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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 4 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Macbeth Act 5, Scene 4



Country near Birnam Wood

Drum and colors. Enter MALCOLM, SIWARD,
MACDUFF, Siward’s SON, MENTEITH,
CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, 
ROSS, and SOLDIERS, marching

Drum and colors. Enter MALCOLM, SIWARD,
MACDUFF, Siward’s SON, MENTEITH,
CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, 
ROSS, and SOLDIERS, marching

MALCOLM

Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand

That chambers will be safe.

chambers=bedrooms, such as Duncan’s

 

MALCOLM

Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand

That chambers will be safe.

 

MENTEITH

     We doubt it nothing.

nothing=not at all

 

MENTEITH

     We doubt it nothing.

 

SIWARD

What wood is this before us?

 

SIWARD

What wood is this before us?

 

MENTEITH

     The wood of Birnam.

 

MENTEITH

     The wood of Birnam.

 

MALCOLM

Let every soldier hew him down a bough

And bear ’t before him. Thereby shall we shadow

shadow=camouflage

The numbers of our host and make discovery

host=forces

discovery=what the enemy spies discover about us

Err in report of us.

 

MALCOLM

Let every soldier hew him down a bough

And bear ’t before him. Thereby shall we shadow

The numbers of our host and make discovery

Err in report of us.

 

SOLDIERS

     It shall be done.

 

SOLDIERS

     It shall be done.

 

SIWARD

We learn no other but the confident tyrant

Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure

Our setting down before ’t.

our setting down before ‘t=our laying siege to it

 

SIWARD

We learn no other but the confident tyrant

Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure

Our setting down before ’t.

 

MALCOLM

     'Tis his main hope:

For, where there is advantage to be given,

Both more and less have given him the revolt,

(both nobility and commoners have rebelled against him)

And none serve with him but constrainèd things

constrained things=men with no will of their own

Whose hearts are absent, too.

are absent=have deserted

too=hearts as well as will

 

MALCOLM

     'Tis his main hope:

For, where there is advantage to be given,

Both more and less have given him the revolt,

And none serve with him but constrainèd things

Whose hearts are absent too.

 

MACDUFF

     Let our just censures

Attend the true event, and put we on

attend the event=await the actual outcome

Industrious soldiership.

 

MACDUFF

     Let our just censures

Attend the true event, and put we on

Industrious soldiership.

 

SIWARD

     The time approaches

That will with due decision make us know

What we shall say we have and what we owe.

(what we claim to have as distinguished from what we actually have)

Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,

(the uncertainty of their hopes reveals)

But certain issue strokes must arbitrate.

(whereas the certainty of blows must win the day)

Towards which, advance the war.

 

SIWARD

     The time approaches

That will with due decision make us know

What we shall say we have and what we owe.

Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,

But certain issue strokes must arbitrate.

Towards which, advance the war.

 

Exeunt, marching

Exeunt, marching

 

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