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The Tragedy of Macbeth

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Act II, Scene 2

The same.



  • Lady Macbeth. 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, 650
    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, 655
    Whether they live or die.
  • Macbeth. [Within] Who's there? what, ho!
  • Lady Macbeth. Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
    And 'tis not done. The attempt and not the deed
    Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready; 660
    He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled
    My father as he slept, I had done't.
    [Enter MACBETH]
    My husband!
  • Macbeth. I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise? 665
  • Lady Macbeth. I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
    Did not you speak?
  • Macbeth. Hark!
    Who lies i' the second chamber?
  • Macbeth. This is a sorry sight. 675

[Looking on his hands]

  • Macbeth. There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried
    That they did wake each other: I stood and heard them: 680
    But they did say their prayers, and address'd them
    Again to sleep.
  • Macbeth. One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen' the other;
    As they had seen me with these hangman's hands. 685
    Listening their fear, I could not say 'Amen,'
    When they did say 'God bless us!'
  • Macbeth. But wherefore could not I pronounce 'Amen'?
    I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen' 690
    Stuck in my throat.
  • Lady Macbeth. These deeds must not be thought
    After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
  • Macbeth. Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more!
    Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep, 695
    Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve 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,—
  • Macbeth. Still it cried 'Sleep no more!' to all the house:
    'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor
    Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.'
  • Lady Macbeth. Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
    You do unbend your noble strength, to think 705
    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. 710
  • Macbeth. I'll go no more:
    I am afraid to think what I have done;
    Look on't again I dare not.
  • Lady Macbeth. Infirm of purpose!
    Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead 715
    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]

  • Macbeth. 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 725
    The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
    Making the green one red.


  • Lady Macbeth. My hands are of your colour; but I shame
    To wear a heart so white. 730
    [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 735
    Hath left you unattended.
    [Knocking within]
    Hark! more knocking.
    Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,
    And show us to be watchers. Be not lost 740
    So poorly in your thoughts.
  • Macbeth. To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.
    [Knocking within]
    Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!