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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 1, Scene 3 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Macbeth Act 1, Scene 3



A heath near Forres

Thunder. Enter the three WITCHES

Thunder. Enter the three WITCHES

FIRST WITCH

Where hast thou been, sister?

 

FIRST WITCH

Where hast thou been, sister?

 

SECOND WITCH

Killing swine.

 

SECOND WITCH

Killing swine.

 

THIRD WITCH

Sister, where thou?

 

THIRD WITCH

Sister, where thou?

 

FIRST WITCH

A sailorís wife had chestnuts in her lap

And munched, and munched, and munched. ďGive me,Ē

     quoth I.

ďAroint thee, witch!Ē the rump-fed ronion cries.

aroint thee=be gone

ronion=mangy creature

Her husbandís to Aleppo gone, master o' thTiger;

But in a sieve Iíll thither sail,

sieve=kitchen strainer

And, like a rat without a tail,

(a defective animal was thought to be a former witch)

Iíll do [harm], Iíll do, and Iíll do.

 

FIRST WITCH

A sailorís wife had chestnuts in her lap

And munched, and munched, and munched. ďGive me,Ē

     quoth I.

ďAroint thee, witch!Ē the rump-fed runnion cries.

Her husbandís to Aleppo gone, master o' thTiger;

But in a sieve Iíll thither sail,

And, like a rat without a tail,

Iíll do, Iíll do, and Iíll do.

 

SECOND WITCH

Iíll give thee a wind.

(north, east, south, or west wind)

 

SECOND WITCH

Iíll give thee a wind.

 

FIRST WITCH

Thou 'rt kind.

 

FIRST WITCH

Thou 'rt kind.

 

THIRD WITCH

And I another.

 

THIRD WITCH

And I another.

 

FIRST WITCH

I myself have all the other,

And the very ports they blow,

blow=blow from

All the quarters that they know

quarters=compass points

I' th' shipmanís card.

shipmanís card=compass card, on which the 32 points of the compass are marked

Iíll drain him dry as hay.

dry=dry of blood

Sleep shall neither night nor day

Hang upon his penthouse lid.

penthouse=lean-to with a sloping roof=eyelid

He shall live a man forbid.

forbid=under a curse

Weary sev'nnights nine times nine

sevínights=a week (nine times nine - 81 weeks)

Shall he dwindle, peak and pine.

peak=become emaciated

Though his bark cannot be lost,

Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.

Look what I have.

 

FIRST WITCH

I myself have all the other,

And the very ports they blow,

All the quarters that they know

I' th' shipmanís card.

Iíll drain him dry as hay.

Sleep shall neither night nor day

Hang upon his penthouse lid.

He shall live a man forbid.

Weary sev'nnights nine times nine

Shall he dwindle, peak and pine.

Though his bark cannot be lost,

Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.

Look what I have.

 

SECOND WITCH

Show me, show me.

 

SECOND WITCH

Show me, show me.

 

FIRST WITCH

Here I have a pilotís thumb,

Wrecked as homeward he did come.

 

FIRST WITCH

Here I have a pilotís thumb,

Wrecked as homeward he did come.

 

Drum within

Drum within

THIRD WITCH

A drum, a drum!

Macbeth doth come.

 

THIRD WITCH

A drum, a drum!

Macbeth doth come.

 

ALL

(dancing together in a circle) The weird sisters, hand in

     hand,

weird=foretelling

Posters of the sea and land,

posters=swift travelers

Thus do go about, about,

(about, about Ė dancing in a circle)

Thrice to thine and thrice to mine

And thrice again, to make up nine.

Peace! The charmís wound up.

 

ALL

(dancing together in a circle) The weird sisters, hand in

     hand,

Posters of the sea and land,

Thus do go about, about,

Thrice to thine and thrice to mine

And thrice again, to make up nine.

Peace! The charmís wound up.

 

Enter MACBETH and BANQUO

Enter MACBETH and BANQUO

MACBETH

So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

foul=foul weather, fair=saw a military victory

BANQUO

How far is ít called to Forres?óWhat are these

called=said to be

So withered and so wild in their attire,

That look not like th' inhabitants o' th' earth,

And yet are on ít?óLive you? Or are you aught

That man may question? You seem to understand me,

question=talk with

By each at once her choppy finger laying

choppy=deeply wrinkled

Upon her skinny lips. You should be women,

And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

That you are so.

 

MACBETH

So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

 

BANQUO

How far is ít called to Forres?óWhat are these

So withered and so wild in their attire,

That look not like th' inhabitants o' th' earth,

And yet are on ít?óLive you? Or are you aught

That man may question? You seem to understand me,

By each at once her choppy finger laying

Upon her skinny lips. You should be women,

And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

That you are so.

 

MACBETH

Speak, if you can: what are you?

 

MACBETH

Speak, if you can: what are you?

 

FIRST WITCH

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!

(Glamis is pronounced Glams)

 

FIRST WITCH

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!

 

SECOND WITCH

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

 

SECOND WITCH

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

 

THIRD WITCH

All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!

 

THIRD WITCH

All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!

 

BANQUO

Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear

Things that do sound so fair? (to the WITCHES) I' th' name of truth,

Are ye fantastical, or that indeed

Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner

You greet with present grace and great prediction

Of noble having and of royal hope,

That he seems rapt withal. To me you speak not.

withal=by this

If you can look into the seeds of time

And say which grain will grow and which will not,

Speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear

Your favors nor your hate.

 

BANQUO

Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear

Things that do sound so fair? (to the WITCHES) I' th' name of truth,

Are ye fantastical, or that indeed

Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner

You greet with present grace and great prediction

Of noble having and of royal hope,

That he seems rapt withal. To me you speak not.

If you can look into the seeds of time

And say which grain will grow and which will not,

Speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear

Your favors nor your hate.

 

FIRST WITCH (greeting Banquo)

Hail!

 

FIRST WITCH

Hail!

 

SECOND WITCH

Hail!

 

SECOND WITCH

Hail!

 

THIRD WITCH

Hail!

 

THIRD WITCH

Hail!

 

FIRST WITCH

Lesser than Macbeth and greater.

 

FIRST WITCH

Lesser than Macbeth and greater.

 

SECOND WITCH

Not so happy, yet much happier.

 

SECOND WITCH

Not so happy, yet much happier.

 

THIRD WITCH

Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.

get=beget

So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

 

THIRD WITCH

Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.

So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

 

FIRST WITCH

Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!

 

FIRST WITCH

Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!

 

MACBETH

Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.

imperfect=telling only part of the story

By Sinelís death I know I am thane of Glamis.

Sinel=Macbethís father

But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives,

A prosperous gentleman, and to be king

Stands not within the prospect of belief,

No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence

You owe this strange intelligence, or why

owe=possess

Upon this blasted heath you stop our way

blasted=barren

With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.

 

MACBETH

Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.

By Sinelís death I know I am thane of Glamis.

But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives,

A prosperous gentleman, and to be king

Stands not within the prospect of belief,

No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence

You owe this strange intelligence, or why

Upon this blasted heath you stop our way

With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.

 

WITCHES vanish

WITCHES vanish

BANQUO

The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,

And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?

 

BANQUO

The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,

And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?

 

MACBETH

Into the air, and what seemed corporal

Melted, as breath into the wind. Would they had stayed.

would they had stayed=I wish they had stayed

 

MACBETH

Into the air, and what seemed corporal

Melted, as breath into the wind. Would they had stayed.

 

BANQUO

Were such things here as we do speak about?

Or have we eaten on the insane root

hemlock? herbane?

That takes the reason prisoner?

 

BANQUO

Were such things here as we do speak about?

Or have we eaten on the insane root

That takes the reason prisoner?

 

MACBETH

Your children shall be kings.

 

MACBETH

Your children shall be kings.

 

BANQUO

     You shall be king.

 

BANQUO

     You shall be king.

 

MACBETH

And thane of Cawdor, too: went it not so?

 

MACBETH

And thane of Cawdor too: went it not so?

 

BANQUO

To the selfsame tune and words. Whoís here?

 

BANQUO

To the selfsame tune and words. Whoís here?

 

Enter ROSS and ANGUS

Enter ROSS and ANGUS

ROSS

The king hath happily received, Macbeth,

The news of thy success, and, when he reads

Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight,

His wonders and his praises do contend

(admiration and praises contend for mention)

Which should be thine or his. Silenced with that,

In viewing o'er the rest o' the selfsame day,

He finds thee in the stout Norwegian ranks,

Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,

(with death of his own making all around him, Macbeth still was not afraid)

Strange images of death. As thick as tale

(as fast as tale can travel from messenger to messenger)

Can post with post, and every one did bear

Thy praises in his kingdomís great defense

And poured them down before him.

 

ROSS

The king hath happily received, Macbeth,

The news of thy success, and when he reads

Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight,

His wonders and his praises do contend

Which should be thine or his. Silenced with that,

In viewing o'er the rest o' the selfsame day,

He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,

Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,

Strange images of death. As thick as tale

Can post with post, and every one did bear

Thy praises in his kingdomís great defense

And poured them down before him.

 

ANGUS

     We are sent

To give thee from our royal master thanks,

Only to herald thee into his sight,

Not pay thee.

 

ANGUS

     We are sent

To give thee from our royal master thanks,

Only to herald thee into his sight,

Not pay thee.

 

ROSS

And, for an earnest of a greater honor,

earnest=promise

He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor:

In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,

addition=mark of honor

For it is thine.

 

ROSS

And, for an earnest of a greater honor,

He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor:

In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,

For it is thine.

 

BANQUO

     What, can the devil speak true?

 

BANQUO

     What, can the devil speak true?

 

MACBETH

The thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me

In borrowed robes?

 

MACBETH

The thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me

In borrowed robes?

 

ANGUS

     Who was the thane lives yet

But under heavy judgment bears that life

Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combined

With those of Norway or did line the rebel

those of Norway=soldiers of the Norwegian king

rebel=Macdonwald

With hidden help and vantage or that with both

He labored in his countryís wrack, I know not;

wrack=ruin

But treasons capital, confessed and proved,

treasons capital=death-deserving treasons

Have overthrown him.

 

ANGUS

     Who was the thane lives yet

But under heavy judgment bears that life

Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combined

With those of Norway or did line the rebel

With hidden help and vantage or that with both

He labored in his countryís wrack, I know not;

But treasons capital, confessed and proved,

Have overthrown him.

 

MACBETH

(aside)      Glamis, and thane of Cawdor!

The greatest is behind. (to ROSS and ANGUS)Thanks for your pains.

behind=still to come

(aside to BANQUO) Do you not hope your children shall be kings,

When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me

Promised no less to them?

 

MACBETH

(aside)      Glamis, and thane of Cawdor!

The greatest is behind. (to ROSS and ANGUS)Thanks for your pains.

(aside to BANQUO) Do you not hope your children shall be kings,

When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me

Promised no less to them?

 

BANQUO

     That, trusted home,

home=completely

Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,

Besides the thane of Cawdor. But ítis strange.

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,

The instruments of darkness tell us truths,

Win us with honest trifles, to betray ís

betray Ďs=betray us

In deepest consequence.

deepest consequence=consequence most important to us

(to ROSS and ANGUS) Cousins, a word, I pray you.

cousins=fellow lords

 

BANQUO

     That, trusted home,

Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,

Besides the thane of Cawdor. But ítis strange.

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,

The instruments of darkness tell us truths,

Win us with honest trifles, to betray ís

In deepest consequence.

(to ROSS and ANGUS) Cousins, a word, I pray you.

 

BANQUO, ROSS, and ANGUS move to one side

BANQUO, ROSS, and ANGUS move to one side

MACBETH

(aside)      Two truths are told,

As happy prologues to the swelling act

Of the imperial theme. (to ROSS and ANGUS) I thank you, gentlemen.

(aside) This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,

Why hath it given me earnest of success,

Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor.

If good, why do I yield to that suggestion

Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair

And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,

Against the use of nature? Present fears

against the use of nature=unnaturally

Are less than horrible imaginings.

My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,

whose murder=in which murder

Shakes so my single state of man

my single state of man=state of mind not torn by conflict

That function is smothered in surmise,

And nothing is but what is not.

nothing is but what is not=nothing is real but what is imagined

 

MACBETH

(aside)      Two truths are told,

As happy prologues to the swelling act

Of the imperial theme. (to ROSS and ANGUS) I thank you, gentlemen.

(aside) This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,

Why hath it given me earnest of success,

Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor.

If good, why do I yield to that suggestion

Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair

And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,

Against the use of nature? Present fears

Are less than horrible imaginings.

My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,

Shakes so my single state of man

That function is smothered in surmise,

And nothing is but what is not.

 

BANQUO

Look how our partnerís rapt.

 

BANQUO

Look how our partnerís rapt.

 

MACBETH

(aside) If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me

Without my stir.

 

MACBETH

(aside) If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me

Without my stir.

 

BANQUO

     New honors come upon him,

Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold

mold=the person wearing them

But with the aid of use.

(new honors require getting used to, like new clothing)

 

BANQUO

     New honors come upon him,

Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold

But with the aid of use.

 

MACBETH

(aside)      Come what come may,

(same as come what may Ė time has its own momentum)

Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.

 

MACBETH

(aside)      Come what come may,

Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.

 

BANQUO

Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.

stay upon your leisure=wait upon your pleasure

 

BANQUO

Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.

 

MACBETH

Give me your favor. My dull brain was wrought

give me your favor=give me your forgiveness

With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains

Are registered where every day I turn

registered=recorded in my memory

The leaf to read them. Let us toward the king.

leaf=page

(aside to BANQUO) Think upon what hath chanced, and, at more time,

The interim having weighed it, let us speak

Our free hearts each to other.

 

MACBETH

Give me your favor. My dull brain was wrought

With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains

Are registered where every day I turn

The leaf to read them. Let us toward the king.

(aside to BANQUO) Think upon what hath chanced, and, at more time,

The interim having weighed it, let us speak

Our free hearts each to other.

 

BANQUO

Very gladly.

 

BANQUO

Very gladly.

 

MACBETH

Till then, enough. (to ROSS and ANGUS) Come, friends.

 

MACBETH

Till then, enough. (to ROSS and ANGUS) Come, friends.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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