E2BN Gallery

home register and login search teachers' pages help
E2BN Gallery
Asset 1 of 1 Previous Asset [ 1 ] Next Asset   [Slideshow]

Act 5 Scene 5


640 x 459
953 x 683

Unique Id:


This item is saved in one of your albums. Click to remove it.. My Albums

SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the castle. (Photograph shows entrance to the dungeon at Glamis Castle).
Enter MACBETH, SEYTON, and Soldiers, with drum and colours
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 ours, (note 32)
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 (note 33)
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.

Re-enter SEYTON
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. (note 34)
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 comest 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; (note 35)
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, (notes 36, 37)
I care not if thou dost for me as much.
I pull in resolution, and begin (note 38)
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. (note 39)


(32) Forc'd. ' Reinforced;' 'provided with forces.' One of those vigorous words framed by Shakespeare, of which his emendators would deprive us by proposing various substitutions.
(33) Fell. The portion of the skin which produces hair. A dealer in hides is called a fell-monger.
(34) A word. Here used for 'a sentence.' "Nothing could have served more fully to show the utter frustration and despairing apathy of Macbeth's mind after all his miserably fulfilled ambition, than the manner In which he receives the tidings of his wife's death. His first few words have almost the dullness of insensibility upon them; and he follows them up with a gloomy acquiescence in the universal poorness and nothingness of all things that belongs to the utterly disappointed man. No more pregnant lesson upon the worthlessness of fruition in unholy desires was ever penned than Shakespeare's "Macbeth."
(35) Within this three mile. A familiar colloquial idiom, something similar to the one pointed out in Note 77, Act III., "Henry VIII." It is an ellipsis for 'within this space of three miles,' 'within this distance of three miles.'
(36) Cling. A North country word, signifying 'shrivel,' 'shrink,' 'wither,' 'dry up.'
(37) Sooth. 'Truth.' See Note 12, Act I.
(38) Pull in. Here used in the sense of 'draw back,' 'rein in.'
(39) Harness. 'Armour.'

21st Jun 2005


Key Stages:
Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

E2B® and E2BN® are registered trade marks and trading names of East of England Broadband Network (Company Registration No. 04649057) | Terms and Conditions