Written by William Shakespeare. Abridged, translated, and slightly mangled by Melinda Brasher.
Act 4 Scene 1
WITCHES: Hee hee, we're being witches. Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.
MACBETH: Midnight hags, how did you know I would be king? Tell me more!
WITCHES: Beware of Macduff.
GHOST: Be bold. Scorn the power of man, for no one of woman born shall harm Macbeth.
MACBETH: Ha! Then what have I to fear from Macduff?
Enter another ghost
SECOND GHOST: Be lion-hearted. Take no care. You'll never be vanquished until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsiname Hill shall come against you.
MACBETH: That will never be. Who can command the forest, or bid the trees to move? But I demand to know one more thing. Will Banquo's issue ever rein?
Enter eight kings
MACBETH: What devilry is this? Those crown-topped faces look just like Banquo. Horrible sight! Banquo's ghost sneers at me.
MACBETH: Did you see those foul weird sisters?
LENNOX: No, my lord. I'm here to bring you news. Macduff has fled.
MACBETH: Time anticipates my every move, so from this moment I shall begin acting on my first impulses. At the castle of Macduff I will put his wife and children to the sword, and thus end his line.
Act 4 scene 2
LADY MACDUFF: My husband has fled like a coward. A traitor, leaving vulnerable his wife, his babes, his lands, and titles. He loves us not, for even the tiniest bird will fight to protect its nest. [To son]: Boy, your father's a traitor.
SON: What's a traitor?
LADY MACDUFF: One who swears and lies. All traitors must be hanged.
SON: And must all who swear and lie be hanged?
LADY MACDUFF: Every one.
SON: Who must hang them?
LADY MACDUFF: Why, honest men of course.
SON: Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are enough of them to turn on the honest ones and hang them up.
LADY MACDUFF: Poor stupid monkey. What will you do without a father?
SON: I'll get by.
MESSENGER: Danger approacheth. Run.
LADY MACDUFF: Where should I run? There's no escape. In this world, to do harm is often laudable, to do good is counted as folly.
MURDERERS: Die, son of a traitor.
SON: He has killed me! Run, Mother.
Son dies. Murderers chase Lady Macduff
Act 4 scene 3
MACDUFF: Woe is Scotland under Macbeth. Widows and orphans cry. The land bleeds and new sorrows strike daily.
MALCOLM: The tyrant, whose name blisters my tongue, was once thought honest. I would take England's support and tread on Macbeth, but the kingdom would suffer more with his successor.
MACDUFF: Who do you mean?
MALCOLM: Me, of course. As king, I would make Macbeth seem pure as snow.
MACDUFF: No devil could be as bad as Macbeth.
MALCOLM: Yes, he's bloody, greedy, false, and malicious, committing every sin, but there is no end when it comes to my own lust for women. No wife or daughter would be safe. Better Macbeth be king.
MACDUFF: Don't worry. We'll find you willing dames enough.
MALCOLM: I'm so greedy. I would steal my nobles' lands and jewels.
MACDUFF: Don't worry. This greed will lessen and be counterbalanced by your other qualities.
MALCOLM: I have no good qualities. Justice, truth, moderation, dependability, perseverance, patience…I have no taste for them.
MACDUFF: O Scotland, Scotland! The crown prince counts himself unfit for the throne. The bloody-sceptered tyrant rules. When shall we ever be whole again, Scotland? My hope dies here.
MALCOLM: Dear, passionate Macduff, you show your integrity. I was just kidding before. I've never even been with a woman or broken a promise. I am ready to take up arms with my English allies and save my poor Scotland.
MACDUFF: What news?
ROSS: Things in Scotland are worse than ever. Macbeth has slain your wife and children.
MACDUFF: What? All my pretty chicks dead? And their dam?
ROSS: And your servants.
MACDUFF: Oh Woe. All?
MALCOLM: Let's make medicine of our great revenge to cure this deadly grief. Be this the whetstone of your sword.
MACDUFF: Get me within sword's length of Macbeth and he shall pay.MALCOLM: How manly of you. My army's ready. All we have to do is leave. Macbeth is ripe for the picking.