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Act 5, Scene 2 | The Tragedy of MacBeth | William Shakespeare | Lit2Go ETC

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The Tragedy of MacBeth

by William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 2

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1607
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Source: Richard Grant White, ed. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (New York: Sully and Kleinteich)
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 11.0
  • Word Count: 278
  • Genre: Tragedy
  • Keywords: betrayal, envy, murder, power, revenge, tragedy
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SCENE. The country near Dunsinane.

(Drum and colours. Enter MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, and Soldiers)

MENTEITH
The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
His uncle Siward and the good Macduff:
Revenges burn in them; for their dear causes
Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
Excite the mortified man.

ANGUS
Near Birnam wood
Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.

CAITHNESS
Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?

LENNOX
For certain, sir, he is not: I have a file
Of all the gentry: there is Siward's son,
And many unrough youths that even now
Protest their first of manhood.

MENTEITH
What does the tyrant?

CAITHNESS
Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies:
Some say he's mad; others that lesser hate him
Do call it valiant fury: but, for certain,
He cannot buckle his distemper'd cause
Within the belt of rule.

ANGUS
Now does he feel
His secret murders sticking on his hands;
Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach;
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love: now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.

MENTEITH
Who then shall blame
His pester'd senses to recoil and start,
When all that is within him does condemn
Itself for being there?

CAITHNESS
Well, march we on,
To give obedience where 'tis truly owed:
Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal,
And with him pour we in our country's purge
Each drop of us.

LENNOX
Or so much as it needs,
To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
Make we our march towards Birnam.

(Exeunt, marching)