Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 4

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FIRST WITCH

70Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!

FIRST WITCH

Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!

MACBETH

Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am thane of Glamis.
But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman, and to be king
75Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence, or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.

MACBETH

Wait! You only told me part of what I want to know. Stay and tell me more. I already know I am the thane of Glamis because I inherited the position when my father, Sinel, died. But how can you call me the thane of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor is alive, and he’s a rich and powerful man. And for me to be the king is completely impossible, just as it’s impossible for me to be thane of Cawdor. Tell me where you learned these strange things, and why you stop us at this desolate place with this prophetic greeting? Speak, I command you.
WITCHES vanish
The WITCHESvanish.

BANQUO

80The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?

BANQUO

The earth has bubbles, just like the water, and these creatures must have come from a bubble in the earth. Where did they disappear to?

MACBETH

Into the air, and what seemed corporal
Melted, as breath into the wind. Would they had stayed.

MACBETH

Into thin air. Their bodies melted like breath in the wind. I wish they had stayed!

BANQUO

Were such things here as we do speak about?
85Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?

BANQUO

Were these things we’re talking about really here? Or are we both on drugs?

MACBETH

Your children shall be kings.

MACBETH

Your children will be kings.

BANQUO

     You shall be king.

BANQUO

You will be the king.

MACBETH

And thane of Cawdor too: went it not so?

MACBETH

And thane of Cawdor too. Isn’t that what they said?

BANQUO

To the selfsame tune and words. Who’s here?

BANQUO

That’s exactly what they said. Who’s this?
Enter ROSS and ANGUS
ROSS and ANGUS enter.