Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

LADY MACBETH

Come on, gentle my lord,
30Sleek o'er your rugged looks. Be bright and jovial
Among your guests tonight.

LADY MACBETH

Come on, relax, dear. Put on a happy face and look cheerful and agreeable for your guests tonight.

MACBETH

     So shall I, love,
And so, I pray, be you. Let your remembrance
Apply to Banquo; present him eminence,
Both with eye and tongue: unsafe the while that we
35Must lave our honors in these flattering streams,
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
Disguising what they are.

MACBETH

That’s exactly what I’ll do, my love, and I hope you’ll do the same. Give Banquo your special attention. Talk to him and look at him in a way that will make him feel important. We’re in a dangerous situation, where we have to flatter him and hide our true feelings.

LADY MACBETH

     You must leave this.

LADY MACBETH

You have to stop talking like this.

MACBETH

Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

MACBETH

Argh! I feel like my mind is full of scorpions, my dear wife. You know that Banquo and his son Fleance are still alive.

LADY MACBETH

40But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.

LADY MACBETH

But they can’t live forever.

MACBETH

There’s comfort yet; they are assailable.
Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown
His cloistered flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons
The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
45Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.

MACBETH

That’s comforting. They can be killed, it’s true. So be cheerful. Before the bat flies through the castle, and before the dung beetle makes his little humming noise to tell us it’s nighttime, a dreadful deed will be done.

LADY MACBETH

     What’s to be done?

LADY MACBETH

What are you going to do?