Exeunt all except MACBETH and a SERVANT
Everyone exits except MACBETH and a SERVANT
Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
(to the SERVANT) You there, let me have a word with you. Are those men waiting for me?
They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
They’re waiting outside the palace gate, my lord.
Bring them before us.
Bring them to me.
The SERVANT exits.
To be thus is nothing,
But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be feared. 'Tis much he dares,
And to that dauntless temper of his mind
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear, and under him
My genius is rebuked, as it is said
Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me
And bade them speak to him. Then, prophetlike,
They hailed him father to a line of kings.
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
And put a barren scepter in my grip,
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If ’t be so,
For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered;
Put rancors in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come fate into the list,
And champion me to th' utterance. Who’s there?
To be the king is nothing if I’m not safe as the king. I’m very afraid of Banquo. There’s something noble about him that makes me fear him. He’s willing to take risks, and his mind never stops working. He has the wisdom to act bravely but also safely. I’m not afraid of anyone but him. Around him, my guardian angel is frightened, just as Mark Antony’s angel supposedly feared Octavius Caesar. Banquo chided the witches when they first called me king, asking them to tell him his own future. Then, like prophets, they named him the father to a line of kings. They gave me a crown and a scepter that I can’t pass on. Someone outside my family will take these things away from me, since no son of mine will take my place as king. If this is true, then I’ve tortured my conscience and murdered the gracious Duncan for Banquo’s sons. I’ve ruined my own peace for their benefit. I’ve handed over my everlasting soul to the devil so that they could be kings. Banquo’s sons, kings! Instead of watching that happen, I will challenge fate to battle and fight to the death. Who’s there!
Enter SERVANT and two MURDERERS
The SERVANT comes back in with two MURDERERS