Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 3
Enter three MURDERERS.
1But who did bid thee join with us?
2-4. He ... just: we don't need to distrust him, since he states our duties and what we have to do exactly the same way as the original instructions [from Macbeth].
2He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers
3Our offices and what we have to do
4To the direction just.
Then stand with us.
5The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day;
6-7. Now ... inn: i.e., now a belated traveler will urge his horse onward at a faster pace in order to reach an inn in time to avoid danger.
6Now spurs the lated traveller apace
7To gain the timely inn; and near approaches
8The subject of our watch.
Hark! I hear horses.
BANQUO [From offstage.]
9. Give us a light there, ho! Banquo is asking whoever can hear him to provide some light. The idea seems to be that at this place, where the custom is to dismount and send the horses by a longer way, it's expected that attendants will be waiting to escort guests to Macbeth's castle. 10. within the note of expectation: on the list of expected guests.
9Give us a light there, ho!
Then 'tis he; the rest
10That are within the note of expectation
11Already are i' the court.
11. go about: go around the long way. (On Shakespeare's stage, horses are often mentioned, but never seen.)
His horses go about.
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12Almost a mile: but he does usually,
13So all men do, from hence to the palace gate
14Make it their walk.
A light, a light!
Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE with a torch.
15. Stand to't: i.e., let's go; time to do the business we're here for.
16It will be rain tonight.
Let it come down.
[They set upon Banquo.]
17O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
18. Thou mayst revenge: This is said to Fleance. Banquo means that if Fleance flees and lives, he may have a chance to revenge his father's death. O, slave! This is probably the insult that Banquo throws at whichever murderer kills him..
18Thou mayst revenge. O slave!
[Dies. Fleance escapes.]
19. Who did strike out the light?: Third Murderer is probably unhappy because the lack of light aided Fleance's escape.
19Who did strike out the light?
Wast not the way?: i.e., wasn't that what we were supposed to do?
Wast not the way?
20There's but one down; the son is fled.
We have lost
21Best half of our affair.
22Well, let's away, and say how much is done.
Exeunt: Banquo's body is probably dragged out, which would be hard on the actor playing Banquo, but a fitting end to this brutal scene.