William Shakespeare: Macbeth

5. 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.]

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