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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1



Court of Macbeth's castle

Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE,

with a torch before him

Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE,

with a torch before him


BANQUO

How goes the night, boy?


BANQUO

How goes the night, boy?

FLEANCE

The moon is down. I have not heard the clock.

 

FLEANCE

The moon is down. I have not heard the clock.

 

BANQUO

And she goes down at twelve.

(the moon sets at twelve)

 

BANQUO

And she goes down at twelve.

 

FLEANCE

     I take ’t ’tis later, sir.

 

FLEANCE

     I take ’t ’tis later, sir.

 

BANQUO

Hold, take my sword. There’s husbandry in heaven;

husbandry=animal breeding

Their candles are all out. Take thee that, too.

 (the breeders have turned out the lights (stars))

take thee that=take my dagger

A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,

heavy summons=call to sleep

And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,

merciful powers=angels appointed by God to resist demons

Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature

Gives way to in repose.

 

BANQUO

Hold, take my sword. There’s husbandry in heaven;

Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.

A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,

And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,

Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature

Gives way to in repose.

 

Enter MACBETH and a SERVANT with a torch

Enter MACBETH and a SERVANT with a torch

Give me my sword. Who’s there?

Give me my sword. Who’s there?

MACBETH

A friend.

 

MACBETH

A friend.

 

BANQUO

What, sir, not yet at rest? The king’s a-bed.

He hath been in unusual pleasure and

Sent forth great largess to your offices.

largess=gifts

offices=kitchens and other household departments

This diamond he greets your wife withal,

By the name of most kind hostess and shut up

In measureless content.

(the king being shut up in measureless contentment)

 

BANQUO

What, sir, not yet at rest? The king’s a-bed.

He hath been in unusual pleasure, and

Sent forth great largess to your offices.

This diamond he greets your wife withal,

By the name of most kind hostess, and shut up

In measureless content.

 

MACBETH

     Being unprepared,

Our will became the servant to defect,

will=good intentions

defect=inadequate provisions for entertaining

Which else should free have wrought.

(adequate provisions would have allowed us to do our work of entertaining freely)

wrought=worked

 

MACBETH

     Being unprepared,

Our will became the servant to defect,

Which else should free have wrought.

 

BANQUO

     All’s well.

I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters.

To you they have showed some truth.

 

BANQUO

     All’s well.

I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:

To you they have showed some truth.

 

MACBETH

     I think not of them.

Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,

We would spend it in some words upon that business,

would=should

If you would grant the time.

 

MACBETH

     I think not of them.

Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,

We would spend it in some words upon that business,

If you would grant the time.

 

BANQUO

     At your kind’st leisure.

 

BANQUO

     At your kind’st leisure.

 

MACBETH

If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,

consent=counsel

when ‘tis=when the time comes

It shall make honor for you.

honor=credit (or noble rank)

 

MACBETH

If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,

It shall make honor for you.

 

BANQUO

     So I lose none

so=so long as

In seeking to augment it but still keep

My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,

bosom franchised=heart free from obligations

allegiance=allegiance to the king

I shall be counselled.

 

BANQUO

     So I lose none

In seeking to augment it, but still keep

My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,

I shall be counselled.

 

MACBETH

Good repose the while!

 

MACBETH

Good repose the while!

 

BANQUO

Thanks, sir: the like to you!

 

BANQUO

Thanks, sir: the like to you!

 

Exeunt BANQUO and FLEANCE

Exeunt BANQUO and FLEANCE

MACBETH

(to the SERVANT) Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,

She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

 

MACBETH

(to the SERVANT) Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,

She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

 

Exit SERVANT

Exit SERVANT

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

fatal=ominous

sensible=subject

To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?

I see thee yet, in form as palpable

palpable=real

As this which now I draw.

Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going,

marshall’st=guidest

And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o' th' other senses,

Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still,

And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,

dudgeon=handle

Which was not so before. There’s no such thing.

It is the bloody business which informs

Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one half-world

Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse

The curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates

Pale Hecate’s offerings, and withered Murder,

pale=pale, because Hecate was the goddess of the moon as well as witchcraft

offerings=sacrifices in witchcraft rituals

Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,

Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,

With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his design

Tarquin=an ancient Roman rapist

Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,

Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear

Thy very stones prate of my whereabouts,

prate=chatter

And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives.

Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

 

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?

I see thee yet, in form as palpable

As this which now I draw.

Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going,

And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o' th' other senses,

Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still,

And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,

Which was not so before. There’s no such thing.

It is the bloody business which informs

Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one half-world

Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse

The curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates

Pale Hecate’s offerings, and withered murder,

Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,

Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,

With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his design

Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,

Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear

Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,

And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives.

Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

 

A bell rings

A bell rings

I go, and it is done. The bell invites me.

Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell

That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

I go, and it is done. The bell invites me.

Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell

That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

Exit

Exit

 

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