This page contains the original text of Act 5, Scene 5 of Macbeth. Shakespeare’s complete original Macbeth text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one scene per page. All Acts and scenes are listed on the Macbeth text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page.


Act 5, Scene 5. Dunsinane. Within the castle.

Enter MACBETH, SEYTON, and Soldiers, with drum and colours
MACBETH
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,
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.

A cry of women within

What is that noise?

SEYTON
It is the cry of women, my good lord.

Exit

MACBETH
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 slaughterous thoughts
Cannot once start me.

Re-enter SEYTON

Wherefore was that cry?

SEYTON
The queen, my lord, is dead.

MACBETH
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 comest to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.

Messenger
Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do it.

MACBETH
Well, say, sir.

Messenger
As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I look’d toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
The wood began to move.

MACBETH
Liar and slave!

Messenger
Let me endure your wrath, if’t be not so:
Within this three mile may you see it coming;
I say, a moving grove.

MACBETH
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 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.

Exeunt

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Read more scenes from Macbeth:

Macbeth in modern English | Orignal Macbeth text
Modern Macbeth Act 1, Scene 1 | Macbeth text Act 1, Scene 1
Modern Macbeth Act 1, Scene 2 | Macbeth text Act 1, Scene 2
Modern Macbeth Act 1, Scene 3 | Macbeth text Act 1, Scene 3
Modern Macbeth Act 1, Scene 4 | Macbeth text Act 1, Scene 4
Modern Macbeth Act 1, Scene 5 | Macbeth text Act 1, Scene 5
Modern Macbeth Act 1, Scene 6 | Macbeth text Act 1, Scene 6
Modern Macbeth Act 1, Scene 7 | Macbeth text Act 1, Scene 7
|
Modern Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1 | Macbeth text Act 2, Scene 1
Modern Macbeth Act 2, Scene 2 | Macbeth text Act 2, Scene 2
Modern Macbeth Act 2, Scene 3 | Macbeth text Act 2, Scene 3
Modern Macbeth Act 2, Scene 4 | Macbeth text Act 2, Scene 4
|
Modern Macbeth Act 3, Scene 1 | Macbeth text Act 3, Scene 1
Modern Macbeth Act 3, Scene 2 | Macbeth text Act 3, Scene 2
Modern Macbeth Act 3, Scene 3 | Macbeth text Act 3, Scene 3
Modern Macbeth Act 3, Scene 4 | Macbeth text Act 3, Scene 4
Modern Macbeth Act 3, Scene 5 | Macbeth text Act 3, Scene 5
Modern Macbeth Act 3, Scene 6 | Macbeth text Act 3, Scene 6
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Modern Macbeth Act 4, Scene 1 | Macbeth text Act 4, Scene 1
Modern Macbeth Act 4, Scene 2 | Macbeth text Act 4, Scene 2
Modern Macbeth Act 4, Scene 3 | Macbeth text Act 4, Scene 3
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Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 1 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 1
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 2 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 2
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 3 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 3
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 4 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 4
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 5
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 6 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 6
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 7 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 7
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 8 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 8
Modern Macbeth Act 5, Scene 9 | Macbeth text Act 5, Scene 9

 

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