Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Thunder. Enter the three Witches


Where hast thou been, sister?


Killing swine.


Sister, where thou?


A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,

And munched and munched and munched. ‘ Give me,’ quoth I.
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

‘ Aroint thee, witch!’ the rump-fed ronyon cries.
aroint (v.) be gone, away with you
ronyon (n.) [term of abuse for a woman] mangy creature

Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o'the Tiger.

But in a sieve I'll thither sail,

And like a rat without a tail

I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.
do (v.) 7 do harm, cause trouble


I'll give thee a wind.


Th'art kind.


And I another.


I myself have all the other.

And the very ports they blow

All the quarters that they know
quarter (n.) 3 direction, bearing, point [of the compass]

I'the shipman's card.
card (n.) [compass-card, on which the 32 points of the compass are marked] model, accurate guide

I will drain him dry as hay;

Sleep shall neither night nor day

Hang upon his penthouse lid.
penthouse, pent-house (adj.) like a lean-to shed

He shall live a man forbid.

Weary sev'n-nights nine times nine

Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine,
peak (v.) 2 waste away, grow thin, become emaciated

Though his bark cannot be lost,
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel

Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.

Look what I have!


                         Show me, show me!


Here I have a pilot's thumb,

Wracked as homeward he did come.
wrack (v.) 1 wreck, shipwreck, lose at sea

Drum within


A drum! a drum!

Macbeth doth come.


The Weird Sisters, hand in hand,

Posters of the sea and land,
poster (n.) fast traveller, speedy rover

Thus do go, about, about;

Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,

And thrice again, to make up nine.

Peace! The charm's wound up.
wind up (v.) 2 prepare for action, set in readiness

Enter Macbeth and Banquo


So foul and fair a day I have not seen.


How far is't called to Forres? What are these,
call (v.) 2 reckon, say to be

So withered and so wild in their attire,

That look not like the inhabitants o'the earth,

And yet are on't? Live you? Or are you aught
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

That man may question? You seem to understand me

By each at once her choppy finger laying
choppy (adj.) chapped, cracked, rough

Upon her skinny lips. You should be women;

And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

That you are so.


                         Speak if you can! What are you?


All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!


All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!


All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!


Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear
start (v.) 1 jump, recoil, flinch

Things that do sound so fair? – I'the name of truth,

Are ye fantastical, or that indeed
fantastical (adj.) 2 imaginary, unreal, illusory

Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner

You greet with present grace, and great prediction

Of noble having and of royal hope
having (n.) 1 fortune, estate, means

That he seems rapt withal. To me you speak not.

If you can look into the seeds of time

And say which grain will grow and which will not,

Speak then to me who neither beg nor fear

Your favours nor your hate.








Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.


Not so happy, yet much happier.


Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
get (v.) 1 beget, conceive, breed

So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!


Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!


Stay, you imperfect speakers! Tell me more!
imperfect (adj.) 3 unclear, equivocal, inexplicit

By Sinell's death I know I am Thane of Glamis;

But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives

A prosperous gentleman. And to be king

Stands not within the prospect of belief –
prospect (n.) field of view, vista, outlook

No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence

You owe this strange intelligence; or why
intelligence (n.) 1 information, news, communication
owe (v.) 1 own, possess, have See Topics: Frequency count

Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
blasted (adj.) blighted, withered; accursed, malevolent

With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you!
charge (v.) 1 order, command, enjoin

Witches vanish


The earth hath bubbles as the water has,

And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?


Into the air; and what seemed corporal
corporal (adj.) 2 corporeal, material, physical

Melted, as breath into the wind. Would they had stayed!


Were such things here as we do speak about?

Or have we eaten on the insane root
insane (adj.) causing madness, producing insanity

That takes the reason prisoner?


Your children shall be kings.


                         You shall be king.


And Thane of Cawdor too, went it not so?


To the selfsame tune and words. Who's here?

Enter Ross and Angus


The King hath happily received, Macbeth,

The news of thy success; and when he reads

Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight,
venture (n.) 2 risky enterprise, hazardous attempt

His wonders and his praises do contend
contend (v.) 1 fight, engage in combat, struggle
wonder (n.) 1 feeling of wonder, astonishment, marvelling

Which should be thine, or his. Silenced with that,

In viewing o'er the rest o'the selfsame day

He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Norweyan (adj.) Norwegian

Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
afeard (adj.) afraid, frightened, scared See Topics: Frequency count

Strange images of death. As thick as hail

Came post with post; and every one did bear
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count

Thy praises, in his kingdom's great defence,

And poured them down before him.


                         We are sent

To give thee from our royal master thanks;

Only to herald thee into his sight,

Not pay thee.


And, for an earnest of a greater honour,
earnest (n.) pledge, instalment, deposit, payment in advance

He bade me from him call thee Thane of Cawdor

In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,
addition (n.) 1 title, name

For it is thine.


                         What! Can the devil speak true?


The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me

In borrowed robes?


                         Who was the Thane lives yet,

But under heavy judgement bears that life
heavy (adj.) 2 grave, serious, weighty

Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combined

With those of Norway, or did line the rebel
line (v.) 1 strengthen, support, fortify

With hidden help and vantage, or that with both
vantage (n.) 3 advantage, benefit, advancement, profit

He laboured in his country's wrack, I know not;
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin

But treasons capital, confessed, and proved

Have overthrown him.



                         Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor!

The greatest is behind. – Thanks for your pains.

(to Banquo) Do you not hope your children shall be kings,

When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me

Promised no less to them?
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly


                         That trusted home

Might yet enkindle you unto the crown

Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange;

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,

The instruments of darkness tell us truths;

Win us with honest trifles, to betray's
betray (v.) 1 deceive, seduce, mislead

In deepest consequence.
deep (adj.) 1 solemn, weighty, important

Cousins, a word, I pray you.

They walk apart



                         Two truths are told,

As happy prologues to the swelling Act
act (n.) 5 performance, staging, production
swelling (adj.) 4 magnificent, grand, resplendant

Of the imperial theme. – I thank you, gentlemen.
theme (n.) 1 subject, subject-matter, topic of discourse

(aside) This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

Why hath it given me earnest of success
earnest (n.) pledge, instalment, deposit, payment in advance

Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor.

If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
suggestion (n.) temptation, instigation, prompting towards evil

Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,

And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
seated (adj.) 1 firmly placed, fixed

Against the use of nature? Present fears
nature (n.) 2 natural powers, normal state [of mind and body]
use (n.) 1 usual practice, habit, custom

Are less than horrible imaginings.

My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
fantastical (adj.) 2 imaginary, unreal, illusory

Shakes so my single state of man
single (adj.) 1 individual, particular

That function is smothered in surmise,
function (n.) 1 activity, action, performance
surmise (n.) 1 idea, imagining, conjecture

And nothing is but what is not.


Look how our partner's rapt.



If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me

Without my stir.
stir (n.) 1 acting, stirring, activity


                         New honours come upon him

Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould

But with the aid of use.


come what come may come what may, whatever happens

                         Come what come may,

Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.


Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.
stay on / upon (v.) wait for, await


Give me your favour. My dull brain was wrought
favour (n.) 8 pardon, leave, kind indulgence See Topics: Politeness
work (v.), past form wrought 3 affect, stir, act upon

With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains

Are registered where every day I turn

The leaf to read them. Let us toward the King.

(to Banquo) Think upon what hath chanced, and at more time,

The interim having weighed it, let us speak

Our free hearts each to other.
free (adj.) 9 frank, undisguised, open


                         Very gladly.


Till then, enough! – Come, friends.


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