Dunsinane. A room in the castle.
Enter MACBETH, Doctor, and Attendants
MACBETH
Bring me no more reports; let them fly all:
Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane,
I cannot taint with fear. What's the boy Malcolm?
Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:
'Fear not, Macbeth; no man that's born of woman
Shall e'er have power upon thee.' Then fly,
false thanes,
And mingle with the English epicures:
The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
Enter a Servant
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
Where got'st thou that goose look?
Servant
There is ten thousand--
MACBETH
Geese, villain!
Servant
Soldiers, sir.
MACBETH
Go prick thy face, and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-liver'd boy. What soldiers, patch?
Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine
Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?
Servant
The English force, so please you.
MACBETH
Take thy face hence.
Exit Servant
Seyton!--I am sick at heart,
When I behold--Seyton, I say!--This push
Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not. Seyton!
Enter SEYTON
SEYTON
What is your gracious pleasure?
MACBETH
What news more?
SEYTON
All is confirm'd, my lord, which was reported.
MACBETH
I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack'd.
Give me my armour.
SEYTON
'Tis not needed yet.
MACBETH
I'll put it on.
Send out more horses; skirr the country round;
Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine armour.
How does your patient, doctor?
Doctor
Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick coming fancies,
That keep her from her rest.
MACBETH
Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
Doctor
Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
MACBETH
Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it.
Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff.
Seyton, send out. Doctor, the thanes fly from me.
Come, sir, dispatch. If thou couldst, doctor, cast
The water of my land, find her disease,
And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
I would applaud thee to the very echo,
That should applaud again.--Pull't off, I say.--
What rhubarb, cyme, or what purgative drug,
Would scour these English hence? Hear'st thou of them?
Doctor
Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
Makes us hear something.
MACBETH
Bring it after me.
I will not be afraid of death and bane,
Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.
Doctor
[Aside] Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
Profit again should hardly draw me here.
Exeunt

Macbeth was now enraged and embittered.

 

“Bring me no more reports!” he screamed at his court. “Let them run. Not until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane will I have anything to fear. This boy, this Malcolm, wasn't he born of woman? The spirits that know all mortals’ destiny have promised me this: Fear not, Macbeth, for no man born of woman will ever dominate you. So run, false thanes, and mingle with the dainty English. The mind I abide by and the heart I bear shall never sag with doubt or shake with fear.”

 

Just then a servant entered the chamber hurriedly. Macbeth knew the man had news but he didn't want to hear it.

 

“May the Devil damn you black, you milk-faced lad! Where did you find that goose look?”

 

“There are ten thousand-”

 

“Geese, imbecile?” Macbeth agrrsively interrupted.

 

“Soldiers, sir.”

 

“Go pinch your cheeks to get some colour in them, you white-livered boy! What soldiers, fool? Is your soul dead! Your linen cheeks are contagious! What soldiers, whey-face?”

 

“The English Army, sir.”

 

“Get out of my sight!”

 

Enraged Macbeth began calling for his lieutenant.

 

“Seton! I'm sick to the stomach of what I'm seeing... Seton! This push will secure my future or it will unthrone me. I have lived long enough. My road has reached its autumn. That which should accompany old age, honour, love, obedience and many friends, will not be had by me. Instead I will have curses, maybe not uttered but deeply felt. Compliments are traded even when the heart denies them. Seton!”

 

At last Seton arrived in the chamber.

 

“What is your pleasure?”

 

“Any more news?”

 

“Everything that has been reported has been confirmed.”

 

“I'll fight till my bones are hacked of their flesh! Give me my armour.”

 

“It isn't needed yet.”

 

“I'll put it on. Send out more scouts, comb the country. Hang those who talk of fear. Give me my armour.”

 

As the attendants were fixing the various pieces of Macbeth's armour, the doctor treating Lady Macbeth entered the chamber.

 

“How is your patient, doctor?”

 

“Not so sick, my lord, as she is troubled by a stream of hallucinations which plague her sleep.”

 

“Cure her of that. Can you not treat a troubled mind? Pluck from memory a rooted sorrow? Erase the trouble written in her brain? And with some sweet painless drug remove the strife that lingers in her breast and weighs heavy on her heart?”

 

“In this case the patient alone can help herself.”

 

“Throw medicine to the dogs! I'll have none of it! Seton, come, sort my armour. Give me my lance. Get more information. Doctor, the thanes fly from me. Come on, Seton, hurry up! If only, doctor, you could examine the state of this nation. Isolate the sickness and purge it until her health was sound and pristine. I would applaud you to the very echo of the skies, and again and again. Ah, Seton, pull of that bit! Doctor, what rhubarb, senna or any drug would rid us of the English? Have you heard of them?”

 

“Yes, my good lord. Your military preparations bring them to our attention.”

 

“Come after me, Seton. I won't be afraid of death and destruction until Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane!”

 

The doctor stood alone now as Macbeth and Seton went to the battlefield, followed by the attendants. Standing there he contemplated his fate: “If I was far away from Dunsinane, great riches couldn’t tempt me back.”