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Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Macbeth: Modern (Modern)
  • Editor: Anthony Dawson
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • Research assistant: Katie Davion
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-528-5

    Copyright Anthony Dawson. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Anthony Dawson
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Modern (Modern)

    Enter Lady [Macbeth].
    Lady Macbeth
    That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold,
    What hath quenched them hath given me fire. 650Hark! Peace!
    It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman
    Which gives the stern'st goodnight. He is about it.
    The doors are open and the surfeited grooms
    Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged their possets
    655That death and nature do contend about them
    Whether they live or die.
    Enter Macbeth.
    Macbeth
    Who's there? What ho!
    Lady Macbeth
    Alack, I am afraid they have awaked
    660And 'tis not done; th'attempt and not the deed
    Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready,
    He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled
    My father as he slept, I had done't. My husband?
    665Macbeth
    I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
    Lady Macbeth
    I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
    Did not you speak?
    Macbeth
    When?
    670Lady Macbeth
    Now.
    Macbeth
    As I descended?
    Lady Macbeth
    Ay.
    Macbeth
    Hark, who lies i'th' second chamber?
    Lady Macbeth
    Donalbain.
    675Macbeth
    This is a sorry sight.
    Lady Macbeth
    A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.
    Macbeth
    There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried "Murder,"
    That they did wake each other. I stood and heard them,
    But they did say their prayers 680and addressed them
    Again to sleep.
    Lady Macbeth
    There are two lodged together.
    Macbeth
    One cried "God bless us" and "Amen" the other,
    As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
    List'ning their fear, I could not say "Amen"
    685When they did say "God bless us."
    Lady Macbeth
    Consider it not so deeply.
    Macbeth
    But wherefore could not I pronounce "Amen"?
    I had most need of blessing, and "Amen"
    Stuck in my throat.
    Lady Macbeth
    These deeds must not be thought
    690After these ways: so, it will make us mad.
    Macbeth
    Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more":
    Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep,
    Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care,
    The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
    695Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
    Chief nourisher in life's feast.
    Lady Macbeth
    What do you mean?
    Macbeth
    Still it cried "Sleep no more" to all the house,
    Glamis hath murdered sleep and therefore Cawdor
    700Shall sleep no more: Macbeth shall sleep no more.
    Lady Macbeth
    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.
    705Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
    They must lie there. Go carry them and smear
    The sleepy grooms with blood.
    Macbeth
    I'll go no more.
    I am afraid to think what I have done,
    710Look on't again I dare not.
    Lady Macbeth
    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,
    715I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
    For it must seem their guilt.
    Exit.
    Knock within.
    Macbeth
    Whence is that knocking?
    How is't with me when every noise appalls me?
    720What 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 multitudinous seas incarnadine,
    Making the green one red.
    725Enter Lady [Macbeth].
    Lady Macbeth
    My hands are of your color, but I shame
    To wear a heart so white.
    Knock.
    I hear a knocking
    At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber;
    730A little water clears us of this deed.
    How easy is it then! Your constancy
    Hath left you unattended.
    Knock.
    Hark, more knocking.
    Get on your nightgown lest occasion call us
    735And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
    So poorly in your thoughts.
    Macbeth
    To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.
    Knock.
    Wake Duncan with thy knocking--740I would thou couldst.
    Exeunt.