J. M. Pressley
Academic Papers · Essays & Rants · Poetry · Sports · Writing Samples

Banquo's Ghost Addresses Macbeth
(Outtake from Act III, sc. iv)

Look here, Glamis, in these sightless orbs
Where once reflected Heaven's noble light,
Whose proud fire be now doused by thy command,
By thine instruments, by such mongrel curs
As now thou may fetch for thy loyalty.
Poor Glamis, Cawdor, King, treacher, fiend;
Thou most fair hath played most foul. Thy vile hands
Betray thee still, thy bloody members shall
Unduly cause thy grasp to slip upon
The crown for which thy hands didst murder Duncan.
If chance did naught to crown thee King, why, so
Thou stirred 'gainst both—wherefore? Was't evil hid,
Whose countenance shone fair to all but God?
Or, like the ill humors that putrefy
The wounded flesh, did then such evil seep
And fester thy soul? Alas, how men fall.
Like Cain, a brother's blood marks thee, villain.
Yet Fleance lives, good Malcolm and Macduff,
Whose seed thy hags foretold begets thy doom;
Vain lords and petty thanes will fortify
Thee not whilst Birnam stirs and marches hence
To usurp the foul usurper Macbeth.
Know this despair—Banquo shall be avenged.
Thy grisly deed be done and sleep no more,
Till thou be summoned anon at Hell's door.

© 1996 by J. M. Pressley

Poetry Home | Writing Home | J. M. Pressley Home Page