SCOTS ON THE ROCKS

by Richard Nathan

 Act I

Scene 1

An open plane.  A witch's cauldron sits in the middle of the stage.  Three WITCHES enter, as lightning flashes and thunder rumbles.  Their names are WITCH-WITCH, WEIRD-WITCH, and SPELL-WITCH.  Suddenly the cauldron lights up with the words "THE WEIRD SISTERS" and the Witches burst into song with a boogie-woogie beat:

                                           WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        When shall we three meet again?
                        In thunder, lightening, or in rain?
                        When the hurly-burly's done.
                        That's when the battle's lost and won!

                        It's lost!
                        It's won!
                        It's lost!
                        It's won!
                        That will be 'ere set of sun!

                        Where shall we three meet once more?
                        At the beach or on the shore?
                        When it's time to cause some pain!
                        Then it's time to vex the Thane!

                        We'll pain
                        The Thane!
                        We'll pain!
                         The Thane!

                        Then we'll do it all again!

The Witches end their song and curtsey to the audience.  Witch-Witch introduces them.

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Thank you!  My name is Witch-Witch.  This is
                        my sister, Weird-Witch.  And this is my other 
                        sister, Spell-Witch.  And together, we are The
                        Weird Sisters!

The Witches perform a brief encore to the same tune as their earlier song.

                                                WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        Fair is foul, and foul is fair!
                        Fair is foul, and foul is fair!
                        You've got to hover through
                        The fog and filthy air!

They continue to sing as they dance off the stage.

                                               WITCHES
                                    (singing and exiting)
                        It's foul!
                        It's fair!
                        It's foul!
                        It's fair.
                        Hover though that fog and filthy air!!!

*********************************************************

Scene 2

A camp of Scottish soldiers.  Enter KING DUNCAN with his sons MALCOLM and DONALBAIN.  King Duncan is a painfully infantile idiot.  His eldest son should be played by a mature, bald, fat man who wears shorts.  Donalbain is his younger brother.  Also enter LENNOX, a Scottish soldier, and a bleeding SERGEANT, along with some ATTENDANTS.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        What bloody man is this, with the cuts and the
                        wounds, and the ow-ies.  Somebody get this
                        man a Band-Aid!

                                                MALCOLM
                        Pop, this is the sergeant who fought in that 
                        battle with your cousin Banquo and with your
                        other cousin!

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        My other cousin?  Oh, you mean Mac—

Malcolm slaps his hand over his father's mouth, to prevent him from speaking the unlucky name!

                                                MALCOLM
                        You crazeee!  Don't say that!!!  How many 
                        times do I have to tell you?  It's unlucky to 
                        say the name of your other cousin!  People 
                        who say it die!

Malcolm takes his hand off of his father's mouth.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        They die just because they say Mac—

Just in time, Malcolm slaps the hand back.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Stop that!  If you weren't my father, I'd give 
                        you such a hit!  Now why don't you ask the 
                        bloody sergeant about the battle?

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        What about the battle, bloody sergeant?  You
                        look like you're got hurt very badly.

                                                SERGEANT
                        The doctor predicts that I shall live, provided
                        that my wound does not reopen.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Tell us about the battle!

                                                SERGEANT
                        Doubtful it stood; as two spent swimmers that
                        do cling together.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        That doesn't make any sense.  How can it stand
                        like two swimmers.  Swimmers don't stand!  
                       
They float!

                                                MALCOLM
                        That's right, Pop!  You tell him!  Can I hit him?

                                                SERGEANT
                        Please don't hit me.  If my wound reopens, I  
                        shall die!

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        All right.  Just tell us about the battle.  But no 
                        swimming!

                                                SERGEANT
                        As you wish, your Majesty.  It was going badly
                        for our side, when your two cousins joined the 
                        battle!  "Who are those two new warriors?" one
                        of the enemy soldiers asked.  And another enemy
                        soldier answered, "It's Banquo and –"  and then 
                        he said the name of your other cousin.  And as 
                        soon as the soldier spoke that unlucky name, the 
                        tide of battle turned, and victory was ours!  But
                        I am faint.  My gashes cry for help!

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        You mean we won just because the other side  
                        said Banquo!

                                                SERGEANT
                        Not Banquo!  Mac--.  Oops, that was close.  
                       
I almost said "Macbeth."

As soon as the Sergeant says the unlucky name, his wound opens and blood spurts across the stage.  He screams and dies.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Oh boy!  He's dead!  He's really dead.  I think
                        that name killed him.  Somebody take away that
                        bloody dead man's bloody dead body, which is 
                        dead!

The Attendants remove the body as ROSS, another Scottish soldier, enters.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Who comes here now?

                                                MALCOLM
                        That's the Thane of Ross, Pop!

                                                ROSS
                        I come from Fife, great King, where we have
                        defeated that wretched traitor, the Thane of
                        Cawdor.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        That's good.  I like it when we defeat wretched
                        traitors, because wretched traitors are not nice
                        people.  But I didn't know the Thane of Chowder
                        was a traitor.

                                                ROSS
                        Not Chowder!  Cawdor!

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        I think I'll give his title to Mac—

Malcolm slaps his hand over King Duncan's mouth.  Duncan realizes his mistake and cringes.  Malcolm removes his hand.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Give his title to my other cousin.  Not Banquo,
                        but the other one.

                                                ROSS
                        You mean the Thane of Glamis!

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Yes!  Him!  The Thane of Clams!  I'll make him
                        the Thane of Clams and Chowder.

                                                ROSS
                        That's Glamis and Cawdor!  I'll see it done.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        What the traitor hath lost, the Thane of Clams 
                        hath won!

                                                ROSS
                        Glamis!  

*********************************************************

Scene 3

On a heath, the three Weird Sisters enter singing to a boogie-woogie beat:

                                                WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        The weird sisters, hand in hand,
                        Posters of the sea and land,
                        Thus do go about, about,
                        Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
                        And thrice again to make up nine,
                        And eight to the bar!

The song ends abruptly.

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Peace!  The charm's wound up!

Enter MACBETH and BANQUO.  Macbeth is a chubby, boyish man.  The entire world picks on him.  Banquo is an ordinary Scottish highlander.

                                                MACBETH
                        So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

Banquo spots the witches.

                                                BANQUO
                        Who in the name of Pete are these ugly women?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        I am Witch-Witch.

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        I am Weird-Witch.

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        I am Spell-Witch.

                                                MACBETH
                                    (to Witch-Witch)
                        I'm sorry.  I didn't catch your names.  You're
                        which witch?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Yes.

                                                MACBETH
                        Which witch?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Yes.

                                                MACBETH
                        What's your name?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Witch-witch.

                                                  MACBETH
                        You!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        That's right!

                                                MACBETH
                        What's right?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        I'm Witch-Witch!

                                                MACBETH
                        That's what I'm asking!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        That's what I'm answering!

                                                MACBETH
                        Tell me your name!!!

                                                 WITCH-WITCH
                        Witch!

                                                MACBETH
                        How many names have you got?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        I have a first name and a last name.

                                                MACBETH
                        You have a first name...

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Which is witch.

                                                MACBETH
                        And you have a last name!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Which is witch.

                                                MACBETH
                        How should I know which is which!  It's your
                        name!!!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        That's right!

                                                MACBETH
                        You are so weird!!!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                                    (pointing to Weird-Witch)
                        No, she's Weird-Witch.  I'm Witch-Witch!

                                                MACBETH
                        I don't want to talk to you anymore!

Macbeth walks over to Spell-Witch.

                                                MACBETH
                                    (to Spell-Witch)
                        Are you a witch?

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        Of course.

                                                MACBETH
                        Which witch are you?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        That's me.

                                                MACBETH
                                    (to Witch-Witch)
                        I said I didn't want to talk to you anymore!!!

Macbeth turns back to Spell-Witch.

                                                MACBETH
                                    (to Spell-Witch)
                        What's your name?

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        Spell-Witch.

                                                MACBETH

                        W - I - T - C - H.  Now what's your name?

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        Spell-Witch.

                                                MACBETH

                        I just spelled it!  Now are you going to answer
                        my question?

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        I just answered it!

                                                MACBETH
                        Then why don't I know which witch you are?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        I'm Witch-Witch.

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm not talking to you!

                                                BANQUO

                        It's very simple, you great daft fool.  This
                        witch's name is Witch-Witch.  Her first name
                        is Witch and her last name is Witch.

                                                MACBETH
                        Which is her first name?

                                                BANQUO

                        Yes!  The noun "Witch," not the adjective
                        "which"!

                                                MACBETH
                        Which of you is the Adjective Witch?

                                                BANQUO
                        No, no, no!  Don't you understand the difference
                        between the two witches?

                                                MACBETH
                        These are three witches!

                                                BANQUO
                        I mean two different words which are spelled
                        differently.

                                                MACBETH
                        Spell witch.

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        That's me!

                                                MACBETH
                        Can we please go back to the war now?  This
                         is making my head hurt!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        All hail, Macbeth!  Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        All hail, Macbeth!  Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!

Macbeth and Banquo are shocked.

                                                MACBETH
                        Did you hear that?  They all just said my name
                        and they didn't die!  That is so weird.

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        I am Weird-Witch!

                                                MACBETH
                        Don't start with that!  Don't start that again!!!

                                                BANQUO
                        All right now!  We've heard what you have 
                        to say about my cousin!  What do you say 
                        about me?

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Hail!

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        Hail!

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        Hail!

                                                MACBETH
                        The hail you say!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        Not so happy, yet much happier.

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.

                                                BANQUO
                        I shall get kings?

                                                MACBETH
                        Yeah.  When somebody says, "Where's the 
                        King?"  you say, "I'll get him."

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        No!  I mean Banquo shall be the father of 
                        kings!  So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Banquo and Macbeth all hail!

                                                MACBETH
                        Wait a minute!  Wait just a minute!  You can 
                        call me all sorts of nice names, but you're not 
                        fooling anybody.  I'm the Thane of Glamis, but 
                        I'm not the Thane of Cawdor.  And the idea that 
                        I could be King!  It's ridiculous!  It's absurd!

                                                BANQUO
                        It's nauseating!  It's the most vile, disgusting,
                        revolting nonsense I've ever heard.

                                                MACBETH
                        You tell them, cousin!

Macbeth pats Banquo on the back as the witches exit, unnoticed by Macbeth and Banquo.

                                                BANQUO
                        You, a King!  It's enough to make me lose 
                        the haggis I had for lunch!

                                                MACBETH
                        They must think we're pretty dumb, believing 
                        I could be King, or even Thane of Cawdor!

Enter Ross.

                                                ROSS
                        Hail, Thane of Glamis!  The King has just made
                        you Thane of Cawdor.

Macbeth does the world's biggest double take.

                                                MACBETH
                        But the Thane of Cawdor lives!

                                                ROSS
                        Not for long.  He has been condemned for 
                        treason!

Macbeth steps away from the others, lost in thought!

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm the Thane of Cawdor!  Boy, is my wife 
                        going to be surprised to hear that.  She always
                        said I'd never amount to anything, but now I'm
                        two Thanes: the Thane of Glamis and Cawdor.
                       
I wonder where Cawdor is.  I better find out.
                       
While I'm at it, it's about time I learned where 
                        Glamis is.

                                                BANQUO
                        Come on, you big dumb thane!  We wait upon
                        your leisure.

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm sorry.  My dull brain was wrought with 
                        things forgotten.  Come, friends!

Macbeth leads the others off the stage.

*********************************************************

Scene 4

At King Duncan's palace at Forres.  Enter King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox, and various Attendants.  

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Is the execution done on Cawdor?

                                                MALCOLM
                        I heard he's dead, Pop!  He put on a really 
                        good show.  They said that nothing in his life 
                        became him like the leaving it.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        He put on a show!  Wait until I die!  I'll show 
                        you a show.  People will be dying to see me 
                        dead, I'm going to die so dead.

                                                MALCOLM
                        What if you die off stage, like the Thane of 
                        Cawdor.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        He deserved to die off stage!  I trusted him!  
                       
He fooled me completely!  No one will ever 
                        fool me like that again!

Enter Macbeth.  King Duncan greets him with open arms.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Oh worthiest cousin!

Enter Banquo and Ross, behind Macbeth.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        I'm glad you're all here!  I have an announcement
                        to make.  I've decided to name the person who 
                        will become King of Scotland when I die!  And 
                        that person is . . . my son Malcolm!   I name him
                        Malcolm, Prince of Cumberlain!

Macbeth is shocked by this news.  He stands apart from the others and considers.

                                                MACBETH
                        The witches promised I'd be King!  What am I 
                        going to do now?  I've got two living kings in 
                        front of me.  Stars, hide your fires.  Let not light 
                        see my black and deep desires.

He exits. 

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Hey, where's the Thane of Clams and Chowder 
                        going?  He was supposed to invite all of us to 
                        dinner at his castle at Inverness.  Let's go after   
                        him.  He is a peerless kinsman.

King Duncan leads everyone else offstage as they follow Macbeth.

*********************************************************

Scene 5

In Macbeth's castle in Inverness, Lady Macbeth enters and reads a letter.  There should be a chair onstage, with a large cushion on it.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                                    (reading)
                        "They met me in the day of success, and predicted
                        my promotion to Thane of Cawdor, and then said
                        I would be King.  Now I am Thane of Cawdor.  
                       
I know not what to make of it."

Lady Macbeth puts aside the letter.  From the corners of the stage, the witches creep on, but Lady Macbeth doesn't notice them.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Glamis thou art, and Cawdor!  And you shall be
                        what you were promised.  But I fear your nature.
                       
You are too full of the milk of human kindness. 
                       
I will have to take things in hand, myself!  Come, 
                        you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me 
                        here!

The witches move to center stage, singing and dancing.  Lady Macbeth doesn't notice them.

                                                WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        We'll unsex you here!
                        Do not show any doubt or fear!
                        Just growl and sneer,
                        Scratch your crotch,
                        And swig a beer!
                        And we'll unsex you here!

The witches gesture magically.  There is an explosion of flash powder, and suddenly Lady Macbeth has become a man – a tall, waspish man, with a neat little mustache.  I will continue to refer to Lady Macbeth as "she" in the stage directions, but starting from here, for as long as she lives, she should be portrayed by a man.

The witches exit.  Enter Macbeth.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Great Glamis!  Worthy Cawdor!

                                                MACBETH
                        Who are you?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I'm your wife, Gruoch!

                                                MACBETH
                        Who?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Gruoch!  That's your wife's name.

                                                MACBETH
                        I never heard that.  Nobody ever told me her 
                        name was Gruoch!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I was keeping it secret.  If your name was Gruoch,
                        would you tell everyone?

                                                MACBETH
                        So if you're my wife, why are you telling me now?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        To prove I'm her.  She was the only one who knew
                        it, so I must be her!

                                                MACBETH
                        You're not my wife!  My wife isn't a man!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Oh that!  That's nothing to worry about. 
                        just said, "Spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, 
                        unsex me here," and I was turned into a man.  
                       
But I'm sure it's only temporary.  It's nothing to 
                        worry about.

                                                    MACBETH
                        That's easy for you to say!  What's King Duncan 
                        going to say when he sees you?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        The King?  Is he coming here?

                                                MACBETH
                        Tonight!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        And when is he going hence?

                                                MACBETH
                        Tomorrow.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Never shall sun that morrow see!  I can read your
                        face like a book.  I know what your planning.

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm planning to get out of here!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I like your plan, but you've got to make sure no
                        one else finds out about it.  You've got to look 
                        like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under 
                        it.

                                                MACBETH
                        Oh, you want me to make an asp of myself.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        No!  I'm talking about appearances versus reality.  
                       
You've go to convince King Duncan that you're 
                        his most loyal follower.  We'll practice!  I'll  
                        pretend to be the King, and you be you.  Come 
                        and tell me that dinner is being served.

Lady Macbeth sits on a chair, and acts like a King lost in thought.

                                                MACBETH
                        You're the King and I'm me, and I'm supposed 
                        to tell you it's time for dinner.  I think I can manage
                        that. 

Macbeth steps up to Lady Macbeth and makes a slight bow.

                                                MACBETH
                        Excuse me, your majesty.  Your meal is ready.

Lady Macbeth stands, grabs the cushion from the chair, and starts beating Macbeth over the head with it.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        On your knees, you pestilent dunghill!  How dare
                        you speak to your King in such familiar tones?

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm sorry, your royal highness.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You are the sorriest excuse for a man it has ever
                        been my misfortune to meet, you lumpish, clay-
                        brained pig!

                                                MACBETH
                        What did I do?  Tell me, what did I do?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You dare to question your King?  What are you, 
                        some vile assassin?

Lady Macbeth hits Macbeth even harder with the cushion.  He begs for mercy.

                                                MACBETH
                        No, I'm not an assassin!  I'm sorry!  I'm sorry! 
                        swear I didn't mean to question you!  I apologize!

Lady Macbeth stops beating Macbeth. 

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You apologize?  No, it is I who should apologize. 
                        I was so caught up with affairs of state, I didn't 
                        stop to see your side of things.  I was unjust to   
                        you. 
Will you accept my apology?

                                                MACBETH
                        Sure, your majesty.

Lady Macbeth starts to beat him with the cushion again.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You would let your King apologize to you?  Who
                        do you think you are, you wretched, whey-faced 
                        villain!

                                                MACBETH
                        It was your idea!  I was only trying to do what 
                        you wanted!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        So now you're blaming me for your insolence, you 
                        dog-hearted knave!  Why don't you just plunge 
                        a knife in my heart?

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm sorry!  It's all my fault!  I don't deserve to live!

Lady Macbeth stops beating him.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What have I done?  My poor cousin!  I've reduced 
                        one of my bravest warriors to a weak, effeminate 
                        milk-livered coward.  I beg you to tell me what I  
                        can do to make it up to you.

                                                MACBETH
                        You do whatever you like!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        No, I insist.  Tell me what I can do to make up   
                        to you for my thoughtless cruelty.

                                                MACBETH
                        Nothin'.  You don't have to do anything for me.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        As your King, I order you to tell me what I can  
                        do for you!

                                                MACBETH
                        You order me?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Yes, I do!

                                                MACBETH
                        Well, you could stop hitting me so hard.

Lady Macbeth starts hitting him again.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You dare to tell the King how hard he can hit
                        you?  Is this too hard?  Is this too hard?

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!  You're the most magnificent 
                        king who ever lived, and I'm just a dirty dog.

Lady Macbeth stops hitting him and listens to his apology.

                                                MACBETH
                        No, I'm a dead dirty dog!  No, I'm a maggot eating 
                        the rotting corpse of a dead dirty dog!  No, you 
                        know what I am?  I am the excrement left behind 
                        by a maggot who's been eating the rotting corpse  
                       of  a dead dirty dog!  That's what I am!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Oh, stop bragging!  You always thinking of yourself!

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm just a poor innocent flower, not the serpent 
                        under it!

Lady Macbeth stops hitting him, and stops pretending to be the King. 

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You're learning.  Just remember to act like nothing
                        is up, and leave all the rest to me.

She leads Macbeth offstage.

*********************************************************

Scene 6

In front of Macbeth's castle in Inverness, Duncan enters with Malcolm and Donalbain, followed by Banquo, Lennox, MACDUFF, Ross and various attendants.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        This castle hath a pleasant seat, I hope, because 
                        my rear end is so soar from riding all this way   
                        on my horse, so I need a pleasant seat to sit 
                        down on.

Enter LADY MACBETH.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Here comes our honored hostess.  Hey lady!  
                       
Hey, honored hostess lady.  We're here to be 
                        hosted by you!

Lady Macbeth comes closer to Macbeth and curtsies before him.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I am at your service, your majesty.

King Duncan gets a good look at her for the first time.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        Lady?  What kind of lady with the...  have you 
                        been sick?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I suffer from a slight case of witchcraft, your 
                        majesty.  I am sure I will be myself again soon.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        I hope so.  Where's the Thane of Clams and 
                        Chowder?

                                                ROSS
                        Glamis and Cawdor!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        He is inside, waiting to serve you.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                        And I am ready to be served.  By your leave, 
                        hostess.

Everyone follows Lady Macbeth offstage.

*********************************************************

Scene 7

  In Macbeth's castle Macbeth enters, talking to himself.

                                                MACBETH
                        If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it  
                        were done quickly when 'tis done, if it were done 
                        when 'tis done, if it were done.

Enter Lady Macbeth.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What are you talking about?

                                                MACBETH
                        I don't have the slightest idea!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        The King's been asking about you!  You have to   
                        go see him, and act like everything's normal, so   
                        he won't know about our plans.

                                                MACBETH
                        I don't want to go any further with our plans. 

Lady Macbeth is furious.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        How can you try to back out now?  Do dare you
                        call yourself a man?

                                                MACBETH
                        I dare do all that may become a man.  Who dares
                        do more is none!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I know all about becoming a man!

                                                MACBETH
                        You're telling me!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You know what your problem is?  You have no
                        honor!  I had a son by my first husband, before I 
                        met you, and I used to nurse that baby boy.  But 
                        if I'd sworn to do to that baby what you've sworn 
                        to do to Duncan...

                                                MACBETH
                        I didn't swear!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        . . .  I would, while it was smiling in my face, have
                        plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and 
                        dashed his brains out, had I so sworn as you have 
                        done to this.

                                                MACBETH
                        You'd smash out a little baby's brain?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Yes, if I had sworn to do it, I'm proud to say I
                        would.  That's how strongly I feel about honor.

                                                MACBETH
                        You should bring forth men children only.  Men
                        children with really, really strong skulls.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Are you going to take care of Duncan or not?

                                                MACBETH
                        But what happens if we fail?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Then we fail!  But screw your courage to the 
                        sticking place, and we'll not fail!

Enter the three witches, singing and dancing.  Macbeth and Lady Macbeth don't notice them.

                                                WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        Screw your courage,
                        That's what to do!
                        Screw your courage,
                        And you'll get through!
                        Screw your courage,
                        'Cause that's the thing!
                        You've got to screw your courage
                        To kill the King!

                        Screw your courage!
                        Screw your courage!

                        Screw your courage,
                        That's your plan!
                        Screw your courage
                        And be a man!
                        Screw your courage
                        To win the race!
                        You've got to screw it to the sticking place!

                        Screw your courage!
                        Screw your courage!

The witches dance off stage.  As soon as they are gone, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth resume their discussion.

                                                MACBETH
                        You're right.  All I've got to do is smear blood
                        on the two servants in the King's chambers, and 
                        everyone will think they did it!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Of course they will!

                                                MACBETH
                        Away, and mock the time with fairest show:  false
                        face must hide what the false heart doth know.

They exit.

*********************************************************

 

ACT II

Scene 1

In the courtyard of Macbeth's castle, Banquo and his young son FLEANCE enter.  Banquo looks up at the night sky.  

                                                BANQUO
                        There's husbandry in heaven.  Their candles are  
                        al out.

Enter Macbeth.

                                                BANQUO
                        Who's there?

                                                MACBETH
                        A friend.

Banquo takes a closer look at him.

                                                BANQUO
                        Oh, it's you.  Why aren't you in bed with that weird
                        looking wife of yours?

                                                MACBETH
                        She doesn't normally look that way.  She's suffering
                        from a slight case of witchcraft.

                                                BANQUO
                        That reminds me.  I dreamt last night of the three 
                        weird sisters.  Don't you find it remarkable that 
                        they said you'd be Thane of Cawdor, and now  
                        you are?

                                                MACBETH
                        No, that was just a lucky guess.  I haven't given 
                        a thought to their saying I'd be King.  Not a 
                        thought.  It never crossed my mind.  Not once.  
                       
Well, I think I'll be going to bed, where I won't 
                        think at all about being King.

                                                BANQUO
                        Good night to you then.

Banquo exits with Fleance.  As soon as they are gone, the three witches creep on to the stage.  One of them has a dagger which she lowers in front of Macbeth using a fishing pole type of apparatus.  Macbeth spots the dagger in front of him and does a double take.

                                                MACBETH
                        Is this a dagger which I see before me?  Come, 
                        let me clutch thee.

He tries to snatch it, but the witch jerks it away from his grasp.  This frightens Macbeth.  He turns and calls for Lady Macbeth.  While he does so, the witch retrieves the dagger.

                                                MACBETH
                        Hey, Gruoch!  Gruoch!

Lady Macbeth enters!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Quiet down!  You'll wake the entire household!  
                       
What is it?  Did you take care of Duncan yet?

                                                MACBETH
                        I was going to do it, when suddenly I saw a dagger
                        floating before me, it's handle toward my hand. 
                        tried to clutch it, and it floated away.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Don't be ridiculous!  That wasn't a real dagger.  
                       
That was a dagger of the mind, a false creation 
                        proceeding from your heat-oppressed brain!

                                                MACBETH
                        It was?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Certainly!  Just tell yourself you don't see any  
                        daggers, and you won't.

                                                MACBETH
                        Tell myself I don't see it and I won't.  Okay, I'll  
                        give that a try.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Now go take care of Duncan, before you wake 
                        everyone up with your foolishness.

                                                MACBETH
                        But. . .

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Go!

She points toward Duncan's chamber, and then exits in the opposite direction.  As Macbeth watches her go, a witch lowers the dagger in front of him.  When he turns back from watch Lady Macbeth leave, Macbeth sees the dagger and nearly jumps out of his skin.

                                                MACBETH
                        I don't see the dagger!  I don't see the dagger!

The dagger is still there.  He turns to call for his wife, and as he does so, the witch withdraws the dagger.

                                                MACBETH
                        Gruoch!

Lady Macbeth enters again.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What is it now?

                                                MACBETH
                        I told myself I didn't see the dagger, but I wouldn't 
                        listen to me.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I'm tired of this nonsense.  Do you see a dagger 
                        now?

                                                MACBETH
                        No.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        It's clear to me that you're just making excuses  
                        to avoid doing what you promised to do.  Now  
                        go take care of Duncan, or I'm going fix it so that   
                        you see a dagger in a place that will make you  
                        very uncomfortable.

While Lady Macbeth is making this speech, the witch with the dagger is pouring ketchup all over the dagger.

Once again, Lady Macbeth points her husband in the direction of Duncan's room, and then exits in the opposite direction.  As Macbeth watches Lady Macbeth leave, the witch dangles the bloody danger in front of him.  Macbeth sees it and tries to speak, but he's too frightened to speak.  He tries to scream, but can't.  He nearly weeps with fear.

The witch moves the dagger so it prods Macbeth toward Duncan's chamber.  Reluctantly, Macbeth moves in the direction the dagger wants him to go.  A bell rings.  Macbeth would like to say the line about "it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell" but he is still to frightened for the words to come out.  He exits.

*********************************************************

  Scene 2

In another part of Macbeth's castle, Lady Macbeth enters drinking out of a goblet.  There is a bucket of water on the floor in one corner of the stage.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        That which hath made them drunk, hath made  
                        me bold.  I've drugged the two grooms who 
                        attend the King, and I put their daggers where 
                        even my husband could not miss them.

King Duncan's voice comes from off stage.

                                                KING DUNCAN
                                    (off-stage)
                        Who's that coming into my room?  Oh, it's 
                        Macbeth!   Auuughhh!

We hear Duncan scream as he is murdered.  A moment later, Macbeth enters.  His hands are bloody.  He carries two daggers in his upstage hand, but the audience cannot see them yet because they are upstage of his body.

                                                MACBETH
                        I have done the deed.  I thought I heard a voice 
                        telling me that I would sleep no more, that I had 
                        murdered sleep.  I'm a bad Thane.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        No, you are a worthy Thane.  You did something 
                        right for once!  Wait a minute, why did you bring 
                        those bloody daggers with you?  You were 
                        supposed to leave them with the grooms!  Go  
                        back and do it now.

                                                MACBETH
                        I can't go back there.  There's blood everywhere.  
                       
There's blood on the King's sheets, and his shirt, 
                        and that little skirt he wears...

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        His kilt.

                                                MACBETH
                        I know he's kilt!  I'm the guy that kilt him!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Give me those daggers, you coward!  I'll go 
                        place them by the grooms, and smear them with
                        the King's blood!

Lady Macbeth takes the daggers and exits.

                                                MACBETH
                        I didn't mean to kill the King.  But as soon as he 
                        said my name, he jumped out of bed, right into 
                        the daggers I was holding.  Now he's dead, and
                        I've got blood all over my hands.

Enter Lady Macbeth.  Her hands are covered with blood.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        See?  My hands are the same color as yours, 
                        but I'm not afraid.  Look how pale you are!  
                       
Come on, get some color in your cheeks.

She smears blood onto her husband's cheeks.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        That's better.

                                                MACBETH
                        You could use a little lipstick yourself.

Macbeth wipes blood onto his wife's lips.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You're still too pale.

She smears more blood on Macbeth's face.  He smears blood on her face.  Soon they're frantically smearing blood on each other. 

As the blood begins to run out, Lady Macbeth dashes offstage for barely an instant, and then she's back with her hands dripping with fresh blood to renew the attack!  Macbeth jumps in terror as she runs at him, and then they resume smearing blood all over each other.  Finally, they are interrupted by a knocking on a door off stage.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Someone's at the door!  Quick!

Lady Macbeth hurries over to a bucket of water and sticks her hands in the bucket.  They come out clean.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        A little water clears us of this deed.

Her statement is ridiculous.  Her hands may be clean, but she's got blood all over the rest of her.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Quick go put on your nightgown!  We'll pretend
                        we've been asleep!

She starts to drag Macbeth off-stage as the knocking continues.

                                                MACBETH
                        Wake Duncan with thy knocking!  I would thou 
                        couldst!

*********************************************************

Scene 3

Inside Macbeth's castle, a PORTER slowly heads to the front door to answer the knocking.  He is an overweight man with a large red nose, who speaks with a pronounced nasal drawl.  He enjoys using flowery language.

                                                PORTER
                        Knock, knock, knock!  If a Man were a porter
                        at the gates of hell, he would be so busy answering
                        the door, he wouldn't have time to drink.  That's 
                        why they call it hell.

There is more knocking at the door.

                                                PORTER
                        Knock, knock, knock!  Don't they realize what 
                        hour it is?  They should be at home, drunk, like 
                        decent people.

The Porter opens the door.  Enter Macduff and Lennox.  Macduff turns to Lennox.

                                                MACDUFF
                        I know this porter.  He is a humorous fellow.  
                       
Let's talk to him, and he will amuse us with his 
                        merry talk of equivocators, and English tailors 
                        who steal French hose.  What do you have to 
                        say for yourself, witty porter?

                                                PORTER
                        I say, get stuffed.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Do you know who I am?  I'm Macduff, the
                        Thane of Fife.

                                                PORTER
                        I don't care if you're the Thane of Fife, Six
                        and Seven.  I say get stuffed.

The Porter exits, drinking from his bottle.  As he exits, Macbeth enters, wearing his nightgown.

                                                LENNOX
                        Good morrow, noble sir.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Is the King stirring?

Macbeth looks anxiously around for any sign of the King's ghost.

                                                MACBETH
                        He better not be.

                                                MACDUFF
                        What?

                                                MACBETH
                        I mean, he was up late last night, so I hope he's 
                        getting a good sleep.

                                                MACDUFF
                        He commanded me to wake him early.  I will go 
                        call on him.

Macduff exits.

                                                LENNOX
                        What a night that was.  I'm amazed anyone could 
                        sleep through it.  The wind shrieking like a banshee, 
                        the sky ablaze with shooting stars.  There was rain 
                        and snow and hailstones big as your head!  Some 
                        people say that corpses arose from their grave and 
                        moaned at the living, the rivers ran red as blood, 
                        horses ate each other, and I swear I felt three 
                        massive earthquakes. 

                                                MACBETH
                        It was a rough night.

Macduff enters, horrified at what he has seen.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Oh, horror, horror, horror!  Tongue nor heart 
                        cannot conceive thee!

Everyone freezes as the three witches enter, singing and dancing.

                                                WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        Horror, horror, horror!
                        Tongue nor heart cannot conceive thee!
                        Sorrow, sorrow, sorrow!
                        You can't know how it doth grieve me!

                        The King is dead!
                        Duncan's dead!
                        He's lying dead
                        There in his bed!
                        His body's bloody
                        And the sheets are red!
                        He's got a knife stuck in his head.
                        Have you all heard what I just said?

                        Duncan the King is dead!

If the audience responds enthusiastically, the witches can sing the song again as an encore.  Otherwise, they dance off the stage after having sung their song once.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Awake!  Awake!

Macbeth and Lennox go to investigate Duncan's room.  As they exit, Lady Macbeth enters.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What's going on?

                                                MACDUFF
                        Oh gentle lady, I fear a woman could not hear 
                        the terrible news and live!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What is it?

                                                MACDUFF
                        I dare not let your delicate ear hear the awful truth.

Enter Banquo.  Immediately, Macduff tells him the news, although he's standing right by Lady Macduff.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Banquo, the King is murdered.

Lady Macbeth shrieks.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        In my house???

Enter Macbeth and Lennox, bringing in the two bloody, young ATTENDANTS from Duncan's room.  Macbeth guards them with a huge sword.

                                                MACBETH
                        There's nothing serious in mortality!  All is but 
                        toys!

Enter Malcolm and Donalbain in pajamas.  Malcolm also wears a nightcap.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Did somebody say "toys"?

                                                MACDUFF
                        Alas, Malcolm and Donalbain, your royal father's 
                        murdered.

                                                MALCOLM
                        My Pop?  Who did it?

                                                MACBETH
                        It must have been these two attendants.  We 
                        found them with their daggers drenched in blood.

                                                FIRST ATTENDANT
                        We didn't do it!

                                                LENNOX
                        Then who did?

                                                SECOND ATTENDANT
                        It could have been anybody!  It could have been 
                        the porter, or Lennox, or. . .

                                                FIRST ATTENDANT
                        It could have been the guy who owns this castle!

                                                SECOND ATTENDANT
                        You mean Mac-

                                                FIRST ATTENDANT
                                    (interrupting)
                        Don't say it!

The First Attendant runs over to the Second Attendant to stop him from saying the unlucky name.

                                                SECOND ATTENDANT
                        Don't say what?

                                                FIRST ATTENDANT
                        Macbeth!

                                                SECOND ATTENDANT
                        Why shouldn't I say Macbeth?

Lady Macbeth edges slowly to a spot behind her husband, and puts her hand on the pommel of his sword.

 

                                                FIRST ATTENDANT
                        People die when they say Macbeth!

 

                                                SECOND ATTENDANT
                        What?  People die just because they say Mac -

Lady Macbeth pushes her husband's sword, so that it plunges into both attendants, killing them instantly.  As the Attendants die, she steps back and stares accusingly at her husband.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Oh!  Look what you did!

                                                MACDUFF
                        Why did you kill them!

                                                MACBETH
                        I didn't do it!  Someone pushed my sword!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Be a man and admit your deed.  I know it seems 
                        rash, foolish, thoughtless, stupid, even moronic, 
                        something only a brainless dolt would have done, 
                        but you did it because you were overcome with 
                        the need to avenge your King's death.  It's 
                        perfectly understandable.

                                                MACDUFF
                        But now we'll never know for certain if they were 
                        the culprits!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Look at all that blood!  I think I'm going to faint.  
                       
Help me!

                                                BANQUO
                        Look to the lady!

Lady Macbeth faints dramatically, and is caught by Macduff and Lennox.  Everyone helps her offstage, except for Malcolm and Donalbain.

                                                MALCOLM
                        What do we do now?

                                                DONALBAIN
                        Let's go back to bed.

                                                MALCOLM
                        What if someone stabs us, just like that did our 
                        Pop! 
I'm going to go hide in England!

                                                DONALBAIN
                        I'm going to go hide in Ireland.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Good idea.  Let us not be dainty of leave-taking 
                        but shift away!

Malcolm and Donalbain try to go past each other in opposite directions, but they keep stepping in front of each other.  Finally, Malcolm takes off his nightcap and whips Donalbain with it.  Donalbain stops, and lets Malcolm pass.  They exit in opposite directions.

*********************************************************

Scene 4

Outside of Macbeth's castle, Ross and Macduff enter from opposite directions and greet each other.

                                                ROSS
                        Good Macduff!  Is it known who did this 
                        bloody deed?

                                                MACDUFF
                        Everyone assumes it was the attendants who 
                        were slain by the Thane of Cawdor.

                                                ROSS
                        But why should the attendants kill the King?

                                                MACDUFF
                        It's rumored they were paid to do it by Malcolm
                        and Donalbain, who have fled to England and 
                        Ireland.

                                                ROSS
                        I assume the Thane of Cawdor shall be appointed 
                        King, being nearest in blood.

                                                MACDUFF
                        He's already been named, and has gone to Scone 
                        to be crowned.

                                                ROSS
                        Will you go to Scone?

                                                MACDUFF
                        No, I'm going home to Fife

                                                ROSS
                        I suppose I will go to Scone.  I can't believe that 
                        gross imbecile is to be our King.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Well, may you see things well done there.  Adieu, 
                        lest our old robes sit easier than our new.

They exit in opposite directions.

*********************************************************

ACT III

Scene 1

In Macbeth's castle, Banquo enters, lost in thought.

                                                BANQUO
                        Thou hast it now:  King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
                        as the weird women promised, and I fear thou 
                        pay'dst most foully for it.

Enter Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

                                                MACBETH
                        Banquo!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You are coming to our feast tonight, aren't you?

                                                BANQUO
                        Your Majesty, I was just thinking about you.  Now 
                        that you've proved the witch's prophesy came true 
                        for you, I suppose that means my descendants will 
                        be kings.  You know, I never would have murdered 
                        Duncan.  It's a horrible, horrible thing to murder a 
                        King.  But whoever did it, did a great favor to my 
                        children.

Lady Macbeth hauls her husband aside, out of Banquo's hearing, and speaks to him sharply.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What does he mean, his children shall be kings?

                                                MACBETH
                        That's what the witches said.  They said I would be 
                        King, and his kids would be kings.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You never told me that!

                                                MACBETH
                        You never asked!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        So now we have the King's blood on our hands, 
                        all for the benefit of Banquo's children! 

                                                MACBETH
                        So what, we don't have any children of our own!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        And we aren't going to have any as long as they're 
                        likely to be dethroned by Banquo's brood.

                                                MACBETH
                        What do you mean?

                                                LADY MACBETH

                        I thought maybe it was time for me to ask the  
                        spirits that tend on mortal thought to sex me again...

Macbeth looks at her hopefully, happy at the idea of having a woman for a wife again.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                                    (continuing)
                        . . . but I can see I'm going to have to remain  
                        unsexed until we solve this problem!

Macbeth despairs as Lady Macbeth storms off stage angrily.  Macbeth speaks to Banquo.

                                                MACBETH
                        Are you coming to our feast tonight?  We're 
                        serving haggis, your favorite.

                                                BANQUO
                        You know I wouldn't miss a plate of haggis for 
                        the world.  I'm about to go riding to work up an 
                        appetite.

                                                MACBETH
                        Is your son Fleance going with you?

                                                BANQUO
                        Why, what's the matter?  Are you afraid he'll stab  
                        you while you're asleep?  Don't look so shocked!  
                       
I'm only teasing you.  Fleance is too young to be 
                        stabbing kings. . . yet.

Banquo exits, laughing at his jest.  Macbeth hears a noise off stage.

                                                MACBETH
                        Who's there?

Enter two MURDERERS, although they might better be described as two idiots.  The FIRST MURDERER is fat, completely bald, and speaks with a squeaky voice.  The SECOND MURDERER is bald on the top with frizzy hair on the sides. 

                                                MACBETH
                        Good, it's you.  Do you men remember what I 
                        told you yesterday?

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        You told us not to forget anything you told us!

                                                MACBETH
                        What else did I tell you?

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        I forget!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        I remember!  He said you were an idiot!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        No!  He said you were an idiot!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        No, he said I was a moron.  He said you were the 
                        idiot!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Oh yeah!  That's right!

                                                MACBETH
                        Let's go over the whole thing again.  Do you 
                        remember, when you were in the army, how I was 
                        always giving you extra punishment drill, and making 
                        your lives miserable?

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Yeah, I remember that!  You were a real louse!

                                                MACBETH
                        Well, that wasn't me!  It was Banquo!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Banquo!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        We always thought you were the louse!

                                                 MACBETH
                        It was Banquo who signed all of the orders against 
                        you!  Don't you hate him?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        No!  When we left the army, we let bygones be 
                        bygones be bygones.

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        We never let them be anything else.

                                                MACBETH
                        I've got news for you boys.  Banquo is going to 
                        draft you back into the army!  And the only way 
                        you can stop him is to murder him and his son 
                        Fleance!

                                                FIRST MURDER
                        I don't know about this.  Isn't murder a criminal 
                        act?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Yeah, you could get ten years for an act of 
                        murder!

                                                MACBETH
                        Not if I tell you to do it.  I'm the King, and if   
                        you do what I tell you, it's an act of patriotism!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        How many years do you get for an act of 
                        patriotism?

                                                MACBETH
                        If you do this for me, I'll appoint you to high 
                        political office.  You'll be important politicians.

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Not me!  I may be willing to commit an act of 
                        murder, but there's no way I'll commit an act of 
                        politics!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Yeah, we've got our reputations to think of!

                                                MACBETH
                        Okay, if you boys will murder Banquo and 
                        Fleance, I promise never to appoint you to political 
                        office!

                                                FIRST & SECOND
                                                            MURDERERS
                        It's a deal!

They all shake hands.

                                                MACBETH
                        Banquo and Fleance are going out riding tonight.  
                        If you wait for them by the stables, you can kill 
                        them after they bring their horses back.

                                                FIRST & SECOND 
                                                            MURDERERS
                        You can count on us!

The two Murderers exit.

                                                MACBETH
                        It is concluded.  Banquo, thy soul's flight, if it find 
                        heaven, must find it out tonight.

Macbeth exits.

*********************************************************

Scene 2  

In the kitchen of the castle, Lady Macbeth enters and goes to a table.  There is a bowl of eggs on the table, and some dishes.  A servant enters.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Is Banquo gone from court?

                                                SERVANT
                        Aye, Madam, but returns again tonight.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Go find the King and tell him I want to see him.

                                                SERVANT
                        Madam, I will.

The Servant exits.  Lady Macbeth ruminates.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I'm Queen of Scotland!  So why do I still feel so
                        unhappy?  It's because I know that little worm I'm 
                        married to will find some way to louse everything
                        up!

Enter Macbeth.  He doesn't look any happier than Lady Macbeth.

                                                MACBETH
                        Hi.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What are you looking so unhappy about?  Are 
                        you still feeling guilty?  Remember, what's done 
                        is done!

                                                MACBETH
                        This isn't turning out like I planned.  I thought, if I 
                        were King, everyone would look up to me.  But 
                        everybody still treats me like a little worm.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Well of course, they do.  You're still you!  Having 
                        a crown on your head doesn't change who you are!

                                                MACBETH
                        It doesn't?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Of course not!  Look at me!

                                                MACBETH
                        You've changed!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        No I haven't.  Oh, since I became Queen of 
                        Scotland, I might seem to glow with an added 
                        royal luster, but I'm really still the same simple  
                        girl I've always been.

                                                MACBETH
                        But you're a man!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Will you stop obsessing about that!  I've told you, 
                        this is only temporary!  I'm only staying this way 
                        until we're sure you aren't going to louse everything 
                        up.

                                                MACBETH
                        Don't worry about that!  I already took care of 
                        everything!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What have you done now?

                                                MACBETH
                        Believe me, you don't want to know.  But you'll 
                        applaud what I did when you find out about it.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        That will be a first!

                                                MACBETH
                        What are you doing here in the kitchen?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I wanted to check on the haggis I asked the 
                        servants to cook for tonight.  Banquo asked us 
                        for it.

                                                MACBETH
                        What's haggis?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        How can you be King of Scotland and not know  
                        what haggis is? 

                                                MACBETH
                        Tell me and I'll know.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You take the lungs and heart of a sheep, and you
                        mix it with the fat from around the sheep's kidneys, 
                        and then add oatmeal, and you cook it all in the 
                        sheep's stomach.

                                                MACBETH
                        And that's haggis?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Certainly!  The Scottish people love it.  If you want   
                        to be King of Scotland, you have to love it too!

                                                MACBETH
                        I love it!  I won't eat it, but I love it.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Why won't you eat it?

                                                MACBETH
                        It's not clean!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        But that's what we're serving tonight!  Everybody's 
                        having haggis.

                                                MACBETH
                        Everybody but me!  I'm not eating anything that's 
                        been in someone else's stomach.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        So what do you want?  We have some cold tongue 
                        left over.

                                                MACBETH
                        Oh no!  I'm not eating anything that's been in  
                        someone else's mouth.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        So you won't eat anything that's been in someone 
                        else's stomach, and you won't eat anything that's 
                        been in someone else's mouth!  What will you eat?

                                                MACBETH
                        I'll have some eggs.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You'll have some eggs?  How many do you want?

                                                MACBETH
                        I'd like two eggs.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Here!

She takes a couple of eggs and breaks them on Macbeth's head.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Come on!  It's time to get ready for dinner.

                                                MACBETH
                        So prithee go with me.

They exit.

*********************************************************

Scene 3

Outside of Macbeth's palace, the First Murderer and the Second Murderer enter and are joined by the Third Murderer, who is a bossy man who wears his black hair in bangs.

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        But who bid thee join with us?

The Third Murderer hits the First Murderer on the Head.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Who do you think?

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Was it the merry wives of Windsor?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        I bet it was the happy husbands of Hastings!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Maybe it was the depressed daughters of Dover!

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        No!  It was the grumpy grandmothers of 
                        Greenwich.

                                                FIRST & SECOND
                                                            MURDERER
                        Really?

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Of course not, you morons!  It was the King 
                        who sent me!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        I don't think the King trusts us!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        You're right!  This could hurt our reputation as 
                        professional hit men!

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Professional hit men, eh?  How many men have 
                        you boys hit?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Two!

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Two?

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Yeah!  I hit him, and he hit me!

The First Murderer and the Second Murderer point to each other.  The Third Murderer slaps them both.

(A word about stage slaps - it would be best if the Three Murderers could slap each other on the cheek - but that hurts and the actors might be reluctant to hurt each other.  If the actors aren't willing to slap each other hard on the cheek, they should slap each other on the forehead.  A strong, loud slap on the forehead will work better than a soft, timid slap on the cheek.)

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        There, now I'm even with the both of you!

The First Murderer squeals in anger.

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Okay, I admit this is our first job.  But everybody's  
                        GOT to start somewhere!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        If only murderers who had already murdered 
                        people were allowed to murder, then pretty 
                        soon nobody could ever murder anybody!

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Listen up!  To be a successful murderer, you have  
                        to be cruel.

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        How cruel?

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Watch this!

The Third Murderer pinches the nose of the First Murderer in his left hand.  Then the Third Murderer hits his own left hand with his right hand.  The First Murderer yelps as his nose his pulled down.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        See, I'm so cruel, that didn't bother me a bit!

Unnoticed by the Murderers, Banquo and his son Fleanace enter.  They quietly observe the Murderers.

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Let me try!

The Second Murder pinches the nose of the First Murderer in his left hand, then hits his left hand.  Again the First Murderer squeals.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Did that bother you?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        A little.  Let me try it again.

The Second Murderer again pinches the First Murderer's nose in his left hand, then hits his left hand, causing the First Murderer to squeal.

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        It didn't bother me as much that time.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        It shouldn't bother you at all!  Watch this.

The Third Murderer starts to take the First Murderer's nose, but the First Murderer objects!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Wait a minute!  Wait a minute!  Let me try!

The First Murderer does the trick on his own nose.  He yelps in pain, then barks at his own hands.

                                                BANQUO
                        You're daft!  All three of you are crazy!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        We're not crazy!  We're killers!  Professional 
                        murderers!

                                                BANQUO
                        What's your specialty?  Lethal nose pulling?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        We've been hired by the King to kill Banquo!

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Wait a minute, you knuckleheads!  That is 
                        Banquo!

The Three Murderers draw their daggers and advance on Banquo.

                                                BANQUO
                        Hold on!  You can't kill me!!

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Why not?

Banquo begins to get very nervous as the hired killers advance on him.

                                                BANQUO
                        I don't deserve it!  I'm an innocent man!  I'm not 
                        guilty of anything!  I've never even said, "Macbeth" 
                        – oh damn.

Banquo realizes he's said the fatal word.

                                                BANQUO
                        I just said, "Macbeth," didn't I?

The Murderers nod in confirmation.  Realizing his fate is sealed, Banquo presents himself to the Murderers for execution.  They stab him.

                                                BANQUO
                                    (dying)
                        Fly, good Fleance!  And whatever you do, don't  
                        say "Macbeth!"

Fleance runs off stage.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        The kid got away!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        At least we got one of them.

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Let's tell the King how much is done!

They exit.

*********************************************************

Scene 4

In the great dining chamber of Macbeth's castle, a banquet has been prepared.  There's a big pot of steaming haggis on the table.  Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Ross, Lennox, and various other Lords.  Macbeth addresses the Lords.

                                                MACBETH
                        You know your own degrees, sit down.  At first and
                        last, the hearty welcome.

                                                LORDS
                        Thanks to your Majesty.

The Three Murderers enter timidly, and signal for Macbeth to come over and speak to them.  Macbeth sees them, and excuses himself from his guests.

                                                MACBETH
                        Pardon me.

Macbeth moves away from his guests to speak privately with the Three Murderers. 

                                                MACBETH
                        There's blood on your faces.

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        It's Banquo's, then.

                                                MACBETH
                        It's better on your outside than his insides.  What 
                        about Fleance?  Did you get him too?

The Third Murderer and the Second Murderer respond as if this were a ridiculous question.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Did we get him?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Did we get him?

The First Murderer takes the question seriously.

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Well, did we?

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        We had everything planned perfectly.  First we'd 
                        smash his skull in!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Then we'd break his neck!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Then we'd slice him into little tiny pieces!

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        And everything went exactly according to our 
                        plans, except for one small thing.

                                                MACBETH
                        What was that?

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        He got away.

                                                MACBETH
                        He got away!!!!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Before we could even lay a hand on him!

                                                MACBETH
                        Fleance got away!  Do you know what this means? 
                        Fleance gets to beget a whole line of kings, and
                        I don't get to beget anybody.  I was looking 
                        forward to begetting lots of little kings... little baby 
                        kings running all over the castle.  But now I don't 
                        get to beget nobody.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        We're sorry.

                                                SECOND MURDERER

                        Is there anyone else we could kill to make it up to 
                        you?

                                                MACBETH
                        I'll let you know.  But are you sure Banquo's dead?

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        We're sure, all right.  He's got twenty mortal gashes  
                        in his head!

                                                MACBETH
                        Okay.  Go home, for now.  I'll let you know if I have 
                        more work for you.

He gives them some coins, and the Murderers exit.  Then Macbeth goes back to his guests.

                                                MACBETH
                        Friends, it's time for dinner.  I'm so glad that all 
                        my loyal friends have come here to dine with me. 
                        only wish my cousin Banquo was here to join us!

Unnoticed by Macbeth, or by anyone else the Ghost of Banquo enters and sits at the only vacant spot at the table.

                                                ROSS
                        Come, your Highness, grace us with your royal 
                        company!

Macbeth looks around, but doesn't see any empty seat.  Banquo's Ghost is facing away from him, and there is no blood on the Ghost's back, so Macbeth doesn't know yet that there is a Ghost at the table.

                                                MACBETH
                        The table's full.

                                                LENNOX
                        Here's your place, my Lord.

Lennox points to the chair occupied by Banquo.  The Ghost turns to face Macbeth, and Macbeth sees the Ghost and all his bloody wounds.  Macbeth quakes in fear.  He tries to speak, but words won't come out.  Finally, he manages to shriek:

                                                MACBETH
                        Which of you have done this?

No one knows what he is talking about.  Only Macbeth can see the Ghost.

                                                LENNOX
                        Done what, my Lord?

Macbeth tries to speak, but once again he is to scared to utter a word.  He tries to run from the room, but Lady Macbeth grabs him.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Where are you going?

                                                MACBETH
                        To pick some flowers for the table!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You can't pick flowers in the middle of winter!

                                                MACBETH
                        You can in Africa!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What's the matter with you?

                                                MACBETH
                        Don't you see that Ghost?

He points to the Ghost, then turns back to Lady Macbeth.  The Ghost exits, unseen by Macbeth as he leaves.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What Ghost?  You're imagining things again!  
                       
Just like that dagger you thought you saw!

Macbeth turns back to look at the table, and finds the Ghost is gone!

                                                MACBETH
                        You're right!  He's gone!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        He was never there!  You imagined it!

Macbeth goes back to address his guests.

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm sorry, my friends.  I was distracted.  What was
                        I saying?

                                                ROSS
                        You were saying you wished your cousin Banquo 
                        was here to dine with us.

                                                MACBETH
                        Did I say that?

                                                LORDS
                        Yes!  Yes, you did!

                                                MACBETH
                        If I said it, I must have meant it.  I wish Banquo 
                        was here!

Banquo re-enters, and takes the vacant seat at the table.  Macbeth sees this, and quakes with terror again.  He starts to weep silently in fear and frustration.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Please, your Lordships, forgive my husband.  He has 
                        these minor little fits from time to time, but it's nothing.  
                       
Lots of kings have it, from all that royal in-breeding. 
                       
I know how to bring him to his senses.

The Ghost exits as Lady Macbeth goes to her husband and slaps him.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What's the matter with you?

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm sorry.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I thought you said you didn't see the Ghost!

                                                MACBETH
                        I didn't!  But then he came back!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        When?

                                                MACBETH
                        When I said I wished Banquo was here.

Accepting the invitation, Banquo enters again.  Macbeth has had enough.  He turns and screams at the Ghost.

                                                MACBETH
                        What do you want from me????

                                                BANQUO'S GHOST
                        I want my haggis!

The Ghost takes a bowl out of the folds of his costume.  Macbeth grabs the bowl and fills it with haggis.

                                                MACBETH
                        Here!  Here!  Take your haggis and go!

The Ghost takes the bowl of haggis and exits, licking his lips with anticipation.

                                                ROSS
                        Who is he talking to?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        He's getting worse and worse!  I'm sorry, but I  
                        must ask you all to leave.

Macbeth starts to exit, but Lady Macbeth grabs him.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Not you!!!

The guests begin to leave.

                                                LENNOX
                        Good night, and better health attend his Majesty.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        A good night to you all.

Everyone exits except for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I hope you realize you ruined our party!

                                                MACBETH
                        It wasn't me!  It was the Ghost!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I didn't see any Ghost!  You know what your 
                        problem is?  You don't get enough sleep!

                                                MACBETH
                        I want to sleep, but I have bad dreams.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        You think I don't have bad dreams too?  I have 
                        horrible nightmares!  But I don't let them keep me 
                        awake, because I know you need a well-rested 
                        Queen.  But you stay awake because you only 
                        think of yourself!

                                                MACBETH
                        Tomorrow I'm going to go to the weird sisters.  
                       
More shall they speak.  For now I am bent to 
                        know by the worst means, the worst.  I am in 
                        blood stepped so far that, should I wade no more, 
                        returning were as tedious as go o'er.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth exit.

*********************************************************

Scene 5

In most published editions of MACBETH, ACT III, Scene 5 is a short scene in which Hecate scolds the Three Witches.  However, many (if not most) scholars have strong doubts that this scene was written by Shakespeare.  I have my own doubts, and I have decided not to include that scene in my parody.  Accordingly, although the scene that follows below is Scene 5 in "Scots On The Rocks," it is based on Scene 6 in most published editions of MACBETH.

 

Somewhere in Scotland (the location doesn't really matter), Lennox enters with another Lord.

                                                LENNOX
                        I say things have been strangely borne.  First 
                        Duncan was killed, and now our new King blames 
                        Duncan's sons, for they fled.  Next, Banquo was 
                        killed.  I suppose our King will blame Banquo's 
                        son Fleance, for Fleance fled.  Have you heard 
                        any news of Macduff.  He was not at the feast 
                        where the King acted so strangely.

                                                LORD
                        Macduff has gone to England, to join Malcolm in 
                        raising an army.

                                                LENNOX
                        Our new King will not like that.  I hope Macduff 
                        returns soon, and safely.

                                                LORD
                        I'll send my prayers with him.

They exit.

*********************************************************

  ACT IV

Scene 1  

At the Heath where Macbeth first met the three Witches, the Witches are putting ingredients into a large cauldron.  The cauldron should either be large enough to contain an actor, or else it should have a hole in the back so that one of the Witches can stick her arm through it.  The reason for this is that sock puppets will come out of the cauldron later as apparitions.  The sock puppets may either be worn by one of the Witches or by someone hidden in the Cauldron.

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Round about the cauldron go;
                        In the poisoned entrails throw.
                        Toad that under cold stone
                        Days and nights has thirty-one.
                        Sweltered venom, sleeping got,
                        Boil thou first in the charmed pot.

She throws ingredients into the cauldron.  All three Witches begin to sing.

                                                THREE WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        Double, double, toil and trouble;
                        Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                                    (singing)
                        Fillet of a fenny snake
                        In the cauldron boil and bake;
                        Eye of newt and toe of frog,
                        Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
                        Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
                        Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
                        For a charm of powerful trouble,
                        Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble!

                                                THREE WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        Double, double, toil and trouble;
                        Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

                                                WEIRD WITCH
                                    (singing)
                        Add a splash of herbal tea,
                        Dandruff from a chimpanzee,
                        Next mix in some rancid fat,
                        Furball from my kitty cat!
                        Nostrils of an aged bear,
                        King Lear's dirty underwear!
                        Whatever this is, I forgot!
                        Throw it all inside the pot!

                                                THREE WITCHES
                                    (singing)
                        Double, double, toil and trouble;
                        Fire burn and cauldron bubble!

The song ends.  Spell-Witch hears someone approaching.

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked 
                        this way comes!

Enter Macbeth, accompanied by Lady Macbeth.

                                                MACBETH
                                    (to his wife)
                        Are you sure you should be here?  I think I should 
                        have come alone.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Nonsense!  You need me to tell you what to say to
                        the witches!  Now first,  you have to show them 
                        who's boss.

                                                MACBETH
                        How do I do that?

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Insult them!  Call them names!

                                                MACBETH
                        Okay.  I'll show them who's boss.

Macbeth boldly strides up to the Witches and insults them.

                                                MACBETH,
                        How now, you secret, black and midnight hags?

All three Witches glare and him and snap at him:

                                                WITCHES
                        What is it?

Macbeth shrinks back and points to his wife.

                                                MACBETH
                        The boss wants a word with you.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Good afternoon, ladies.

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        I am Witch-Witch!

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        I am Spell-Witch!

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        I am Weird-Witch!

                                                MACBETH
                        Don't start with that!  Don't start with the names!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                                    (scolding her husband)
                        What's the matter with you?  It's very simple.  This 
                        is Witch-Witch, . . .

                                                MACBETH
                        Don't you start.  If you start with the names, I'm 
                        going home!  I'm going back to Glamis and I won't 
                        be King any more!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        All right!

Lady Macbeth turns to the Witches and addresses them very politely.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        My husband was hoping you could give him some 
                        information.

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Speak!

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        Demand!

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        We'll answer!

                                                MACBETH
                        All right!  Can you tell me if this story is going to 
                        have a happy ending.

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Oh yes!

                                                SPELL-WITCH
                        Very happy!

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        We'll be simply delighted!

                                                MACBETH
                        Not happy for you!  Happy for me!

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Oh.

                                                WEIRD-WITCH
                        For that, you'd better ask the spirits of the 
                        cauldron!

The Witches hover around the cauldron, and a sock puppet soldier emerges as the FIRST APPARITION.  It can be on the hand of one of the Witches or someone in the cauldron.  The Apparition speaks in a high, squeaky voice.  One of the Witches can do the voice of the Apparition out of the corner of her mouth like a very bad ventriloquist.

                                                FIRST APPARITION
                        Macbeth!  Macbeth!  Macbeth!  Beware Macduff!  
                       
Beware the Thane of Fife.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Why should he beware of Macduff?

                                                FIRST APPARITION
                        Macduff's going to kick his butt.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Him and what army?

                                                FIRST APPARITION
                        The English army!  They're all going to kick his 
                        butt!

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        I'd like to see them try!  Bring them on!  Do you 
                        think that scares a mighty warrior like my husband!

Lady Macbeth leans in closer to the First Apparition and speaks to it privately.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        This army you're talking about, they're not going  
                        to kick my butt, are they?

                                                FIRST APPARITION
                        No.  Not your butt.

The First Apparition disappears back into the cauldron.  A SECOND APPARITION takes its place.  This one is a sock puppet of a child.

                                                WITCH-WITCH
                        Here's another, more potent than the first!

This sock puppet also speaks in a high, squeaky voice.

                                                SECOND APPARITION
                        Macbeth!  Macbeth!  Macbeth!  Be bloody, bold 
                        and resolute.  Laugh to scorn the power of man, 
                        for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth!

Lady Macbeth turns triumphantly to her husband.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        See?  You don't have a thing to worry about!

The second apparition disappears back into the cauldron, and is replaced by a THIRD APPARITION.  This one is a sock puppet of a child wearing a crown, and holding a tree in its hand.  Like the others, it speaks with a high squeaky voice.

                                                THIRD APPARITION
                        Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great 
                        Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill.

                                                MACBETH
                        What wood?

                                                THIRD APPARITION
                        Birnam Wood!  Birnam Wood!

                                                MACBETH
                        Hey, this spirit's thinks he's an Indian!  Ugh.  
                       
Me burn-um wood, make-um smoke signals.

Macbeth laughs at the Apparition.

                                                THIRD APPARITION
                        Laugh it up, fat boy!  Macduff's going to kick your 
                        butt when Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane.

Macbeth lunges at the Apparition to wring its neck, but Lady Macbeth stops him.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Take it easy!  He's only trying to help you!  He's 
                        trying to give you advice.

                                                MACBETH
                        Advice?  If he's trying to give me advice, why 
                        doesn't he tell me what to do about Macduff?

                                                THIRD APPARITION
                        You could send murderers to his castle and kill his 
                        wife and all his children.

                                                MACBETH
                        What good would that do?

                                                THIRD APPARITION
                        It might make him afraid of you.

                                                MACBETH
                        Yeah.

                                                THIRD APPARITION
                        Or it might make him so sad he'd kill himself.

                                                MACBETH
                        Yeah.

                                                THIRD APPARITION
                        Or it might make him want to kick your butt.

Macbeth lunges for the Apparition again, but it disappears into the cauldron.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Calm down!  Stop making a fool of yourself!

Macbeth stops trying to reach the Apparition.  He turns to the Witches.

                                                MACBETH
                        Okay.  I've got just one more question.  Shall 
                        Banquo's issue ever reign in this kingdom?

                                                WITCHES
                        Seek to know no more!

                                                MACBETH
                        I will be satisfied!

                                                WITCHES
                        Show his eyes, and grieve his heart; come like 
                        shadows, so depart.

Enter EIGHT KINGS.  These can be played by other members of the cast, wearing masks.  They are followed by the bloody Ghost of Banquo, who points proudly at them.

                                                BANQUO'S GHOST
                        These are all my descendants.  Come, children, 
                        what have you got to say to the fat man?

                                                FIRST KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

                                                SECOND KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

                                                THIRD KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

                                                FOURTH KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

                                                FIFTH KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

                                                SIXTH KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

                                                SEVENTH KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

                                                EIGHTH KING
                        Macduff's going to kick your butt!

Macbeth goes into a wild rage.  He unsheathes his sword and chases the Eight Kings, the Ghost of Banquo, and the Three Witches off stage.

                                                MACBETH
                        I'll kick your butts!  I'm going to kick everyone's 
                        butts!  Come back here!  We'll see whose butt 
                        gets kicked!

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are left alone on stage.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Calm down!  There's no use acting like a mad man!

                                                MACBETH
                        Who's acting?  I'm going to kill Macduff's wife 
                        and his kids and his servants, and anyone else  
                        who is in his castle.  I'll kill everybody.  No more 
                        boasting like a fool!  This deed I'll do before this 
                        purpose cool.

*********************************************************

  Scene 2

In Macduff's castle, LADY MACDUFF enters with ROSS.  They are followed by Macduff's SON, who has his back to the audience for now.  Lady Macduff is a very stately, proper woman.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        What had he done to make him fly the land?

                                                ROSS
                        You must have patience, madam.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        He had none.  His flight was madness!  To leave 
                        his wife and children - to run off to England!  If 
                        he wanted to fight the new King, why not say and 
                        do it here?

                                                ROSS
                        You husband is noble, wise, judicious.  He is doing 
                        what he thinks is best.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        As far as I am concerned, my husband is dead!

                                                ROSS
                        He loves you and will return.  But now I must take 
                        my leave.

Ross exits.  Lady Macduff gazes sadly at her son.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        Poor boy.  Your father's dead.  And what will you 
                        do now?

Her son turns, so that the audience can see his face.  Although he is only seven years old, he has a black greasepaint mustache and smokes a cigar.

                                                SON
                        When do I get my inheritance?

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        How will you live?

                                                SON
                        If I sell the castle and all the land and all the serfs, 
                        I should do pretty well.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        What about me?

                                                SON
                        Well, I don't think I can get more than a few shekels
                        for you, but every penny helps.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        Would you sell your own mother?

                                                SON
                        Whose mother should I sell?  I'm sorry, but you're 
                        the only mother I've got.  Believe me, I'm sorry.  
                       
But not as sorry as you.  You're the sorriest mother 
                        I've ever seen.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        You're just like your father!  Your father was a 
                        traitor!

                                                SON
                        What's a traitor?

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        Why, one that swears and lies.

                                                SON
                        Do all traitors swear and lie?

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        Every one that does so is a traitor and must be 
                        hanged!

                                                SON
                        Who must hang them?

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        Why, the honest men.

                                                SON
                        Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are 
                        liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men 
                        and hang them.

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        God help thee, poor monkey!

                                                SON
                        Forget the sweet talk, Mom.  You're still being sold.

Enter the Three Murderers who killed Banquo.

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        Where's Macduff?

                                                SON
                        He's dead.  Where are you?

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        We're right here!

                                                SON
                        Well, if you're ever by the moat, drop in and say 
                        hello.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        Oh, a wise guy!  Listen, we're here from the King!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        So if anyone's going to make wisecracks, it's us!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        If you want to talk, limit yourself to straight lines.

                                                SON
                        In that case, I think I'll just say, "Macbeth" and get 
                        it over with.

                                                THIRD MURDERER
                        What, you egg!

                                                SECOND MURDERER
                        Young fry of treason!

                                                FIRST MURDERER
                        The yolk's on you!

All three murderers take out their swords and stab Macduff's son.

                                                SON
                        They have killed me, mother!  And about time, too!

He dies.  Lady Macduff runs off stage screaming!

                                                LADY MACDUFF
                        Help!  Macbeth's men murdered my son!

The three murderers follow her off stage.

*********************************************************

Scene 3

On a field in England, Malcolm enters with Macduff.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Let us seek out some desolate shade.

                                                MACDUFF
                        You must rid us of this devil who wears your 
                        crown.

                                                MALCOLM
                        But how do I know you're not his spy?

                                                MACDUFF
                        I give you my word!

                                                MALCOLM
                        Why should I trust the word of a spy?

                                                MACDUFF
                        I'm not a spy!

                                                MALCOLM
                        You wouldn't be a very good spy if you didn't say 
                        you weren't a spy, would you?

                                                MACDUFF
                        Think of Scotland!  Your country needs you!

                                                MALCOLM
                        If I were King, what would you do for me?

                                                MACDUFF
                        Whatever you wanted!

                                                MALCOLM
                        Would you get me toys?

                                                MACDUFF
                        If you wanted toys.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Could I have all the toys in Scotland?

                                                MACDUFF
                        That's a lot of toys.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Do you want me to be King, or don't you?

                                                MACDUFF
                        All right!  You'll have all the toys in Scotland!

                                                MALCOLM
                        What about all the candy?

                                                MACDUFF
                        You can't want all the candy!!!

                                                MALCOLM
                        Why not?

                                                MACDUFF
                        You couldn't possibly eat it all!

                                                MALCOLM
                        I want it!  I want all the toys and all the candy!

                                                MACDUFF
                        All right!  Anything else?

                                                MALCOLM
                        All the girlfriends.

This is too much for Macduff.  He draws his sword and chases Malcolm around the stage.

                                                MACDUFF
                        You're not going to get any toys, or any candy,  
                        or any girlfriends!!!

                                                MALCOLM
                        Stop it!  Stop it!  Can't you take a joke!

Macduff stops chasing Malcolm.  He puts his sword back in its sheath.

                                                MACDUFF
                        A joke!  You were testing me, weren't you?  You 
                        wanted to make certain I really did have Scotland's 
                        best interests at heart, didn't you?

                                                MALCOLM
                        Yes, I did!  It was all just a big, silly joke!

                                                MACDUFF
                        I beg your forgiveness.  I never should have doubted
                        you, my worthy King.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Does that mean I can have the toys?

Macduff starts to draw his sword again, but before he can, Ross enters.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Look who's here!!!

                                                MACDUFF
                        My countryman!  How are my wife and children?

                                                ROSS
                        Well . . .

                                                MACDUFF
                        That is good to hear.

                                                ROSS
                        You didn't let me finish.  I was going to say, "Well, 
                        they're dead."

                                                MACDUFF
                        Dead?

                                                ROSS
                        The King had them killed.

                                                MACDUFF
                        My children too?

                                                ROSS
                        Wife, children, servants, all that could be found.

                                                MACDUFF
                        My wife killed too?

                                                ROSS
                        Yes.  Also your children.  And your servants.  And 
                        remember that dog you liked so much?

                                                MACDUFF
                        All?  Hell kite, all?

                                                ROSS
                        Dead.  All very, very dead.

                                                MALCOLM
                        I bet this makes your really mad at the King!

                                                MACDUFF
                                    (in a rage)
                        I'm going to kick his butt!!!

They all exit.

*********************************************************  

ACT V

Scene 1

This scene takes place in a room in Macbeth's castle at Dunsinane.  There is a bucket of water on a table.  A small dish is next to the bucket.  Enter a DOCTOR and a GENTLEWOMAN.  They speak softly to each other.

                                                DOCTOR
                        I have two nights watched with you, and I still 
                        haven't seen her sleepwalking.

                                                GENTLEWOMAN
                        Be patient.

Enter Lady Macbeth, sleepwalking.  She goes to the table.

                                                GENTLEWOMAN
                        Lo, here she comes!

Lady Macbeth takes the dish and dips it into the bucket so that the dish is filled with water.  Then she puts the dish down on the table, and dips her hands into them.  She takes out her wet hands and rubs them together.

                                                DOCTOR
                        What is she doing?

                                                GENTLEWOMAN
                        Washing her hands.  I have known her to continue 
                        it for a quarter of an hour!

Enter Macbeth.

                                                MACBETH
                        Hey, what's going on?

                                                DOCTOR
                        Pray, be silent your Majesty!

                                                MACBETH
                        Why?

                                                DOCTOR
                        The Queen is walking in her sleep.  It is most 
                        dangerous to wake one who is sleepwalking!

Lady Macbeth seems to notice a spot on her hands.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Yet here's a spot.

                                                MACBETH
                        What's she doing?

                                                GENTLEWOMAN
                        Washing her hands.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Out damned spot.  Out, I say!

Lady Macbeth tosses the dish of water into Macbeth's face.  Then she fills the bowl with fresh water from the bucket and washes her hands in it.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        How can you try to back out now?  Do dare you 
                        call yourself a man?  Yet who would have thought 
                        the old man had so much blood in him.

Once again Lady Macbeth tosses out the water from the dish into Macbeth's face.  He decides to move.

                                                MACBETH
                        I think I'll stand over here.

Macbeth moves to the other side of Lady Macbeth.  She fills her dish with fresh water, and washes her hands in it.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        The Thane of Fife had a wife.  Where is she now?  
                       
Will these hands never be clean? 

She tosses the water from the dish into Macbeth's face, even though he has changed his location.  Macbeth questions the doctor.

                                                MACBETH
                        Are you sure she's asleep?

                                                DOCTOR
                        Certainly!  It's a classic case.

Lady Macduff fills the dish with water again.  She dips her hands into the water, then lifts her hands out of the bowl and rubs them together.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        Here's the smell of blood still!

While she is rubbing her hands together, Macbeth takes the bowl and empties it back into the bucket.  He replaces the empty bowl on the table.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this 
                        little hand.

She shakes the bowl so that if there had been water in it, the water would have splashed in Macbeth's face.  However, the dish was empty.  Macbeth laughs in triumph.  Lady Macbeth seems to hear something offstage.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        There's knocking at the gate!  Quick!  Clean yourself 
                        of this deed!

She picks up the entire bucket and tosses the water on Macbeth.

                                                LADY MACBETH
                        What's done cannot be undone!  To bed!  To bed!

She puts down the bucket and exits.  The Doctor goes over to Macbeth.  As they speak, the Gentlewoman begins mopping up the floor.

                                                DOCTOR
                        I wish you hadn't been here to see that.

                                                MACBETH
                        You and me both.

                                                DOCTOR
                        Her mind is infected.

                                                MACBETH
                        Can you cure her?

                                                DOCTOR
                        I'll try, but she needs the divine more than the 
                        physician.  I'll still keep my eyes upon her.  So, 
                        good night.

The Doctor exits in the same direction that Lady Macbeth went in when she left.

                                                GENTLEWOMAN
                        Good night, good doctor.

Exit the Gentlewoman and Macbeth.

*********************************************************

Scene 2

On a field near Dunsinane, Scottish soldiers meet to plan how to join with the English forces to attack Macbeth.  They include MENTIETH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, Lennox, and other SOLDIERS.

                                                MENTIETH
                        The English power is near, led on by Malcolm.

                                                ANGUS
                        Near Birnam Wood shall we meet them.  That 
                        way are they coming.

                                                MENTIETH
                        What does the tyrant?

                                                CAITHNESS
                        He fortifies his castle at Dunsinane.  Some say he's 
                        mad.  Others that lesser hate him do call it valiant 
                        fury.

                                                ANGUS
                        Now does he feel his title hang loose about him, like 
                        a giant's robe upon a dwarfish thief.

                                                LENNOX
                        Make we our march towards Birnam!

Everyone exits.

*********************************************************

Scene 3

In Macbeth's castle in Dunsinane, Macbeth enters with the Doctor and SEYTON.  Macbeth speaks to SEYTON.

                                                MACBETH
                        Bring me no more reports.  The weird sisters said 
                        I didn't have to worry until Birnam Wood came to 
                        Dunsinane.  They also said no one born of woman 
                        would harm me.  So what do I have to be afraid of?  
                       
What?

A SERVANT runs in.

                                                SERVANT
                        Ten thousand English and Scottish soldiers are 
                        marching on Dunsinane, my Lord.

The Servant bows and runs off.

                                                MACBETH
                        Does anyone think I'm afraid of a mere ten thousand 
                        soldiers?

The Servant runs in with a new report.

                                                SERVANT
                        Five thousand French soldiers have landed on our 
                        shores!  They're joining the English and Scottish 
                        soldiers.

The Servant runs out.

                                                MACBETH
                        Does anyone think I'm afraid?  I'm not afraid!

The Servant runs back in with a piece of paper.  He consults the paper as he reports to Macbeth.

                                                SERVANT
                        The English, Scottish and French soldiers have 
                        been joined by five thousand Italians three thousand
                        Russians and a thousand Moors.

                                                MACBETH
                        More what?

                                                SERVANT
                        Moor soldiers.

                                                MACBETH
                        I know they're more soldiers.  What's their nationality?

                                                SERVANT
                        They're Moors!  Like Othello!

                                                MACBETH
                        How many soldiers in all are coming against us?

                                                SERVANT
                        Twenty-four thousand.

                                                MACBETH
                        How many have we got on our side?

                                                SERVANT
                        Only six.

                                                MACBETH
                        Just six thousand?

                                                SERVANT
                        No, just six soldiers.  Everyone else deserted.

                                                MACBETH
                        Well, I'm still not afraid because Birnam Wood 
                        hasn't come to Dunsinane and because I can only 
                        be harmed by someone who isn't of woman born. 
                        Seyton, go get my armor!

Seyton exits.  Macbeth turns to the Doctor.

                                                MACBETH
                        How's my wife?

                                                DOCTOR
                        She's troubled.

                                                MACBETH
                        Can't you un-trouble her?

                                                DOCTOR
                        No.  She has to do that herself.

                                                MACBETH
                        Then can you rid me of these enemy soldiers?

                                                DOCTOR
                        No.  You have to do that yourself.

                                                MACBETH
                        What can you do?

                                                DOCTOR
                        I can hand you my bill.  I'd be grateful if you'd pay 
                        it before the enemy soldiers get here.

The Doctor hands Macbeth is bill and exits.  Macbeth crumples up the bill and throws it to the floor.

                                                MACBETH
                        I will not be afraid of death and bane, till Birnam 
                        Forest come to Dunsinane!

Exit Macbeth.

*********************************************************

Scene 4

In a field by Birnam Wood, Malcolm enters with several soldiers including SIWARD, his son YOUNG SIWARD, Macduff, Mentieth, Caithness, Angus, Lennox and Ross.

                                                MALCOLM
                        What wood is this before us?

                                                MENTEITH
                        The wood of Birnam.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Let every soldier cut down a branch and carry it 
                        before him as camouflage.

They all exit.

*********************************************************

Scene 5  

In Macbeth's castle in Dunsinane, Macbeth enters with Seyton.  Macbeth is now wearing armor.

                                                MACBETH
                        Our castle's strength will laugh a siege to scorn.

There is a cry of women from off stage.

                                                MACBETH
                        What is that noise?

                                                SEYTON
                        It is the cry of women, my good lord.

Seyton exits to investigate.

                                                MACBETH
                        I had almost forgot the taste of fears.

There is a long pause while Macbeth looks anxiously off stage.  Seyton returns.

                                                SEYTON
                        The Queen, my lord, is dead.

Two servants enter, carrying the body of the Queen.  It is the female version of the Queen, as she was before she was un-sexed.  The servants lay the body of the Queen before Macbeth.

                                                SEYTON
                        She spoke your name and died.

                                                MACBETH
                        She should have died hereafter; there would 
                        have been a time for such a word.  Tomorrow, 
                        and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this 
                        petty pace from day to day to the last syllable 
                        of recorded time, and all our yesterdays have 
                        lighted fools the way to dusty death.  Out, out, 
                        brief candle!  Life's but a walking shadow, a poor 
                        player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage 
                        and then is heard no more.  It is a tale told by an 
                        idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Enter a MESSENGER.

                                                MESSENGER
                        My lord, I was on my watch, and I looked toward 
                        Birnam, and the wood began to move!

                                                MACBETH
                        Liar and slave!

                                                MESSENGER
                        I swear it's true!  A moving grove!

                                                MACBETH
                        I begin to be aweary of the sun.  Blow wind, come 
                        wrack, at least we'll die with harness on our back!

Everyone exits.

*********************************************************

Scene 6

On a field in front of Macbeth's castle in Dunsinane, Malcolm enters, carrying a bough of a tree.  He shouts to his soldiers off stage.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Your leafy screens throw down and show like those you are!

Malcolm throws down his branch.  His soldiers enter behind him (including Siward, Young Siward, Macduff, Mentieth, Caithness, Angus, Lennox and Ross) and they all cross the stage and exit.

*********************************************************

Scene 7

On another part of the field in front of Macbeth's castle in Dunsinane, Macbeth enters with his sword drawn.

                                                MACBETH
                        What's he that was not born of woman?  Such a 
                        one am I to fear, or none.  Nobody else!  I'm not 
                        afraid of anybody who's born of woman!

Enter Young Siward with his sword drawn.

                                                YOUNG SIWARD
                        What is thy name?

                                                MACBETH

                        Nice try, but I'm not that stupid!

                                                YOUNG SIWARD
                        Not stupid?  Then you can't be the King!

                                                MACBETH
                        I'm the King!  I'm the King!

                                                YOUNG SIWARD
                        Then say your name!

                                                MACBETH
                        "Your name."

                                                YOUNG SIWARD
                        You coward!

                                                MACBETH
                        If you're so brave, you say it!

                                                YOUNG SIWARD
                        All right!  Macbeth!!!

They fight.  Young Siward is slain.

                                                MACBETH
                        Thou wast born of woman.

Macbeth exits.  Macduff enters and finds the body of Young Siward. 

                                                MACDUFF
                        Tyrant, show thy face!

Macduff exits, in search of Macbeth.

*********************************************************

Scene 8

On another part of the in front of Macbeth's castle in Dunsinane, Macbeth and Macduff both enter, with their backs to each other.  Macduff turns and sees Macbeth.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Turn, hellhound, turn!

                                                MACBETH
                        There's no point in fighting me because I have a
                        charmed life.  I can't be hurt by anyone born of 
                        woman!

                                                MACDUFF
                        Despair thy charm, and let the angel whom thou still 
                        hast served tell thee, Macduff had a Cesarean birth!

                                                MACBETH
                        I don't care what your nationality is, you're still born of 
                        woman!

                                                MACDUFF
                        The doctor cut my mother open and ripped me out of 
                        her womb!

                                                MACBETH
                        That's not fair!

                                                MACDUFF
                        My mother didn't like it either.

                                                MACBETH
                        Okay, so Birnam Wood has come to Dunsinane, 
                        and you're not of woman born!  I'm still not giving 
                        up.  Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him that first 
                        cries, "Hold, enough."

They draw their swords and fight.

                                                MACDUFF
                        You lay on, Mac-Bozo!

They fight some more.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Lay on, Mac-big-butt!

They fight some more.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Lay on, Beth!

                                                MACBETH
                        Ha!  You said it!

                                                MACDUFF
                        Said what?

                                                MACBETH
                        You said my name!

                                                MACDUFF
                        No I didn't!

                                                MACBETH
                        You did too!  I heard you!

                                                MACDUFF
                        I just said "Beth."

                                                MACBETH
                        No, you said my whole name!

                                                MACDUFF
                        You are such a liar!

                                                MACBETH
                        You said it!!!  I heard you say "Macbeth!"

Macduff smiles.  Macbeth starts to sob as he realizes he is doomed.

The two soldiers fight their way off stage.

Enter Malcolm and his soldiers.  After a moment, Macduff enters, with two soldiers following him carrying a table.  There's a tablecloth on the table which goes all the way down to the floor.  There's also a bag covering something on the table.  Macduff kneels before Malcolm.

                                                MACDUFF
                        Hail, King!  For so thou art.  Behold where stands 
                        the usurper's cursed head.

The soldiers who brought in the table take away the bag, revealing Macbeth's head.  (The actor playing Macbeth is under the table, with his head sticking up through a hole in the table.)

                                                MACDUFF
                        Hail, King of Scotland.

All the soldiers shout:

                                                ALL
                        Hail, King of Scotland.

                                                MALCOLM
                        Thanks to all at once and to each one, whom we 
                        invite to see us crowned at Scone.  Bring lots of 
                        toys.

The head of Macbeth begins to sob.

The curtain falls.

 

THE END

© 2000 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.

 

 

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