Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 4

Original Text

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MACBETH

     He does. He did appoint so.

MACBETH

He is. He told us to arrange it.

LENNOX

The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,
30Lamentings heard i' th' air, strange screams of death,
And prophesying with accents terrible
Of dire combustion and confused events
New hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamored the livelong night. Some say the Earth
35Was feverous and did shake.

LENNOX

The night has been chaotic. The wind blew down through the chimneys where we were sleeping. People are saying they heard cries of grief in the air, strange screams of death, and terrible voices predicting catastrophes that will usher in a woeful new age. The owl made noise all night. Some people say that the earth shook as if it had a fever.

MACBETH

     'Twas a rough night.

MACBETH

It was a rough night.

LENNOX

My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.

LENNOX

I’m too young to remember anything like it.
Enter MACDUFF
MACDUFF enters, upset.

MACDUFF

     O horror, horror, horror!
Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!

MACDUFF

Oh, horror, horror, horror! This is beyond words and beyond belief!

MACBETH & LENNOX

What’s the matter?

MACBETH & LENNOX

What’s the matter?

MACDUFF

40Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord’s anointed temple, and stole thence
The life o' th' building!

MACDUFF

The worst thing imaginable has happened. A murderer has broken into

God’s temple

Macduff compares Duncan’s corpse to a church that has been broken into, which confuses his listeners.

God’s temple
and stolen the life out of it.

MACBETH

     What is ’t you say? “The life”?

MACBETH

What are you talking about? “The life”?

LENNOX

Mean you his majesty?

LENNOX

Do you mean the king?