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Macbeth - Act 1, scene 3
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workMacbeth - Act 1, scene 3
Act 1, scene 3
The three witches greet Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis” (as he is), “Thane of Cawdor,” and “king hereafter.” They then promise Banquo that he will father kings, and they disappear. Almost as soon as they are gone, Ross and Angus arrive with news that the king has named Macbeth “Thane of Cawdor.” Macbeth contemplates killing Duncan in order to become “king hereafter” as the witches have called him.Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
FIRST WITCH 0092 Where hast thou been, sister?
SECOND WITCH 0093 Killing swine.
THIRD WITCH 0094 Sister, where thou?
0095 A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap
0096 5 And munched and munched and munched. “Give
0097 me,” quoth I.
0098 “Aroint thee, witch,” the rump-fed runnion cries.
p. 150099 Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ th’ Tiger;
0100 But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
0101 10 And, like a rat without a tail,
0102 I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.
0103 I’ll give thee a wind.
0104 Th’ art kind.
0105 And I another.
0106 15 I myself have all the other,
0107 And the very ports they blow;
0108 All the quarters that they know
0109 I’ th’ shipman’s card.
0110 I’ll drain him dry as hay.
0111 20 Sleep shall neither night nor day
0112 Hang upon his penthouse lid.
0113 He shall live a man forbid.
0114 Weary sev’nnights, nine times nine,
0115 Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine.
0116 25 Though his bark cannot be lost,
0117 Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.
0118 Look what I have.
SECOND WITCH 0119 Show me, show me.
0120 Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
0121 30 Wracked as homeward he did come.Drum within.
0122 A drum, a drum!
0123 Macbeth doth come.
ALL, ⌜dancing in a circle⌝
0124 The Weïrd Sisters, hand in hand,
0125 Posters of the sea and land,
0126 35 Thus do go about, about,
0127 Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
p. 170128 And thrice again, to make up nine.
0129 Peace, the charm’s wound up.
Enter Macbeth and Banquo.
0130 So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
0131 40 How far is ’t called to ⌜Forres?⌝—What are these,
0132 So withered, and so wild in their attire,
0133 That look not like th’ inhabitants o’ th’ Earth
0134 And yet are on ’t?—Live you? Or are you aught
0135 That man may question? You seem to understand
0136 45 me
0137 By each at once her choppy finger laying
0138 Upon her skinny lips. You should be women,
0139 And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
0140 That you are so.
MACBETH 0141 50 Speak if you can. What are you?
0142 All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
0143 All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!
0144 All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!
0145 Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear
0146 55 Things that do sound so fair?—I’ th’ name of truth,
0147 Are you fantastical, or that indeed
0148 Which outwardly you show? My noble partner
0149 You greet with present grace and great prediction
0150 Of noble having and of royal hope,
0151 60 That he seems rapt withal. To me you speak not.
0152 If you can look into the seeds of time
0153 And say which grain will grow and which will not,
0154 Speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear
0155 Your favors nor your hate.
p. 19FIRST WITCH 0156 65Hail!
SECOND WITCH 0157 Hail!
THIRD WITCH 0158 Hail!
0159 Lesser than Macbeth and greater.
0160 Not so happy, yet much happier.
0161 70 Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
0162 So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
0163 Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
0164 Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more.
0165 By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis.
0166 75 But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives
0167 A prosperous gentleman, and to be king
0168 Stands not within the prospect of belief,
0169 No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
0170 You owe this strange intelligence or why
0171 80 Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
0172 With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.
0173 The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
0174 And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?
0175 Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted,
0176 85 As breath into the wind. Would they had stayed!
0177 Were such things here as we do speak about?
0178 Or have we eaten on the insane root
0179 That takes the reason prisoner?
0180 Your children shall be kings.
BANQUO 0181 90 You shall be king.
0182 And Thane of Cawdor too. Went it not so?
0183 To th’ selfsame tune and words.—Who’s here?
Enter Ross and Angus.
0184 The King hath happily received, Macbeth,
0185 The news of thy success, and, when he reads
0186 95 Thy personal venture in the rebels’ fight,
0187 His wonders and his praises do contend
0188 Which should be thine or his. Silenced with that,
0189 In viewing o’er the rest o’ th’ selfsame day
0190 He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
0191 100 Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
0192 Strange images of death. As thick as tale
0193 ⌜Came⌝ post with post, and every one did bear
0194 Thy praises in his kingdom’s great defense,
0195 And poured them down before him.
ANGUS 0196 105 We are sent
0197 To give thee from our royal master thanks,
0198 Only to herald thee into his sight,
0199 Not pay thee.
0200 And for an earnest of a greater honor,
0201 110 He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor,
0202 In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,
0203 For it is thine.
BANQUO 0204 What, can the devil speak true?
0205 The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me
0206 115 In borrowed robes?
ANGUS 0207 Who was the Thane lives yet,
0208 But under heavy judgment bears that life
0209 Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was
p. 230211 120 With those of Norway, or did line the rebel
0212 With hidden help and vantage, or that with both
0213 He labored in his country’s wrack, I know not;
0214 But treasons capital, confessed and proved,
0215 Have overthrown him.
MACBETH, ⌜aside⌝ 0216 125 Glamis and Thane of Cawdor!
0217 The greatest is behind. ⌜To Ross and Angus.⌝ Thanks
0218 for your pains.
0219 ⌜Aside to Banquo.⌝ Do you not hope your children
0220 shall be kings,
0221 130 When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me
0222 Promised no less to them?
BANQUO 0223 That, trusted home,
0224 Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,
0225 Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ’tis strange.
0226 135 And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
0227 The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
0228 Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s
0229 In deepest consequence.—
0230 Cousins, a word, I pray you.⌜They step aside.⌝
MACBETH, ⌜aside⌝ 0231 140 Two truths are told
0232 As happy prologues to the swelling act
0233 Of the imperial theme.—I thank you, gentlemen.
0234 ⌜Aside.⌝ This supernatural soliciting
0235 Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
0236 145 Why hath it given me earnest of success
0237 Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor.
0238 If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
0239 Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
0240 And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
0241 150 Against the use of nature? Present fears
0242 Are less than horrible imaginings.
0243 My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
0244 Shakes so my single state of man
0245 That function is smothered in surmise,
0246 155 And nothing is but what is not.
p. 25BANQUO 0247 Look how our partner’s rapt.
0248 If chance will have me king, why, chance may
0249 crown me
0250 Without my stir.
BANQUO 0251 160 New honors come upon him,
0252 Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold
0253 But with the aid of use.
MACBETH, ⌜aside⌝ 0254 Come what come may,
0255 Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
0256 165 Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.
0257 Give me your favor. My dull brain was wrought
0258 With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains
0259 Are registered where every day I turn
0260 The leaf to read them. Let us toward the King.
0261 170 ⌜Aside to Banquo.⌝ Think upon what hath chanced,
0262 and at more time,
0263 The interim having weighed it, let us speak
0264 Our free hearts each to other.
BANQUO 0265 Very gladly.
MACBETH 0266 175Till then, enough.—Come, friends.