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Macbeth

Macbeth Translation Act 3, Scene 6

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LENNOX and another LORD enter.

LENNOX

My former speeches have but hit your thoughts, Which can interpret farther. Only I say Things have been strangely borne. The gracious Duncan Was pitied of Macbeth. Marry, he was dead. And the right-valiant Banquo walked too late, Whom, you may say, if ’t please you, Fleance killed, For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late. Who cannot want the thought how monstrous It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain To kill their gracious father? Damnèd fact! How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight In pious rage the two delinquents tear That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep? Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too, For ’twould have angered any heart alive To hear the men deny ’t. So that, I say, He has borne all things well. And I do think That had he Duncan’s sons under his key— As, an’t please heaven, he shall not—they should find What ’twere to kill a father. So should Fleance. But, peace! For from broad words, and ‘cause he failed His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell Where he bestows himself?

LENNOX

What I said before shows the similarity of our thoughts, and we can draw a few further conclusions. I’m just saying that strange things have been happening. Macbeth pitied the gracious Duncan—though only after Duncan was dead. And heroic Banquo went out walking too late at night. I guess, if you like, we can say that Fleance must have killed him, because Fleance ran from the crime scene. Obviously, men should not go out walking too late at night. And who can disagree that it was monstrous of Malcolm and Donalbain to kill their gracious father? A damned act! How it upset Macbeth! Why, in a righteous rage, didn't he then immediately kill those two servants while they were still drunk and sleeping? Wasn’t that the noble thing for Macbeth to do? Yes, and wise too, because it would have angered anyone alive to hear those two servants deny their guilt. So, given all of this, I think Macbeth has handled things well. I do believe that if Macbeth had Duncan’s sons in custody—which I pray won’t happen—they would learn the awful the punishment for killing a father. Fleance would learn it too. But enough of that. For I hear that Macduff, who spoke too plainly and failed to appear when summoned by Macbeth, now lives is now out of favor with the king. Can you tell me where he’s staying?

LORD

The son of Duncan— From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth— Lives in the English court and is received Of the most pious Edward with such grace That the malevolence of fortune nothing Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduff Is gone to pray the holy king upon his aid To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward , That by the help of these—with Him above To ratify the work—we may again Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights, Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives, Do faithful homage and receive free honors. All which we pine for now. And this report Hath so exasperated the king that he Prepares for some attempt of war.

LORD

Duncan’s son Malcolm, whose birthright was stolen by Macbeth, lives in England, where the saintly King Edward treats Malcolm with all due respect—despite all of Malcolm’s misfortunes. Macduff went there to beg holy King Edward to call Northumberland and the great warrior lord Siward to arms. Macduff hopes that with their help—and the support of God above—we may once again be able put food on our tables; escape our sleepless nights; enjoy our feasts and banquets without any violent murders; pay sincere homage to our king; and receive the honors we are due. We pine for all of that now. Macbeth knows of Macduff’s mission, and is so angry that he’s preparing for war.

LENNOX

Sent he to Macduff?

LENNOX

Did Macbeth order Macduff to return?

LORD

He did, and with an absolute “Sir, not I,” The cloudy messenger turns me his back, And hums, as who should say “You’ll rue the time That clogs me with this answer.”

LORD

He did, but Macduff responded, “Sir, I won’t.” The messenger bearing the command turned his back on Macduff and hummed, as if to say, “You’ll regret the day you gave me this answer.”

LENNOX

And that well might Advise him to a caution, t’ hold what distance His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel Fly to the court of England and unfold His message ere he come, that a swift blessing May soon return to this our suffering country Under a hand accursed!

LENNOX

That should be warning enough for Macduff to be cautious and stay away from Scotland and Macbeth. Some holy angel should fly to the English court and tell Macduff to quickly return to help our country, which is suffering under a cursed tyrant!

LORD

I’ll send my prayers with him.

LORD

I’ll send my prayers with him.

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.