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A reduced version in a single act
Matthew Lee Knowles April 2013
A reduction of Shakespeare’s Macbeth into a single act.
Cast, in order of speaking: Third Witch Second Witch Duncan Sergeant Malcolm First Witch Macbeth Banquo Ross Angus Lady Macbeth Messenger Fleance Porter Lennox Macduff Donalbain Old man Attendant Second Murderer First Murderer Third Murderer Hecate Lady Macduff Son Doctor Gentlewoman Menteith Caithness Seyton Siward
THIRD WITCH That will be ere the set of sun. SECOND WITCH Paddock calls. DUNCAN What bloody man is that? He can report. SERGEANT Doubtful it stood, For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name, Dismay'd not this, Or memorise another Golgotha. MALCOLM The worthy thane of Ross. Whence camest thou, worthy thane? Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky. DUNCAN Great happiness! Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death. FIRST WITCH Where hast thou been, sister? Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger. I myself have all the other, Shall he dwindle, peak and pine. THIRD WITCH A drum, a drum! MACBETH So foul and fair a day I have not seen. BANQUO Upon her skinny lips: you should be women. THIRD WITCH All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! BANQUO And say which grain will grow and which will not. FIRST WITCH Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
MACBETH By Sinel's death I know I am thane of Glamis. BANQUO The earth hath bubbles, as the water has. MACBETH Your children shall be kings. ROSS The news of thy success; and when he reads, And pour'd them down before him, For it is thine. ANGUS With those of Norway, or did line the rebel. MACBETH Do you not hope your children shall be kings? BANQUO Win us with honest trifles, to betray's. MACBETH Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor. BANQUO Look, how our partner's rapt. MACBETH Come what come may, The interim having weigh'd it, let us speak. DUNCAN Is execution done on Cawdor? MALCOLM As one that had been studied in his death. DUNCAN The sin of my ingratitude even now. MACBETH Is to receive our duties; and our duties. DUNCAN And hold thee to my heart. Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter.
MACBETH So humbly take my leave. DUNCAN True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant. LADY MACBETH 'They met me in the day of success: And I have shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver, The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly, To have thee crown'd withal. MESSENGER So please you, it is true: our thane is coming. LADY MACBETH Under my battlements. Come, you spirits, You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, The future in the instant. Shall sun that morrow see! MACBETH We will speak further. DUNCAN This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air. BANQUO Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed. LADY MACBETH All our service. DUNCAN To be his purveyor: but he rides well, Give me your hand. MACBETH Could trammel up the consequence, and catch. First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Upon the sightless couriers of the air, Hath he ask'd for me? LADY MACBETH Was the hope drunk, Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,' And, to be more than what you were, you would.
MACBETH If we should fail? LADY MACBETH Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason. MACBETH Nothing but males. Will it not be received, Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. FLEANCE The moon is down; I have not heard the clock. BANQUO Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature Sent forth great largess to your offices. I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters. MACBETH If you shall cleave to my consent, when 'tis. BANQUO Thanks, sir: the like to you! MACBETH To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but which was not so before. There's no such thing: Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear. LADY MACBETH That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold; My father as he slept, I had done't. Now. MACBETH But they did say their prayers, and address'd them. LADY MACBETH Consider it not so deeply. MACBETH Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep, Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more, I'll go no more. Whence is that knocking? LADY MACBETH My hands are of your colour; but I shame.
Hark! More knocking. PORTER Here's a knocking indeed! If a time; have napkins enow about you; Here, knock it no further: I had thought to have let in Faith sir, we were carousing. MACDUFF Away the performance: therefore, much drink. PORTER That it did, sir, i' the very throat on. LENNOX Good morrow, noble sir. MACBETH I'll bring you to him. MACDUFF For 'tis my limited service. LENNOX And prophesying with accents terrible. MACDUFF O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart! The life o' the building! Awake, awake! LADY MACBETH What's the business? MACDUFF O Banquo, Banquo. MACBETH Had I but died an hour before this chance, You are, and do not know't. LENNOX Their hands and faces were an badged with blood. MACBETH Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious, That had a heart to love, and in that heart.
DONALBAIN Where our fate. BANQUO And when we have our naked frailties hid, So all. MALCOLM To show an unfelt sorrow is an office, Is to avoid the aim. Therefore, to horse. OLD MAN Hours dreadful and things strange; But this sore night - 'tis unnatural. ROSS War with mankind. Is't known who did this more than bloody deed? MACDUFF Stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them. ROSS Where is Duncan's body? Well, I will thither. BANQUO Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all. Of many kings. If there come truth from them. LADY MACBETH It had been as a gap in our great feast. MACBETH Ride you this afternoon? BANQUO As far, my lord, as will fill up the time. MACBETH In England and in Ireland, not confessing, And so I do commend you to their backs. Farewell. ATTENDANT They are, my lord, without the palace gate. MACBETH To act in safety. There is none but he, No son of mine succeeding. If 't be so.
Now go to the door, and stay there till we call. Our innocent self: this I made good to you, I did so, and went further, which is now. Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men. Now, if you have a station in the file. SECOND MURDERER Have so incensed that I am reckless, what. ALL THREE MURDERERS True, my lord. MACBETH Who I myself struck down; and thence it is, Your spirits shine through you, Within this hour at most, Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart. LADY MACBETH Is Banquo gone from court? SERVANT Madam, I will. LADY MACBETH Using those thoughts which should indeed have died. MACBETH In the affliction of these terrible dreams. LADY MACBETH Come on. MACBETH Disguising what they are, Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day. FIRST MURDERER But who did bid thee join with us? SECOND MURDERER To the direction just. BANQUO Give us a light there, ho!
THIRD MURDERER Make it their walk. FIRST MURDERER Let it come down. Wast not the way? MACBETH You know your own degrees; sit down: at first, We will require her welcome, Approaching the door. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: yet he's good, But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, bound in, No teeth for the present. Get thee gone: to-morrow. Sweet remembrancer! Who may I rather challenge for unkindness? Where? Thy gory locks at me. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that! LADY MACBETH Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself! What, quite unmann'd in folly? MACBETH Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd, I do forget. Lords. LADY MACBETH But as a thing of custom: 'tis no other. MACBETH The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow! And overcome us like a summer's cloud. LADY MACBETH Question enrages him. At once, good night. MACBETH It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood. LADY MACBETH Did you send to him, sir? MACBETH Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more.
FIRST WITCH Why, how now, Hecate! You look angerly. HECATE And I, the mistress of your charms, Meet me i' the morning: thither he, And that distill'd by magic sleights, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me. LENNOX Gracious Duncan, That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep? His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear, Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid, Sent he to Macduff? His wisdom can provide, some holy angel. FIRST WITCH Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd. Toad, that under cold stone. SECOND WITCH Eye of newt and toe of frog. THIRD WITCH Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Make the gruel thick and slab. HECATE O well done! I commend your pains. SECOND WITCH Something wicked this way comes. MACBETH I conjure you, by that which you profess, Even till destruction sicken; answer me. FIRST WITCH Or from our masters? Thyself and office deftly show! Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! MACBETH But yet I'll make assurance double sure. SECOND WITCH Listen, but speak not to't.
MACBETH Who can impress the forest, bid the tree. SECOND WITCH Seek to know no more. THIRD WITCH Show! MACBETH A third is like the former. Filthy hags! What, is this so? FIRST WITCH Our duties did his welcome pay. MACBETH Saw you the weird sisters? The galloping of horse: who was't came by? The flighty purpose never is o'ertook, But no more sights! Where are these gentlemen? LADY MACDUFF He had none, He wants the natural touch: for the poor wren. ROSS The fits o' the season. I dare not speak. Blessing upon you! LADY MACDUFF And what will you do now? How will you live? SON Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for. Then you'll buy 'em to sell again. LADY MACDUFF Why, one that swears and lies. SON Who must hang them? LADY MACDUFF But how wilt thou do for a father? MESSENGER Though in your state of honour I am perfect.
LADY MACDUFF Whither should I fly? FIRST MURDERER Where is your husband? MALCOLM Let us seek out some desolate shade, And there what I believe I'll wail, To offer up a weak poor innocent lamb, Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell. Let not my jealousies be your dishonours. MACDUFF For the whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp. MALCOLM Of goodly thousands: but, for all this, All the particulars of vice so grafted, I grant him bloody. MACDUFF Boundless intemperance, As will to greatness dedicate themselves. MALCOLM Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal, But I have none: the king-becoming graces, All unity on earth. MACDUFF When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again? MALCOLM Macduff, this noble passion, Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure, Whither indeed, before thy here: approach, Well; more anon. Comes the king forth, I pray you? MACDUFF What's the disease he means? MALCOLM Hanging a golden stamp about their necks, My countryman; but yet I know him not. MACDUFF Stands Scotland where it did?
ROSS Expire before the flowers in their caps. MACDUFF How does my wife? ROSS No; they were well at peace when I did leave 'em. MACDUFF Now is the time of help; your eye in Scotland, Would I could answer, But in it shares some woe; though the main part. Hum! I guess at it. MALCOLM Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break. ROSS I have said. MALCOLM Dispute it like a man. MACDUFF Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now! Heaven forgive him too! DOCTOR I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive. GENTLEWOMAN Return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep. DOCTOR You may to me: and 'tis most meet you should. GENTLEWOMAN Why, it stood by her: she has light by her, Washing her hands: I have known her continue in. LADY MACBETH Lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we this starting. DOCTOR What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged. This disease is beyond my practise: yet I have known.
LADY MACBETH To bed, to bed! There's knocking at the gate. DOCTOR Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds. MENTEITH The English power is near, led on by Malcolm. ANGUS Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming. MENTEITH What does the tyrant? ANGUS Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach. CAITHNESS Well, march we on. MACBETH Bring me no more reports; let them fly all: Shall e'er have power upon thee. Then fly, geese, villain! SERVANT The English force, so please you. As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends. SEYTON All is confirm'd, my lord, which was reported. MACBETH How does your patient, doctor? And with some sweet oblivious antidote, Come, sir, dispatch. If thou couldst, doctor, cast, Bring it after me. MALCOLM Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand, Let every soldier hew him down a bough, 'Tis his main hope. SIWARD The time approaches. Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
SEYTON It is the cry of women, my good lord. MACBETH Cannot once start me. To the last syllable of recorded time. MESSENGER Gracious my lord. MACBETH Liar and slave! I care not if thou dost for me as much. Ring the alarum-bell! Blow, wind! Come, wrack! MALCOLM Shall take upon 's what else remains to do. MACBETH They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly, Thou'lt be afraid to hear it, No, nor more fearful. MACDUFF That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face! By this great clatter, one of greatest note. SIWARD And little is to do. MACBETH Why should I play the Roman fool, and die? MACDUFF I have no words. MACBETH I bear a charmed life, which must not yield, And be these juggling fiends no more believed, I will not yield. MALCOLM I would the friends we miss were safe arrived. ROSS He only lived but till he was a man.
SIWARD Had he his hurts before? MALCOLM He's worth more sorrow. MACDUFF I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl. MALCOLM And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen, That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace.
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