by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

55Gentlemen, rise. His highness is not well.
Gentlemen, stand up. His highness is not well.
Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus
And hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep seat.
The fit is momentary; upon a thought
He will again be well. If much you note him,
60You shall offend him and extend his passion.
Feed and regard him not. (aside to MACBETH) Are you a man?
Sit down, worthy friends. My husband is often like this, and he has been since he was a child. Please stay seated. This is just a brief fit. In a moment he’ll be well again. If you pay too much attention to him you’ll make him angry, and that will make his convulsions go on longer. Eat your dinner and pay no attention to him. (speaking so that only MACBETH can hear) Are you a man?
Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appall the devil.
Yes, and a brave one, who dares to look at something that would frighten the devil.
     O proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear.
65This is the air-drawn dagger which you said
Led you to Duncan. Oh, these flaws and starts,
Impostors to true fear, would well become
A woman’s story at a winter’s fire,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
70Why do you make such faces? When all’s done,
You look but on a stool.
Oh, that’s nonsense! This is just another one of the hallucinations you always get when you’re afraid. This is like that floating dagger you said was leading you toward Duncan. These outbursts of yours don’t even look like real fear. They’re more like how you would act if you were a woman telling a scary story by the fireside in front of her grandmother. Shame on you! Why are you making these faces? When the vision passes, you’ll see that you’re just looking at a stool.
Prithee, see there! Behold! Look! Lo! How say you?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
If charnel houses and our graves must send
75Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.
Please, just look over there. Look! Look! See! (to the GHOST) What do you have to say? What do I care? If you can nod, then speak too. If the dead are going to return from their graves, then there’s nothing to stop the birds from eating the bodies. So there’s no point in our burying people.
The GHOST vanishes.
     What, quite unmanned in folly?
What, has your foolishness paralyzed you completely?