[Before the Macbeth castle. Trumpets sound as the two armies clash. Enter Macbeth]
They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
But, bear-like, I must fight the course. What's he
That was not born of woman? Such a one
[Enter Young Siward]
Thou'lt be afraid to hear it.
No, though thou call'st thyself a hotter name
The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear.
Thou liest, abhorred tyrant. With my sword
I'll prove the lie thou speak'st.
[They fight and young Siward is slain]
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandished by man that's of a woman born.
[Macbeth exits. Trumpets sound a call to arms. Macduff enters and hears fighting in the distance]
That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face.
If thou be'st slain and with no stroke of mine,
My wife and children's ghosts will haunt me still.
I cannot strike at wretched kerns whose arms
Are hired to bear their staves. Either thou, Macbeth,
Or else my sword, with an unbattered edge,
I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;
By this great clatter, one of greatest note
Seems bruited. Let me find him, fortune,
[Exit Macduff. Trumpets sound. Malcolm and Siward enter.]
This way, my lord; the castle's gently rendered.
The tyrant's people on both sides do fight;
The noble thanes do bravely in the war;
The day almost itself professes yours;
[Malcolm and Siward exit. More trumpets. Macbeth enters.]
Why should I play the Roman fool and die
On mine own sword whiles I see lives. The gashes
Of all men else I have avoided thee.
But get thee back; my soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out.
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life which must not yield
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee — Macduff was from his mother's womb
Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cowed my better part of man;
And be these juggling fiends no more believed
That palter with us in a double sense,
That keep the word of promise to our ear
And break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee.
And live to be the show and gaze o' the time.
We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted on a pole and underwrit,
'Here may you see the tyrant.'
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,
And to be baited with the rabble's curse.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
And thou, opposed, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try thetry the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damned be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough.'
[Macbeth and Macduff exit, fighting. Trumpets sound the signal for retreat. Malcolm, Siward, Ross, and other thanes enter to the sound of a military band, surrounded by their banners]
I would the friends we miss were safe arrived.
Some must go off; and yet, by these I see:
So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt.
He only lived but till he was a man,
The which no sooner had his prowess confirmed
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
Ay, and brought off the field. Your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
Why then, God's soldier be he.
Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
I would not wish them to a fairer death.
And so, his knell is knolled.
And that I'll spend for him.
They say he parted well, and paid his score;
And so, God be with him. – Here comes newer comfort.
[Re-enter Macduff with Macbeth's head]
Hail, king, for so thou art. Behold where stands
The usurper's cursed head; the time is free.
I see thee compassed with thy kingdom's pearl,
That speak my salutation in their minds,
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine —
We shall not spend a large expense of time
Before we reckon with your several loves,
And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen,
Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
In such an honor named. What's more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time —
As calling home our exiled friends abroad
That fled the snares of watchful tyranny;
Producing forth the cruel ministers
Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen,
Who, as 'tis thought, by self and violent hands
Took off her life — this and what needful else
That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace,
We will perform in measure, time and place.
So, thanks to all at once and to each one,
Whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone.
[Trumpets. All exit.]