Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 4

page Act 3 Scene 4 Page 7

Original Text

Modern Text

LADY MACBETH

I pray you, speak not. He grows worse and worse.
Question enrages him. At once, good night.
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once.

LADY MACBETH

Please, don’t speak to him. He’s getting worse and worse. Talk makes him crazy. Everybody, please leave right now. Don’t bother exiting in the order of your rank, but just leave right away.

LENNOX

125Good night, and better health
Attend his majesty!

LENNOX

Good night. I hope the king recovers soon!

LADY MACBETH

A kind good night to all!

LADY MACBETH

A kind good night to all!
Exeunt all but MACBETH and LADY MACBETH
Everyone leaves except MACBETH and LADY MACBETH.

MACBETH

It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood.
Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak.
130Augurs and understood relations have
By magot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth
The secret’st man of blood.—What is the night?

MACBETH

There’s an old saying: the dead will have their revenge. Gravestones have been known to move, and trees to speak, to bring guilty men to justice. The craftiest murderers have been exposed by the mystical signs made by crows and magpies. How late at night is it?

LADY MACBETH

Almost at odds with morning, which is which.

LADY MACBETH

It’s almost morning. You can’t tell whether it’s day or night.

MACBETH

How say’st thou that Macduff denies his person
135At our great bidding?

MACBETH

What do you think about the fact that Macduff refuses to come to me when I command him?

LADY MACBETH

     Did you send to him, sir?

LADY MACBETH

Did you send for him, sir?

MACBETH

I hear it by the way; but I will send.
There’s not a one of them but in his house
I keep a servant fee’d. I will tomorrow—
And betimes I will—to the weird sisters.
140More shall they speak, for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
145Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.

MACBETH

I’ve heard about this indirectly, but I will send for him. In every one of the lords' households I have a servant paid to spy for me. Tomorrow, while it’s still early, I will go see the witches. They will tell me more, because I’m determined to know the worst about what’s going to happen. My own safety is the only important thing now. I have walked so far into this river of blood that even if I stopped now, it would be as hard to go back to being good as it is to keep killing people. I have some schemes in my head that I’m planning to put into action. I have to do these things before I have a chance to think about them.