Macbeth Act 5

A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the line>effects of watching. Doctor: It’s unnatural to be asleep and act as if you’re awake.
Neither to you nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech. Gentlewoman: Neither to you nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech.
It is an accustomed action with her to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour. Gentlewoman: She often does that. She looks like she’s washing her hands. I’ve seen her do that before for as long as fifteen minutes.
Yet here’s a spot. Lady Macbeth: There’s still a spot here.
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: (rubbing her hands) Come out, damned spot! Out, I command you! One, two. OK, it’s time to do it now.—Hell is murky!—Nonsense, my lord, nonsense! You are a soldier, and yet you are afraid? Why should we be scared, when no one can lay the guilt upon us?—But who would have thought the old man would have had so much blood in him?
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: 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.
Go to, go to. You have known what you should not. Doctor:Now look what you’ve done. You’ve heard something you shouldn’t have.
She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has known. GENTLEWOMANShe said something she shouldn’t have said, I’m sure of that. Heaven knows what secrets she’s keeping.
Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh! LADY MACBETHI still have the smell of blood on my hand. All the perfumes of Arabia couldn’t make my little hand smell better. Oh, oh, oh!
Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on ‘s grave. LADY MACBETHWash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Don’t look so frightened. I tell you again, Banquo is buried. He cannot come out of his grave.
Foul whisp’rings are abroad. Unnatural deedsDo breed unnatural troubles. Infected mindsTo their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets. DOCTOREvil rumors are going around. Unnatural acts will cause SUPERNATURALSleepwalking and sleeptalking were considered supernatural events in Shakespeares time.supernatural things to happen. People with guilty and deranged minds will confess their secrets to their pillows as they sleep.
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. Doctor: 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.
The 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 alarmExcite the mortified man. Menteith: The 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.
Near Birnam WoodShall we well meet them; that way are they coming. ANGUSWe’ll meet them near Birnam Wood. They are coming that way.
Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother? CAITHNESSDoes anyone know if Donalbain is with his brother?
For certain, sir, he is not. I have a fileOf all the gentry. There is Siward’s son,And many unrough youths that even nowProtest their first of manhood. LENNOXHe is definitely not there, sir. I have a list of all the important men. Siward’s son is there, as well as many boys too young to have beards who will become men by joining in this battle.
What does the tyrant? MENTEITHWhat is the tyrant Macbeth doing?
Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.Some say he’s mad, others that lesser hate himDo call it valiant fury. But, for certain,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.
Now does he feelHis secret murders sticking on his hands.Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach.Those he commands move only in command,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.
Who then shall blameHis pestered senses to recoil and start,When all that is within him does condemnItself for being there? MENTEITHWho can blame him for acting crazy, when inside he condemns himself for everything he’s done?
Well, march we on,To give obedience where ’tis truly owed.Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal,And with him pour we in our country’s purgeEach drop of us. CAITHNESSWell, let’s keep marching and give our loyalty to someone who truly deserves it. We’re going to meet Malcolm, the doctor who will cure our sick country. We’ll pour out our own blood to help him.
Or so much as it needs,To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.Make we our march towards Birnam. LENNOXHowever much blood we need to give to water the royal flower and drown the weeds—to make Malcolm king and get rid of Macbeth. Let’s proceed on our march to Birnam.
Seyton!—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 lifeIs 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, breathWhich the poor heart would fain deny and dare not.Seyton! MACBETH:Seyton!—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!
If thou couldst, doctor, castThe water of my land, find her disease,And purge it to a sound and pristine health,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? Macbeth: 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?
Let every soldier hew him down a boughAnd 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.
Cousins, I hope the days are near at handThat chambers will be safe. MALCOLMKinsmen, I hope the time is coming when people will be safe in their own bedrooms.
What wood is this before us? SIWARDWhat’s the name of this forest behind us?
‘Tis his main hope:For, where there is advantage to be given,Both more and less have given him the revolt,And none serve with him but constrainèd thingsWhose hearts are absent too. MALCOLMHe wants us to lay siege. Wherever his soldiers have an opportunity to leave him, they do, whatever rank they are. No one fights with him except men who are forced to, and their hearts aren’t in it.
Let our just censuresAttend the true event, and put we onIndustrious soldiership. MACDUFFWe shouldn’t make any judgments until we achieve our goal. Let’s go fight like hardworking soldiers
The time approachesThat will with due decision make us knowWhat we shall say we have and what we owe.Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,But certain issue strokes must arbitrate.Towards which, advance the war. SIWARDSoon we’ll find out what’s really ours and what isn’t. It’s easy for us to get our hopes up just sitting around thinking about it, but the only way this is really going to be settled is by violence. So let’s move our armies forward.
I have almost forgot the taste of fears.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 thoughtsCannot 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.
It is the cry of women, my good lord. SEYTONIt’s women crying, my good lord.
The queen, my lord, is dead. SEYTONThe queen is dead, my lord.
She should have died hereafter.There would have been a time for such a word.Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,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! 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’s but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat 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. MACBETHLife 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.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill,I looked toward Birnam, and anon methoughtThe wood began to move. MessengerAs I was standing watch on the hill, I looked toward Birnam, and I thought I saw the forest begin to move.
If thou speak’st false,Upon the next tree shall thou hang aliveTill famine cling thee. If thy speech be sooth,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 woodComes 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.—Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack!At least we’ll die with harness on our back. MACBETH:If 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.
Fare you well.Do we but find the tyrant’s power tonight,Let us be beaten if we cannot fight. SIWARDGood luck. If we meet Macbeth’s army tonight, let us be beaten if we cannot fight.
Now near enough. Your leafy screens throw down,And show like those you are.—You, worthy uncle,Shall, with my cousin, your right-noble son,Lead our first battle. Worthy Macduff and weShall take upon ‘s what else remains to do,According to our order. MALCOLMWe’re close enough now. Throw down these branches and show them who you really are. Uncle Siward, you and your son will lead the first battle. Brave Macduff and I will do the rest, according to our battle plan.
They 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 BEAR Where’s the man who wasn’t born from a woman? He’s the only one I’m afraid of, nobody else.
Thou wast born of woman.But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,Brandished by man that’s of a woman born. MACBETHYou were born from a woman. Swords don’t frighten me. I laugh at any weapon used by a man who was born from a woman.
That 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 armsAre 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 noteSeems 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.
We have met with foesThat strike beside us. MALCOLMOur enemies fight as if they’re trying not to hurt us.
Of all men else I have avoided thee.But get thee back. My soul is too much chargedWith blood of thine already. MACBETHYou are the only man I have avoided. But go away now. I’m already guilty of killing your whole family.
Thou losest labor.As easy mayst thou the intrenchant airWith 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.
Despair thy charm,And let the angel whom thou still hast servedTell 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.
I will not yield,To kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet,And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.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!’
Accursèd be that tongue that tells me so,For it hath cowed my better part of man!And be these juggling fiends no more believed,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.
Hail, 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!

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