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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Macbeth Act 5, Scene 1



Dunsinane. Ante-room in the castle

Enter a DOCTOR of physic and a waiting-GENTLEWOMAN

Enter a DOCTOR of physic and a waiting-GENTLEWOMAN

DOCTOR

I have two nights watched with you but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?

 

DOCTOR

I have two nights watched with you but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Since his majesty went into the field (the field of battle), I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon ’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon ’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.

 

DOCTOR

A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of watching (perform the acts of waking hours). In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say?

 

DOCTOR

A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching. In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say?

 

GENTLEWOMAN

That, sir, which I will not report after her.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

That, sir, which I will not report after her.

 

DOCTOR

You may to me, and ’tis most meet you should.

meet=appropriate

 

DOCTOR

You may to me, and ’tis most meet you should.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Neither to you nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Neither to you nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech.

 

Enter LADY MACBETH with a taper

Enter LADY MACBETH with a taper

Lo you, here she comes. This is her very guise and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her, stand close (closed, out of sight).

 

Lo you, here she comes. This is her very guise; and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her, stand close.

 

DOCTOR

How came she by that light?

 

DOCTOR

How came she by that light?

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Why, it stood by her. She has light by her continually. 'Tis her command.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Why, it stood by her. She has light by her continually. 'Tis her command.

 

DOCTOR

You see her eyes are open.

 

DOCTOR

You see her eyes are open.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Ay, but their sense is shut.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Ay, but their sense is shut.

 

DOCTOR

What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands.

 

DOCTOR

What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

It is an accustomed action with her to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

It is an accustomed action with her to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.

 

LADY MACBETH

Yet here’s a spot.

 

LADY MACBETH

Yet here’s a spot.

 

DOCTOR

Hark! She speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.

 

DOCTOR

Hark! She speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.

 

LADY MACBETH

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.

 

LADY MACBETH

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.

 

DOCTOR

Do you mark that?

 

DOCTOR

Do you mark that?

 

LADY MACBETH

The thane of Fife (Macduff) had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will these hands ne'er be clean?—No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that. You mar all with this starting (acting startled).

 

LADY MACBETH

The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will these hands ne'er be clean?—No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that. You mar all with this starting.

 

DOCTOR

Go to, go to (for shame). You have known what you should not.

 

DOCTOR

Go to, go to. You have known what you should not.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has known.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has known.

 

LADY MACBETH

Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!

 

LADY MACBETH

Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!

 

DOCTOR

What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.

 

DOCTOR

What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity (high rank, i.e., being queen) of the whole body.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body.

 

DOCTOR

Well, well, well.

 

DOCTOR

Well, well, well.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Pray God it be, sir.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Pray God it be, sir.

 

DOCTOR

This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds.

 

DOCTOR

This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds.

 

LADY MACBETH

Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on ’s (of his) grave.

 

LADY MACBETH

Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on ’s grave.

 

DOCTOR

Even so?

(Macbeth even killed Banquo?)

 

DOCTOR

Even so?

 

LADY MACBETH

To bed, to bed. There’s knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!

 

LADY MACBETH

To bed, to bed. There’s knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!

 

Exit

Exit

DOCTOR

Will she go now to bed?

 

DOCTOR

Will she go now to bed?

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Directly.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

Directly.

 

DOCTOR

Foul whisp'rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds

Do breed unnatural troubles (such as sleepwalking). Infected minds

To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.

More needs she the divine than the physician.

God, God forgive us all! Look after her,

Remove from her the means of all annoyance,

means of annoyance=means of self-injury

And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night.

still=always

My mind she has mated and amazed my sight.

mated=stupefied, as in checkmated

I think but dare not speak.

 

DOCTOR

Foul whisp'rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds

Do breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds

To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.

More needs she the divine than the physician.

God, God forgive us all! Look after her,

Remove from her the means of all annoyance,

And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night.

My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.

I think, but dare not speak.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

     Good night, good doctor.

 

GENTLEWOMAN

     Good night, good doctor.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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