Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 7

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MACDUFF

Wherefore did you so?

MACDUFF

What did you do that for?

MACBETH

Who can be wise, amazed, temp'rate, and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
Th' expedition of my violent love
90Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature
For ruin’s wasteful entrance; there, the murderers,
Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers
95Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain,
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make ’s love known?

MACBETH

Is it possible to be wise, bewildered, calm, furious, loyal, and neutral all at once? Nobody can do that. The violent rage inspired by my love for Duncan caused me to act before I could think rationally and tell myself to pause. There was Duncan, his white skin all splattered with his precious blood. The gashes where the knives had cut him looked like wounds to nature itself. Then right next to him I saw the murderers, dripping with blood, their daggers rudely covered in gore. Who could have restrained himself, who loved Duncan and had the courage to act on it?

LADY MACBETH

     Help me hence, ho!

LADY MACBETH

Help me out of here, quickly!

MACDUFF

Look to the lady.

MACDUFF

Take care of the lady.

MALCOLM

(aside to DONALBAIN ) Why do we hold our tongues,
100That most may claim this argument for ours?

MALCOLM

(speaking so that only DONALBAIN can hear) Why are we keeping quiet? The two of us have the most to say in this matter.

DONALBAIN

(aside to MALCOLM) What should be spoken here, where our fate,
Hid in an auger-hole, may rush and seize us?
Let’s away. Our tears are not yet brewed.

DONALBAIN

(speaking so that only MALCOLM can hear) What are we going to say here, where danger may be waiting to strike at us from anywhere? Let’s get out of here. We haven’t even begun to weep yet—but there will be time for that later.

MALCOLM

(aside to DONALBAIN) Nor our strong sorrow
105Upon the foot of motion.

MALCOLM

(speaking so that only DONALBAIN can hear) And the time hasn’t come yet for us to turn our deep grief into action.

BANQUO

     Look to the lady.

BANQUO

Take care of the lady.
Exit LADY MACBETH, attended
LADY MACBETH is carried out.