Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

MACBETH

Speak, if you can: what are you?

MACBETH

Speak, if you can. What kind of creatures are you?

FIRST WITCH

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!

FIRST WITCH

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to you, thane of Glamis!

SECOND WITCH

50All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

SECOND WITCH

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to you, thane of Cawdor!

THIRD WITCH

All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!

THIRD WITCH

All hail, Macbeth, the future king!

BANQUO

Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear
Things that do sound so fair? (to the WITCHES) I' th' name of truth,
Are ye fantastical, or that indeed
55Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner
You greet with present grace and great prediction
Of noble having and of royal hope,
That he seems rapt withal. To me you speak not.
If you can look into the seeds of time
60And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favors nor your hate.

BANQUO

My dear Macbeth, why do you look so startled and afraid of these nice things they’re saying? (to the WITCHES) Tell me honestly, are you illusions, or are you really what you seem to be? You’ve greeted my noble friend with honors and talk of a future so glorious that you’ve made him speechless. But you don’t say anything to me. If you can see the future and say how things will turn out, tell me. I don’t want your favors and I’m not afraid of your hatred.

FIRST WITCH

Hail!

FIRST WITCH

Hail!

SECOND WITCH

Hail!

SECOND WITCH

Hail!

THIRD WITCH

65Hail!

THIRD WITCH

Hail!

FIRST WITCH

Lesser than Macbeth and greater.

FIRST WITCH

You are lesser than Macbeth but also greater.

SECOND WITCH

Not so happy, yet much happier.

SECOND WITCH

You are not as happy as Macbeth, yet much happier.

THIRD WITCH

Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

THIRD WITCH

Your descendants will be kings, even though you will not be one. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!