by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 4

page Act 1 Scene 4 Page 3

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50 (aside) The prince of Cumberland! That is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
55Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.


(to himself) Malcolm is now the prince of Cumberland! To become king myself, I’m either going to have to step over him or give up, because he’s in my way. Stars, hide your light so no one can see the terrible desires within me. I won’t let my eye look at what my hand is doing, but in the end I’m still going to do that thing I’d be horrified to see.
MACBETH exits.


True, worthy Banquo. He is full so valiant,
And in his commendations I am fed;
It is a banquet to me.—Let’s after him,
Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome:
60It is a peerless kinsman.


(to BANQUO, in the middle of a conversation we haven’t heard) You’re right, Banquo. Macbeth is every bit as valiant as you say, and I am satisfied with these praises of him. Let’s follow after him, now that he has gone ahead to prepare our welcome. He is a man without equal.
Flourish. Exeunt
Trumpet fanfare. They exit.