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Macbeth - Act 2, scene 1
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workMacbeth - Act 2, scene 1
Act 2, scene 1
Banquo, who has accompanied Duncan to Inverness, is uneasy because he too is tempted by the witches’ prophecies, although only in his dreams. Macbeth pretends to have forgotten them. Left alone by Banquo, Macbeth sees a gory dagger leading him to Duncan’s room. Hearing the bell rung by Lady Macbeth to signal completion of her preparations for Duncan’s death, Macbeth exits to kill the king.Enter Banquo, and Fleance with a torch before him.
BANQUO 0553 How goes the night, boy?
0554 The moon is down. I have not heard the clock.
BANQUO 0555 And she goes down at twelve.
FLEANCE 0556 I take ’t ’tis later, sir.
0557 5 Hold, take my sword.⌜He gives his sword to Fleance.⌝
0558 There’s husbandry in heaven;
0559 Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
0560 A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
0561 And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
0562 10 Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature
0563 Gives way to in repose.
Enter Macbeth, and a Servant with a torch.
0564 Give me my sword.—Who’s
MACBETH 0566 A friend.
0567 15 What, sir, not yet at rest? The King’s abed.
0568 He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
0569 Sent forth great largess to your offices.
0570 This diamond he greets your wife withal,
p. 510571 By the name of most kind hostess, and shut up
0572 20 In measureless content.
⌜He gives Macbeth a jewel.⌝
MACBETH 0573 Being unprepared,
0574 Our will became the servant to defect,
0575 Which else should free have wrought.
BANQUO 0576 All’s well.
0577 25 I dreamt last night of the three Weïrd Sisters.
0578 To you they have showed some truth.
MACBETH 0579 I think not of
0581 Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
0582 30 We would spend it in some words upon that
0584 If you would grant the time.
BANQUO 0585 At your kind’st leisure.
0586 If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,
0587 35 It shall make honor for you.
BANQUO 0588 So I lose none
0589 In seeking to augment it, but still keep
0590 My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,
0591 I shall be counseled.
MACBETH 0592 40 Good repose the while.
BANQUO 0593 Thanks, sir. The like to you.
Banquo ⌜and Fleance⌝ exit.
0594 Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
0595 She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.
0596 Is this a dagger which I see before me,
0597 45 The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch
0599 I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
0600 Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
0601 To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
p. 530602 50 A dagger of the mind, a false creation
0603 Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?
0604 I see thee yet, in form as palpable
0605 As this which now I draw.⌜He draws his dagger.⌝
0606 Thou marshal’st me the way that I was going,
0607 55 And such an instrument I was to use.
0608 Mine eyes are made the fools o’ th’ other senses
0609 Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still,
0610 And, on thy blade and dudgeon, gouts of blood,
0611 Which was not so before. There’s no such thing.
0612 60 It is the bloody business which informs
0613 Thus to mine eyes. Now o’er the one-half world
0614 Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
0615 The curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates
0616 Pale Hecate’s off’rings, and withered murder,
0617 65 Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,
0618 Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
0619 With Tarquin’s ravishing ⌜strides,⌝ towards his
0621 Moves like a ghost. Thou ⌜sure⌝ and firm-set earth,
0622 70 Hear not my steps, which ⌜way they⌝ walk, for fear
0623 Thy very stones prate of my whereabouts
0624 And take the present horror from the time,
0625 Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives.
0626 Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
A bell rings.
0627 75 I go, and it is done. The bell invites me.
0628 Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
0629 That summons thee to heaven or to hell.