Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Macbeth's Wife alone with a letter


They met me in the day of success, and I have learned

by the perfectest report they have more in them than mortal

knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further,

they made themselves air, into which they vanished.

Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from

the King, who all-hailed me Thane of Cawdor; by which

title before these Weird Sisters saluted me, and referred me

to the coming on of time with, ‘ Hail, king that shalt be.’

This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner

of greatness, that thou mightest not lose the dues of rejoicing

by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee.

Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be

What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o'the milk of human-kindness
human-kindness (n.) natural feelings, human qualities

To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,
catch (v.) 1 seize, get hold of, capture

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with
highly (adv.) 2 ambitiously, to be in a high position
illness (n.) wickedness, evil conduct, badness

That wouldst thou holily, wouldst not play false,
false (adv.) 1 slanderously, faithlessly, with such calumny

And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou'dst have, great Glamis,

That which cries, ‘ Thus thou must do ’ if thou have it,

And that which rather thou dost fear to do

Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count

That I may pour my spirits in thine ear,

And chastise with the valour of my tongue

All that impedes thee from the golden round
round (n.) 2 circlet, ring, crown

Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
metaphysical (adj.) supernatural, transcending the laws of nature

To have thee crowned withal.

Enter Messenger

                         What is your tidings?


The King comes here tonight.


                         Thou'rt mad to say it!

Is not thy master with him? Who, were't so,

Would have informed for preparation.


So please you, it is true. Our Thane is coming;

One of my fellows had the speed of him,

Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more

Than would make up his message.
tending (n.) attendance, attention, care


                         Give him tending:

He brings great news.

Exit Messenger

                         The raven himself is hoarse

That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements. Come, you spirits

That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal
tend on / upon (v.) serve, follow, wait upon, escort
thought (n.) 1 intention, purpose, design
unsex (v.) take away one's sex; here: remove all feminine qualities

And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
topfull, topful (adj.) brimful, over-full

Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood;

Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
remorse (n.) 2 pity, compassion, tenderness

That no compunctious visitings of nature
compunctious (adj.) remorseful, contrite, conscience-stricken

Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
fell (adj.) 2 mighty, terrible
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

The effect and it. Come to my woman's breasts
effect (n.) 1 result, end, outcome, fulfilment

And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
gall (n.) 1 bile [reputed for its bitterness]
minister (n.) messenger, agent, servant

Wherever, in your sightless substances,
sightless (adj.) 1 invisible, unseen, hidden

You wait on nature's mischief. Come, thick night,
mischief (n.) 1 catastrophe, calamity, misfortune
wait on / upon (v.) 1 accompany, attend

And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
dun (adj.) 1 dark, murky, gloomy
pall (v.) 2 wrap, cover, drape
smoke (n.) mist, fog, vapours

That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,

Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark

To cry, ‘ Hold, hold!’

Enter Macbeth

                         Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor!

Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter!

Thy letters have transported me beyond

This ignorant present, and I feel now

The future in the instant.


                         My dearest love,

Duncan comes here tonight.


                         And when goes hence?


Tomorrow, as he purposes.
purpose (v.) 1 intend, plan


                         O, never

Shall sun that morrow see!
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

Your face, my thane, is as a book where men

May read strange matters. To beguile the time
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick
time (n.) 1 (the) world, (the) age, society

Look like the time, bear welcome in your eye,

Your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower,

But be the serpent under't. He that's coming

Must be provided for; and you shall put

This night's great business into my dispatch,
dispatch, despatch (n.) 6 management, direction, supervision

Which shall to all our nights and days to come

Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
masterdom (n.) supremacy, dominion, command
solely (adv.) 1 wholly, entirely, altogether
sway (n.) 1 power, dominion, rule


We will speak further.
clear (adv.) cheerfully, brightly, with unclouded face


                         Only look up clear:

To alter favour ever is to fear.
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

Leave all the rest to me.


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