Act V, 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.

[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.--

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!

[Strikimg him.]


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.