Macbeth Act 5 Quote Guide- Meaning

A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching! In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say? It shows terrible stress to be sleepwalking—has she said anything during these times?Doctor
That, sir, which I will not report after her…Neither to you nor any one; having no witness to confirm my speech. The things I’ve heard her say I wont repeat… not to you or anyone else since no one else has heard it to prove I’m telling the truth
How came she by that light? How did she get that candle?
Why, it stood by her: she has light by her continually; ’tis her command. It was by her bed…She’s commanded that she have a light near here at every moment.
What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands. What is she doing? Washing her hands?
She ‘s been doing this a lot…I’ve seen her pretend to wash her hands like that for fifteen minutes at a time! 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.
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. Why can’t I get this post of blood out? It’s time to do it. Damn it, how can you be a solider and be so afraid? Why should we be afraid when no one can challenge our power? But who would have thought the king would have bled so much…
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. Macduff had a wife…where is she? Will I never be able to get the blood off my hands? Stop acting so scared—you’ll give us away!
Go to, go to; you have known what you should not. You should never have heard this!
She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that: heaven knows what she has known. She shouldn’t have spoken of this, I;m sure of that. Only God knows what she’s done!
Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh! My hands still smell like blood—all the best perfume in the world wont take this smell away!
I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body. I wouldn’t have her conscience even if I could be queen.
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. wash your hands and get ready for bed—Banquo can’t come back from the dead.
: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. My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight. I think, but dare not speak. She needs God more than she needs a doctor. God forgive us. Watch her carefully and remove anyting that she might hurt herself with. .. she’s trapped me, and I can’t do or say anything about this
Scene 2
Malcolm, His uncle Siward and the good Macduff: Revenges burn in them; for their dear causes Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm Excite the mortified man. Malcolm and Macduff have so much reason to want revenge it would wake the dead.
Near Birnam wood Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming. We’re going to meet them at Birnham forest.
What does the tyrant? What is Macbeth doing?
Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies: Some say he’s mad; others that lesser hate him Do call it valiant fury: but, for certain, He cannot buckle his distemper’d cause Within the belt of rule. he’s getting his castle ready for battle. Some say he’s crazy, others say he just seems crazy with rage, but he cannot prove his cause is right anymore
Those he commands move only in command, Nothing in love: His soldiers are following him only out of duty, not because they believe in him
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 purge Each drop of us. Let’s follow the true king, and with him wipe Macbeth out of Scotland
Scene 3
Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane, I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm? Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus: ‘Fear not, Macbeth; no man that’s born of woman Shall e’er have power upon thee.’ Then fly, false thanes, And mingle with the English epicures: The mind I sway by and the heart I bear Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear. Until Birnam forest shows up here, I can’t be afraid. Wasn’t Malcolm born from a woman? The spirits told me not to fear anyone born fro a woman…so let me men run off and join the English army; I have no reason to be afraid.
Seyton!–I am sick at heart, When I behold–Seyton, I say!–This push Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now. I have lived long enough: my way of life Is fall’n into the sear, the yellow leaf; And that which should accompany old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but, in their stead, Curses, Seyton, I’m tied of all this. But this battle will either make me king permanently, or end my kingship. I’ve lived long enogh, I;m like an autumn leaf, yellow and dry, and the good things that come with old age, like good feelings and friends, I can’t have, but get people cursing me instead.
How does your patient, doctor? How is my wife, doctor?
Not so sick, my lord, As she is troubled with thick coming fancies, Her illness is more mental than physical
Cure her of that. Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, Raze out the written troubles of the brain And with some sweet oblivious antidote Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff Which weighs upon the heart? Cure her! Can’t you fix a broken mind, take sad memories out and give her some medicine that will take away what’s bothering her?
Therein the patient Must minister to himself. Only the patient herself can heal her own mind
Throw physic to the dogs; I’ll none of it. Then doctors and medicine are trash, fit for dogs.
Scene 4
What wood is this before us? What forest is this?
The wood of Birnam. It’s Birnam Forest
Let every soldier hew him down a bough And bear’t before him: thereby shall we shadow The numbers of our host and make discovery Err in report of us. Tell every soldier to cut down a branch and carry it—that way Macbeth wont be able to see how many of are coming.
Both more and less have given him the revolt, And none serve with him but constrained things Whose hearts are absent too. Many of Macbeth’s men have left him, and the only men still serving him are doing so out of fear, not because they’re on his side.
The cry is still ‘They come:’ our castle’s strength Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie Till famine and the ague eat them up: Were they not forced with those that should be ours, We might have met them dareful, beard to beard, And beat them backward home. The men keep telling me “There almost here,: as if it matters—my castle’s prepared to outlast any siege—they can park on my doorstep and starve there until they rot. If so many of my men hadn’t left me and joined them, we could have fought them man-to-man and beat them the manly way.
It is the cry of women, my good lord. (self-explantaory)
I have almost forgot the taste of fears; The time has been, my senses would have cool’d To hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir As life were in’t: I have supp’d full with horrors; Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts Cannot once start me. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be afraid. It used to be that when I heard a scream in the night I’d feel a chill and my hair would stand on end as if it were alive. Now I’m so used to horror that nothing can frighten me.
The queen, my lord, is dead. (self-explanatory)
She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. She should have died of old age. That would have been a better time to hear such news. Tommorro keeps creeping forward to the end of time, but the only thing people of the past have managed to do is die. Then I may as well be dead—someone snuff me out. Life’s not real…it’s an actor who runs around a stage as if the play mattered…and actor who’s finally called off stage. Life’s a story told by an idiot…a tale full of noise and violence that means absolutely nothing.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill, I look’d toward Birnam, and anon, methought, The wood began to move. I was looking toward Birnam, and I thought I saw the forest move!
If thou speak’st false, Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive, Till famine cling thee: if thy speech be sooth, I care not if thou dost for me as much. I pull in resolution, and begin To doubt the equivocation of the fiend That lies like truth: ‘Fear not, till Birnam wood Do come to Dunsinane:’ and now a wood 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 the estate o’ the world were now undone. Ring the alarum-bell! Blow, wind! come, wrack! At least we’ll die with harness on our back If you’re lying I’ll tie you to a tree and let you starve to death. If you’re telling the truth, you can tie me to a tree to die. I’m starting to doubt the witches…they tell me not to worry until Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane and now a forest IS coming to Dunsinane. If the forest does come, they’ll be no difference between running away and staying here. To hell with it! At least we’ll die fighting!
Scene 6
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 we Shall take upon ‘s what else remains to do, According to our order. We’re close enough. Throw down the branches and show him who’s coming. My Uncle General Siward will lead the first charge with his son. Macduff and I will help where we can.
Scene 7
They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly, But, bear-like, I must fight the course. What’s he That was not born of woman? Such a one Am I to fear, or none. They’re treating me like a bear in a baiting ring (“sport” in which bears were tied to a stake and taunted by people, daring themselves to get within reach of the angry bear)—and there’s no way to get away so I have to fight. Still, everyman’s been born from a woman—I was told to fear no one but a man born of a woman, so I should be safe
What is thy name? What’s your name?
Thou’lt be afraid to hear it You’ll be afraid if you hear it.
No; though thou call’st thyself a hotter name Than any is in hell. I wont be afraid even if you’re worse than the devil himself!
My name’s Macbeth. I’m Macbeth.
The devil himself could not pronounce a title More hateful to mine ear. I hate you as much as the devil
No, nor more fearful. You should fear me.
Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my sword I’ll prove the lie thou speak’st.They fight and YOUNG SIWARD is slain You’re a liar, hated tyrant—I’ll prove you’re a liar with my sword.
You were born of a woman. I smile at swords and laugh at weapons when they’re being held by men born of women. Thou wast born of woman But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, Brandish’d by man that’s of a woman born.
That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face! If thou be’st slain and with no stroke of mine, My wife and children’s ghosts will haunt me still. Tyrant, show your face! If you were killed by somebody else, the ghosts of my wife and children will never stop haunting me!
This way, my lord; the castle’s gently render’d: This way—Macbeth’s castle has given up easily
We have met with foes That strike beside us. Whenever we ran into Macbeth’s men, they changed sides and joined us—so there was no one to fight with
Scene 8
Turn, hell-hound, turn! Turn around, you dog from hell!
Of all men else I have avoided thee: But get thee back; my soul is too much charged With blood of thine already. I’ve tried to avoid you above all others. Get back—I’m already too guilty for killing your family so I don’t want to kill you too!
I have no words: My voice is in my sword: I don’t have anything to say to you—my sword will say it all
Thou losest labour: As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed: Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests; I bear a charmed life, which must not yield, To one of woman born. You’re wasting your breath—you can’t make me bleed anymore than you can make the air bleed; use your sword on people who can be hurt—I’m magically protected—no one born from a woman can ever hurt me
Despair thy charm; And let the angel whom thou still hast served Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb Untimely ripp’d. Your charm can’t save you—tell the devil you’ve been taking orders from tell you I was cut out of mother, not born through the birth canal.
Accursed be that tongue that tells me so, For it hath cow’d 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 Damn you for telling me that—there went my bravery. But even if the witches can’t be trusted because they’re full of lies, making promises to us and then dashing our hopes. I’m still not going to fight you.
Then yield thee, coward, And live to be the show and gaze o’ the time: We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are, Painted on a pole, and underwrit, ‘Here may you see the tyrant.’ Then surrender and live to be made a side-show freak. You can live in a cage like a rare, scary animal, with sign pole telling people “Here’s Macbeth”
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 body I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff, And damn’d be him that first cries, ‘Hold, enough!’ I’m not going to give up and kiss Malcolm;s feet and be mocked by crowds of people. Even if the forest has come to my house and you’re fighting me and not born of a woman, I’ll take my chances. I’ll throw my shield in front of my body. Go ahead, Macduff, and the first to give up and yell “I surrender” can go straight to hell!
Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt: General, your son died a soldier.
Then he is dead? You’re sure he’s dead?
Ay, and brought off the field: SIWARD Yes, his body’s been taken off the battlefield
Had he his hurts before? Were his wounds on the front or on the back?
Ay, on the front On the front.
Well then he’s been made a soldier for God’s army; no matter how may sons I had, I could never ask for a better death for any of them. Why then, God’s soldier be he! Had I as many sons as I have hairs, I would not wish them to a fairer death: (it doesnt say anything)My interpretation:He’s dead, but he’s gonna go to heaven. He died an honorable death. If my children died a death as honorable as him, I would be happy
Hail, king! for so thou art: behold, where stands The usurper’s cursed head: Whose voices I desire aloud with mine: Hail, King of Scotland! Greetings, King Malcolm, for you are king now; here is the phony king’s head…Everyone say it with me “greetings King of Scotland!
We shall not spend a large expense of time Before we reckon with your several loves, And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen, Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland In such an honour named. What’s more to do, Which would be planted newly with the time, As calling home our exiled friends abroad That fled the snares of watchful tyranny; Producing forth the cruel ministers Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen, Who, as ’tis thought, by self and violent hands Took off her life; this, and what needful else That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace, We will perform in measure, time and place: So, thanks to all at once and to each one, Whom we invite to see us crown’d at Scone. I wont wait long to repay you. From this day forward I make you EARLS, the first Ears that Scotland ever had. We’ll call home those friends who had to run away from Scotland because of Macbeth…Macbeth the dead murderer and his evil wife, who people are saying killed herself violently…Whatever God needs us to do now, we will. Thank you to all of you; you’re invited to see me crowned at Scone.

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