MACBETH ACT 5

GENTLEWOMANSince his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon ‘t, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep. GENTLEWOMANSince Macbeth went to war, I have seen her rise from her bed, put on her nightgown, unlock her closet, take out some paper, fold it, write on it, read it, seal it up, and then return to bed, remaining asleep the entire time.
LADY MACBETH(25) Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ‘t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him. LADY MACBETH(25) Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ‘t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.
LADY MACBETH(30) The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will these hands ne’er be clean?—No more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that. You mar all with this starting. LADY MACBETH(30) The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will my hands never be clean?—No more of that, my lord, no more of that. You’ll ruin everything by acting startled like this.
DOCTOR(40) This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds. DOCTOR(40) This disease is beyond my medical skills. But I have known people who sleepwalked and weren’t guilty of anything.
DOCTORFoul whisp’rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds(50) Do breed unnatural troubles. Infected mindsTo their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.More needs she the divine than the physician.God, God forgive us all! Look after her,Remove from her the means of all annoyance,And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night.My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.I think, but dare not speak. DOCTOREvil rumors are going around. Unnatural acts will cause (50) supernatural things to happen. People with guilty and deranged minds will confess their secrets to their pillows as they sleep. This woman needs a priest more than a doctor. God forgive us all! (to the waiting- GENTLEWOMAN) Look after her. Remove anything she might hurt herself with. Watch her constantly. And now, good-night. She has bewildered my mind and amazed my eyes. I have an opinion, but I don’t dare to say it out loud.
MENTEITHThe English power is near, led on by Malcolm,His uncle Siward and the good Macduff.Revenges burn in them, for their dear causesWould to the bleeding and the grim alarm(5) Excite the mortified man. MENTEITHThe English army is near, led by Malcolm, his uncle Siward, and the good Macduff. They burn for revenge. The wrongs they have suffered would make dead men rise up and fight.
CAITHNESSGreat Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.Some say he’s mad, others that lesser hate himDo call it valiant fury. But, for certain,(15) He cannot buckle his distempered causeWithin the belt of rule. CAITHNESSHe is fortifying his castle at Dunsinane with heavy defenses. Some say he’s insane. Those who hate him less call it brave anger. One thing is certain: he’s out of control.
ANGUS Now does he feelHis secret murders sticking on his hands.Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach.Those he commands move only in command,(20) Nothing in love. Now does he feel his titleHang loose about him, like a giant’s robeUpon a dwarfish thief. ANGUSNow Macbeth feels the blood of his murdered enemies sticking to his hands. Now, rebel armies punish him every minute for his treachery. The soldiers he commands are only following orders. They don’t fight because they love Macbeth. Now he seems too small to be a great king, like a midget trying to wear the robes of a giant.
MACBETHBring me no more reports. Let them fly all.Till Birnam Wood remove to DunsinaneI cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm?Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know(5) All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:”Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of womanShall e’er have power upon thee.” Then fly, false thanes,(10) And mingle with the English epicures.The mind I sway by and the heart I bearShall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.Enter a SERVANTThe devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!Where got’st thou that goose look? MACBETHDon’t bring me any more reports. I don’t care if all the thanes desert me. Until Birnam Wood gets up and moves to Dunsinane, I won’t be affected by fear. What’s the boy Malcolm? Wasn’t he born from a woman? The spirits that know the future have told me this: “Don’t be afraid, Macbeth. No man born from a woman will ever defeat you.” So get out of here, disloyal thanes, and join the weak and decadent English! My mind and courage will never falter with doubt or shake with fear.A SERVANT enters.May the devil turn you black, you white-faced fool! Why do you look like a frightened goose?
MACBETHTake thy face hence.Exit SERVANTSeyton!—I am sick at heart,When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This pushWill cheer me ever, or disseat me now.I have lived long enough. My way of life(25) Is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf,And that which should accompany old age,As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,I must not look to have, but, in their stead,Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath(30) Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not.Seyton! MACBETHGet out of my sight.The SERVENT exitsSeyton!—I’m sick at heart when I see—Seyton, come here!—This battle will either secure my reign forever or else topple me from the throne. I have lived long enough. The course of my life is beginning to wither and fall away, like a yellowing leaf in autumn. The things that should go along with old age, like honor, love, obedience, and loyal friends, I cannot hope to have. Instead, I have passionate but quietly whispered curses, people who honor me with their words but not in their hearts, and lingering life, which my heart would gladly end, though I can’t bring myself to do it. Seyton!
MACBETHThrow physic to the dogs; I’ll none of it.(50) Come, put mine armor on. Give me my staff.Seyton, send out.—Doctor, the thanes fly from me.Come, sir, dispatch.—If thou couldst, doctor, castThe water of my land, find her disease,And purge it to a sound and pristine health,(55) I would applaud thee to the very echo,That should applaud again.—Pull ‘t off, I say.—What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug,Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of them? MACBETHMedicine is for the dogs. I won’t have anything to do with it. (to SEYTON) Come, put my armor on me. Give me my lance. Seyton, send out the soldiers. (to the DOCTOR) Doctor, the thanes are running away from me. (to SEYTON) Come on, sir, hurry. (to the DOCTOR) Can you figure out what’s wrong with my country? If you can diagnose its disease by examining its urine, and bring it back to health, I will praise you to the ends of the Earth, where the sound will echo back so you can hear the applause again.—(to SEYTON) Pull it off, I tell you. (to the DOCTOR) What drug would purge the English from this country? Have you heard of any?
MACBETH Bring it after me.I will not be afraid of death and bane,Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane. MACBETH(to SEYTON) Bring the armor and follow me. I will not be afraid of death and destruction until Birnam forest picks itself up and moves to Dunsinane.
MALCOLMLet every soldier hew him down a bough(5) And bear ‘t before him. Thereby shall we shadowThe numbers of our host and make discoveryErr in report of us. MALCOLMTell every soldier to break off a branch and hold it in front of him. That way we can conceal how many of us there are, and Macbeth’s spies will give him inaccurate reports.
MACBETHI have almost forgot the taste of fears.(10) The time has been my senses would have cooledTo hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hairWould at a dismal treatise rouse and stirAs life were in ‘t. I have supped full with horrors.Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts(15) Cannot once start me. MACBETHI’ve almost forgotten what fear feels like. There was a time when I would have been terrified by a shriek in the night, and the hair on my skin would have stood up when I heard a ghost story. But now I’ve had my fill of real horrors. Horrible things are so familiar that they can’t startle me.
MACBETH She should have died hereafter.There would have been a time for such a word.Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,(20) Creeps in this petty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded time,And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player(25) That struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing. MACBETHShe would have died later anyway. That news was bound to come someday. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. The days creep slowly along until the end of time. And every day that’s already happened has taken fools that much closer to their deaths. Out, out, brief candle. Life is nothing more than an illusion. It’s like a poor actor who struts and worries for his hour on the stage and then is never heard from again. Life is a story told by an idiot, full of noise and emotional disturbance but devoid of meaning.
MACBETH If thou speak’st false,Upon the next tree shall thou hang aliveTill famine cling thee. If thy speech be sooth,(40) I care not if thou dost for me as much.I pull in resolution and beginTo doubt th’ equivocation of the fiendThat lies like truth. “Fear not, till Birnam woodDo come to Dunsinane”; and now a wood(45) Comes toward Dunsinane.—Arm, arm, and out!—If this which he avouches does appear,There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.I ‘gin to be aweary of the sun,And wish th’ estate o’ th’ world were now undone.—(50) Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack!At least we’ll die with harness on our back. MACBETHIf you’re lying, I’ll hang you alive from the nearest tree until you die of hunger. If what you say is true, you can do the same to me. (to himself) My confidence is failing. I’m starting to doubt the lies the devil told me, which sounded like truth. “Don’t worry until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane.” And now a wood is coming to Dunsinane. Prepare for battle, and go! If what this messenger says is true, it’s no use running away or staying here. I’m starting to grow tired of living, and I’d like to see the world plunged into chaos. Ring the alarms! Blow, wind! Come, ruin! At least we’ll die with our armor on.
MACBETHThey have tied me to a stake. I cannot fly,But, bearlike, I must fight the course. What’s heThat was not born of woman? Such a oneAm I to fear, or none. MACBETHThey have me tied to a stake. I can’t run away. I have to stand and fight, like a BEARIn Shakespeare’s time, bears were tied to stakes and attacked by dogs for the amusement of audiences.bear.Where’s the man who wasn’t born from a woman? He’s the only one I’m afraid of, nobody else.
MACDUFFThat way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face!If thou beest slain, and with no stroke of mine,My wife and children’s ghosts will haunt me still.I cannot strike at wretched kerns, whose arms(20) Are hired to bear their staves. Either thou, Macbeth,Or else my sword with an unbattered edgeI sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;By this great clatter, one of the greatest note(25) Seems bruited. Let me find him, Fortune,And more I beg not. MACDUFFThe noise is coming from over there. Tyrant, show your face! If someone other than me kills you, the ghosts of my wife and children will haunt me forever. I can’t be bothered to fight these lame soldiers who only fight for money. I’ll either fight you, Macbeth, or else I’ll put down my sword unused. You must be over there. By the great noise, it sounds like one of the highest-ranking men is being announced. I hope I find him! I ask for nothing more than that.
MACBETHWhy should I play the Roman fool and dieOn mine own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashesDo better upon them. MACBETHWhy should I commit suicide like one of the ancient Romans? As long as I see enemies of mine alive, I would rather see my sword wound them than me.
MACBETH Thou losest labor.As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air(10) With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;I bear a charmèd life, which must not yieldTo one of woman born. MACBETHYou’re wasting your time trying to wound me. You might as well try to stab the air with your sword. Go fight someone who can be harmed. I lead a charmed life, which can’t be ended by anyone born from a woman.
MACDUFF Despair thy charm,And let the angel whom thou still hast served(15) Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s wombUntimely ripped. MACDUFFYou can forget about your charm. The evil spirit you serve can tell you that I was not born. They cut me out of my mother’s womb before she could bear me naturally.
MACBETHAccursèd be that tongue that tells me so,For it hath cowed my better part of man!And be these juggling fiends no more believed,(20) That palter with us in a double sense,That keep the word of promise to our ear,And break it to our hope. I’ll not fight with thee. MACBETHCurse you for telling me this. You’ve fightened away my courage. I don’t believe those evil creatures anymore. They tricked me with their wordgames, raising my hopes and then destroying them. I won’t fight you.
MACDUFFThen yield thee, coward,And live to be the show and gaze o’ th’ time.(25) We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,Painted on a pole, and underwrit,”Here may you see the tyrant.” MACDUFFThen surrender, coward, and we’ll put you in a freakshow, just like they do with deformed animals. We’ll put a picture of you on a sign, right above the words “Come see the tyrant!”
MACBETH I will not yield,To kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet,And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.(30) Though Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane,And thou opposed, being of no woman born,Yet I will try the last. Before my bodyI throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!” MACBETHI’m not going to surrender and have to kiss the ground in front of Malcolm, or be taunted by the common people. Even though Birnam Wood really did come to Dunsinane, and I’m fighting a man not of woman born, I’ll fight to the end. I’ll put up my shield and battle you. Come on, let’s go at it, Macduff, and damn the first man who cries, ‘Stop! Enough!’They exit fighting. Trumpets and battle noises. The trumpet of one army sounds a call to retreat. The other army’s trumpet sounds a call of victory. The victorious army enters, led by MALCOLM, old SIWARD, ROSS, the other THANES, and soldiers, with a drummer and flag.
MACDUFFHail, king! For so thou art. Behold where standsThe usurper’s cursèd head. The time is free.I see thee compassed with thy kingdom’s pearl,That speak my salutation in their minds,Whose voices I desire aloud with mine.Hail, King of Scotland! MACDUFFHail, king! Because that’s what you are now. Look, here I have Macbeth’s cursed head. We are free from his tyranny. I see that you have the kingdom’s noblemen around you, and they’re thinking the same thing as me. I want them to join me in this loud cheer, Hail, King of Scotland!
MALCOLMWe shall not spend a large expense of timeBefore we reckon with your several lovesAnd make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen,(65) Henceforth be earls, the first that ever ScotlandIn such an honor named. What’s more to do,Which would be planted newly with the time,As calling home our exiled friends abroadThat fled the snares of watchful tyranny,(70) Producing forth the cruel ministersOf this dead butcher and his fiendlike queen,Who, as ’tis thought, by self and violent handsTook off her life; this, and what needful elseThat calls upon us, by the grace of Grace,(75) We will perform in measure, time, and place.So, thanks to all at once and to each one,Whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone. MALCOLMIt won’t be long before I reward each of you as he deserves. My thanes and kinsmen, I name you all earls, the first earls that Scotland has ever had. We have a lot to do at the dawn of this new era. We must call home all of our exiled friends who fled from the grip of Macbeth’s tyranny, and we must bring to justice all the evil ministers of this dead butcher and his demon-like queen, who, rumor has it, committed suicide. This, and whatever else we are called to do by God, we will do at the right time and in the right place. So I thank you all, and I invite each and every one of you to come watch me be crowned king of Scotland at Scone.

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