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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Macbeth Scenes


Scene 1

A cavern.

(Three Witches; Hecat; Macbeth; First Apparition; Second Apparition; Third Apparition; Kings; Ghost of Banquo; Lennox)

In a cavern, the three witches prepare a foul broth. Macbeth enters and demands from them that they answer the questions he will ask them, the consequences be damned. Given the choice between the witches and their spirit masters, he chooses the latter. A head in armor tells him to beware of Macduff. A blood child tells him that he will never be killed by anyone born of woman. Lastly, a child with a crown on its head, holding a tree, tells him that he will never be beaten until the forest of Birnam comes to Dunsinane castle. Reassured, Macbeth still wants to know whether Banquo’s descendants will take the throne, and despite warnings not to ask too much he insists on finding out. Eight kings appear, one after the other, the last showing him a mirror in which even more can be seen; Banquo’s ghost follows, proudly pointing to them as his own. The apparitions and the witches vanish. Macbeth calls for Lennox, who is waiting for him, but the man has seen nothing. Hearing that Macduff has fled, Macbeth resolves to slaughter the man’s family. (172 lines)

Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

1. WITCH.

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.

2. WITCH.

Thrice, and once the hedge-pig whin’d.

3. WITCH.

Harpier cries, “’Tis time, ’tis time.”

1. WITCH.

Round about the cauldron go;

In the poison’d entrails throw;

Toad, that under cold stone

Days and nights has thirty-one

Swelt’red venom sleeping got,

Boil thou first i’ th’ charmed pot.

ALL. WITCHES

Double, double, toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

2. WITCH.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,

For a charm of pow’rful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

ALL. WITCHES

Double, double, toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

3. WITCH.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,

Witch’s mummy, maw and gulf

Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,

Root of hemlock digg’d i’ th’ dark,

Liver of blaspheming Jew,

Gall of goat, and slips of yew

Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,

Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,

Finger of birth-strangled babe

Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,

Make the gruel thick and slab.

Add thereto a tiger’s chawdron,

For th’ ingredience of our cau’dron.

ALL. WITCHES

Double, double, toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

2. WITCH.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

Enter Hecat and the other three Witches.

HEC.

O, well done! I commend your pains,

And every one shall share i’ th’ gains.

And now about the cauldron sing,

Like elves and fairies in a ring,

Enchanting all that you put in.

Music and a song: “Black spirits, etc.”

Exit Hecat.

2. WITCH.

By the pricking of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes.

Knocking.

Open, locks,

Whoever knocks!

Enter Macbeth.

MACB.

How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags?

What is’t you do?

ALL. WITCHES

A deed without a name.

MACB.

I conjure you, by that which you profess

(How e’er you come to know it), answer me:

Though you untie the winds, and let them fight

Against the churches; though the yesty waves

Confound and swallow navigation up;

Though bladed corn be lodg’d, and trees blown down;

Though castles topple on their warders’ heads;

Though palaces and pyramids do slope

Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure

Of nature’s germains tumble all together,

Even till destruction sicken; answer me

To what I ask you.

1. WITCH.

Speak.

2. WITCH.

Demand.

3. WITCH.

We’ll answer.

1. WITCH.

Say, if th’ hadst rather hear it from our mouths,

Or from our masters’?

MACB.

Call ’em; let me see ’em.

1. WITCH.

Pour in sow’s blood, that hath eaten

Her nine farrow; grease that’s sweaten

From the murderer’s gibbet throw

Into the flame.

ALL. WITCHES

Come high or low;

Thyself and office deftly show!

Thunder. First Apparition, an armed Head.

MACB.

Tell me, thou unknown power—

1. WITCH.

He knows thy thought:

Hear his speech, but say thou nought.

1. APP.

Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff,

Beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.

He descends.

MACB.

What e’er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks;

Thou hast harp’d my fear aright. But one word more—

1. WITCH.

He will not be commanded. Here’s another,

More potent than the first.

Thunder. Second Apparition, a bloody Child.

2. APP.

Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!

MACB.

Had I three ears, I’ld hear thee.

2. APP.

Be bloody, bold, and resolute: laugh to scorn

The pow’r of man; for none of woman born

Shall harm Macbeth.

Descends.

MACB.

Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee?

But yet I’ll make assurance double sure,

And take a bond of fate: thou shalt not live,

That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,

And sleep in spite of thunder.

Thunder. Third Apparition, a Child crowned, with a tree in his hand.

What is this

That rises like the issue of a king,

And wears upon his baby-brow the round

And top of sovereignty?

ALL. WITCHES, APP.

Listen, but speak not to’t.

3. APP.

Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care

Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are:

Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until

Great Birnan wood to high Dunsinane hill

Shall come against him.

Descend.

MACB.

That will never be.

Who can impress the forest, bid the tree

Unfix his earth-bound root? Sweet bodements! Good!

Rebellious dead, rise never till the wood

Of Birnan rise, and our high-plac’d Macbeth

Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath

To time and mortal custom. Yet my heart

Throbs to know one thing: tell me, if your art

Can tell so much, shall Banquo’s issue ever

Reign in this kingdom?

ALL. WITCHES, APP.

Seek to know no more.

MACB.

I will be satisfied. Deny me this,

And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know.

Why sinks that cauldron? And what noise is this?

Hoboys.

1. WITCH.

Show!

2. WITCH.

Show!

3. WITCH.

Show!

ALL. WITCHES

Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;

Come like shadows, so depart.

A show of eight Kings, the eighth with a glass in his hand, and Banquo last.

MACB.

Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo; down!

Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs. And thy hair,

Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first.

A third is like the former. Filthy hags,

Why do you show me this?—A fourth? Start, eyes!

What, will the line stretch out to th’ crack of doom?

Another yet? A seventh? I’ll see no more.

And yet the eight appears, who bears a glass

Which shows me many more; and some I see

That twofold balls and treble sceptres carry.

Horrible sight! Now I see ’tis true,

For the blood-bolter’d Banquo smiles upon me,

And points at them for his.

Apparitions vanish.

What? Is this so?

1. WITCH.

Ay, sir, all this is so. But why

Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?

Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites,

And show the best of our delights.

I’ll charm the air to give a sound,

While you perform your antic round;

That this great king may kindly say

Our duties did his welcome pay.

Music.

The Witches dance and vanish.

MACB.

Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour

Stand aye accursed in the calendar!

Come in, without there!

Enter Lennox.

LEN.

What’s your Grace’s will?

MACB.

Saw you the weïrd sisters?

LEN.

No, my lord.

MACB.

Came they not by you?

LEN.

No indeed, my lord.

MACB.

Infected be the air whereon they ride,

And damn’d all those that trust them! I did hear

The galloping of horse. Who was’t came by?

LEN.

’Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word

Macduff is fled to England.

MACB.

Fled to England!

LEN.

Ay, my good lord.

MACB.

Aside.

Time, thou anticipat’st my dread exploits:

The flighty purpose never is o’ertook

Unless the deed go with it. From this moment

The very firstlings of my heart shall be

The firstlings of my hand. And even now,

To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:

The castle of Macduff I will surprise,

Seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword

His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls

That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;

This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool.

But no more sights!—Where are these gentlemen?

Come bring me where they are.

Exeunt.

 

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