Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

How goes the world, sir, now?
How are things going now?

MACDUFF

     Why, see you not?

MACDUFF

Can’t you see for yourself?

ROSS

Is ’t known who did this more than bloody deed?

ROSS

Does anyone know who committed this horrible crime?

MACDUFF

Those that Macbeth hath slain.

MACDUFF

The servants Macbeth killed.

ROSS

     Alas, the day!
What good could they pretend?

ROSS

It’s too bad he killed them. What good would it have done those men to kill Duncan?

MACDUFF

     They were suborned.
25Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled, which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.

MACDUFF

They were paid to betray their master. Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s two sons, have run away and fled, which makes them the prime suspects.

ROSS

'Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that will raven up
30Thine own lives' means! Then ’tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

ROSS

Everything about this is unnatural! What a stupid ambition, causing a son to kill the father who supports him. Then it looks like Macbeth will become king.

MACDUFF

He is already named and gone to Scone
To be invested.

MACDUFF

He has already been named king and has left for Scone to be crowned.

ROSS

Where is Duncan’s body?

ROSS

Where is Duncan’s body?

MACDUFF

35Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.

MACDUFF

It was carried to Colmekill to be placed in the tomb of his ancestors, where their bones are kept safe.

ROSS

     Will you to Scone?

ROSS

Are you going to Scone?

MACDUFF

No, cousin, I’ll to Fife.

MACDUFF

No, cousin, I’m going to Fife.

ROSS

Well, I will thither.

ROSS

Well, I’ll go to Scone.