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    Not Peer Reviewed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, meeting 1430Hecate.
    1 Witch
    Why, how now, Hecate, you look angerly?
    Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
    Saucy and over-bold? How did you dare
    To trade and traffic with Macbeth
    1435In riddles and affairs of death,
    And I the mistress of your charms,
    The close contriver of all harms,
    Was never called to bear my part
    Or show the glory of our art?
    1440And which is worse, all you have done
    Hath been but for a wayward son,
    Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
    Loves for his own ends, not for you.
    But make amends now: get you gone
    1445And at the pit of Acheron
    Meet me i'th' morning. Thither he
    Will come to know his destiny.
    Your vessels and your spells provide,
    Your charms and every thing beside.
    1450I am for th'air: this night I'll spend
    Unto a dismal and a fatal end.
    Great business must be wrought ere noon.
    Upon the corner of the moon
    There hangs a vap'rous drop profound;
    1455I'll catch it ere it come to ground.
    And that distilled by magic sleights
    Shall raise such artificial sprites
    As by the strength of their illusion
    Shall draw him on to his confusion.
    1460He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
    His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
    And you all know security
    Is mortals' chiefest enemy.
    Music and a song within: come away, come away, etc.
    1465Hark, I am called: my little spirit, see,
    Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me.
    1 Witch
    Come, let's make haste, she'll soon be back again.