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The Secret Diary of Lady Macbeth

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The Secret Diary of Lady Macbeth Inverness 1608 After receiving a letter from Macbeth Earlier today, I received a most urgent letter from Macbeth. He told me that he was accosted by three witches on the night of the battle between Scotland and Norway. They greeted him "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!" Macbeth was "rapt" with what the witches had said and tried to question them further but they vanished into a haze of fog. I could see his enthusiasm from his vocabulary and could tell that he believed the witches, even though they are feared and many hundreds have been burned. He said he "burned in desire" to question them further, indicating that he was almost on fire with this knowledge that came from the "perfect'st report". Witches have metaphysical powers and "more in them than mortal knowledge". Later that day Macbeth received a message from the King saying he was to become Thane of Cawdor. He called me his "dearest partner of greatness" and plans to share the glory of the golden round with me. ...read more.


I told him that he was green and said that he was "like the poor cat i' th' adage", who would not get his paws wet to get the fish that he wanted. I was drawing a parallel between the cat and Macbeth. He took offence and was astonished at what I had suggested and replied "I dare to all that may become a man". Macbeth was furious, I used the worst possible example that I could think of to shock him. I told him that rather than change my mind, as he was doing, I would "snatch my nipple" from the "boneless gums" of a baby while I was feeding it and bash out its brains. This had the desired effect. I followed it with a plan. We would get Duncan's chamberlains drunk to the point of almost being unconscious. When they were asleep I would take their two daggers to kill Duncan, then replace them in the hands of the two chamberlains smeared with blood. In the morning everyone would think that they had murdered the King. Macbeth was convinced. ...read more.


Outside, I could hear Macbeth ranting about some extravagant idea. The sight of blood overwhelmed him. In his imagination he thought that if he dipped his hands into the sea, instead of the sea washing him clean, he would turn it red. I was appalled by the sight of it myself, how could the "old man" have "so much blood" in him? I could smell blood at the back of my throat, I felt "all the perfumes of Arabia" would not sweeten my hand. I was under a great strain to remain calm but I tried to shame Macbeth into control by trying the cowardice trick. I said, "I would shame to wear a heart so white". All we needed to do was to wash our hands and we would be clear of this deed, "what's done cannot be undone". Macbeth stood in dismay even though someone was knocking at the castle gates. He stood in the corridor in his nightgown jumping at every knock. I pushed him to move, thinking "to bed, to bed, to bed", but it was no use. I was sure we were going to fail; he regretted what he had just done. I must try my very best. It is time for me to "screw my courage to the sticking place", we cannot fail now! ...read more.

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