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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 2 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Macbeth Act 3, Scene 2



The palace

Enter LADY MACBETH and a SERVANT

Enter LADY MACBETH and a SERVANT

LADY MACBETH

Is Banquo gone from court?

 

LADY MACBETH

Is Banquo gone from court?

 

SERVANT

Ay, madam, but returns again tonight.

 

SERVANT

Ay, madam, but returns again tonight.

 

LADY MACBETH

Say to the king I would attend his leisure

For a few words.

 

LADY MACBETH

Say to the king I would attend his leisure

For a few words.

 

SERVANT

Madam, I will.

 

SERVANT

Madam, I will.

 

Exit SERVANT

Exit SERVANT

LADY MACBETH

Naught’s had, all’s spent,

Where our desire is got without content.

'Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

 

LADY MACBETH

Naught’s had, all’s spent,

Where our desire is got without content.

'Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

 

Enter MACBETH

Enter MACBETH

How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone,

Of sorriest fancies your companions making,

Using those thoughts which should indeed have died

With them they think on? Things without all remedy

Should be without regard. What’s done is done.

 

How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone,

Of sorriest fancies your companions making,

Using those thoughts which should indeed have died

With them they think on? Things without all remedy

Should be without regard. What’s done is done.

 

MACBETH

We have scorched the snake, not killed it.

scorch=gash

She’ll close and be herself whilst our poor malice

Remains in danger of her former tooth.

But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,

both the worlds=heaven and earth

Ere [while] we will eat our meal in fear and [while we] sleep

In the affliction of these terrible dreams

That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,

(maybe lines are missing from the original)

Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,

Than on the torture of the mind to lie

In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave.

After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.

Treason has done his worst; nor steel nor poison,

steel=dagger

Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing

malice domestic=rebellion

foreign levy=enlisting foreign troops against Scotland

Can touch him further.

 

MACBETH

We have scorched the snake, not killed it.

She’ll close and be herself whilst our poor malice

Remains in danger of her former tooth.

But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,

Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep

In the affliction of these terrible dreams

That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,

Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,

Than on the torture of the mind to lie

In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave.

After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.

Treason has done his worst; nor steel nor poison,

Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing

Can touch him further.

 

LADY MACBETH

Come on, gentle my lord,

Sleek o'er your rugged looks. Be bright and jovial

Among your guests tonight.

 

LADY MACBETH

Come on, gentle my lord,

Sleek o'er your rugged looks. Be bright and jovial

Among your guests tonight.

 

MACBETH

     So shall I, love,

And so, I pray, be you. Let your remembrance

(remembrance – four syllables)

Apply to Banquo; present him eminence,

Both with eye and tongue: unsafe the while that we

Must lave our honors in these flattering streams

lave=wash

And make our faces vizards to our hearts,

vizards=masks

Disguising what they are.

 

MACBETH

     So shall I, love,

And so, I pray, be you. Let your remembrance

Apply to Banquo; present him eminence,

Both with eye and tongue: unsafe the while that we

Must lave our honors in these flattering streams,

And make our faces vizards to our hearts,

Disguising what they are.

 

LADY MACBETH

     You must leave this.

 

LADY MACBETH

     You must leave this.

 

MACBETH

Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!

Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

 

MACBETH

Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!

Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

 

LADY MACBETH

But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.

(meaning unclear)

 

LADY MACBETH

But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.

 

MACBETH

There’s comfort yet; they are assailable.

Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown

His cloistered (?) flight, ere to black-Hecate’s summons

The shard-borne (?) beetle with his drowsy hums

Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done

A deed of dreadful note.

(that is, before nightfall)

 

MACBETH

There’s comfort yet; they are assailable.

Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown

His cloistered flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums

Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done

A deed of dreadful note.

 

LADY MACBETH

     What’s to be done?

 

LADY MACBETH

     What’s to be done?

 

MACBETH

Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,

chuck=a variant of chick

Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,

(the eyelids of falcons were seeled (sewn together) to tame them)

Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day

scarf up=blindfold

And with thy bloody and invisible hand

Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond

great bond=prediction of the witches that Banquo’s heirs will be kings

Which keeps me pale. Light thickens, and the crow

light thickens=darkness approaches

Makes wing to th' rooky wood.

rooky=dark, like a crow (rook)

Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;

Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.

Thou marvel’st at my words: but hold thee still.

Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.

ill=wrong-doing

So, prithee, go with me.

 

MACBETH

Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,

Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,

Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day

And with thy bloody and invisible hand

Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond

Which keeps me pale. Light thickens, and the crow

Makes wing to th' rooky wood.

Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;

Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.

Thou marvel’st at my words: but hold thee still.

Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.

So, prithee, go with me.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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