2-Pane Combined
Full Summaries Sorted

The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act 5

Author: William Shakespeare

“Folger Digital Texts.” Edited by Rebecca Niles and Michael Poston, Folger Digital Texts, 1606,

Scene 1
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 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
DOCTOR A great perturbation in nature, to receive at
once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of
watching. In this slumb’ry 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
DOCTOR You may to me, and ’tis most meet you
GENTLEWOMAN Neither to you nor anyone, having no
witness to confirm my speech.

Enter Lady
Macbeth with a taper.

Lo you, here she comes. This is her very guise 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.
GENTLEWOMAN Ay, but their sense are shut.
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.
LADY MACBETH Yet here’s a spot.
DOCTOR Hark, she speaks. I will set down what comes
from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more
LADY MACBETH 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?
DOCTOR Do you mark that?
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
GENTLEWOMAN She has spoke what she should not,
I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has
LADY MACBETH Here’s the smell of the blood still. All
the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
hand. O, O, O!
DOCTOR What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely
GENTLEWOMAN I would not have such a heart in my
bosom for the dignity of the whole body.
DOCTOR Well, well, well.
GENTLEWOMAN Pray God it be, sir.
DOCTOR This disease is beyond my practice. 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 cannot come out on ’s grave.
DOCTOR Even so?
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.Lady
Macbeth exits.
DOCTOR Will she go now to bed?
Foul whisp’rings 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 amazed my sight.
I think but dare not speak.
GENTLEWOMAN Good night, good doctor.
They exit.

Scene 2
Drum and Colors. Enter Menteith, Caithness, Angus,
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.
ANGUS 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.
MENTEITH 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 distempered cause
Within the belt of rule.
ANGUS 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.
MENTEITH Who, then, shall blame
His pestered senses to recoil and start
When all that is within him does condemn
Itself for being there?
CAITHNESS Well, march we on
To give obedience where ’tis truly owed.
Meet we the med’cine of the sickly weal,
And with him pour we in our country’s purge
Each drop of us.
LENNOX Or so much as it needs
To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
Make we our march towards Birnam.
They exit marching.

Scene 3
Enter Macbeth,
the 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 pronounced me thus:
“Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of woman
Shall e’er have power upon thee.” Then fly, false
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 Servant.

The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
Where got’st thou that goose-look?
SERVANT There is ten thousand—
MACBETH Geese, villain?
SERVANT Soldiers, sir.
Go prick thy face and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-livered boy. What soldiers, patch?
Death of thy soul! Those linen cheeks of thine
Are counselors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?
SERVANT The English force, so please you.
Take thy face hence.Servant exits.
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 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
Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare

Enter Seyton.

What’s your gracious pleasure?
MACBETH What news more?
All is confirmed, my lord, which was reported.
I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked.
Give me my armor.
SEYTON ’Tis not needed yet.
MACBETH I’ll put it on.
Send out more horses. Skirr the country round.
Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine
How does your patient, doctor?
DOCTOR Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies
That keep her from her rest.
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 stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
DOCTOR Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
Throw physic to the dogs. I’ll none of it.—
Come, put mine armor on. Give me my staff.
Attendants begin to arm him.
Seyton, send out.—Doctor, the thanes fly from
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.—
What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug
Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of
Ay, my good lord. Your royal preparation
Makes us hear something.
MACBETH Bring it after me.—
I will not be afraid of death and bane
Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.
Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
Profit again should hardly draw me here.
They exit.

Scene 4
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, Siward, Macduff,
Siward’s son, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Soldiers,

Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
That chambers will be safe.
MENTEITH We doubt it nothing.
What wood is this before us?
MENTEITH 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.
SOLDIER It shall be done.
We learn no other but the confident tyrant
Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure
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 constrainèd things
Whose hearts are absent too.
MACDUFF Let our just censures
Attend the true event, and put we on
Industrious soldiership.
SIWARD 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.
They exit marching.

Scene 5
Enter Macbeth, Seyton, and Soldiers, with Drum and

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 forced with those that should be
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.
A cry within of women.
What is that noise?
It is the cry of women, my good lord.He exits.
I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been my senses would have cooled
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 supped full with horrors.
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me.

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.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
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.
MESSENGER Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do ’t.
MACBETH Well, say, sir.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I looked toward Birnam, and anon methought
The Wood began to move.
MACBETH 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.
MACBETH If thou speak’st false,
Upon the next tree shall 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 th’ 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 th’ estate o’ th’ world were now
Ring the alarum bell!—Blow wind, come wrack,
At least we’ll die with harness on our back.
They exit.

Scene 6
Drum and Colors. Enter Malcolm, 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.
SIWARD Fare you well.
Do we but find the tyrant’s power tonight,
Let us be beaten if we cannot fight.
Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,
Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.
They exit.
Alarums continued.

Scene 7
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.

YOUNG SIWARD What is thy name?
MACBETH Thou ’lt be afraid to hear it.
No, though thou call’st thyself a hotter name
Than any is in hell.
MACBETH My name’s Macbeth.
The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear.
MACBETH No, nor more fearful.
Thou liest, abhorrèd tyrant. With my sword
I’ll prove the lie thou speak’st.

They fight, and young Siward
is slain.
MACBETH Thou wast born of
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandished by man that’s of a woman born.
He exits.

Alarums. Enter Macduff.

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 arms
Are hired to bear their staves. Either thou, Macbeth,
Or else my sword with an unbattered 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.He exits. Alarums.

Enter Malcolm and Siward.

This way, my lord. The castle’s gently rendered.
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.
MALCOLM We have met with foes
That strike beside us.
SIWARD Enter, sir, the castle.
They exit. Alarum.

Scene 8
Enter Macbeth.

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

Enter Macduff.

MACDUFF Turn, hellhound, turn!
Of all men else I have avoided thee.
But get thee back. My soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.
MACDUFF I have no words;
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out.Fight. Alarum.
MACBETH Thou losest labor.
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 charmèd life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.
MACDUFF Despair thy charm,
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripped.
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.
MACDUFF Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o’ th’ time.
We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole, and underwrit
“Here may you 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.
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 damned be him that first cries “Hold! Enough!”
They exit fighting. Alarums.

They enter fighting, and Macbeth
is slain. Macduff
exits carrying off Macbeth’s body. Retreat and flourish.
Enter, with Drum and Colors, Malcolm, Siward, Ross,
Thanes, and Soldiers.

I would the friends we miss were safe arrived.
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 lived but till he was a man,
The which no sooner had his prowess confirmed
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.
SIWARD Then he is dead?
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?
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 knolled.
He’s worth more sorrow, and that I’ll spend for
SIWARD He’s worth no more.
They say he parted well and paid his score,
And so, God be with him. Here comes newer

Enter Macduff with Macbeth’s head.

Hail, King! for so thou art. Behold where stands
Th’ 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!
ALL Hail, King of Scotland!Flourish.
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
Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
In such an honor 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 crowned at Scone.
Flourish. All exit.

DMU Timestamp: September 11, 2019 18:32