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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 1, Scene 7 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Macbeth Act 1, Scene 7



Macbeth's castle

Hautboys (ancestors of the oboe).

Torches. Enter a sewer (butler)

 and divers servants with dishes

 and service over the stage.

Then enter MACBETH

Hautboys. Torches. Enter a sewer

and divers servants with dishes

and service over the stage.

Then enter MACBETH

MACBETH

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well

when ‘tis done=done without repercussions

It were done quickly. If the assassination

if=if only

Could trammel up the consequence and catch,

trammel=entangle as in a net

catch=catch success with the assassination’s surcease (termination)

With his surcease, success; that but this blow

that but this blow=if only this blow

Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,

but here=indeed, here

this bank and shoal of time=in this life and not in the afterlife (comparing this life to a river)

We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases

We still have judgment here, that we but teach

judgment=people judging

Bloody instructions [to], which, being taught, return

To plague th' inventor: this even-handed justice

to plague th’ inventor=murder us in turn

Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice

commends=gets us to apply

To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:

he=Duncan

First, as I am [I being] his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as [I being] his host,

strong both=both being strong

Who should against his murderer shut the door,

Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been

faculties=royal powers

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

clear=blameless

Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against

The deep damnation of his taking-off,

taking-off=murder

And pity, like a naked newborn babe

Striding the blast or heaven’s cherubims, horsed

Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

sightless couriers=the wind

Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

that=so that

To prick the sides of my intent but only

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

vaulting=rising and falling

o’erleaps=jumps too high onto the saddle and falls off on the horse’s other side

And falls on th' other.

 

MACBETH

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well

It were done quickly. If the assassination

Could trammel up the consequence and catch

With his surcease success; that but this blow

Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,

We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases

We still have judgment here, that we but teach

Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return

To plague th' inventor: this even-handed justice

Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice

To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,

Who should against his murderer shut the door,

Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against

The deep damnation of his taking-off;

And pity, like a naked newborn babe,

Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed

Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

And falls on th' other.

 

Enter LADY MACBETH

Enter LADY MACBETH

How now! What news?

How now! What news?

LADY MACBETH

He has almost supped. Why have you left the chamber?

 

LADY MACBETH

He has almost supped. Why have you left the chamber?

 

MACBETH

Hath he asked for me?

 

MACBETH

Hath he asked for me?

 

LADY MACBETH

     Know you not he has?

 

LADY MACBETH

     Know you not he has?

 

MACBETH

We will proceed no further in this business.

He hath honored me of late, and I have bought

Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,

Not cast aside so soon.

 

MACBETH

We will proceed no further in this business.

He hath honored me of late, and I have bought

Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,

Not cast aside so soon.

 

LADY MACBETH

     Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? From this time

Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valor

As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that

Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life

And live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would, ”

Like the poor cat i' th' adage?

“The cat would eat fish and would not wet her feet.”

 

LADY MACBETH

     Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? From this time

Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valor

As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that

Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,

And live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would, ”

Like the poor cat i' th' adage?

 

MACBETH

     Prithee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man;

Who dares do more is none.

 

MACBETH

     Prithee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man;

Who dares do more is none.

 

LADY MACBETH

     What beast was ’t, then,

That made you break this enterprise to me?

break=broach

When you durst do it, then you were a man,

durst do it=dared to murder

And, to be more than what you were, you would

Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place

Did then adhere, and yet you would make both.

did then adhere=were not available

would make both=would arrange for time and place

They have made themselves, and that their fitness now

and that their fitness=so that their availability

Does unmake you. I have given suck and know

How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums

And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you

Have done to this.

to this=regarding this enterprise

 

LADY MACBETH

     What beast was ’t, then,

That made you break this enterprise to me?

When you durst do it, then you were a man;

And to be more than what you were, you would

Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place

Did then adhere, and yet you would make both.

They have made themselves, and that their fitness now

Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know

How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums

And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you

Have done to this.

 

MACBETH

     If we should fail?

 

MACBETH

     If we should fail?

 

LADY MACBETH

     We fail?

But screw your courage to the sticking-place,

And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep—

Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey

Soundly invite him—his two chamberlains

chamberlains=bedchamber attendants

Will I with wine and wassail so convince

wassail=drinking

so convince=be so convincing

That memory, the warder of the brain,

warder=guard

Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason

receipt of reason=place of reason

A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep

limbeck=distilling apparatus=just a faint smell

Their drenchèd natures lie as in a death,

What cannot you and I perform upon

The unguarded Duncan? What not put upon

His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt

spongy officers=drunken chamberlains

Of our great quell?

quell=murder

 

LADY MACBETH

     We fail?

But screw your courage to the sticking-place,

And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep—

Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey

Soundly invite him—his two chamberlains

Will I with wine and wassail so convince

That memory, the warder of the brain,

Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason

A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep

Their drenchèd natures lie as in a death,

What cannot you and I perform upon

The unguarded Duncan? What not put upon

His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt

Of our great quell?

 

MACBETH

     Bring forth men-children only,

For thy undaunted mettle should compose

Nothing but males. Will it not be received,

When we have marked with blood those sleepy two

Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,

That they have done ’t?

 

MACBETH

     Bring forth men-children only,

For thy undaunted mettle should compose

Nothing but males. Will it not be received,

When we have marked with blood those sleepy two

Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,

That they have done ’t?

 

LADY MACBETH

     Who dares receive it other,

other=otherwise

As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar

Upon his death?

as=inasmuch as

 

LADY MACBETH

     Who dares receive it other,

As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar

Upon his death?

 

MACBETH

     I am settled and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

each corporal agent=each muscle, etc.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show.

mock=deceive

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

 

MACBETH

     I am settled, and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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