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Macbeth - Act 3, scene 5
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workMacbeth - Act 3, scene 5
Act 3, scene 5
The presentation of the witches in this scene (as in 4.1.38 SD–43 and 141–48) differs from their presentation in the rest of the play. Most editors and scholars believe that neither this scene nor the passages in 4.1 were written by Shakespeare.Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecate.
1387 Why, how now, Hecate? You look angerly.
1388 Have I not reason, beldams as you are?
1389 Saucy and overbold, how did you dare
1390 To trade and traffic with Macbeth
1391 5 In riddles and affairs of death,
1392 And I, the mistress of your charms,
1393 The close contriver of all harms,
1394 Was never called to bear my part
1395 Or show the glory of our art?
1396 10 And which is worse, all you have done
1397 Hath been but for a wayward son,
1398 Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
1399 Loves for his own ends, not for you.
1400 But make amends now. Get you gone,
1401 15 And at the pit of Acheron
1402 Meet me i’ th’ morning. Thither he
1403 Will come to know his destiny.
1404 Your vessels and your spells provide,
1405 Your charms and everything beside.
1406 20 I am for th’ air. This night I’ll spend
1407 Unto a dismal and a fatal end.
1408 Great business must be wrought ere noon.
1409 Upon the corner of the moon
1410 There hangs a vap’rous drop profound.
1411 25 I’ll catch it ere it come to ground,
1412 And that, distilled by magic sleights,
1413 Shall raise such artificial sprites
1414 As by the strength of their illusion
1415 Shall draw him on to his confusion.
1416 30 He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
1417 His hopes ’bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
p. 1131418 And you all know, security
1419 Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.
Music and a song.
1420 Hark! I am called. My little spirit, see,
1421 35 Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me.⌜Hecate exits.⌝
Sing within “Come away, come away,” etc.
1422 Come, let’s make haste. She’ll soon be back again.