The Ballad of Macbeth

February 8, 2011
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THE FIRST ACT--
Three witches, surely up to trouble,
were planning for a dark surprise.
They circled ‘round the cauldron bubble,
plotting poor Macbeth’s demise.

The battle dragged on fairly foully

‘tween Norweyan and Scottish men.

Macbeth lead Scotland on to vict’ry,

a man with whom they were bound to win.
King Duncan’d found Cawdor a traitor,
a thane who’d wished him overthrown.
“The thane of Glamis ‘s battled bravely.
Let Macbeth have Cawdor’s throne.”

Macbeth, with Banquo, met the witches.

They hailed him, “Glamis! Cawdor! King!”

Macbeth’s confused, for Cawdor’s living,

and to be king seems a foolish dream.

Confused as well, Banquo said, “Speak!”

and the witches prophesied again.

They said although he will not be king,

future kings descend from him.

The witches vanished, and in their stead

a messenger brought lucky news.

“Cawdor’s a traitor, Macbeth takes his title.”

He can barely believe that it is true.
Macbeth and Banquo, since th’ words came true,
would discuss later what they should do.

Cawdor was executed promptly.

King Duncan thought he was a friend.

He thanked Macbeth and Banquo, but said,

“My son’s king when my reign ends.”

“Duncan’s named his Malcolm heir,

so what of the witches prophecies?”

Confused again, Macbeth was thinking,

“When Malcolm’s king, what’s left for me?”
The king and thanes liked celebrating,
and a night like that surely deserved it.
They travelled on toward Macbeth’s castle;
revelry would make the journey worth it.

Macbeth, before trav’lling ahead of them,

decided to write his wife a note.

He told her of the witches’ words;

what he should do, he didn’t know.
Lady Macbeth read of what happened,
and knew exactly what to do.
She asked the demons for possession,
to make her twisted dream come true.

When Macbeth entered the castle,

the Lady made him feel at home.

She started convincing him to listen

to ambition, and seize the throne.
The king and thanes came to the castle
and meet their gracious hostess lady
And when they finished celebrating,
she persuaded Macbeth to, maybe,
kill the king and steal the throne.
At first he didn’t like the thought,
but soon he listened to her reas’ning
and they plotted from Duncan the throne to rob.


THE SECOND ACT--
Macbeth and Banquo met again
to talk about the witches three.
Banquo was scared Macbeth would choose to
steal the throne and then, King be.

When Banquo leaves, Macbeth took action,

but first, on him his mind played tricks.

He imagined a floating dagger

covered in blood, on the floor it dripped.

He entered the room of the sleeping king

and took his life as he heard a bell ring.
Lady Macbeth, who gave th’ king’s guards
drink, stood outside the chamber door.
She would have done the deed herself
had the king looked unlike her father more.
Macbeth walked out, and says it’s done,
but he was convinced he’d be found out.
He thought he heard the king’s sons next door
both awaken, and one, “Murder!” shout.
And he heard them prayed to God in heaven,
but Macbeth could not at all say “amen”.

Macbeth had brought the daggers with him,

when they should’ve stayed in th’ guards hands.

He said he couldn’t go back in there,

to which she retorted, “Be a man!”
She scolded him thoroughly, and laid the knives
to blame the guards for the king’s lost life.

More thanes came early in the morning,

to make good sure the king was up.

But first, to enter, they met the porter

who made it known he’s drunk enough.
Macduff went to the sleeping chambers
to try and wake the “sleeping” king.
He rushed out to tell the others,
and he had terrible news to bring.
“The king is dead, he has been murdered!”
he yelled to the assembled crowd.
Everyone was extremely shocked
and did express their grief out loud.

Lady Macbeth fainted on the spot,

a ploy to show she knew of th’ murder not.

Macbeth, to show that he was innocent

went to see the terrible sight.

In a “fit of rage” he killed the guards

to make it seem he was in the right.
The king’s sons Malcolm and Donalbain
to England and to Ireland did flee.
They knew someone in th’ castle did it,
so they split up; they both agreed.

The weather had been the strangest lately;

th’ animals were acting anti-innately.

Macbeth was named the newest king

because he was the next in line.

The sons were suspected for hiring

the guards blamed for th’ heinous crime.


THE THIRD ACT--
Banquo feared Macbeth’s stolen the throne
but kept it to himself alone.

Banquo was off to ride ‘till nightfall,

but Macbeth wanted him to return.

For he was going to have a feast at seven

and Banquo, an “honored guest” title earned.
As soon as “honored” Banquo exit‘d,
Macbeth let loose his darkest thoughts.
Banquo must die, he had decided,
for he’d made Macbeth’s throne for naught.
Macbeth’s descendants wouldn’t be roy’lty,
and that angered him extremely so.
Banquo, however, his sons would prosper
and for this he just had to go.
Macbeth did hire murderers three
to kill Banquo and Fleance, too.
They all had a grudge to bear,
and Macbeth made sure that was true.

Lady Macbeth wanted to make sure

that her husband was happy and bright

for the guests at the grand banquet.

She didn’t know of his plans that night.
Banquo came back to the castle
and encounter’d the three murd’rers hired.
They tackled him, and took his life,
but Fleance fleed, the son he sired.

Afterward, then at the banquet

a murderer came to th’ new king

He told him how he killed poor Banquo,

but his son Fleance then was fleeing.

Then Macbeth began to address

all the guests that then had come.

But, interrupting his words of welcome,

Banquo’s ghost appeared to him.

It caused quite a strange commotion,

and Macbeth was filled with fearful emotion.
The witches three who told Macbeth
the prophecies, and caused the death
Of old king Duncan and Banquo
met their queen, Hecate, and so
She scolded them, for she wasn’t told
about the witches strange affairs.
She told them what to do that night
“For Macbeth’s coming, we must prepare.”

To plan for an attempt of war,

Malcolm, in England, sent for Macduff.

Lennox and another lord thought

Macbeth’s murder stories were made-up stuff.


THE FOURTH ACT--
Macbeth came to ask the witches
of his future, no matter how bleak.
They, and Hecate, sent apparitions.
The first, an armored head that did speak.

It yelled and screamed and warned him to

“Beware Macduff, for he’ll kill you!”
The second apparition did come:
a bloody boy, who’s fairly young.

He said Macbeth can’t be killed b’ any man

born of woman. Macbeth said, “Grand!”
The third and final apparition
was a young boy, who was crowned as king
In his hands he held a tree,
still covered in its leaves green.

“Macbeth cannot be killed until

the trees of Birnam move uphill.”
Macbeth was still unsure of his future
and so he asked the witches more
“Will Banquo’s sons ever be kings?”
he asked the witches and Hecate four.

They showed one final vivid vision

of the future line of kings

They were lined up, in single file.

One held a mirror, forth more kings did spring.
The witches vanished, and Macbeth did swear
that he’d no longer be reserved.
He sent murd’rers to Macduff’s castle
and killed its residents, tho’ undeserved.

Meanwhile, Macduff’s dear wife and son

were speaking of a word’s true meaning.

Macduff called her husband a traitor

for he had fled, abandon’d them, seeming.

More murderers entered the castle,

and killed the lady and her son.

Afterward, they returned to Macbeth,

as soon as the dark deed was done.
Meanwhile, Macduff and Malcolm talked
about what mad Macbeth had done.
Malcolm tried telling Macduff that he’d
have been worse if the throne he’d won.
Macduff did mourn his dear, dear Scotland,
and wonders what would happen now.
Malcolm, then assured of his allegiance,
planned to take King Macbeth down.

A messenger entered the scene,

and told Macduff the tragic news.

Macbeth did kill his wife and children.

And now, vengeance was what he did choose.


THE FIFTH ACT--
Lady Macbeth had been afflicted
w’th sickness of a curious kind.
She had been sleepwalking the hallways,
cleaning h’r hands of blood, in her mind.

The Scottish army met the English

soldiers of Macduff and Malcolm.

They entered into Birnam Wood

and walked on to go and fight ‘em.
Macbeth was worried he would lose,
but was reassured by witches words.
‘Till Birnam wood reach Dunsinane
he cannot fight and lose, he heard.
However, he was angry at the
doctor who, his wife, couldn’t save.
He sent for Seyton, and was determined
that he’d send the English to an early grave.

Malcolm, wise beyond his years,

anstructed his men to take their swords

and cut the branches from the woods,

making true the witches words.

They travelled on to Dunsinane,

to fight and make King Macbeth slain.
Lady Macbeth took her own life
because she felt so criminal
for the murder of King Duncan,
a disease that wasn’t clinical.
Macbeth did know that it would happen,
and was not surprised by the news
However, a messenger said something
Macbeth could not believe was true.
“Birnam Wood is moving t‘ward us,”
the servant told Macbeth unsurely.
Macbeth was scared beyond all reason
and fled the palace in a hurry.

Malcolm’s soldiers had reached Dunsinane

and thenceforth from fighting they wouldn’t refrain.
Macbeth had started to fight the English
and he was doing rather well.
He encountered dear Young Siward
and sent him then to heav’n or hell.
With raging battle all around them,
Macduff squared off with poor Macbeth,
Unless Macduff wasn’t born of woman
the king could not be faced with death.

“My mother died in childbirth

and I was brought into this world

by the knife and by the scalpel,”

are words that our Macduff hurled.
And so he killed the evil king
and cut his head off, through the bone.
He carried it to show our Malcolm,
who’s now inherited the throne.





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