The Tragedy of Macbeth/Act V
- 1 ACT V.
- 1.1 SCENE I. Dunsinane. Ante-room in the castle.
- 1.2 SCENE II. The country near Dunsinane.
- 1.3 SCENE III. Dunsinane. A room in the castle.
- 1.4 SCENE IV. Country near Birnam wood.
- 1.5 SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the castle.
- 1.6 SCENE VI. Dunsinane. Before the castle.
- 1.7 SCENE VII. The same. Another part of the field.
- 1.8 SCENE VIII. The same. Another part of the field.
SCENE I. Dunsinane. Ante-room in the castle.
[Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman.]
- I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no
- truth in your report. When was it she last walked?
- Since 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 it, read it,
- afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this
- while in a most fast sleep.
- 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?
- That, sir, which I will not report after her.
- You may to me; and 'tis most meet you should.
- Neither to you nor any one; having no witness to confirm my
- speech. Lo you, here she comes!
[Enter Lady Macbeth, with a taper.]
- This is her very guise; and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe
- her; stand close.
- How came she by that light?
- Why, it stood by her: she has light by her continually; 'tis her
- You see, her eyes are open.
- Ay, but their sense is shut.
- What is it she does now? Look how she rubs her hands.
- 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.
- Yet here's a spot.
- Hark, she speaks: I will set down what comes from her, to
- satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.
- 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?
- Do you mark that?
- 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.
- Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.
- She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that:
- heaven knows what she has known.
- Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes
- of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!
- What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.
- I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the
- dignity of the whole body.
- Well, well, well,—
- Pray God it be, sir.
- This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those
- which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in
- their beds.
- 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.
- Even so?
- To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate: come, come, come,
- come, give me your hand: what's done cannot be undone: to bed, to
- bed, to bed.
- Will she go now to bed?
- Foul whisperings are abroad: unnatural deeds
- Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
- To 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 amaz'd my sight:
- I think, but dare not speak.
- Good-night, good doctor.
SCENE II. The country near Dunsinane.
[Drum and colours. Enter Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, and Soldiers.]
- The English power is near, led on by 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.
- Near Birnam wood
- Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.
- Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?
- For certain, sir, he is not: I have a file
- Of all the gentry: there is Siward's son
- And many unrough youths, that even now
- Protest their first of manhood.
- What does the tyrant?
- 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.
- Now does he feel
- His 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 title
- Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe
- Upon a dwarfish thief.
- Who, then, shall blame
- His pester'd senses to recoil and start,
- When all that is within him does condemn
- Itself for being there?
- Well, march we on,
- To give obedience where 'tis truly ow'd:
- Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal;
- And with him pour we, in our country's purge,
- Each drop of us.
- Or so much as it needs,
- To dew the sovereign flower, and drown the weeds.
- Make we our march towards Birnam.
SCENE III. Dunsinane. A room in the castle.
[Enter Macbeth, Doctor, and Attendants.]
- Bring me no more reports; let them fly all:
- 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 pronounc'd 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.
[Enter a Servant.]
- The devil damn thee black, thou cream-fac'd loon!
- Where gott'st thou that goose look?
- There is ten thousand—
- Geese, villain?
- Soldiers, sir.
- Go prick thy face and over-red thy fear,
- Thou lily-liver'd boy. What soldiers, patch?
- Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine
- Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?
- The English force, so please you.
- Take thy face hence.
- Seyton!—I am sick at heart,
- When I behold—Seyton, I say!- This push
- Will chair me ever or disseat me now.
- I have liv'd 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, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
- Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
- What's your gracious pleasure?
- What news more?
- All is confirm'd, my lord, which was reported.
- I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack'd.
- Give me my armour.
- 'Tis not needed yet.
- I'll put it on.
- Send out more horses, skirr the country round;
- Hang those that talk of fear.—Give me mine armour.—
- How does your patient, doctor?
- Not so sick, my lord,
- As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies,
- That keep her from her rest.
- Cure her of that:
- Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas'd;
- 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?
- Therein the patient
- Must minister to himself.
- Throw physic to the dogs,—I'll none of it.—
- Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff:—
- Seyton, send out.—Doctor, the Thanes fly from me.—
- Come, sir, despatch.—If thou couldst, doctor, cast
- The 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?
- Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
- Makes us hear something.
- Bring it after me.—
- I will not be afraid of death and bane,
- Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.
[Exeunt all except Doctor.]
- Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
- Profit again should hardly draw me here.
SCENE IV. Country near Birnam wood.
[Enter, with drum and colours, Malcolm, old Siward and his Son, Macduff, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, Ross, and Soldiers, marching.]
- Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
- That chambers will be safe.
- We doubt it nothing.
- What wood is this before us?
- The wood of Birnam.
- 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.
- It shall be done.
- We learn no other but the confident tyrant
- Keeps still in Dunsinane, and will endure
- Our setting down before't.
- '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 constrained things,
- Whose hearts are absent too.
- Let our just censures
- Attend the true event, and put we on
- Industrious soldiership.
- The time approaches,
- That will with due decision make us know
- What 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.
SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the castle.
[Enter with drum and colours, Macbeth, Seyton, and Soldiers.]
- Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
- 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 forc'd with those that should be ours,
- We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
- And beat them backward home.
[A cry of women within.]
- What is that noise?
- It is the cry of women, my good lord.
- 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 slaught'rous thoughts,
- Cannot once start me.
- Wherefore was that cry?
- The queen, my lord, is dead.
- 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.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Thou com'st to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.
- Gracious my lord,
- I should report that which I say I saw,
- But know not how to do it.
- Well, say, sir.
- As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
- I look'd toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
- The wood began to move.
- Liar, and slave!
- Let me endure your wrath, if't be not so.
- Within this three mile may you see it coming;
- I say, a moving grove.
- 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 a-weary 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.
SCENE VI. Dunsinane. Before the castle.
[Enter, with drum and colours, Malcolm, old Siward, Macduff, and their Army, with boughs.]
- 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.
- Fare you well.—
- Do we but find the tyrant's power to-night,
- Let us be beaten, if we cannot fight.
- Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,
- Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.
SCENE VII. The same. Another part of the field.
[Alarums. Enter Macbeth.]
- 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.
[Enter young Siward.]
- What is thy name?
- Thou'lt be afraid to hear it.
- No; though thou call'st thyself a hotter name
- Than any is in hell.
- My name's Macbeth.
- The devil himself could not pronounce a title
- More hateful to mine ear.
- No, nor more fearful.
- Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my sword
- I'll prove the lie thou speak'st.
[They fight, and young Siward is slain.]
- Thou wast born of woman.—
- But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
- Brandish'd by man that's of a woman born.
[Alarums. Enter Macduff.]
- 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.
- I cannot strike at wretched kerns, whose arms
- Are hired to bear their staves; either thou, Macbeth,
- Or else my sword, with an unbatter'd edge,
- I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;
- By this great clatter, one of greatest note
- Seems bruited. Let me find him, fortune!
- And more I beg not.
[Enter Malcolm and old Siward.]
- This way, my lord;—the castle's gently render'd:
- The tyrant's people on both sides do fight;
- The noble thanes do bravely in the war;
- The day almost itself professes yours,
- And little is to do.
- We have met with foes
- That strike beside us.
- Enter, sir, the castle.
SCENE VIII. The same. Another part of the field.
- Why should I play the Roman fool, and die
- On mine own sword? whiles I see lives, the gashes
- Do better upon them.
- Turn, hell-hound, turn!
- Of all men else I have avoided thee:
- But get thee back; my soul is too much charg'd
- With blood of thine already.
- I have no words,—
- My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain
- Than terms can give thee out!
- 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.
- Despair thy charm;
- And let the angel whom thou still hast serv'd
- Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
- Untimely ripp'd.
- 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 believ'd,
- 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.
- 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 upon a pole, and underwrit,
- "Here may you see the tyrant."
- 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 oppos'd, 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!"
[Exeunt fighting. Alarums.]
[Re-enter fighting, and Macbeth is slain. Exit Macduff, with Macbeth's body.]
[Retreat. Flourish. Enter, with drum and colours, Malcolm, old Siward, Ross, Lennox, Angus, Caithness, Menteith, and Soldiers.]
- I would the friends we miss were safe arriv'd.
- Some must go off; and yet, by these I see,
- So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
- Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
- Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt:
- He only liv'd but till he was a man;
- The which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd
- In the unshrinking station where he fought,
- But like a man he died.
- Then he is dead?
- Ay, and brought off the field: your cause of sorrow
- Must not be measur'd by his worth, for then
- It hath no end.
- Had he his hurts before?
- Ay, on the front.
- 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:
- And, so his knell is knoll'd.
- He's worth more sorrow,
- And that I'll spend for him.
- He's worth no more:
- They say he parted well, and paid his score:
- And so, God be with him!—Here comes newer despair.
[Re-enter Macduff, with Macbeth's head.]
- Hail, king, for so thou art: behold, where stands
- The usurper's cursed head: the time is free:
- I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl
- That speak my salutation in their minds;
- Whose voices I desire aloud with mine,—
- Hail, King of Scotland!
- Hail, 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 nam'd. What's more to do,
- Which would be planted newly with the time,—
- As calling home our exil'd 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.