Macbeth Act 2 quotes

All’s well. I dreamt last night of the three Weird Sisters. To you they have showed some truth. Banquo had a dream last night about the three witches. At least part of what they said about you was true.
I think not of them. Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve, we would spend it in some words upon that business, if you would grant the time. MacbethI don’t think about them now. But when we have an hour to spare we can talk more about it, if you’re willing.
If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis, it shall make honor for you. Macbethif you stick with me, when the time comes, there will be something in it for you.
So I lose none in seeking to augment it, but still keep my bosom franchised and allegiance clear, I shall be counseled. BanquoI’ll do whatever you say, as long as I can do it with a clear conscience.
Or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? I see thee yet, in form as palpable as this which now I draw. MacbethOr are you nothing more than a dagger created by the mind, a hallucination from my fevered brain? I can still see you, and you look as real as this other dagger that I’m pulling out now.
Thou marshal’st me the way that I was going, and such an instrument I was to use. Mine eyes are made the fools o’ th’ other senses or else worth all the rest. I see thee still, and, on thy blade and dudgeon, gouts of blood, which was not so before Macbethyou’re leading me toward the place I was going already, and I was planning to use a weapon just like you. My eyesight must either be the one sense that’s not working, or else it’s the only one that’s working right. I can still see you, and I see blood splotches on your blade and handle that weren’t there before.
There’s no such thing. It is the bloody business which informs thus to mine eyes. Now o’er the one-half world nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep. MacbethThere’s no dagger here. It’s the murder I’m about to do that’s making me think I see one. Now half the world is asleep and being deceived by evil nightmares.
Witchcraft celebrates pale Hecate’s off’rings, and withered murder, alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf, whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, with Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his design moves like a ghost. MacbethWitches are offering sacrifices to their goddess Hecate. Old man murder, having been roused by the howls of his wolf, walks silently to his destination, moving like TARQUINTarquin was a Roman prince who sneaked into a Roman wife’s bedroom in the middle of the night and raped her.Tarquin, as quiet as a ghost.
Thou sure and firm-set earth, hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear thy very stones prate of my whereabouts and take the present horror from the time, which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives. Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives. MacbethHard ground, don’t listen to the direction of my steps. I don’t want you to echo back where I am and break the terrible stillness of this moment, a silence that is so appropriate for what I’m about to do. While I stay here talking, Duncan lives. The more I talk, the more my courage cools.
I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell Macbeth’im going now. The murder is as good as done. The bell is telling me to do it. Don’t listen to the bell, Duncan, because it summons you either to heaven or to hell.
That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold. What hath quenched them hath given me fire. Lady MacbethThe alcohol that got the servants drunk has made me bold. The same liquor that quenched their thirst has fired me up
Hark! Peace. It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, which gives the stern’st good-night. Lady MacbethThat was the owl that shrieked, with a scary “good night” like the bells they ring before they execute people.
Alack, I am afraid they have awaked, and ’tis not done. Th’ attempt and not the deed confounds us. LMBOh no, I’m afraid the servants woke up, and the murder didn’t happen. For us to attempt murder and not succeed would ruin us.
Hark! I laid their daggers ready; he could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t. LMBListen to that! I put the servants’ daggers where Macbeth would find them. He couldn’t have missed them. If Duncan hadn’t reminded me of my father when I saw him sleeping, I would have killed him myself.
But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”Stuck in my throat. MBBut why couldn’t I say “Amen”? I desperately needed God’s blessing, but the word “Amen” stuck in my throat.
These deeds must not be thoughtAfter these ways. So, it will make us mad. LMBWe can’t think that way about what we did. If we do, it’ll drive us crazy.
Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane, you do unbend your noble strength to think so brainsickly of things. LMBWho said that? Why, my worthy lord, you let yourself become weak when you think about things in this cowardly way
I’ll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done. Look on ‘t again I dare not. MB
Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil LMBOnly children are afraid of scary pictures
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this bloodClean from my hand? No, this my hand will ratherThe multitudinous seas incarnadine,Making the green one red. MBWill all the water in the ocean wash this blood from my hands? No, instead my hands will stain the seas scarlet, turning the green waters red.
My hands are of your color, but I shameTo wear a heart so white. LMBMy hands are as red as yours, but I would be ashamed if my heart were as pale and weak.
A little water clears us of this deed. How easy it is, then! Your constancy hath left you unattended. LMB
To know my deed ’twere best not know myself. MBRather than have to think about my crime, I’d prefer to be completely unconscious.
I know this is a joyful trouble to you,But yet ’tis one. MacduffI know the burden of hosting him is both an honor and a trouble, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a trouble just the same.
The labor we delight in physics pain. MBThe work we enjoy is not really work. This is the door.
The night has been unruly. Where we lay,Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,Lamentings heard i’ th’ air, strange screams of death, LennoxThe night has been chaotic. The wind blew down through the chimneys where we were sleeping. People are saying they heard cries of grief in the air, strange screams of death
And prophesying with accents terribleOf dire combustion and confused eventsNew hatched to the woeful time. The obscure birdClamored the livelong night. Some say the EarthWas feverous and did shake. LennoxPeople are saying they heard cries of grief in the air, strange screams of death, and terrible voices predicting catastrophes that will usher in a woeful new age. The owl made noise all night. Some people say that the earth shook as if it had a fever.
My young remembrance cannot parallelA fellow to it. Lennox
O horror, horror, horror!Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee! MacduffOh, horror, horror, horror! This is beyond words and beyond belief!
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.Most sacrilegious murder hath broke opeThe Lord’s anointed temple, and stole thenceThe life o’ th’ building! MacduffThe worst thing imaginable has happened. A murderer has broken into GOD’S TEMPLEMacduff compares Duncan’s corpse to a church that has been broken into, which confuses his listeners.God’s temple and stolen the life out of it.
Had I but died an hour before this chance,I had lived a blessèd time, for from this instantThere’s nothing serious in mortality. MBIf I had only died an hour before this event I could say I had lived a blessed life. Because from this moment on, there is nothing worth living for.
The spring, the head, the fountain of your bloodIs stopped; the very source of it is stopped. MBthe source from which your royal blood comes has been stopped.
Who can be wise, amazed, temp’rate, and furious,Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man MB
Why do we hold our tongues,That most may claim this argument for ours? MalcolmWhy are we keeping quiet? The two of us have the most to say in this matter.
What should be spoken here, where our fate,Hid in an auger-hole, may rush and seize us?Let’s away. Our tears are not yet brewed. DonalbainWhat are we going to say here, where danger may be waiting to strike at us from anywhere? Let’s get out of here. We haven’t even begun to weep yet—but there will be time for that later.
Renown and grace is dead.The wine of life is drawn, and the mere leesIs left this vault to brag of. MacbethThe graceful and renowned king is dead. The wine of life has been poured out, and only the dregs remain.
Nor our strong sorrowUpon the foot of motion. MalcolmAnd the time hasn’t come yet for us to turn our deep grief into action.
Fears and scruples shake us.In the great hand of God I stand, and thenceAgainst the undivulged pretense I fightOf treasonous malice. BanquoRight now we’re shaken up by fears and doubts. I’m putting myself in God’s hands, and with his help I plan to fight against the secret plot that caused this treasonous murder.
Let’s not consort with them.To show an unfelt sorrow is an officeWhich the false man does easy. I’ll to England. MalcolmLet’s not stay here with them. It’s easy for a liar to pretend to feel sorrow when he actually feels none. I’m going to England.
To Ireland, I. Our separated fortuneShall keep us both the safer. DonalbainI’ll go to Ireland. We’ll both be safer if we go separate ways.
Where we are,There’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood,The nearer bloody. DonalbainWherever we go, men will smile at us while hiding daggers. Our closest relatives are the ones most likely to murder us.
This murderous shaft that’s shotHath not yet lighted, and our safest wayIs to avoid the aim MalcolmWe haven’t yet encountered that danger, and the best thing to do is avoid it entirely
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,But shift away. There’s warrant in that theftWhich steals itself when there’s no mercy left MalcolmWe’d better not worry about saying polite good-byes; we should just get away quickly. There’s good reason to escape when there’s no mercy to be found anymore.
Threescore and ten I can remember well,Within the volume of which time I have seenHours dreadful and things strange, but this sore nightHath trifled former knowings. Old Man
Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,Threatens his bloody stage. By th’ clock ’tis day,And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp. RossYou can see the skies. They look like they’re upset about what mankind has been doing, and they’re threatening the Earth with storms. The clock says it’s daytime, but dark night is strangling the sun.
Is ‘t night’s predominance or the day’s shameThat darkness does the face of Earth entombWhen living light should kiss it? RossIs it because night is so strong, or because day is so weak, that darkness covers the earth when it’s supposed to be light?
‘Tis unnatural,Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed. Old Man
And Duncan’s horses—a thing most strange and certain—Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,Contending ‘gainst obedience, as they wouldMake war with mankind. RossAnd something else strange happened. Duncan’s horses, which are beautiful and swift and the best of their breed, suddenly turned wild and broke out of their stalls. Refusing to be obedient as usual, they acted like they were at war with mankind.
Gainst nature still!Thriftless ambition, that will raven upThine own lives’ means! Then ’tis most likeThe sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth RossEverything about this is unnatural! What a stupid ambition, causing a son to kill the father who supports him. Then it looks like Macbeth will become king.
Well, may you see things well done there. Adieu,Lest our old robes sit easier than our new! MacduffI hope things go well there. Good-bye! And let’s hope things don’t get worse.
God’s benison go with you and with thoseThat would make good of bad and friends of foes. Old ManMay God’s blessing go with you and with all who turn bad into good, and enemies into friends!
Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done ‘t.Their hands and faces were all badged with blood.So were their daggers, which unwiped we foundUpon their pillows. They stared, and were distracted.No man’s life was to be trusted with them. LennoxIt seems that the guards who were supposed to be protecting his chamber did it. Their hands and faces were all covered with blood. So were their daggers, which we found on their pillows, unwiped. They stared at us in confusion. No one’s life should have been entrusted to them.
And question this most bloody piece of work,To know it further Banquolet’s meet and discuss this bloody crime to see if we can figure anything out.
But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”Stuck in my throat. MBBut why couldn’t I say “Amen”? I desperately needed God’s blessing, but the word “Amen” stuck in my throat.

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