Macbeth by Shakespeare – Act 5

Scene 1 – Dunsinane. Ante-room in the castle. [ENTER DOCTOR & WAITING GENTLEWOMAN]

Doctor: You & I have been watching the last 2 nights but I haven’t seen anything of what you’ve said. When did she last walk?

Gentlewoman: When the king went to war. I saw her get out of bed, put her nightgown on, unlock her closet, pull out a piece of paper, unfold it, write on it, read it, reseal it & go back to bed. But she was completely asleep.

Doctor: It’s not normal to be asleep & do all the things you’d need to be awake for. When she’s in this state, besides sleepwalking & her other activities, did you ever hear her say anything?

Gentlewoman: Yes, but I can’t say.

Doctor: You really ought to.

Gentlewoman: Not to you or anyone else because I have no witnesses. [ENTER LADY MACBETH WITH A CANDLE] OK, here she comes. This is how she looks & I’ll bet my life that she’s fast asleep. Look at her.

Doctor: How did she get that candle?

Gentlewoman: She always keeps it with her.

Doctor: But her eyes are wide open.

Gentlewoman: Yes but I guarantee you she is asleep. It’s as if she’s asleep.

Doctor: What’s she doing? Rubbing her hands.

Gentlewoman: She always does that, like she’s washing her hands. She does this up to a quarter of an hour.

Lady Macbeth: The spot’s still there?

Doctor: She’s speaking. I’ll write it down so I can remember it.

Lady Macbeth: Out, damned spot! Out! One… Two… Well, it’s time to do it… Hell is murky! No, my lord, no. A soldier & afraid? Why be scared when no one knows it & no one can blame us? Who would’ve thought the old man had so much blood in him?

Doctor: Did you hear all that?

Lady Macbeth: The Thane of Fife had a wife & where is she now? Will these hands never be clean? No more, my lord. You’ll ruin it with all your acting out.

Doctor: I see you heard something you shouldn’t have.

Gentlewoman: She said something she shouldn’t have. God knows what she knows.

Lady Macbeth: I can still smell the blood. All the perfume in the world wouldn’t hide it. Oh! Oh!

Doctor: What a sigh! Her heart is heavy.

Gentlewoman: I wouldn’t want such a heart to be made queen.

Doctor: I can’t do much about this. I’ve known some who walked in their slept & died in their beds innocently.

Lady Macbeth: Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Don’t be so worried. I’m telling you, Banquo’s been buried. He can’t leave his grave.

Doctor: Is that right?

Lady Macbeth: To bed. There’s a knocking at the gate. Unnatural deeds breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds tell their secrets to deaf pillows.

Doctors: She needs religion more than a doctor. God forgive us all… Watch her. Keep her away from anything she can hurt herself with. Don’t let her out of your sight. Good night. She’s definitely got me puzzled. I’ll keep my thoughts to myself.

Gentlewoman: Good night, doctor [BOTH LEAVE]



Menteith: The English army is near, led by Malcolm, his uncle Siward & Macduff. They’re burning for revenge. Their cause will bring bleeding & wake the dead.

Angus: We’ll meet them at Birnam wood. They’re coming by there.

Caithness: Is Donalbain with his brother?

Lennox: I’m sure he’s not. I have a list of all the gentry on the march. There is, however, Siward’s son & many youngsters looking to cut their teeth in battle.

Menteith: What’s the tyrant up to?

Caithness: He’s fortifying Great Dunsinane. Some say he’s gone mad, while others say he’s full of valiant fury. But everyone can say he’s completely lost control.

Angus: He’s starting to feel all his victims’ blood sticking to his hands. Small rebellions have been popping up all over the place. Those he commands only obey out of fear, not out of love. His rule is unraveling.

Menteith: It makes sense that he’s losing his mind since it’s so racked with guilt.

Caithness: We’ll march on in obedience to the one it’s owed. We’ll meet up with Malcolm & purge our country of this sickness.

Lennox: Blood will cover every flower & drown every weed. To Birnam! [ALL LEAVE]

Scene 3 – Dunsinane. A room in the Castle. [ENTER MACBETH, DOCTOR & ATTENDANTS]

Macbeth: I don’t want to hear any more. To hell with all that. I won’t be afraid until Birnam Wood moves on Dunsinane. Malcolm? Was he not born to a woman? The spirits were very clear, “Fear not, Macbeth. No man born of a woman will have power over you.” Piss off, Thanes. Go play with your silly little English wimps. You don’t scare me. [ENTER SERVANT] What’s wrong with you, you coward? You wimpy little goose.

Servant: There are 10000-

Macbeth: Geese?

Servant: Soldiers, sir.

Macbeth: Get some color in your face, boy. You lily-livered thing. What soldiers, you ugly, pale-faced fool?

Servant: The English army, sir.

Macbeth: Get out of my sight! [EXIT SERVANT] Seyton! – I’m sick at heart now. – Seyton! – This battle will either vindicate me or ruin me. I’ve lived long enough anyway. My way of life is falling apart. I don’t have honor, love, obedience or friends to look forward to. Instead, curses behind my back, sycophancy, words said without any meaning behind them… Seyton! [ENTER SEYTON]

Seyton: Yes, sir?

Macbeth: What’s the news?

Seyton: Everything reported has been confirmed.

Macbeth: I’ll fight until they carve up my body. Give me my armor.

Seyton: You don’t need it yet, sir.

Macbeth: I’ll put it on anyway. Send out more horses. Hang anyone who talks of fear. Give me my armor. Doctor, how’s the patient?

Doctor: Not physically sick, sir. Just troubles thoughts keeping her from her sleep.

Macbeth: Can’t you cure her of that? Can’t you treat a diseased mind? Take away some of her memory & cleanse her of her sorrows.

Doctor: That’s something that only the patient can do herself.

Macbeth: Your medicine is useless. I’ll have none of it. Come, put my armor one. Give me my staff. Seyton, send out- Doctor, if you used all my resources & purge her of her disease & make her healthy again? I know you can do it. What drug would purge me of the English? Do you know of one?

Doctor: Yes, sir. I believe I know what you’re talking about…

Macbeth: Bring it to me. I won’t be afraid of death until the forest of Birnam comes to Dunsinane.

Doctor: [ASIDE] If only I were there. This ain’t worth the money he’s paying me. [ALL LEAVE]



Malcolm: Cousins, I hope peaceful times are ahead.

Menteith: No doubt about it.

Siward: What wood is this in front of us?

Menteith: Birnam wood.

Malcolm: Every soldier, break off a branch & hold in front of yourself. That way we can disguise our numbers to the enemy.

Soldiers: Yes, sir.

Siward: We’ve just learned Macbeth is still sitting in Dunsinane & is even allowing us to besiege the castle.

Malcolm: It seems the revolts both help & harm him. But those serving him in the castle are only doing so under duress.

Macduff: Let’s prepare for a fight anyway.

Siward: Time will let us know what we’re in for, so let’s prepare for every eventuality, especially war. [ALL LEAVE MARCHING]

Scene 5 – Dunsinane. Within the Castle [ENTER WITH DRUM & COLORS, MACBETH, SEYTON & SOLDIERS]

Macbeth: Hang up our banners on the castle walls. I hear that they’re still coming. They’re no match for this castle’s strength. Let them sit out there until they starve. If they hadn’t taken my soldiers, I’d have beat them back home. [CRY OF WOMEN WITHIN THE HOUSE] What’s all that noise?

Seyton: The cry of women, sir. [LEAVES]

Macbeth: I’ve forgotten the taste of tears. My senses used to perk up to shrieks & my hair would stand on end. But now I carry on with my dinner. Now these horrors don’t bother me one bit. [SEYTON REENTERS] What was that?

Seyton: Sir, the queen is dead.

Macbeth: She should have died later. There’d have been a time for such a word – Tomorrow. & tomorrow… & tomorrow… All time before has taken fools to their graves. Out, out brief candle. Life is a walking shadow, a bad actor who paces & worries about his time on stage & then is heard no more. It’s a tale told by an idiot full of sound & fury, signifying nothing. [ENTER MESSENGER] You’ve got a tongue. Use it.

Messenger: Sir, I don’t know how to describe what I’ve just seen.

Macbeth: Just say it.

Messenger: I was keeping watch at my post when I saw the woods begin to move at Birnam.

Macbeth: Liar!

Messenger: I’d happily take the punishment if it wasn’t true. But you’ll see it coming from 3 miles away, a moving forest.

Macbeth: If you’re lying, you’ll find yourself swinging from a tree. If you’re telling the truth, it doesn’t matter. I’ll pull myself together to deal with the fiend who’s been playing games with the prophecy of Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane. Arms out, if that’s the way he wants it. I’m not running away or just sitting here. I’m getting tired of this & wish to see this world come undone. Ring the alarm bell. Blow wind. Come on, at least I’ll die with my boots on. [ALL LEAVE]



Malcolm: OK. That’s close enough. You can put down the branches & show yourselves as you are. Uncle, you & your son will lead us into battle. Macduff & I will take care of the rest, according to plan.

Siward: Good luck. If we face the tyrant’s army, let us be beaten if we can’t fight.

Macduff: Sound the trumpets, the harbingers of blood & death! [ALL LEAVE]

Scene 7 – Another part of the plain. Alarms. [ENTER MACBETH]

Macbeth: They’ve got me concerned. I can’t escape but I’ll fight on. No one born to a woman will defeat me. I’m not afraid of them. [ENTER YOUNG SIWARD]

Young Siward: What’s your name?

Macbeth: You’ll be too afraid to hear it said.

Young Siward: No, but it’ll be worse than that of any demon.

Macbeth: Macbeth.

Young Siward: Worse than the devil’s name!

Macbeth: Much more fearful.

Young Siward: Lying tyrant! I’ll prove that with my sword. [THEY FIGHT. YOUNG SIWARD IS KILLED]

Macbeth: You were born of a woman. I smile at swords & weapons held by those born to a woman. [LEAVES] [ALARM] [ENTER MACDUFF]

Macduff: The noise is coming from there. Tyrant, show your face! If you’re killed by someone else, my family’s ghosts will haunt me. I won’t fight those pitiful hired goons of yours. I will only fight you or no one at all. You must be here somewhere. That alarm must be for you. I’ll find you yet. [LEAVES] [ALARM] [ENTER MALCOM & SIWARD]

Siward: This way, sir. The castle’s been taken without much a fight. The tyrant’s men are fighting on both sides. The nobles are fighting well. The day is almost yours. There’s little left to do.

Malcolm: Our enemy seems to be fighting for us.

Siward: Let’s go into the castle. [BOTH LEAVE] [ALARM] [RE-ENTER MACBETH]

Macbeth: Why should I play the Roman fool & fall on my sword. While they live, I’ll fight on. [ENTER MACDUFF]

Macduff: Turn around, you bastard!

Macbeth: You’re the one I’ve been avoiding. I’ve already got enough of your blood on my soul.

Macduff: I have no words. My sword is my voice. You’re worse than any words could say. [THEY FIGHT]

Macbeth: You’re wasting your effort. You’d impress me more by striking me than stabbing at the air. Go fight some vulnerable hacks. My life is charmed & I won’t fall to anyone born of a woman.

Macduff: Forget your charm. Tell those demons of yours that I was ripped out of my mother’s womb early.

Macbeth: Curse your tongue for telling me that. My courage is gone. I don’t believe those things anymore. They’ve been playing games in the promises to me & then they break them. I won’t fight you.

Macduff: Then give yourself up, you coward. We’ll put your head on display with sign saying, “Macbeth, the tyrant.”

Macbeth: I won’t give myself up only to have to kiss the ground Malcolm walks on or be cursed by the public. Though Birnam wood did walk to Dunsinane & I’m fighting a man not born to a woman, I’ll fight to the end. Give me your best, Macduff & damned by the first to say, “Stop!” [THEY LEAVE FIGHTING] [ALARM] [THEY ENTER FIGHTING. MACBETH IS KILLED] [RETREAT IS SOUNDED] [ENTER WITH DRUM & COLORS, MALCOLM SIWARD, ROSS, THANES & SOLDIERS]

Malcolm: I wish all our friends survived.

Siward: Some can’t but by what I’ve seen, it wasn’t many.

Malcolm: Macduff & your son are missing.

Ross: Sir, your son’s paid the soldier’s debt. He only lived until he was able to become a man. As soon as he was able to show that he fought with unshrinking valor. He died a man.

Siward: He’s dead?

Ross: Yes & he’s been brought off the field. Your sorrow shouldn’t be measured by his worth because it’ll never end.

Siward: Did he have wounds on his front side?

Ross: Yes, he did.

Siward: Well, hes God’s soldier now. If I’d had as many sons as I had hairs, I couldn’t wish for a better death for them. That’s all…

Malcolm: He’s worth more, sir. & I will miss him.

Siward: He’s worth no more. They said he died with honor & settled his score. So, God be with him. Here comes some comfort. [ENTER MACDUFF WITH MACBETH’S HEAD]

Macduff: Hail, King of Scotland! For so you are now. Behold the usurper’s head! We are free now! I see you are surrounded by your kingdom’s best & are thinking the same thing. I want them to say it with me: Hail, King of Scotland!

All: Hail, King of Scotland!

Malcolm: I won’t delay too much before showing you all my appreciation. Thanes & kinsmen, you all will be earls, the first ever in Scotland. We have a lot to do in this new time. We need to call our exiled friends home, who’d fled tyranny who’d produced the cruel ministers of the tyrant & his wicked queen, who as I hear, has taken her own life. This & anything else we’re called upon to do by the grace of God, we’ll do at the right time, place & manner. Thanks to each one of you. I invite you all to see me crowned at Scone. [ALL LEAVE]


Author: knowit68

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