A line-by-line translation

Macbeth

Macbeth Translation Act 3, Scene 3

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Three MURDERERS enter.

FIRST MURDERER

But who did bid thee join with us?

FIRST MURDERER

But who told you to come here and join us?

THIRD MURDERER

Macbeth.

THIRD MURDERER

Macbeth.

SECOND MURDERER

He needs not our mistrust, since he deliversOur offices and what we have to do To the direction just.

SECOND MURDERER

We can trust him, since he’s stated his instructions and they are identical to the ones that we were given.

FIRST MURDERER

Then stand with us. The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day. Now spurs the lated traveler apace To gain the timely inn, and near approaches The subject of our watch.

FIRST MURDERER

Then stay with us. The western sky is still lit with streaks of daylight. Now all the late travelers are hurrying to reach their inns, and the one we were sent to watch for should be coming near.

THIRD MURDERER

Hark, I hear horses.

THIRD MURDERER

Listen! I hear horses.

BANQUO

[within] Give us a light there, ho!

BANQUO

[Offstage] Hey, give us some light!

SECOND MURDERER

Then ’tis he: the restThat are within the note of expectationAlready are i’ th’ court.

SECOND MURDERER

That is him. All of the other expected guests are already inside the castle.

FIRST MURDERER

His horses go about.

FIRST MURDERER

You can hear his horses being taken to the stables.

THIRD MURDERER

Almost a mile; but he does usually— So all men do—from hence to the palace gateMake it their walk.

THIRD MURDERER

It’s almost a mile to the castle gate. But Banquo, like everybody else, usually walks from here.

BANQUO and FLEANCE enter with a torch.

SECOND MURDERER

A light, a light!

SECOND MURDERER

Here comes a light! A light!

THIRD MURDERER

‘Tis he.

THIRD MURDERER

It’s him.

FIRST MURDERER

Stand to ’t.

FIRST MURDERER

Get ready.

BANQUO

It will be rain tonight.

BANQUO

It will rain tonight.

FIRST MURDERER

Let it come down.

FIRST MURDERER

Then let it rain.

The MURDERERS attack BANQUO.

BANQUO

O treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou may ’st revenge —O slave!

BANQUO

Oh, treachery! Run, good Fleance, run, run, run! Maybe one day you can get revenge. 

[To one of the MURDERERS] Oh, you villain!

BANQUO dies. FLEANCE escapes.

THIRD MURDERER

Who did strike out the light?

THIRD MURDERER

Who put out the light?

FIRSTMURDERER

Was ’t not the way?

FIRST MURDERER

Wasn’t that what we were supposed to do?

THIRD MURDERER

There’s but one down. The son is fled.

THIRD MURDERER

But there’s only one body here. The son escaped.

SECOND MURDERER

We have lost best half of our affair.

SECOND MURDERER

We failed half of our mission.

FIRST MURDERER

Well, let’s away and say how much is done.

FIRST MURDERER

Well, let’s get out of here and tell Macbeth what we managed to do.

They exit.

Macbeth
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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.