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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Ross with an Old Man.
    925Old Man
    Threescore and ten I can remember well;
    Within the volume of which time I have seen
    Hours dreadful and things strange, but this sore night
    Hath trifled former knowings.
    Ha, good father,
    930Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
    Threatens his bloody stage: by th'clock 'tis day
    And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.
    Is't night's predominance or the day's shame
    That darkness does the face of earth entomb
    935When living light should kiss it?
    Old Man
    'Tis unnatural,
    Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last,
    A falcon tow'ring in her pride of place
    Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.
    And Duncan's horses--a thing most strange and certain--
    Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
    Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
    Contending 'gainst obedience as they would
    945Make war with mankind.
    Old Man
    'Tis said they ate each other.
    They did so, to th'amazement of mine eyes
    That looked upon't.
    Enter Macduff.
    950Here comes the good Macduff.
    How goes the world, sir, now?
    Why, see you not?
    Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?
    Those that Macbeth hath slain.
    Alas the day,
    What good could they pretend?
    They were suborned.
    Malcolm and Donalbain, the King's two sons,
    Are stol'n away and fled, which puts upon them
    960Suspicion of the deed.
    'Gainst nature still--
    Thriftless ambition that will ravin up
    Thine own life's means. Then 'tis most like
    The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
    He is already named and gone to Scone
    To be invested.
    Where is Duncan's body?
    Carried to Colmkill,
    The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
    970And guardian of their bones.
    Will you to Scone?
    No, cousin, I'll to Fife.
    Well, I will thither.
    Well may you see things well done there. Adieu,
    975Lest our old robes sit easier than our new.
    Farewell, father.
    Old Man
    God's benison go with you, and with those
    That would make good of bad and friends of foes.