Lady Macbeth

Set by Joseph Horovitz (b. 1926), "Lady Macbeth", subtitle: "A Scena", 1970, Composer's note: The composer has selected the words from the speeches of Lady Macbeth. This selection is intended to portray the development of this character, from early aspirations to grandeur, to later power and finally to guilt and madness. The implication is that the Scena begins after Lady Macbeth has read the report of Macbeth's victory at the start of the play.  [sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.


Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win... [thou'ldst have, great Glamis,
That which cries 'Thus thou must do, if thou have it;
And that which rather thou dost fear to do
Than wishest should be undone.']1 Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crown'd withal.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Horovitz.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!
Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


                 He is about it:
The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores: 
I have drugg'd their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die... 
[...]
                           I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't...
[...]
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there: go carry them; and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood...
[...]
                                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.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Out, damned spot! out, I say! -- One: two: why, then, 
'tis time to do't. -- Hell is murky! -- Fie, my 
lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we 
fear who knows it, when none can call our power 
to account? [...]
                    No more o' 
that, my lord, no more o' that; you mar all with 
this starting. 
[...]
Here's the smell of the blood still: all the 
perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little 
hand. Oh, oh, oh!
[...]
Wash your hands, put on your nightgown; look not so 
pale. -- I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he
cannot come out on's grave.
[...]
To bed, to bed! there's knocking at the gate:
Come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What's 
done cannot be undone. -- To bed, to bed, to bed!

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]