Skip over navigation

Original Text

Modern Text


35




40
MACBETH
Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
MACBETH
I thought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! Macbeth is murdering sleep.” Innocent sleep. Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heals hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing.

LADY MACBETH
     What do you mean?
LADY MACBETH
What are you talking about?



MACBETH
Still it cried, “Sleep no more!” to all the house.
“Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”
MACBETH
The voice kept crying, “Sleep no more!” to everyone in the house. “Macbeth has murdered sleep, and therefore Macbeth will sleep no more.”


45




50
LADY MACBETH
Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength to think
So brainsickly of things. Go get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go carry them and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
LADY MACBETH
Who said that? Why, my worthy lord, you let yourself become weak when you think about things in this cowardly way. Go get some water and wash this bloody evidence from your hands. Why did you carry these daggers out of the room? They have to stay there. Go take them back and smear the sleeping guards with the blood.



MACBETH
     I’ll go no more:
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on ’t again I dare not.
MACBETH
I can’t go back. I’m afraid even to think about what I’ve done. I can’t stand to look at it again.




55

LADY MACBETH
     Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
Are but as pictures. 'Tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.
LADY MACBETH
Coward! Give me the daggers. Dead and sleeping people can’t hurt you any more than pictures can. Only children are afraid of scary pictures. If Duncan bleeds I’ll paint the servants' faces with his blood. We must make it seem like they’re guilty.
Exit
LADY MACBETH exits.
Knock within
A sound of knocking from offstage.

More Help

Previous Next
s