William Shakespeare's Macbeth, his famous "Scottish play" is the story of a good man turned evil by a dark ambition he cannot control.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Macbeth > Act II. Scene II.

Macbeth

Study Guides
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Macbeth
Merchant of Venice
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

Act II. Scene II.

Scene II.—The Same.

Enter LADY MACBETH.

Lady M. That which hath made them drunk
hath made me bold,
What hath quench'd them hath given me fire.
Hark!
Peace!
It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is
about it:
The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores: I have
drugg'd their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die.
Macb. [ Within.] Who's there? what, ho!
Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd,
And 'tis not done; the attempt and not the deed
Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers
ready;
He could not miss them. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept I had done't. My hus-
band!

Enter MACBETH.
Macb. I have done the deed. Didst thou not
hear a noise?
Lady M. I heard the owl scream and the
crickets cry.
Did not you speak?
Macb. When?
Lady M. Now.
Macb. As I descended?
Lady M. Ay.
Macb. Hark!
Who lies i' the second chamber?
Lady M. Donalbain.
Macb. [Looking on his hands.] This is a sorry
sight.
Lady M. A foolish thought to say a sorry
sight.
Macb. There's one did laugh in's steep, and
one cried 'Murder!'
That they did wake each other: I stood and
heard them;
But they did say their prayers, and address'd
them
Again to sleep.
Lady M. There are two lodg'd together.
Macb. One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen'
the other:
As they had seen me with these hangman's
hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say 'Amen,'
When. they did say 'God bless us!'
Lady M. Consider it not so deeply.
Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce
'Amen?'
I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen'
Stuck in my throat.
Lady M. These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
Macb. Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep
no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep,' the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second
course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast,—
Lady M. What do you mean?
Macb. Still it cried, 'Sleep no more!' to all
the house:
'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore
Cawdor
Shall steep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no
more!'
Lady M. Who was it that thus cried? Why,
worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength to think
So brainsickly of things. Go get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring these daggers from the
place?
They must lie there: go carry them, and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
Macb. I'll go no more:
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on't again I dare not.
Lady M. Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the
dead
Are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal;
For it must seem their guilt.
[Exit. Knocking within.
Macb. Whence is that knocking?
How is't with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here! Ha! they pluck out mine
eyes.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will
rather
The multitudinous seas incarnardine,
Making the green one red.

Re-enter LADY MACBETH.
Lady M. My hands are of your colour, but I
shame
To wear a heart so white.—[Knocking within.]
I hear a knocking
At the south entry; retire we to our chamber;
A little water clears us of this deed;
How easy is it, then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended. [Knocking within.]
Hark! more knocking.
Get on your night-gown, lest occasion call us,
And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.
Macb. To know my deed 'twere best not know
myself. [Knocking within.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou
couldst! [Exeunt.
< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards