King Duncan and his sons have gathered at Macbeth's palace for dinner to celebrate Macbeth being declared the new thane of Cawdor. A butler and many servants rush by with utensils and food as Macbeth enters the hall, weighed down by the thoughts of his and Lady Macbeth's plan to murder King Duncan.
I can't kill King Duncan. I can't kill a good man out of my own ambition. I can't kill him because of the consequences I'd face if I did. Also, he has put his trust in me as his cousin and as his host. He does not deserve to be killed, he's only ever been a well-respected and humble leader. I will just tell my wife that we won't carry out the plan.
Lady Macbeth enters.
We can't go through with the plan. After all Duncan has done for me, making me the Thane of Cawdor and honouring me before so many, I think it's best we just enjoy this time. I don't want to throw it all away so soon.
What are you doing out here? He has almost finished eating.
What do you mean we can't go through with this? Were you drunk earlier when you agreed to the plan? Are you scared to do what you know you want to do? Will you take the crown you so desperately want, or be a coward, like the poor cat in the old tale.
Please, stop. I'm only choosing to do what is right for a man to do, doing more would make me less of a man.
No, choosing to murder the king does not make you less of a man! It does the opposite. If you carry out the plan like you said you would when we first talked about it, you'd be more of a man. You agreed to killing Duncan even when the time and place weren't right, and now that they are, you want to back out! I have cared for a child before and I know how sweet that love can be but that wouldn't stop me from smashing its head and killing it if that's what I swore to do, just as you have sworn to kill Duncan.