Macbeth, Act I, Scene 7, William Shakespeare, 1623
1. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
2. It were done quickly: if the assassination
3. Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
4. With his surcease success; that but this blow
5. Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
6. But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
7. We'd jump the life to come. But in these cases
8. We still have judgment here; that we but teach
9. Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
10. To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
11. Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
12. To our own lips. He's here in double trust;
13. First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
14. Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
15. Who should against his murderer shut the door,
16. Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
17. Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
18. So clear in his great office, that his virtues
19. Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
20. The deep damnation of his taking-off;
21. And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
22. Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
23. Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
24. Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
25. That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
26. To prick the sides of my intent, but only
27. Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
28. And falls on the other. We will proceed no further
29. in this business: He hath honour'd me of late; and I
30. have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
31. Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
32. Not cast aside so soon.
33. Was the hope drunk
34. Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
35. And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
36. At what it did so freely? From this time
37. Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
38. To be the same in thine own act and valour
39. As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
40. Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
41. And live a coward in thine own esteem,
42. Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
43. Like the poor cat i' the adage?
44. Prithee, peace:
45. I dare do all that may become a man;
46. Who dares do more is none.
47. What beast was't, then,
48. That made you break this enterprise to me?
49. When you durst do it, then you were a man;
50. And, to be more than what you were, you would
51. Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
52. Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
53. They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
54. Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
55. How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
56. I would, while it was smiling in my face,
57. Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
58. And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
59. Have done to this.
60. If we should fail?
61. We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
62. And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep--
63. Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
64. Soundly invite him--his two chamberlains
65. Will I with wine and wassail so convince
66. That memory, the warder of the brain,
67. Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
68. A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep
69. Their drenched natures lie as in a death,
70. What cannot you and I perform upon
71. The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
72. His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
73. Of our great quell?
74. Bring forth men-children only;
75. For thy undaunted mettle should compose
76. Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
77. When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
78. Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
79. That they have done't?
80. Who dares receive it other,
81. As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
82. Upon his death?
83. I am settled, and bend up
84. Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
85. Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
86. False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
Shakespeare, William. "Macbeth: Act I, Scene Vii." N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Macbeth: Entire Play. MIT Shakespeare Database, 1993. Web. 08 Sept. 2016.
What is most unusual about Macbeth’s argument in lines 1-32?