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As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar

Upon his death?


I am settled, and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show:

False face must hide what the false heart must know.

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1. What is the subject of this play?

2. How is the action carried on up to the end of the first act?

3. What opinion can we form of Macbeth's character?

4. What may be said of Duncan ?

5. Was the belief in witchcraft a common superstition in Shakspere's time? 6. How has he employed it in this drama?

7. What may be observed of the witches?

8. Is the interest excited in this tragedy historical, or poetical?

9. What is the leading idea to which all others are subservient in this drama?

10. What passion is most strongly excited in this tragedy?

11. Explain the terms "kernes, "weird," and "wassel."

12. Quote some moral reflections from this act.

13. Describe Lady Macbeth's character.

14. Quote some fine passages from this act.

15. What creation of character has Shakspere displayed in this drama?


SCENE I.-The same. Court within the Castle.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, and a Servant with a torch before them.

Ban. How goes the night, boy?

Fle. The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
Ban. And she goes down at twelve.


I take 't, 'tis later, sir.

Ban. Hold, take my sword: There's husbandry' in


Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep: Merciful powers!
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose! Give me my sword;

1 Economy.

Enter MACBETH and a Servant with a torch.

Who's there?

Macb. A friend.

Ban. What sir, not yet at rest? The king is a-bed: He hath been in unusual pleasure, and

Sent forth great largess to your offices:

This diamond he greets your wife withal,

By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
In measureless content.


Being unprepared 1,

Our will became the servant to defect;
Which else should free have wrought.


All's well.
I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:
you they have showed some truth.


I think not of them:

Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that business,
If you would grant the time.


At your kind'st leisure.

Macb. If you shall cleave to my consent,-when 'tis,
It shall make honour for you.

So I lose none,
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchised, and allegiance clear,
I shall be counselled.



Good repose, the while!
Ban. Thanks, sir; the like to you!
Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,

She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

Is this a dagger, which I see before me,

[Exit Serv.

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind; a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable

As this which now I draw. [Draws his dagger.]
Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going;

1 For the honour of Duncan's visit,

2 Which (will).

And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools of the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still;

And on thy blade, and dudgeon2, gouts 3 of blood,
Which was not so before.. There's no such thing.
It is the bloody business which informs

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Thus to mine eyes.- Now o'er the one half world,
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtained sleep:- Now witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and withered murther
Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,

Whose howl's his watch, thus, with his stealthy pace,
Moves like a ghost.— Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives;
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.

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[A bell rings.


Lady Macb. That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold:

What hath quenched them, hath given me fire :—

Hark! Peace! It was the owl that shrieked,

The fatal bellman, which gives the stern'st good night.

He is about it: The doors are open;

And the surfeited grooms do mock their charge with snores 4: I have drugged their possets",

That death and nature do contend about them,

Whether they live, or die.

Macb. [within.] Who's there?-what, ho!

Lady Macb. Alack! I am afraid they have awaked,

1 Otherwise.

3 Thick drops.

2 Haft.

5 Posset; a mixture of ale and milk, &c., commonly taken at bed

4 Neglect their office of watching time.

the king, by sleeping.


And 'tis not done :-the attempt, and not the deed,
Confounds us :—
-Hark! I laid their daggers ready,
He could not miss them.-Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done it. My husband!

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Macb. I have done the deed:-Didst thou not hear a noise?

Lady Macb. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry.

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Lady Macb. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep,

And one cried "murther!" that they did wake each other;

I stood, and heard them: but they did say their

And addressed them again to sleep.

Lady Macb. There are two lodged together.


Macb. One cried, "God bless us!" and "Amen," the other; As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.

Listening their fear, I could not say, amen,

When they did say, God bless us.

Lady Macb.

Consider it not so deeply.

Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, amen?

I had most need of blessing, and amen

Stuck in my throat.

Lady Macb.

These deeds must not be thought

After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more!

Macbeth doth murther sleep, the innocent sleep;

Sleep, that knits up the ravelled sleave2 of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast."

Lady Macb.

What do you mean?

Macb. Still it cried, "Sleep no more!" to all the house:

1 Just as if.

2 Sfilacciare, Ital.; to pull out the cross silk at the end of a ribbon.

"Glamis hath murthered sleep; and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!"

Lady Macb. Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,

You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brainsickly of things:- Go, get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.-
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there: Go, carry them, and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.


I'll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done;

Look on't again, I dare not.

Lady Macb.

Infirm of purpose!

Give me the daggers: The sleeping, and the dead,

Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood

That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,

I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,

For it must seem their guilt. [Exit. Knocking within.


Whence is that knocking?

How is't with me, when every noise appals me?

What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes!
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood

Clean from my hand? No; this, my hand, will rather
The multitudinous1 sea incarnadine,

Making the green-one red.

Re-enter Lady MACBETH.

Lady Macb. My hands are of your colour; but I shame To wear a heart so white. [Knock.] I hear a knocking At the south entry :-retire we to our chamber;

A little water clears us of this deed:

How easy is it then! Your constancy

Hath left you unattended.2 [Knocking.] Hark! more knocking:

Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,

And show us to be watchers :-Be not lost

So poorly in your thoughts.

Macb. To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.

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Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou could'st!


1 Swarming with animals.

2 Forsaken you.

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