William Shakespeare, 1564 -
SCENE VII. Macbeth's castle.
Hautboys and torches. Enter a Sewer, and divers Servants with dishes and service, and pass over the stage. Then enter MACBETH
If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
05 With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
10 Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust;
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
15 Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
20 Will plead like angels, trumpet-
The deep damnation of his taking-
And pity, like a naked new-
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
25 Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other.
30 Enter LADY MACBETH
How now! what news?
He has almost supp'd: why have you left the chamber?
Hath he ask'd for me?
Know you not he has?
35 We will proceed no further in this business:
He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.
40 Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
45 To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
50 Like the poor cat i' the adage?
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.
What beast was't, then,
55 That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
60 They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
65 And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.
If we should fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-
70 And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep-
Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
Soundly invite him-
Will I with wine and wassail so convince
That memory, the warder of the brain,
75 Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep
Their drenched natures lie as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
80 His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?
Bring forth men-
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
85 When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
That they have done't?
Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
90 Upon his death?
I am settled, and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
1. 1. Give a brief account of the various forms of superstition in the Elizabethan Age.
1. 2. Describe Macbeth's and Banquo's reactions to the witches' appearance and their prophecies. How do they differ?
2. Characterize Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
In act I, scene VII, Macbeth has just told his wife about his decision:
'We will proceed no further in this business'.
2. 1. Analyse Lady Macbeth's strategy to overcome her husband's scruples about killing the king (her arguments, etc.)
2. 2. Explain the image Lady Macbeth expresses in lines 61 -
'I have given suck, and know ... Have done to this.'
2. 3. What does this image and the rest of her monologue reveal about her character?
2. 4. Evaluate her strategy from the human angle.
2. 5. List three stylistic devices in Lady Macbeth's monologue and try to explain their function.
3. Comment on Macbeth's words (lines 52 + 53):
'I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.'
4. Describe the relationship of Lady Macbeth and her husband.
Is there a change (or development) from the beginning when Lady Macbeth receives her husband's letter up to the murder of King