Act 1, Scene 3

  1. A heath near Forres.

  2. Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

  3. First Witch:

    Where hast thou been, sister?

  4. Second Witch:

    Killing swine.

  5. Third Witch:

    Sister, where thou?

  6. First Witch:

    A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,
    And mounch'd, and mounch'd, and mounch'd:- 'Give me,' quoth I:-[5]
    'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries.
    Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger:
    But in a sieve I'll thither sail,
    And like a rat without a tail,
    I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do. [10]

  7. Second Witch:

    I'll give thee a wind.

  8. First Witch:

    Thou'rt kind.

  9. Third Witch:

    And I another.

  10. First Witch:

    I myself have all the other,
    And the very ports they blow, [15]
    All the quarters that they know
    I' the shipman's card.
    I will drain him dry as hay:
    Sleep shall neither night nor day
    Hang upon his penthouse lid; [20]
    He shall live a man forbid:
    Weary sev'n-nights nine times nine
    Shall he dwindle, peak and pine:
    Though his bark cannot be lost,
    Yet it shall be tempest-tost. [25]
    Look what I have.

  11. Second Witch:

    Show me, show me.

  12. First Witch:

    Here I have a pilot's thumb,
    Wreck'd as homeward he did come.

  13. [Drum within.] 

  14. Third Witch:

    A drum, a drum! [30]
    Macbeth doth come.

  15. All:

    The weird sisters, hand in hand,
    Posters of the sea and land,
    Thus do go about, about:
    Thrice to thine and thrice to mine [35]
    And thrice again, to make up nine.
    Peace! the charm's wound up.

  16. Enter MACBETH and BANQUO.

  17. MACBETH:

    So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

  18. BANQUO:

    How far is't call'd to Forres? What are these
    So wither'd and so wild in their attire, [40]
    That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
    And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
    That man may question? You seem to understand me,
    By each at once her choppy finger laying
    Upon her skinny lips: you should be women, [45]
    And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
    That you are so.

  19. MACBETH:

    Speak, if you can: what are you?

  20. First Witch:

    All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!

  21. Second Witch:

    All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!

  22. Third Witch:

    All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter! [50]

  23. BANQUO:

    Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fear
    Things that do sound so fair? I' the name of truth,
    Are ye fantastical, or that indeed
    Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner
    You greet with present grace and great prediction [55]
    Of noble having and of royal hope,
    That he seems rapt withal: to me you speak not.
    If you can look into the seeds of time,
    And say which grain will grow and which will not,

    Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear [60]
    Your favours nor your hate.

  24. First Witch:


  25. Second Witch:


  26. Third Witch:


  27. First Witch:

    Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. [65]

  28. Second Witch:

    Not so happy, yet much happier.

  29. Third Witch:

    Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:
    So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

  30. First Witch:

    Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!

  31. MACBETH:

    Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: [70]
    By Sinel's death I know I am Thane of Glamis;
    But how of Cawdor? the Thane of Cawdor lives,
    A prosperous gentleman; and to be king
    Stands not within the prospect of belief,

    No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence [75]
    You owe this strange intelligence? or why
    Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
    With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you.

  32. [Witches vanish.]

  33. BANQUO:

    The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
    And these are of them. Whither are they vanish'd? [80]

  34. MACBETH:

    Into the air; and what seem'd corporal melted
    As breath into the wind
    . Would they had stay'd!

  35. BANQUO:

    Were such things here as we do speak about?
    Or have we eaten on the insane root,
    That takes the reason prisoner?[85]

  36. MACBETH:

    Your children shall be kings.

  37. BANQUO:

    You shall be king.

  38. MACBETH:

    And Thane of Cawdor too: went it not so?

  39. BANQUO:

    To the selfsame tune and words. Who's here?


The witches cast a spell as they wait to meet Macbeth. On his and Banquo’s arrival, the witches address them both and tell them their destinies: that Macbeth shall become Thane of Cawdor and then King, but that Banquo will be the father of a line of future kings. Before they can question them further, the witches vanish. Banquo and Macbeth begin to discuss their prophecies, but they are soon interrupted by the messenger ...