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Shakespeare's Macbeth is one of the greatest tragic dramas the world has known. Macbeth himself, a brave warrior, is fatally impelled by supernatural forces, by his wife, and by his own burning ambition. As he embarks on his murderous course to gain and retain the crown of Scotland, we see the appalling emotional and psychological effects on both Lady Macbeth and himself. The cruel ironies of their destiny are conveyed in poetry of unsurpassed power. Dark and violent, Macbeth is also the most theatrically spectacular of Shakespeare's tragedies. Indeed, for 250 years - until early this century - it was performed with grand operatic additions set to baroque music. A masterpiece.
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© 2018 Synapse Publishing
Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
Thunder and Lightning. Enter three Witches.
1. When shall we three meet againe?In Thunder, Lightning, or in Raine? 2. When the Hurley-burley's done,When the Battaile's lost, and wonne
3. That will be ere the set of Sunne
1. Where the place? 2. Vpon the Heath
3. There to meet with Macbeth
1. I come, Gray-Malkin
All. Padock calls anon: faire is foule, and foule is faire,Houer through the fogge and filthie ayre.
Alarum within. Enter King, Malcome, Donalbaine, Lenox, with attendants, meeting a bleeding Captaine.
King. What bloody man is that? he can report,As seemeth by his plight, of the ReuoltThe newest state
Mal. This is the Serieant,Who like a good and hardie Souldier fought'Gainst my Captiuitie: Haile braue friend;Say to the King, the knowledge of the Broyle,As thou didst leaue it
Cap. Doubtfull it stood,As two spent Swimmers, that doe cling together,And choake their Art: The mercilesse Macdonwald(Worthie to be a Rebell, for to thatThe multiplying Villanies of NatureDoe swarme vpon him) from the Westerne IslesOf Kernes and Gallowgrosses is supply'd,And Fortune on his damned Quarry smiling,Shew'd like a Rebells Whore: but all's too weake:For braue Macbeth (well hee deserues that Name)Disdayning Fortune, with his brandisht Steele,Which smoak'd with bloody execution(Like Valours Minion) caru'd out his passage,Till hee fac'd the Slaue:Which neu'r shooke hands, nor bad farwell to him,Till he vnseam'd him from the Naue toth' Chops,And fix'd his Head vpon our Battlements
King. O valiant Cousin, worthy Gentleman
Cap. As whence the Sunne 'gins his reflection,Shipwracking Stormes, and direfull Thunders:So from that Spring, whence comfort seem'd to come,Discomfort swells: Marke King of Scotland, marke,No sooner Iustice had, with Valour arm'd,Compell'd these skipping Kernes to trust their heeles,But the Norweyan Lord, surueying vantage,With furbusht Armes, and new supplyes of men,Began a fresh assault
King. Dismay'd not this our Captaines, Macbeth andBanquoh? Cap. Yes, as Sparrowes, Eagles;Or the Hare, the Lyon:If I say sooth, I must report they wereAs Cannons ouer-charg'd with double Cracks,So they doubly redoubled stroakes vpon 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 helpe
King. So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds,They smack of Honor both: Goe get him Surgeons.Enter Rosse and Angus.
Who comes here? Mal. The worthy Thane of Rosse
Lenox. What a haste lookes through his eyes?So should he looke, that seemes to speake things strange
Rosse. God saue the King
King. Whence cam'st thou, worthy Thane? Rosse. From Fiffe, great King,Where the Norweyan Banners flowt the Skie,And fanne our people cold.Norway himselfe, with terrible numbers,Assisted by that most disloyall Traytor,The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismall Conflict,Till that Bellona's Bridegroome, lapt in proofe,Confronted him with selfe-comparisons,Point against Point, rebellious Arme 'gainst Arme,Curbing his lauish spirit: and to conclude,The Victorie fell on vs
King. Great happinesse
Rosse. That now Sweno, the Norwayes King,Craues composition:Nor would we deigne him buriall of his men,Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes ynch,Ten thousand Dollars, to our generall vse
King. No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceiueOur Bosome interest: Goe pronounce his present death,And with his former Title greet Macbeth
Rosse. Ile see it done
King. What he hath lost, Noble Macbeth hath wonne.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
1. Where hast thou beene, Sister? 2. Killing Swine
3. Sister, where thou? 1. A Saylors Wife had Chestnuts in her Lappe,And mouncht, & mouncht, and mouncht:Giue me, quoth I.Aroynt thee, Witch, the rumpe-fed Ronyon cryes.Her Husband's to Aleppo gone, Master o'th' Tiger:But in a Syue Ile thither sayle,And like a Rat without a tayle,Ile doe, Ile doe, and Ile doe
2. Ile giue thee a Winde
1. Th'art kinde
3. And I another
1. I my selfe haue all the other,And the very Ports they blow,All the Quarters that they know,I'th' Ship-mans Card.Ile dreyne him drie as Hay:Sleepe shall neyther Night nor DayHang vpon his Pent-house Lid:He shall liue a man forbid:Wearie Seu'nights, nine times nine,Shall he dwindle, peake, and pine:Though his Barke cannot be lost,Yet it shall be Tempest-tost.Looke what I haue
2. Shew me, shew me
1. Here I haue a Pilots Thumbe, Wrackt, as homeward he did come.
3. A Drumme, a Drumme:Macbeth doth come
All. The weyward Sisters, hand in hand,Posters of the Sea and Land,Thus doe goe, about, about,Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,And thrice againe, to make vp nine.Peace, the Charme's wound vp.Enter Macbeth and Banquo.
Macb. So foule and faire a day I haue not seene
Banquo. How farre is't call'd to Soris? What are these,So wither'd, and so wilde in their attyre,That looke not like th' Inhabitants o'th' Earth,And yet are on't? Liue you, or are you aughtThat man may question? you seeme to vnderstand me,By each at once her choppie finger layingVpon her skinnie Lips: you should be Women,And yet your Beards forbid me to interpreteThat you are so
Mac. Speake if you can: what are you? 1. All haile Macbeth, haile to thee Thane of Glamis
2. All haile Macbeth, haile to thee Thane of Cawdor
3. All haile Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter
Banq. Good Sir, why doe you start, and seeme to feareThings that doe sound so faire? i'th' name of truthAre ye fantasticall, or that indeedWhich outwardly ye shew? My Noble PartnerYou greet with present Grace, and great predictionOf Noble hauing, and of Royall hope,That he seemes wrapt withall: to me you speake not.If you can looke into the Seedes of Time,And say, which Graine will grow, and which will not,Speake then to me, who neyther begge, nor feareYour fauors, nor your hate
1. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater
2. Not so happy, yet much happyer
3. Thou shalt get Kings, though thou be none: So all haile Macbeth, and Banquo
1. Banquo, and Macbeth, all haile
Macb. Stay you imperfect Speakers, tell me more:By Sinells death, I know I am Thane of Glamis,But how, of Cawdor? the Thane of Cawdor liuesA prosperous Gentleman: And to be King,Stands not within the prospect of beleefe,No more then to be Cawdor. Say from whenceYou owe this strange Intelligence, or whyVpon this blasted Heath you stop our wayWith such Prophetique greeting?Speake, I charge you.
Banq. The Earth hath bubbles, as the Water ha's,And these are of them: whither are they vanish'd? Macb. Into the Ayre: and what seem'd corporall,Melted, as breath into the Winde.Would they had stay'd
Banq. Were such things here, as we doe speake about?Or haue we eaten on the insane Root,That takes the Reason Prisoner? Macb. Your Children shall be Kings
Banq. You shall be King
Macb. And Thane of Cawdor too: went it not so? Banq. Toth' selfe-same tune and words: who's here?Enter Rosse and Angus.
Rosse. The King hath happily receiu'd, Macbeth,The newes of thy successe: and when he readesThy personall Venture in the Rebels sight,His Wonders and his Prayses doe contend,Which should be thine, or his: silenc'd with that,In viewing o're the rest o'th' selfe-same day,He findes thee in the stout Norweyan Rankes,Nothing afeard of what thy selfe didst makeStrange Images of death, as thick as TaleCan post with post, and euery one did beareThy prayses in his Kingdomes great defence,And powr'd them downe before him
Ang. Wee are sent,To giue thee from our Royall Master thanks,Onely to harrold thee into his sight,Not pay thee
Rosse. And for an earnest of a greater Honor,He bad me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor:In which addition, haile most worthy Thane,For it is thine
Banq. What, can the Deuill speake true? Macb. The Thane of Cawdor liues:Why doe you dresse me in borrowed Robes? Ang. Who was the Thane, liues yet,But vnder heauie Iudgement beares that Life,Which he deserues to loose.Whether he was combin'd with those of Norway,Or did lyne the Rebell with hidden helpe,And vantage; or that with both he labour'dIn his Countreyes wracke, I know not:But Treasons Capitall, confess'd, and prou'd,Haue ouerthrowne him
Macb. Glamys, and Thane of Cawdor:The greatest is behinde. Thankes for your paines.Doe you not hope your Children shall be Kings,When those that gaue the Thane of Cawdor to me,Promis'd no lesse to them
Banq. That trusted home,Might yet enkindle you vnto the Crowne,Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange:And oftentimes, to winne vs to our harme,The Instruments of Darknesse tell vs Truths,Winne vs with honest Trifles, to betray'sIn deepest consequence.Cousins, a word, I pray you
Macb. Two Truths are told,As happy Prologues to the swelling ActOf the Imperiall Theame. I thanke you Gentlemen:This supernaturall sollicitingCannot be ill; cannot be good.If ill? why hath it giuen me earnest of successe,Commencing in a Truth? I am Thane of Cawdor.If good? why doe I yeeld to that suggestion,Whose horrid Image doth vnfixe my Heire,And make my seated Heart knock at my Ribbes,Against the vse of Nature? Present FearesAre lesse then horrible Imaginings:My Thought, whose Murther yet is but fantasticall,Shakes so my single state of Man,That Function is smother'd in surmise,And nothing is, but what is not
Banq. Looke how our Partner's rapt
Macb. If Chance will haue me King,Why Chance may Crowne me,Without my stirre
Banq. New Honors come vpon himLike our strange Garments, cleaue not to their mould,But with the aid of vse
Macb. Come what come may,Time, and the Houre, runs through the roughest Day
Banq. Worthy Macbeth, wee stay vpon your leysure
Macb. Giue me your fauour:My dull Braine was wrought with things forgotten.Kinde Gentlemen, your paines are registred,Where euery day I turne the Leafe,To reade them.Let vs toward the King: thinke vponWhat hath chanc'd: and at more time,The Interim hauing weigh'd it, let vs speakeOur free Hearts each to other
Banq. Very gladly
Macb. Till then enough:Come friends.
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