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

Macbeth Scenes


Scene 4

Outside Macbeth’s castle.

(Rosse; Old Man; Macduff)

Ross and an old man discuss the terrible portents that have occurred, including the fact that Duncan’s horses have eaten one another, that the day is dark, and that a tiny owl killed a huge hunting hawk. Macduff greets Ross and tells him that Malcolm and Donalbain have fled and are therefore suspected of the murder. Ross realizes that Macbeth is the most likely heir, and decides to go to his coronation, though Macduff chooses to simply go home. (52 lines)

Enter Rosse with an Old Man.

OLD MAN.

Threescore and ten I can remember well,

Within the volume of which time I have seen

Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night

Hath trifled former knowings.

ROSSE.

Ha, good father,

Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,

Threatens his bloody stage. By th’ clock ’tis day,

And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp.

Is’t night’s predominance, or the day’s shame,

That darkness does the face of earth entomb,

When living light should kiss it?

OLD MAN.

’Tis unnatural,

Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,

A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,

Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at, and kill’d.

ROSSE.

And Duncan’s horses (a thing most strange and certain),

Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,

Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,

Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would make

War with mankind.

OLD MAN.

’Tis said, they eat each other.

ROSSE.

They did so—to th’ amazement of mine eyes

That look’d upon’t.

Enter Macduff.

Here comes the good Macduff.

How goes the world, sir, now?

MACD.

Why, see you not?

ROSSE.

Is’t known who did this more than bloody deed?

MACD.

Those that Macbeth hath slain.

ROSSE.

Alas the day,

What good could they pretend?

MACD.

They were suborned.

Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s two sons,

Are stol’n away and fled, which puts upon them

Suspicion of the deed.

ROSSE.

’Gainst nature still!

Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up

Thine own live’s means! Then ’tis most like

The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

MACD.

He is already nam’d, and gone to Scone

To be invested.

ROSSE.

Where is Duncan’s body?

MACD.

Carried to Colmekill,

The sacred store-house of his predecessors

And guardian of their bones.

ROSSE.

Will you to Scone?

MACD.

No, cousin, I’ll to Fife.

ROSSE.

Well, I will thither.

MACD.

Well, may you see things well done there: adieu,

Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!

ROSSE.

Farewell, father.

OLD MAN.

God’s benison go with you, and with those

That would make good of bad, and friends of foes!

Exeunt omnes.

 

Use Power Search to search the works

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site free.

PP

Log in or Register

Register
Forgot username  Forgot password
Get the Shakespeare Pro app