.vault (n.)
Mac II.iii.93
Enter Malcolme and Donalbaine.Enter Malcolm and Donalbain Mac II.iii.93
What is amisse?What is amiss? Mac II.iii.94.1
You are, and doe not know't:You are, and do not know't. Mac II.iii.94.2
The Spring, the Head, the Fountaine of your BloodThe spring, the head, the fountain of your bloodfountain (n.)

old form: Fountaine
spring, source, well
Mac II.iii.95
Is stopt, the very Source of it is stopt.Is stopped, the very source of it is stopped. Mac II.iii.96
Your Royall Father's murther'd.Your royal father's murdered. Mac II.iii.97.1
Oh, by whom?O, by whom? Mac II.iii.97.2
Those of his Chamber, as it seem'd, had don't:Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done't: Mac II.iii.98
Their Hands and Faces were all badg'd with blood,Their hands and faces were all badged with blood,badge (v.)

old form: badg'd
mark [as if by a badge], stain
Mac II.iii.99
So were their Daggers, which vnwip'd, we foundSo were their daggers, which unwiped, we found Mac II.iii.100
Vpon their Pillowes: they star'd, and were distracted,Upon their pillows; they stared and were distracted; distracted (adj.)
perplexed, confused, agitated
Mac II.iii.101
No mans Life was to be trusted with them.No man's life was to be trusted with them. Mac II.iii.102
O, yet I doe repent me of my furie,O yet I do repent me of my fury, Mac II.iii.103
That I did kill them.That I did kill them. Mac II.iii.104.1
Wherefore did you so? Wherefore did you so? Mac II.iii.104.2
Who can be wise, amaz'd, temp'rate, & furious,Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,temperate (adj.)

old form: temp'rate
calm, moderate, composed
Mac II.iii.105
Loyall, and Neutrall, in a moment? No man:Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man. Mac II.iii.106
Th' expedition of my violent LoueThe expedition of my violent loveexpedition (n.)
haste, speedy action, prompt dispatch
Mac II.iii.107
Out-run the pawser, Reason. Here lay Duncan,Outrun the pauser reason. Here lay Duncan,pauser (adj.)

old form: pawser
prompting a pause, circumspect
Mac II.iii.108
His Siluer skinne, lac'd with His Golden Blood,His silver skin laced with his golden blood, Mac II.iii.109
And his gash'd Stabs, look'd like a Breach in Nature,And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature Mac II.iii.110
For Ruines wastfull entrance: there the Murtherers,For ruin's wasteful entrance; there the murderers,wasteful (adj.)

old form: wastfull
destructive, devastating, ruinous
Mac II.iii.111
Steep'd in the Colours of their Trade; their DaggersSteeped in the colours of their trade, their daggers Mac II.iii.112
Vnmannerly breech'd with gore: who could refraine,Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain,breech (v.)

old form: breech'd
cover [as if with breeches]
Mac II.iii.113
unmannerly (adv.)

old form: Vnmannerly
inappropriately, improperly, insultingly
That had a heart to loue; and in that heart,That had a heart to love, and in that heart Mac II.iii.114
Courage, to make's loue knowne?Courage to make's love known? Mac II.iii.115.1
(swooning) Mac II.iii.115
Helpe me hence, hoa.Help me hence, ho! Mac II.iii.115.2
Looke to the Lady.Look to the lady! Mac II.iii.116.1
(to Donalbain) Mac II.iii.116
Why doe we hold our tongues,Why do we hold our tongues, Mac II.iii.116.2
That most may clayme this argument for ours?That most may claim this argument for ours?argument (n.)
subject, point, theme, target
Mac II.iii.117
(to Malcolm) Mac II.iii.118
What should be spoken here, / Where our FateWhat should be spoken here where our fate, Mac II.iii.118
hid in an augure hole, / May rush, and seize vs?Hid in an auger-hole, may rush and seize us?auger-hole (n.)

old form: augure hole
hole drilled by an auger; tiny spot
Mac II.iii.119
Let's away, / Our Teares are not yet brew'd.Let's away. Our tears are not yet brewed.brewed (adj.)

old form: brew'd
matured, made up, ready to appear
Mac II.iii.120
(to Donalbain) Mac II.iii.121
Nor our strong Sorrow / Vpon the foot of Motion.Nor our strong sorrow upon the foot of motion. Mac II.iii.121
Looke to the Lady:Look to the lady! Mac II.iii.122
Lady Macbeth is taken out Mac II.iii.122
And when we haue our naked Frailties hid,And when we have our naked frailties hidfrailty (n.)
body, frame
Mac II.iii.123
That suffer in exposure; let vs meet,That suffer in exposure, let us meet Mac II.iii.124
And question this most bloody piece of worke,And question this most bloody piece of work Mac II.iii.125
To know it further. Feares and scruples shake vs:To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us.scruple (n.)
objection, difficulty, doubt
Mac II.iii.126
In the great Hand of God I stand, and thence,In the great hand of God I stand, and thence Mac II.iii.127
Against the vndivulg'd pretence, I fightAgainst the undivulged pretence I fightpretence (n.)
plan, design, intention, purpose
Mac II.iii.128
Of Treasonous Mallice.Of treasonous malice. Mac II.iii.129.1
And so doe I.And so do I. Mac II.iii.129.2
So all.So all. Mac II.iii.129.3
Let's briefely put on manly readinesse,Let's briefly put on manly readiness, Mac II.iii.130
And meet i'th' Hall together.And meet i'the hall together. Mac II.iii.131.1
Well contented.Well contented.contented (adj.)
willing, ready, agreeable
Mac II.iii.131.2
Exeunt.Exeunt all but Malcolm and Donalbain Mac II.iii.131
What will you doe? Let's not consort with them:What will you do? Let's not consort with them. Mac II.iii.132
To shew an vnfelt Sorrow, is an OfficeTo show an unfelt sorrow is an officeoffice (n.)
task, service, duty, responsibility
Mac II.iii.133
unfelt (adj.)

old form: vnfelt
not experienced
Which the false man do's easie. Ile to England.Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.easy (adv.)

old form: easie
Mac II.iii.134
false (adj.)
treacherous, traitorous, perfidious
To Ireland, I: / Our seperated fortuneTo Ireland, I. Our separated fortune Mac II.iii.135
shall keepe vs both the safer: / Where we are,Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are Mac II.iii.136
there's Daggers in mens smiles; / The neere in blood,There's daggers in men's smiles. The nea'er in blood,blood (n.)
blood relationship, kinship
Mac II.iii.137
the neerer bloody.The nearer bloody.bloody (adj.)
able to cause bloodshed
Mac II.iii.138.1
This murtherous Shaft that's shot,This murderous shaft that's shot Mac II.iii.138.2
Hath not yet lighted: and our safest way,Hath not yet lighted; and our safest way Mac II.iii.139
Is to auoid the ayme. Therefore to Horse,Is to avoid the aim. Therefore to horse, Mac II.iii.140
And let vs not be daintie of leaue-taking,And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,dainty (adj.)

old form: daintie
fastidious, scrupulous, refined, particular
Mac II.iii.141
But shift away: there's warrant in that Theft,But shift away. There's warrant in that theftwarrant (n.)
licence, sanction, authorization
Mac II.iii.142
shift (v.)
escape, flee, slip [away]
Which steales it selfe, when there's no mercie left.Which steals itself when there's no mercy left. Mac II.iii.143
Exeunt.Exeunt Mac II.iii.143
 Previous Act II, Scene III Next  

Jump directly to