SCENES FOR ACTORS
Queen & Macbeth—Act 4, Scene VII
ACT 4, SCENE VII
Palace of Bohemia: Throne Room.
King Macbeth and Queen, mid-conversation; she wrings her hands.
Alas, he is mad as the sea and wind,
When both contend which is the mightier.
And could you, by no drift of circumstance
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Grating so harshly all his hale days with
Turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
Murder cannot be hid long; a man's son
Will out the truth. O son, my son, to be
Dishonored by my son. To be called whore?
I do love Hamlet well; and would do much
To cure him of this evil—
Beshrew him for't!
A mother's curse on her revolting son!
Faith, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
A chafed lion by the mortal paw,
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Than keep in peace this monstrous birth that I
Did bring to the world's light.
O heavy deed!
His liberty is full of threats to all;
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
I should not for my life but weep with him.
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
What, weeping-ripe? Do not weep, do not weep.
Think but upon the wrong he'll do us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
For if he'll do as he is made to do—
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrained and out of haunt,
This mad young man: but so much was our love,
We would not understand what was most fit;
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of Life. Come, let's not weep.
A mother's hand shall right a mother's wrong.
Weep not, for all the grace that I have left
Is that I will not add to his damnation.
Young Hamlet is my son, and he is lost.
Should I forget my son's eternal soul?
(Queen loses her hair)
Or that these hands could so redeem my son,
As they have given these hairs their liberty?
His soul to heaven; his blood upon my head.