by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

BANQUO enters.
Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promised, and I fear
Thou played’st most foully for ’t. Yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity,
5But that myself should be the root and father
Of many kings. If there come truth from them—
As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine—
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,
10And set me up in hope? But hush, no more.
Now you have it all: you’re the king, the thane of Cawdor, and the thane of Glamis, just like the weird women promised you. And I suspect you cheated to win these titles. But it was also prophesied that the crown would not go to your descendants, and that my sons and grandsons would be kings instead. If the witches tell the truth—which they did about you—maybe what they said about me will come true too. But shhh! I’ll shut up now.
Sennet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as king, LADY MACBETH, as queen, LENNOX, ROSS, LORDS, LADIES, and attendants
A trumpet plays. MACBETH enters dressed as king, and LADY MACBETH enters dressed as queen, together with LENNOX, ROSS, LORDS, LADIES, and their attendants
Here’s our chief guest.
(indicating BANQUO) Here’s our most important guest.
If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast,
And all-thing unbecoming.
If we forgot him, our big celebration wouldn’t be complete, and that wouldn’t be any good.
15Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
And I’ll request your presence.
(to BANQUO) Tonight we’re having a ceremonial banquet, and I want you to be there.
     Let your highness
Command upon me, to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
Forever knit.
Whatever your highness commands me to do, it is always my duty to do it.