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  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 3

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MALCOLM

It is myself I mean, in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted
That, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state
55Esteem him as a lamb, being compared
With my confineless harms.

MALCOLM

I’m talking about myself. I know I have so many vices that when people see all of them exposed, evil Macbeth will seem as pure as snow in comparison, and poor Scotland will call him a sweet lamb when they compare him to me and my infinite evils.

MACDUFF

     Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
In evils to top Macbeth.

MACDUFF

Even in hell you couldn’t find a devil worse than Macbeth.

MALCOLM

     I grant him bloody,
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
60Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name. But there’s no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness. Your wives, your daughters,
Your matrons, and your maids could not fill up
The cistern of my lust, and my desire
65All continent impediments would o'erbear
That did oppose my will. Better Macbeth
Than such an one to reign.

MALCOLM

I admit that he’s murderous, lecherous, greedy, lying, deceitful, violent, malicious, and guilty of every sin that has a name. But there is no end, absolutely none, to my sexual desires. Your wives, your daughters, your old women, and your young maids together could not satisfy my lust. My desire would overpower all restraints and anyone who stood in my way. It would be better for Macbeth to rule than someone like me.

MACDUFF

     Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny. It hath been
The untimely emptying of the happy throne
70And fall of many kings. But fear not yet
To take upon you what is yours. You may
Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty
And yet seem cold; the time you may so hoodwink.
We have willing dames enough. There cannot be
75That vulture in you to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclined.

MACDUFF

Endless greed and lust in a man’s nature is a kind of tyranny. It has caused the downfall of many kings. But don’t be afraid to take the crown that belongs to you. You can find a way to satisfy your desires in secret, while still appearing virtuous. You can deceive everyone. There are more than enough willing women around. Your lust can’t possibly be so strong that you’d use up all the women willing to give themselves to the king once they find out he wants them.