Back to main page
Macbeth - Act 3, scene 1
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
- PDF Download as PDF
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers
- HTML Download as HTML
- TXT Download as TXT
- XML Download as XML
- TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis) Download as TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis)
Navigate this workMacbeth - Act 3, scene 1
Act 3, scene 1
Banquo suspects that Macbeth killed Duncan in order to become king. Macbeth invites Banquo to a feast that night. Banquo promises to return in time. Macbeth, fearing that Banquo’s children, not his own, will be the future kings of Scotland, seizes upon the opportunity provided by Banquo’s scheduled return after dark to arrange for his murder. To carry out the crime, Macbeth employs two men whom he has persuaded to regard Banquo as an enemy.Enter Banquo.
0953 Thou hast it now—king, Cawdor, Glamis, all
0954 As the Weïrd Women promised, and I fear
0955 Thou played’st most foully for ’t. Yet it was said
0956 It should not stand in thy posterity,
0957 5 But that myself should be the root and father
0958 Of many kings. If there come truth from them
0959 (As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine)
0960 Why, by the verities on thee made good,
0961 May they not be my oracles as well,
0962 10 And set me up in hope? But hush, no more.
Sennet sounded. Enter Macbeth as King, Lady
⌜Macbeth,⌝ Lennox, Ross, Lords, and Attendants.
0963 Here’s our chief guest.
LADY MACBETH 0964 If he had been forgotten,
0965 It had been as a gap in our great feast
0966 And all-thing unbecoming.
0967 15 Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
0968 And I’ll request your presence.
BANQUO 0969 Let your Highness
p. 830970 Command upon me, to the which my duties
0971 Are with a most indissoluble tie
0972 20 Forever knit.
MACBETH 0973 Ride you this afternoon?
BANQUO 0974 Ay, my good lord.
0975 We should have else desired your good advice
0976 (Which still hath been both grave and prosperous)
0977 25 In this day’s council, but we’ll take tomorrow.
0978 Is ’t far you ride?
0979 As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
0980 ’Twixt this and supper. Go not my horse the better,
0981 I must become a borrower of the night
0982 30 For a dark hour or twain.
MACBETH 0983 Fail not our feast.
BANQUO 0984 My lord, I will not.
0985 We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed
0986 In England and in Ireland, not confessing
0987 35 Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
0988 With strange invention. But of that tomorrow,
0989 When therewithal we shall have cause of state
0990 Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse. Adieu,
0991 Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?
0992 40 Ay, my good lord. Our time does call upon ’s.
0993 I wish your horses swift and sure of foot,
0994 And so I do commend you to their backs.
0995 Farewell.Banquo exits.
0996 Let every man be master of his time
0997 45 Till seven at night. To make society
0998 The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
0999 Till suppertime alone. While then, God be with you.
Lords ⌜and all but Macbeth and a Servant⌝ exit.
p. 851000 Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
1001 Our pleasure?
1002 50 They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
1003 Bring them before us.Servant exits.
1004 To be thus is nothing,
1005 But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
1006 Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
1007 55 Reigns that which would be feared. ’Tis much he
1009 And to that dauntless temper of his mind
1010 He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor
1011 To act in safety. There is none but he
1012 60 Whose being I do fear; and under him
1013 My genius is rebuked, as it is said
1014 Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
1015 When first they put the name of king upon me
1016 And bade them speak to him. Then, prophet-like,
1017 65 They hailed him father to a line of kings.
1018 Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
1019 And put a barren scepter in my grip,
1020 Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
1021 No son of mine succeeding. If ’t be so,
1022 70 For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;
1023 For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered,
1024 Put rancors in the vessel of my peace
1025 Only for them, and mine eternal jewel
1026 Given to the common enemy of man
1027 75 To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings.
1028 Rather than so, come fate into the list,
1029 And champion me to th’ utterance.—Who’s there?
Enter Servant and two Murderers.
1030 ⌜To the Servant.⌝ Now go to the door, and stay there
1031 till we call.Servant exits.
p. 871032 80 Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
1033 It was, so please your Highness.
MACBETH 1034 Well then, now
1035 Have you considered of my speeches? Know
1036 That it was he, in the times past, which held you
1037 85 So under fortune, which you thought had been
1038 Our innocent self. This I made good to you
1039 In our last conference, passed in probation with you
1040 How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the
1042 90 Who wrought with them, and all things else that
1044 To half a soul and to a notion crazed
1045 Say “Thus did Banquo.”
FIRST MURDERER 1046 You made it known to us.
1047 95 I did so, and went further, which is now
1048 Our point of second meeting. Do you find
1049 Your patience so predominant in your nature
1050 That you can let this go? Are you so gospeled
1051 To pray for this good man and for his issue,
1052 100 Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave
1053 And beggared yours forever?
FIRST MURDERER 1054 We are men, my liege.
1055 Ay, in the catalogue you go for men,
1056 As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels,
1057 105 curs,
1058 Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
1059 All by the name of dogs. The valued file
1060 Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
1061 The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
1062 110 According to the gift which bounteous nature
1063 Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
p. 891064 Particular addition, from the bill
1065 That writes them all alike. And so of men.
1066 Now, if you have a station in the file,
1067 115 Not i’ th’ worst rank of manhood, say ’t,
1068 And I will put that business in your bosoms
1069 Whose execution takes your enemy off,
1070 Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
1071 Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
1072 120 Which in his death were perfect.
SECOND MURDERER 1073 I am one, my liege,
1074 Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
1075 Hath so incensed that I am reckless what
1076 I do to spite the world.
FIRST MURDERER 1077 125 And I another
1078 So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune,
1079 That I would set my life on any chance,
1080 To mend it or be rid on ’t.
MACBETH 1081 Both of you
1082 130 Know Banquo was your enemy.
⌜MURDERERS⌝ 1083 True, my lord.
1084 So is he mine, and in such bloody distance
1085 That every minute of his being thrusts
1086 Against my near’st of life. And though I could
1087 135 With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
1088 And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
1089 For certain friends that are both his and mine,
1090 Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
1091 Who I myself struck down. And thence it is
1092 140 That I to your assistance do make love,
1093 Masking the business from the common eye
1094 For sundry weighty reasons.
SECOND MURDERER 1095 We shall, my lord,
1096 Perform what you command us.
FIRST MURDERER 1097 145 Though our lives—
1098 Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at
1100 I will advise you where to plant yourselves,
1101 Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’ th’ time,
1102 150 The moment on ’t, for ’t must be done tonight
1103 And something from the palace; always thought
1104 That I require a clearness. And with him
1105 (To leave no rubs nor botches in the work)
1106 Fleance, his son, that keeps him company,
1107 155 Whose absence is no less material to me
1108 Than is his father’s, must embrace the fate
1109 Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart.
1110 I’ll come to you anon.
⌜MURDERERS⌝ 1111 We are resolved, my lord.
1112 160 I’ll call upon you straight. Abide within.
1113 It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight,
1114 If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.