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Macbeth - Act 1, scene 2
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workMacbeth - Act 1, scene 2
Act 1, scene 2
Duncan, king of Scotland, hears an account of the success in battle of his noblemen Macbeth and Banquo. Duncan orders the execution of the rebel thane of Cawdor and sends messengers to announce to Macbeth that he has been given Cawdor’s title.Alarum within. Enter King ⌜Duncan,⌝ Malcolm,
Donalbain, Lennox, with Attendants, meeting a bleeding
0014 What bloody man is that? He can report,
0015 As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
0016 The newest state.
MALCOLM 0017 This is the sergeant
0018 5 Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought
0019 ’Gainst my captivity.—Hail, brave friend!
0020 Say to the King the knowledge of the broil
0021 As thou didst leave it.
CAPTAIN 0022 Doubtful it stood,
0023 10 As two spent swimmers that do cling together
0024 And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald
0025 (Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
0026 The multiplying villainies of nature
0027 Do swarm upon him) from the Western Isles
0028 15 Of kerns and ⌜gallowglasses⌝ is supplied;
0029 And Fortune, on his damnèd ⌜quarrel⌝ smiling,
0030 Showed like a rebel’s whore. But all’s too weak;
0031 For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),
0032 Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
0033 20 Which smoked with bloody execution,
0034 Like Valor’s minion, carved out his passage
0035 Till he faced the slave;
0036 Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
0037 Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops,
0038 25 And fixed his head upon our battlements.
0039 O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!
0040 As whence the sun ’gins his reflection
0041 Shipwracking storms and direful thunders ⌜break,⌝
p. 110042 So from that spring whence comfort seemed to
0043 30 come
0044 Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:
0045 No sooner justice had, with valor armed,
0046 Compelled these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
0047 But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
0048 35 With furbished arms and new supplies of men,
0049 Began a fresh assault.
0050 Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and
0052 Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
0053 40 If I say sooth, I must report they were
0054 As cannons overcharged with double cracks,
0055 So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.
0056 Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds
0057 Or memorize another Golgotha,
0058 45 I cannot tell—
0059 But I am faint. My gashes cry for help.
0060 So well thy words become thee as thy wounds:
0061 They smack of honor both.—Go, get him surgeons.
⌜The Captain is led off by Attendants.⌝
Enter Ross and Angus.
0062 Who comes here?
MALCOLM 0063 50 The worthy Thane of Ross.
0064 What a haste looks through his eyes!
0065 So should he look that seems to speak things
ROSS 0067 God save the King.
DUNCAN 0068 55Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane?
ROSS 0069 From Fife, great king,
0070 Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
p. 130071 And fan our people cold.
0072 Norway himself, with terrible numbers,
0073 60 Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,
0074 The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict,
0075 Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof,
0076 Confronted him with self-comparisons,
0077 Point against point, rebellious arm ’gainst arm,
0078 65 Curbing his lavish spirit. And to conclude,
0079 The victory fell on us.
DUNCAN 0080 Great happiness!
ROSS 0081 That now Sweno,
0082 The Norways’ king, craves composition.
0083 70 Nor would we deign him burial of his men
0084 Till he disbursèd at Saint Colme’s Inch
0085 Ten thousand dollars to our general use.
0086 No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
0087 Our bosom interest. Go, pronounce his present
0088 75 death,
0089 And with his former title greet Macbeth.
ROSS 0090 I’ll see it done.
0091 What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.