Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > Macbeth
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act V
Scene II
[The country near Dunsinane]
Drum and colours. Enter MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, and Soldiers

  Ment.  The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.
Revenges burn in them; for their dear 1 causes
Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm        4
Excite the mortified man. 2
  Ang.        Near Birnam wood
Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.
  Caith.  Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?        8
  Len.  For certain, sir, he is not; I have a file 3
Of all the gentry. There is Siward’s son,
And many unrough 4 youths that even now
Protest 5 their first of manhood.        12
  Ment.        What does the tyrant?
  Caith.  Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
Some say he’s mad, others that lesser hate him
Do call it valiant fury; but, for certain,        16
He cannot buckle his distemper’d cause 6
Within the belt of rule.
  Ang.        Now does he feel
His secret murders sticking on his hands;        20
Now minutely 7 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        24
Upon a dwarfish thief.
  Ment.        Who then shall blame
His pester’d 8 senses to recoil and start,
When all that is within him does condemn        28
Itself for being there?
  Caith.        Well, march we on
To give obedience where ’tis truly ow’d.
Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal,        32
And with him pour we in our country’s purge
Each drop of us.
  Len.        Or so much as it needs
To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.        36
Make we our march towards Birnam.  Exeunt, marching.
Note 1. Intimately felt. [back]
Note 2. Hermit (?). Dead man (?). [back]
Note 3. List. [back]
Note 4. Beardless. [back]
Note 5. Declare. [back]
Note 6. Cause of his mad behavior. [back]
Note 7. Occurring every minute. [back]
Note 8. Perturbed. [back]


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