by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt...
Language: English 
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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1 omitted by Horovitz.


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This text (or a part of it) is used in a work
  • 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.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 134