Enter three Murderers First Murderer But who did bid thee join with us? Third Murderer Macbeth.
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Second Murderer He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers Our offices and what we have to do To the direction just. First Murderer Then stand with us. The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day: Now spurs the lated traveller apace To gain the timely inn; and near approaches The subject of our watch. Third Murderer Hark! I hear horses. Second Murderer Then 'tis he: the rest That are within the note of expectation Already are i' the court. First Murderer His horses go about. Third Murderer Almost a mile: but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk.
Second Murderer A light, a light!
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
A banquet prepared. Lords Thanks to your majesty. Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time We will require her welcome. First Murderer appears at the door.
How did you dare To trade and traffic with Macbeth In riddles and affairs of death; And I, the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms, Was never call'd to bear my part, Or show the glory of our art? And, which is worse, all you have done Hath been but for a wayward son, Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do, Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now: get you gone, And at the pit of Acheron Meet me i' the morning: thither he Will come to know his destiny: Your vessels and your spells provide, Your charms and every thing beside.
I am for the air; this night I'll spend Unto a dismal and a fatal end: Great business must be wrought ere noon: Upon the corner of the moon There hangs a vaporous drop profound; I'll catch it ere it come to ground: And that distill'd by magic sleights Shall raise such artificial sprites As by the strength of their illusion Shall draw him on to his confusion: He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear He hopes 'bove wisdom, grace and fear: And you all know, security Is mortals' chiefest enemy. The gracious Duncan Was pitied of Macbeth: marry, he was dead: And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late; Whom, you may say, if't please you, Fleance kill'd, For Fleance fled: men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought how monstrous It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain To kill their gracious father? How it did grieve Macbeth!
How does Lady Macbeth explain Macbeth's strange behavior at the banquet?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too; For 'twould have anger'd any heart alive To hear the men deny't. So that, I say, He has borne all things well: and I do think That had he Duncan's sons under his key-- As, an't please heaven, he shall not--they should find What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance. But, peace! Lord The son of Duncan, From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth Lives in the English court, and is received Of the most pious Edward with such grace That the malevolence of fortune nothing Takes from his high respect: thither Macduff Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward: That, by the help of these--with Him above To ratify the work--we may again Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights, Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives, Do faithful homage and receive free honours: All which we pine for now: and this report Hath so exasperate the king that he Prepares for some attempt of war.
Lord He did: and with an absolute 'Sir, not I,' The cloudy messenger turns me his back, And hums, as who should say 'You'll rue the time That clogs me with this answer. Some holy angel Fly to the court of England and unfold His message ere he come, that a swift blessing May soon return to this our suffering country Under a hand accursed! Lord I'll send my prayers with him. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.
Enter the three Witches First Witch Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd. Second Witch Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined. Third Witch Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time. First Witch Round about the cauldron go; In the poison'd entrails throw. Toad, that under cold stone Days and nights has thirty-one Swelter'd venom sleeping got, Boil thou first i' the charmed pot. ALL Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Second Witch Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Third Witch Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witches' mummy, maw and gulf Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark, Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark, Liver of blaspheming Jew, Gall of goat, and slips of yew Silver'd in the moon's eclipse, Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips, Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-deliver'd by a drab, Make the gruel thick and slab: Add thereto a tiger's chaudron, For the ingredients of our cauldron. Second Witch Cool it with a baboon's blood, Then the charm is firm and good.
ROSS You must have patience, madam. He loves us not; He wants the natural touch: for the poor wren, The most diminutive of birds, will fight, Her young ones in her nest, against the owl. All is the fear and nothing is the love; As little is the wisdom, where the flight So runs against all reason. ROSS My dearest coz, I pray you, school yourself: but for your husband, He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows The fits o' the season. I dare not speak much further; But cruel are the times, when we are traitors And do not know ourselves, when we hold rumour From what we fear, yet know not what we fear, But float upon a wild and violent sea Each way and move.
I take my leave of you: Shall not be long but I'll be here again: Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward To what they were before. My pretty cousin, Blessing upon you!
MACDUFF Let us rather Hold fast the mortal sword, and like good men Bestride our down-fall'n birthdom: each new morn New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds As if it felt with Scotland and yell'd out Like syllable of dolour. What you have spoke, it may be so perchance.
This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues, Was once thought honest: you have loved him well. He hath not touch'd you yet. I am young; but something You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom To offer up a weak poor innocent lamb To appease an angry god. A good and virtuous nature may recoil In an imperial charge.
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But I shall crave your pardon; That which you are my thoughts cannot transpose: Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell; Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace, Yet grace must still look so. Why in that rawness left you wife and child, Those precious motives, those strong knots of love, Without leave-taking? I pray you, Let not my jealousies be your dishonours, But mine own safeties. You may be rightly just, Whatever I shall think. It was fiery and dramatic reading of the latter that suggested a demonic and vengeful quality.
Her ascensions into the top of her register never seemed to connect with her middle range and the vocal line never flowed with the muscular quality the music asks for. More telling was sometimes she seemed underpowered in her lower range. She also looked visibly lost on stage and sometimes fell out of character as she attempted to sing through the coloratura lines in the cabaletta. She moved about the stage in routine fashion walking side to side with no real motivation or emphasis on character and made a number of stock gestures that would emphasize her power.
At one point she threw herself to the floor only to get right back up and to continue walking around before jumping awkwardly onto the bed. In another, she grabbed the bed sheet for no real reason, wrapped herself in it for a moment and then threw it away. It was a rather awkward and frustrating scene from a singer who had utterly brought the house down when she had previously done it. The first iteration was sung with glimmering coloratura runs that showed a brighter and more refined texture.
Then in the second repeat, she delivered accented phrases that emphasized her anger and fury. And as she began to sing, she gave shimmering pianissimo sounds that resonated with haunting effect. But after these opening lines, her movements started to become predictable and somewhat robotic. When she threw herself to the floor and placed the light against the audience, it seemed calculated. Vocally she delivered glimmering sound and a connected middle voice but it seemed too safe for a diva known for bringing power and unpredictability to the stage.
Her upper register also seemed constrained as she missed one of her high notes and final D flat sounded tentative with iffy intonation. Again, context is everything with this particular performance and it was undeniably hard for him to enter the arena with little preparation. Still, he was brought in mainly because he is a Macbeth veteran and it was somewhat surprising to find such inconsistency in a role that has been developed for nearly a decade.
Vocally he had some fine moments, especially his monologue in Act one. He sang with piano sounds that emphasized the sense of terror and dread. It brought to life the hesitance that Macbeth feels about killing the king. In the Act two concertato, he also sang with powerful phrases and his timbre gleamed with lush sound that easily went over the ensemble.
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Suddenly, both are alarmed by a loud knocking at the castle door. When the drunken porter of Macbeth's castle finally responds to the noise, he opens the door to Macduff , a loyal follower of the king, who has been asked to awake Duncan in preparation for the return journey. Macbeth indicates the location of the king's room, and Macduff discovers the body. When the murder is revealed, Macbeth swiftly kills the prime witnesses, the sleepy guards of the king's bedchamber, and Lady Macbeth faints. The assembled lords of Scotland, including Macbeth, swear to avenge the murder. With suspicion heavy in the air, the king's two sons flee the country: Donalbain to Ireland and Malcolm to raise an army in England.
Macbeth is duly proclaimed the new king of Scotland, but recalling the Witches' second prophecy, he arranges the murder of his fellow soldier Banquo and his son Fleance, both of whom represent a threat to his kingship according to the Witches' prophecy. The hired murderers kill Banquo but mistakenly allow Fleance to escape. At a celebratory banquet that night, Macbeth is thrown into a state of horror when the ghost of the murdered Banquo appears at the dining table.
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Again, his wife tries to strengthen Macbeth, but the strain is clearly beginning to show. The following day, Macbeth returns to the same Witches who initially foretold his destiny. This time, the Witches not only confirm that the sons of Banquo will rule in Scotland, but they also add a new prophecy: Macbeth will be invincible in battle until the time when the forest of Birnam moves towards his stronghold at Dunsinane and until he meets an enemy "not born of woman. When he is told that Macduff has deserted him, Macbeth begins the final stage of his tragic descent. His first move is the destruction of Macduff's wife and children.