Read Macbeth’s Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow soliloquy below with modern English translation & analysis

Spoken by Macbeth, Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
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.

“Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow” Soliloquy Translation:
How the days stretched out – each one the same as the one before, and they would continue to do so, tediously, until the end of history. And every day we have lived has been the last day of some other fool’s life, each day a dot of candle-light showing him the way to his death-bed. Blow the short candle out: life was no more than a walking shadow – a poor actor – who goes through all the emotions in one hour on the stage and then bows out. It was a story told by an idiot, full of noise and passion, but meaningless.


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  1. Adam
    Adam says:

    Thank you for your contribution. I’d phrase the last bit more like this: “life ‘is’ just an illusion, a bad actor that nervously goes thorugh his/her lines and fades into the background, it’s a story, told by an idiot, full of emotion, but utterly meaningless.”

    Only substantive change to your text is using the present tense “is”, as McB is talking about the concept (the meaning iof life, etc.) and not a noun (Lady McB’s life).

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