Macbeth By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 4

SCENE IV.
The same. A Room of state in the Palace. A banquet
prepared.

[Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Ross, Lennox, Lords, and
Attendants.]

MACBETH.
You know your own degrees: sit down. At first
And last the hearty welcome.

LORDS.
Thanks to your majesty.

MACBETH.
Ourself will mingle with society,
And play the humble host.
Our hostess keeps her state; but, in best time,
We will require her welcome.

LADY MACBETH.
Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends;
For my heart speaks they are welcome.

MACBETH.
See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks. —
Both sides are even: here I'll sit i' the midst:

[Enter first Murderer to the door.]

Be large in mirth; anon we'll drink a measure
The table round. — There's blood upon thy face.

MURDERER.
'Tis Banquo's then.

MACBETH.
'Tis better thee without than he within.
Is he despatch'd?

MURDERER.
My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.

MACBETH.
Thou art the best o' the cut-throats; yet he's good
That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,
Thou art the nonpareil.

MURDERER.
Most royal sir,
Fleance is 'scap'd.

MACBETH.
Then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect;
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock;
As broad and general as the casing air:
But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe?

MURDERER.
Ay, my good lord: safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
The least a death to nature.

MACBETH.
Thanks for that:
There the grown serpent lies; the worm that's fled
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
No teeth for the present. — Get thee gone; to-morrow
We'll hear, ourselves, again.

[Exit Murderer.]

LADY MACBETH.
My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer: the feast is sold
That is not often vouch'd, while 'tis a-making,
'Tis given with welcome; to feed were best at home;
From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.

MACBETH.
Sweet remembrancer! —
Now, good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both!

Continued on next page...

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How does Lady Macbeth explain Macbeth's strange behavior at the banquet?




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