Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Der bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished)
  • Author: Anonymous
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • General textual editors: James D. Mardock, Eric Rasmussen
  • Associate textual editor: Donald Bailey
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • Associate coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Der bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished)

    (From above) I am the sable Night; all sleepers feel my might.
    Of Orpheus I am the wife; in vicious pleasures I am rife.
    I am guardian of the thief, and the bringer relief to lovers.
    5I am the sable Night, and have it in my might
    To do all wickedness and cause mankind to rue.
    My mantle hides the face of every whore's disgrace.
    Ere Phoebus' light shall flame, I shall begin a game.
    You offspring of my heart, daughters of lust, come start,
    10You Furies; up arise, and let yourselves appear;
    Come diligently learn what soon must happen here.
    What says dark Night, the Queen of midnight still?
    What is there new? What's your desire and will?
    Hotfoot from Acheron's pit Maegera stands
    15To hear, Witch of Ill Fate, thy sweet commands.
    Thisiphone I; what hast in mind? now say
    Black Hecate, how to serve thee best I may.
    Hearken, all ye three Furies, hear! Offspring of darkness, bearers of all misfortune, listen to your poppy-crowned Queen of Night, protectress of thieves and robbers, friend and light to the incendiary, lover of stolen goods, and most-beloved goddess of all dishonorable loves, how often will my evil altar be honored for this deed! This night and during the coming day you must assist me, for the king of this realm burns in lust for his brother's wife, for whose sake he has murdered him that he may possess her and the kingdom. Now is the hour at hand in which he will celebrate his nuptials with her. I shall throw my mantle over them so that they see not their sin. Wherefore be ready to sow the seeds of discord, mix poison into their marriage and jealousy into their hearts. Kindle a fire of revenge, and make its sparks fly throughout the kingdom, entangle blood-brothers in the snare of incest, rejoice the infernal regions with deeds of ruthless and rancorous malice; be gone, hasten and fulfill my behests.
    Enough. I've heard; I'll finish, quickly too,
    20More than Night by herself could plan to do.
    Pluto himself can not inspire in me
    More ill than men shall very shortly see.
    I fan the sparks, and make the fire to burn.
    Within two days, all joy I'll overturn.
    Then haste; I now ascend; your tasks attend!
    [Night ascends. Music.]