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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 1, Scene 2 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Macbeth Act 1, Scene 2



A camp near Forres

Alarum (trumpet call to arms)  within. Enter KING DUNCAN,MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, LENNOX, with attendants, meeting a bleeding CAPTAIN

Alarum within. Enter KING DUNCAN,MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, LENNOX, with attendants, meeting a bleeding CAPTAIN

DUNCAN

What bloody man is that? He can report,

As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt

The newest state.

newest state=newest conditions

 

DUNCAN

What bloody man is that? He can report,

As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt

The newest state.

 

MALCOLM

     This is the sergeant

sergeant=military officer, actually a captain

Who like a good and hardy soldier fought

'Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend!

Say to the king the knowledge of the broil

broil=battle

As thou didst leave it.

 

MALCOLM

     This is the sergeant

Who like a good and hardy soldier fought

'Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend!

Say to the king the knowledge of the broil

As thou didst leave it.

 

CAPTAIN

     Doubtful it stood,

As two spent swimmers that do cling together

And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald

art=skill in swimming

Worthy to be a rebel, for to that

that=that end

The multiplying villanies of nature

(the ever-increasing numbers of rebels)

Do swarm upon him—from the Western Isles

Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied,

of kerns and gallowglasses=with light- and heavily-armed soldiers

And fortune, on his damnèd quarrel smiling,

fortune=fickle fortune

his=Macdonwald’s

(smiling – fortune sided with Macdonwald)

Showed like a rebel’s whore. But all’s too weak,

showed like a rebel’s whore=appeared fickle (didn’t do enough to save Macdonwald)

For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—

that name=brave

Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,

brandished=flashing

Which smoked with bloody execution,

Like valor’s minion carved out his passage

minion=darling

passage=passage through fighting soldiers

Till he faced the slave;

slave=Macdonwald

Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,

Till he unseamed him from the nave to th' chops,

nave to th’ chops=navel to jaw

And fixed his head upon our battlements.

 

CAPTAIN

     Doubtful it stood,

As two spent swimmers that do cling together

And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald

Worthy to be a rebel, for to that

The multiplying villanies of nature

Do swarm upon him—from the Western Isles

Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied,

And fortune, on his damnèd quarrel smiling,

Showed like a rebel’s whore. But all’s too weak,

For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—

Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,

Which smoked with bloody execution,

Like valor’s minion carved out his passage

Till he faced the slave;

Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,

Till he unseamed him from the nave to th' chops,

And fixed his head upon our battlements.

 

DUNCAN

O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!

cousin=relative

 

DUNCAN

O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!

 

CAPTAIN

As whence the sun 'gins his reflection

(as from the time (Dec. 21) when the sun reverses its rising in the East)

Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break,

So from that spring whence comfort seemed to come

Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:

King of Scotland=Duncan

No sooner justice had, with valor armed,

Compelled these skipping kerns to trust their heels,

But the Norwegian lord, surveying vantage,

surveying advantage=seeing his opportunity

With furbished arms and new supplies of men,

furbished=refurbished

Began a fresh assault.

 

CAPTAIN

As whence the sun 'gins his reflection

Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break,

So from that spring whence comfort seemed to come

Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:

No sooner justice had, with valor armed,

Compelled these skipping kerns to trust their heels,

But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,

With furbished arms and new supplies of men,

Began a fresh assault.

 

DUNCAN

Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?

 

DUNCAN

Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?

 

CAPTAIN

Yes, as sparrows, eagles, or the hare, the lion.

If I say sooth, I must report they were

sooth=truth

As cannons overcharged with double cracks,

cracks=ammunition

So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.

Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds

except=either

Or memorize another Golgotha,

memorize=cause to be remembered

I cannot tell—

But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.

 

CAPTAIN

Yes, as sparrows, eagles, or the hare, the lion.

If I say sooth, I must report they were

As cannons overcharged with double cracks,

So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.

Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds

Or memorize another Golgotha,

I cannot tell—

But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.

 

DUNCAN

So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;

so well=just as well

They smack of honor both. Go get him surgeons.

 

DUNCAN

So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;

They smack of honor both. Go get him surgeons.

 

Exit CAPTAIN with attendants

Exit CAPTAIN with attendants

Enter ROSS and ANGUS

Enter ROSS and ANGUS

Who comes here?

Who comes here?

MALCOLM

     The worthy thane of Ross.

thane=Scottish title of nobility

 

MALCOLM

     The worthy thane of Ross.

 

LENNOX

What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look

so should he look=in this way should a person look

That seems [about] to speak things strange.

 

LENNOX

What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look

That seems to speak things strange.

 

ROSS

     God save the king.

 

ROSS

     God save the king.

 

DUNCAN

Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane?

 

DUNCAN

Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane?

 

ROSS

     From Fife, great king,

Where the Norwegian banners flout the sky

flout the sky=are raised to the sky

And fan our people cold.

Norway himself, with terrible numbers,

Norway=the king of Norway

Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,

The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict,

dismal=unlucky (for them)

Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof,

Bellona=goddess of war

bridegroom=Macbeth

lapped in proof=clothed in proven armor

Confronted him with self-comparisons,

(matched his prowess equally)

Point against point, rebellious arm 'gainst arm,

point against point=sword point against sword point

Curbing his lavish spirit, and, to conclude,

The victory fell on us.

 

ROSS

     From Fife, great king,

Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky

And fan our people cold.

Norway himself, with terrible numbers,

Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,

The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict,

Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof,

Confronted him with self-comparisons,

Point against point, rebellious arm 'gainst arm,

Curbing his lavish spirit; and to conclude,

The victory fell on us.

 

DUNCAN

     Great happiness!

 

DUNCAN

     Great happiness!

 

ROSS

     That now

Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition.

composition=terms of peace

Nor would we deign him burial of his men

Till he disbursed at Saint Colme’s Inch

inch=island of Saint Columba, who gave money for the founding of Scottish monasteries

Ten thousand dollars to our general use.

dollars=Spanish or Dutch coins

 

ROSS

     That now

Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition.

Nor would we deign him burial of his men

Till he disbursed at Saint Colme’s Inch

Ten thousand dollars to our general use.

 

DUNCAN

No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive

deceive=betray

Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death

our bosom interest=my dearest concerns

present=immediate

And with his former title greet Macbeth.

 

DUNCAN

No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive

Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death

And with his former title greet Macbeth.

 

ROSS

I’ll see it done.

 

ROSS

I’ll see it done.

 

DUNCAN

What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.

 

DUNCAN

What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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