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The rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
To hear the sea-maid's music.

      — A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II Scene 1


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The Tragedy of Macbeth

Act V

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Scene 1. Dunsinane. Ante-room in the castle.

Scene 2. The country near Dunsinane.

Scene 3. Dunsinane. A room in the castle.

Scene 4. Country near Birnam wood.

Scene 5. Dunsinane. Within the castle.

Scene 6. Dunsinane. Before the castle.

Scene 7. Another part of the field.

Scene 8. Another part of the field.


Act V, Scene 1

Dunsinane. Ante-room in the castle.

      next scene .

[Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman]

  • Doctor. I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive
    no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?
  • Gentlewoman. Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen 2130
    her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown 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.
  • Doctor. A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once 2135
    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?
  • Gentlewoman. That, sir, which I will not report after her. 2140
  • Doctor. You may to me: and 'tis most meet you should.
  • Gentlewoman. Neither to you nor any one; having no witness to
    confirm my speech.
    [Enter LADY MACBETH, with a taper]
    Lo you, here she comes! This is her very guise; 2145
    and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.
  • Doctor. How came she by that light?
  • Gentlewoman. Why, it stood by her: she has light by her
    continually; 'tis her command.
  • Doctor. You see, her eyes are open. 2150
  • Doctor. What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands.
  • Gentlewoman. 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. 2155
  • Doctor. Hark! she speaks: I will set down what comes from
    her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.
  • Lady Macbeth. Out, damned spot! out, I say!—One: two: why,
    then, 'tis time to do't.—Hell is murky!—Fie, my 2160
    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.
  • Doctor. Do you mark that? 2165
  • Lady Macbeth. 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.
  • Doctor. Go to, go to; you have known what you should not. 2170
  • Gentlewoman. She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of
    that: heaven knows what she has known.
  • Lady Macbeth. Here's the smell of the blood still: all the
    perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
    hand. Oh, oh, oh! 2175
  • Doctor. What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.
  • Gentlewoman. I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the
    dignity of the whole body.
  • Doctor. This disease is beyond my practise: yet I have known
    those which have walked in their sleep who have died
    holily in their beds.
  • Lady Macbeth. Wash your hands, put on your nightgown; look not so
    pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he 2185
    cannot come out on's grave.
  • Lady Macbeth. 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! 2190


  • Doctor. Will she go now to bed?
  • Doctor. Foul whisperings are abroad: unnatural deeds
    Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds 2195
    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: 2200
    My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.
    I think, but dare not speak.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

The country near Dunsinane.

      next scene .

[Drum and colours. Enter MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS,] [p]LENNOX, and Soldiers]

  • Menteith. 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 2210
    Excite the mortified man.
  • Angus. Near Birnam wood
    Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.
  • Caithness. Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?
  • Lennox. For certain, sir, he is not: I have a file 2215
    Of all the gentry: there is Siward's son,
    And many unrough youths that even now
    Protest their first of manhood.
  • Caithness. Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies: 2220
    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.
  • Angus. Now does he feel 2225
    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 2230
    Upon a dwarfish thief.
  • Menteith. Who then shall blame
    His pester'd senses to recoil and start,
    When all that is within him does condemn
    Itself for being there? 2235
  • Caithness. 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. 2240
  • Lennox. Or so much as it needs,
    To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
    Make we our march towards Birnam.

[Exeunt, marching]

. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

Dunsinane. A room in the castle.

      next scene .

[Enter MACBETH, Doctor, and Attendants]

  • Macbeth. 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 pronounced me thus: 2250
    '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 2255
    Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
    [Enter a Servant]
    The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
    Where got'st thou that goose look?
  • Servant. There is ten thousand— 2260
  • Macbeth. 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 2265
    Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?
  • Servant. The English force, so please you.
  • Macbeth. Take thy face hence.
    [Exit Servant]
    Seyton!—I am sick at heart, 2270
    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, 2275
    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. Seyton!

[Enter SEYTON]

  • Seyton. What is your gracious pleasure?
  • Seyton. All is confirm'd, my lord, which was reported.
  • Macbeth. I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack'd.
    Give me my armour. 2285
  • Macbeth. 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? 2290
  • Doctor. Not so sick, my lord,
    As she is troubled with thick coming fancies,
    That keep her from her rest.
  • Macbeth. Cure her of that.
    Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, 2295
    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? 2300
  • Doctor. Therein the patient
    Must minister to himself.
  • Macbeth. 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. 2305
    Come, sir, dispatch. 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.— 2310
    What rhubarb, cyme, or what purgative drug,
    Would scour these English hence? Hear'st thou of them?
  • Doctor. Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
    Makes us hear something.
  • Macbeth. Bring it after me. 2315
    I will not be afraid of death and bane,
    Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.
  • Doctor. [Aside] Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
    Profit again should hardly draw me here.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

Country near Birnam wood.

      next scene .

[Drum and colours. Enter MALCOLM, SIWARD and YOUNG] [p]SIWARD, MACDUFF, MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, [p]LENNOX, ROSS, and Soldiers, marching]

  • Malcolm. Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
    That chambers will be safe. 2325
  • Siward. What wood is this before us?
  • Malcolm. Let every soldier hew him down a bough
    And bear't before him: thereby shall we shadow 2330
    The numbers of our host and make discovery
    Err in report of us.
  • Siward. We learn no other but the confident tyrant
    Keeps still in Dunsinane, and will endure 2335
    Our setting down before 't.
  • Malcolm. '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 2340
    Whose hearts are absent too.
  • Macduff. Let our just censures
    Attend the true event, and put we on
    Industrious soldiership.
  • Siward. The time approaches 2345
    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. 2350

[Exeunt, marching]

. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

Dunsinane. Within the castle.

      next scene .

[Enter MACBETH, SEYTON, and Soldiers, with drum and colours]

  • Macbeth. 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 2355
    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.
    [A cry of women within] 2360
    What is that noise?
  • Seyton. It is the cry of women, my good lord.


  • Macbeth. I have almost forgot the taste of fears;
    The time has been, my senses would have cool'd 2365
    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. 2370
    [Re-enter SEYTON]
    Wherefore was that cry?
  • Seyton. The queen, my lord, is dead.
  • Macbeth. She should have died hereafter;
    There would have been a time for such a word. 2375
    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! 2380
    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. 2385
    [Enter a Messenger]
    Thou comest to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.
  • Messenger. Gracious my lord,
    I should report that which I say I saw,
    But know not how to do it. 2390
  • Messenger. As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
    I look'd toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
    The wood began to move.
  • Messenger. Let me endure your wrath, if't be not so:
    Within this three mile may you see it coming;
    I say, a moving grove.
  • Macbeth. If thou speak'st false,
    Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive, 2400
    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 2405
    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, 2410
    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.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 6

Dunsinane. Before the castle.

      next scene .

[Drum and colours. Enter MALCOLM, SIWARD, MACDUFF,] [p]and their Army, with boughs]

  • Malcolm. 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 2420
    Shall take upon 's what else remains to do,
    According to our order.
  • Siward. Fare you well.
    Do we but find the tyrant's power to-night,
    Let us be beaten, if we cannot fight. 2425
  • Macduff. Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,
    Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 7

Another part of the field.

      next scene .

[Alarums. Enter MACBETH]

  • Macbeth. They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly, 2430
    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.


  • Macbeth. Thou'lt be afraid to hear it.
  • Young Siward. No; though thou call'st thyself a hotter name
    Than any is in hell.
  • Young Siward. The devil himself could not pronounce a title 2440
    More hateful to mine ear.
  • Young Siward. Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my sword
    I'll prove the lie thou speak'st.

[They fight and YOUNG SIWARD is slain]

  • Macbeth. 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]

  • 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, 2455
    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. 2460

[Exit. Alarums]


  • 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; 2465
    The day almost itself professes yours,
    And little is to do.
  • Malcolm. We have met with foes
    That strike beside us.
  • Siward. Enter, sir, the castle. 2470

[Exeunt. Alarums]

. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 8

Another part of the field.



  • Macbeth. Why should I play the Roman fool, and die
    On mine own sword? whiles I see lives, the gashes
    Do better upon them. 2475


  • Macbeth. Of all men else I have avoided thee:
    But get thee back; my soul is too much charged
    With blood of thine already. 2480
  • Macduff. I have no words:
    My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain
    Than terms can give thee out!

[They fight]

  • Macbeth. Thou losest labour: 2485
    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. 2490
  • Macduff. Despair thy charm;
    And let the angel whom thou still hast served
    Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
    Untimely ripp'd.
  • Macbeth. Accursed be that tongue that tells me so, 2495
    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. 2500
  • Macduff. 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.' 2505
  • 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, 2510
    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]
    [Retreat. Flourish. Enter, with drum and colours,] 2515
    MALCOLM, SIWARD, ROSS, the other Thanes, and Soldiers]
  • Malcolm. I would the friends we miss were safe arrived.
  • Siward. Some must go off: and yet, by these I see,
    So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
  • Malcolm. Macduff is missing, and your noble son. 2520
  • Ross. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt:
    He only lived 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. 2525
  • Ross. Ay, and brought off the field: your cause of sorrow
    Must not be measured by his worth, for then
    It hath no end.
  • Siward. Had he his hurts before? 2530
  • Ross. Ay, on the front.
  • Siward. 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. 2535
  • Malcolm. He's worth more sorrow,
    And that I'll spend for him.
  • Siward. He's worth no more
    They say he parted well, and paid his score:
    And so, God be with him! Here comes newer comfort. 2540

[Re-enter MACDUFF, with MACBETH's head]

  • Macduff. 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; 2545
    Whose voices I desire aloud with mine:
    Hail, King of Scotland!
  • All. Hail, King of Scotland!


  • Malcolm. We shall not spend a large expense of time 2550
    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, 2555
    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 2560
    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. 2565

[Flourish. Exeunt]