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Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare; it is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, who was patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is his shortest tragedy.A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland; Macduff; and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth. The events of the tragedy are usually associated with the execution of Henry Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish Play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It has been adapted to film, television, opera, novels, comics, and other media.
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Copyright © 2017 by William Shakespeare.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organiza- tions, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Sheba Blake Publishing
Book and Cover design by Sheba Blake Publishing
First Edition: January 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DUNCAN, King of Scotland.
MALCOLM, his Son.
DONALBAIN, his Son.
MACBETH, General in the King's Army.
BANQUO, General in the King's Army.
MACDUFF, Nobleman of Scotland.
LENNOX, Nobleman of Scotland.
ROSS, Nobleman of Scotland.
MENTEITH, Nobleman of Scotland.
ANGUS, Nobleman of Scotland.
CAITHNESS, Nobleman of Scotland.
FLEANCE, Son to Banquo.
SIWARD, Earl of Northumberland, General of the English Forces.
YOUNG SIWARD, his Son.
SEYTON, an Officer attending on Macbeth.
BOY, Son to Macduff.
An English Doctor.
A Scotch Doctor.
An Old Man.
Gentlewoman attending on Lady Macbeth.
HECATE,and three Witches.
Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attendants, and Messengers.
The Ghost of Banquo and several other Apparitions.
AN OPEN PLACE. THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.
SCENE: In the end of the Fourth Act, in England; through the rest of the Play, in Scotland; and chiefly at Macbeth's Castle.
[Enter three Witches.]
FIRST WITCH.When shall we three meet again?In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
SECOND WITCH.When the hurlyburly's done,When the battle's lost and won.
THIRD WITCH.That will be ere the set of sun.
FIRST WITCH.Where the place?
SECOND WITCH.Upon the heath.
THIRD WITCH.There to meet with Macbeth.
FIRST WITCH.I come, Graymalkin!
ALL.Paddock calls:--anon:--Fair is foul, and foul is fair:Hover through the fog and filthy air.
A CAMP NEAR FORRES.
[Alarum within. Enter King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox, with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Soldier.]
DUNCAN.What bloody man is that? He can report,As seemeth by his plight, of the revoltThe newest state.
MALCOLM.This is the sergeantWho, like a good and hardy soldier, fought'Gainst my captivity.--Hail, brave friend!Say to the king the knowledge of the broilAs thou didst leave it.
SOLDIER.Doubtful it stood;As two spent swimmers that do cling togetherAnd choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald,--Worthy to be a rebel,--for to thatThe multiplying villainies of natureDo swarm upon him,--from the Western islesOf kerns and gallowglasses is supplied;And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,Show'd like a rebel's whore. But all's too weak;For brave Macbeth,--well he deserves that name,--Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,Which smok'd with bloody execution,Like valor's minion,Carv'd out his passag tTill he fac'd the slave;And ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,And fix'd his head upon our battlements.
DUNCAN.O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!
SOLDIER.As whence the sun 'gins his reflectionShipwrecking storms and direful thunders break;So from that spring, whence comfort seem'd to comeDiscomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:No sooner justice had, with valor arm'd,Compell'd these skipping kerns to trust their heels,But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,With furbish'd arms and new supplies of men,Began a fresh assault.
DUNCAN.Dismay'd not thisOur captains, Macbeth and Banquo?
SOLDIER.Yes;As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.If I say sooth, I must report they wereAs cannons overcharg'd with double cracks;So theyDoubly 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;They smack of honor both.--Go, get him surgeons.
[Exit Soldier, attended.]
Who comes here?
MALCOLM.The worthy Thane of Ross.
LENNOX.What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he lookThat seems to speak things strange.
ROSS.God save the King!
DUNCAN.Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane?
ROSS.From Fife, great king;Where the Norweyan banners flout the skyAnd fan our people cold.Norway himself, with terrible numbers,Assisted by that most disloyal traitorThe Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd 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.
ROSS.That nowSweno, the Norways' king, craves composition;Nor would we deign him burial of his menTill he disbursed, at Saint Colme's-inch,Ten thousand dollars to our general use.
DUNCAN.No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceiveOur bosom interest:--go pronounce his present death,And with his former title greet Macbeth.
ROSS.I'll see it done.
DUNCAN.What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.
[Thunder. Enter the three Witches.]
FIRST WITCH.Where hast thou been, sister?
SECOND WITCH.Killing swine.
THIRD WITCH.Sister, where thou?
FIRST WITCH.A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,And mounch'd, and mounch'd, and mounch'd:--"Give me," quoth I: "Aroint thee, witch!" the rump-fed ronyon cries.Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger:But in a sieve I'll thither sail,And, like a rat without a tail,I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.
SECOND WITCH.I'll give thee a wind.
FIRST WITCH.Thou art kind.
THIRD WITCH.And I another.
FIRST WITCH.I myself have all the other:And the very ports they blow,All the quarters that they knowI' the shipman's card.I will drain him dry as hay:Sleep shall neither night nor dayHang upon his pent-house lid;He shall live a man forbid:Weary seven-nights nine times nineShall he dwindle, peak, and pine:Though his bark cannot be lost,Yet it shall be tempest-tost.--Look what I have.
SECOND WITCH.Show me, show me.
FIRST WITCH.Here I have a pilot's thumb,Wreck'd as homeward he did come.
THIRD WITCH.A drum, a drum!Macbeth doth come.
ALL.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 charm's wound up.
[Enter Macbeth and Banquo.]
MACBETH.So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
BANQUO.How far is't call'd to Forres?--What are theseSo wither'd, and so wild in their attire,That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,And yet are on't?--Live you? or are you aughtThat man may question? You seem to understand me,By each at once her chappy finger layingUpon her skinny lips:--you should be women,And yet your beards forbid me to interpretThat you are so.
MACBETH.Speak, if you can;--what are you?
FIRST WITCH.All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
SECOND WITCH.All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!
THIRD WITCH.All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter!
BANQUO.Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fearThings that do sound so fair?-- I' the name of truth,Are ye fantastical, or that indeedWhich outwardly ye show? My noble partnerYou greet with present grace and great predictionOf 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 fearYour favors nor your hate.
FIRST WITCH.Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
SECOND WITCH.Not so happy, yet much happier.
THIRD WITCH.Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
FIRST WITCH.Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
MACBETH.Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:By Sinel's death I know I am Thane of Glamis;But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives,A prosperous gentleman; and to be kingStands not within the prospect of belief,No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whenceYou owe this strange intelligence? or whyUpon this blasted heath you stop our wayWith such prophetic greeting?--Speak, I charge you.
BANQUO.The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,And these are of them:--whither are they vanish'd?
MACBETH.Into the air; and what seem'd corporal meltedAs breath into the wind.--Would they had stay'd!
BANQUO.Were such things here as we do speak about?Or have we eaten on the insane rootThat takes the reason prisoner?
MACBETH.Your children shall be kings.
BANQUO.You shall be king.
MACBETH.And Thane of Cawdor too; went it not so?
BANQUO.To the selfsame tune and words. Who's here?
[Enter Ross and Angus.]
ROSS.The king hath happily receiv'd, Macbeth,The news of thy success: and when he readsThy personal venture in the rebels' fight,His wonders and his praises do contendWhich should be thine or his: silenc'd with that,In viewing o'er the rest o' the self-same day,He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,Strange images of death. As thick as hailCame post with post; and every one did bearThy praises in his kingdom's great defense,And pour'd them down before him.
ANGUS.We are sentTo 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,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?
MACBETH.The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress meIn borrow'd robes?
ANGUS.Who was the Thane lives yet;But under heavy judgement bears that lifeWhich he deserves to lose. Whether he was combin'dWith those of Norway, or did line the rebelWith hidden help and vantage, or that with bothHe labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not;But treasons capital, confess'd and proved,Have overthrown him.
MACBETH.[Aside.] Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor:The greatest is behind.--Thanks for your pains.--
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