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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
    1 Witch
    Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.
    2 Witch
    Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.
    15303 Witch
    Harpier cries, "'Tis time, 'tis time."
    1 Witch
    Round about the cauldron go,
    In the poisoned entrails throw.
    Toad that under cold stone
    Days and nights has thirty-one
    1535Sweltered venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i'th' charmèd pot.
    Double, double, toil and trouble,
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
    2 Witch
    Fillet of a fenny snake
    1540In the cauldron boil and bake,
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
    1545For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble.
    Double, double, toil and trouble,
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
    3 Witch
    Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
    1550Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
    Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
    Root of hemlock digged i'th' dark,
    Liver of blaspheming Jew,
    Gall of goat and slips of yew
    1555Slivered in the moon's eclipse,
    Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
    Finger of birth-strangled babe
    Ditch-delivered by a drab,
    Make the gruel thick and slab.
    1560Add thereto a tiger's chawdron
    For th'ingredience of our cauldron.
    Double, double, toil and trouble,
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
    2 Witch
    Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    1565Then the charm is firm and good.
    Enter Hecate and [three other] Witches.
    Hecate
    Oh, well done! I commend your pains,
    And everyone shall share i'th' gains.
    And now about the cauldron sing
    1570Like elves and fairies in a ring,
    Enchanting all that you put in.
    Music and a song. "Black spirits," etc.
    [Exeunt Hecate and the three other Witches.]
    2 Witch
    By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes;
    1575Open locks, whoever knocks.
    Enter Macbeth.
    Macbeth
    How now, you secret, black and midnight hags?
    What is't you do?
    All
    A deed without a name.
    1580Macbeth
    I conjure you, by that which you profess,
    Howe'er you come to know it, answer me.
    Though you untie the winds and let them fight
    Against the churches, though the yeasty waves
    Confound and swallow navigation up,
    1585Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down,
    Though castles topple on their warders' heads,
    Though palaces and pyramids do slope
    Their heads to their foundations, though the treasure
    Of nature's germen tumble altogether
    1590Even till destruction sicken, answer me
    To what I ask you.
    1 Witch
    Speak.
    2 Witch
    Demand.
    3 Witch
    We'll answer.
    15951 Witch
    Say if thou'dst rather hear it from our mouths
    Or from our masters'.
    Macbeth
    Call 'em; let me see 'em.
    1 Witch
    Pour in sow's blood, that hath eaten
    Her nine farrow; grease that's sweaten
    1600From the murderer's gibbet, throw
    Into the flame.
    All
    Come high or low,
    Thyself and office deftly show.
    Thunder. 1 Apparition: an armed head.
    1605Macbeth
    Tell me, thou unknown power--
    1 Witch
    He knows thy thought;
    Hear his speech, but say thou nought.
    1 Apparition
    Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, beware Macduff,
    1610Beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.
    Descends.
    Macbeth
    Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks;
    Thou hast harped my fear aright. But one word more--
    1 Witch
    He will not be commanded. Here's another
    1615More potent than the first.
    Thunder. 2 Apparition: a bloody child.
    2 Apparition
    Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth.
    Macbeth
    Had I three ears, I'd hear thee.
    2 Apparition
    Be bloody, bold and resolute; 1620laugh to scorn
    The power of man, for none of woman born
    Shall harm Macbeth.
    Descends.
    Macbeth
    Then live, Macduff, what need I fear of thee?
    But yet I'll make assurance double sure
    1625And take a bond of fate: thou shalt not live,
    That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,
    And sleep in spite of thunder.
    Thunder 3 Apparition: a child crowned, with a tree in his hand.
    What is this that rises like the issue of a king
    1630And wears upon his baby-brow the round
    And top of sovereignty?
    All
    Listen, but speak not to't.
    3 Apparition
    Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
    Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are:
    1635Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
    Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
    Shall come against him.
    Descends.
    Macbeth
    That will never be.
    Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
    1640Unfix his earth-bound root? Sweet bodements, good!
    Rebellious dead, rise never till the Wood
    Of Birnam rise, and our high-placed Macbeth
    Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath
    To time and mortal custom. Yet my heart
    1645Throbs to know one thing: tell me, if your art
    Can tell so much, shall Banquo's issue ever
    Reign in this kingdom?
    All
    Seek to know no more.
    Macbeth
    I will be satisfied. Deny me this,
    1650And an eternal curse fall on you. Let me know.
    [Cauldron descends.] Hautboys.
    Why sinks that cauldron? And what noise is this?
    1 Witch
    Show.
    2 Witch
    Show.
    3 Witch
    Show.
    Show his eyes and grieve his heart,
    Come like shadows, so depart.
    A show of eight kings, [the] last with a glass in his hand; [Banquo's ghost following].
    Macbeth
    Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo--down!
    1660Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs and thy hair,
    Thou other gold-bound-brow, is like the first;
    A third is like the former. Filthy hags,
    Why do you show me this? A fourth? Start, eyes!
    What, will the line stretch out to th'crack of doom?
    1665Another yet? A seventh? I'll see no more,
    And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass
    Which shows me many more. And some I see
    That twofold balls and treble scepters carry.
    Horrible sight! Now I see 'tis true,
    1670For the blood-boltered Banquo smiles upon me
    And points at them for his. What, is this so?
    [Apparitions and Banquo's ghost vanish.]
    1 Witch
    Ay, sir, all this is so. But why
    Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
    Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites
    1675And show the best of our delights.
    I'll charm the air to give a sound
    While you perform your antic round
    That this great king may kindly say,
    Our duties did his welcome pay.
    Music. 1680The Witches dance and vanish.
    Macbeth
    Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour
    Stand aye accursèd in the calendar.
    Come in, without there.
    Enter Lennox.
    1685Lennox
    What's your grace's will?
    Macbeth
    Saw you the weird sisters?
    Lennox
    No, my lord.
    Macbeth
    Came they not by you?
    Lennox
    No indeed, my lord.
    1690Macbeth
    Infected be the air whereon they ride
    And damned all those that trust them. I did hear
    The galloping of horse. Who was't came by?
    'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word
    Macduff is fled to England.
    1695Macbeth
    Fled to England?
    Ay, my good lord.
    Macbeth
    [Aside] Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits;
    The flighty purpose never is o'ertook
    Unless the deed go with it. From this moment,
    1700The very firstlings of my heart shall be
    The firstlings of my hand. And even now
    To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:
    The castle of Macduff I will surprise;
    Seize upon Fife; give to th'edge o'th' sword
    1705His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
    That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool,
    This deed I'll do before this purpose cool.
    But no more sights! --Where are these gentlemen?
    Come, bring me where they are.
    Exeunt.