Another part of the field.
Alarums. Enter MACBETH
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
Am I to fear, or none.
Enter YOUNG SIWARD
YOUNG SIWARD
What is thy name?
MACBETH
Thou'lt be afraid to hear it.
YOUNG SIWARD
No; though thou call'st thyself a hotter name
Than any is in hell.
MACBETH
My name's Macbeth.
YOUNG SIWARD
The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear.
MACBETH
No, nor more fearful.
YOUNG SIWARD
Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my sword
I'll prove the lie thou speak'st.
They fight and YOUNG SIWARD is slain
MACBETH
Thou wast born of woman
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandish'd by man that's of a woman born.
Exit
Alarums. Enter MACDUFF
MACDUFF
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 unbatter'd edge
I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;
By this great clatter, one of greatest note
Seems bruited. Let me find him, fortune!
And more I beg not.
Exit. Alarums
Enter MALCOLM and SIWARD
SIWARD
This way, my lord; the castle's gently render'd:
The tyrant's people on both sides do fight;
The noble thanes do bravely in the war;
The day almost itself professes yours,
And little is to do.
MALCOLM
We have met with foes
That strike beside us.
SIWARD
Enter, sir, the castle.
Exeunt. Alarums
Another part of the field.
Enter MACBETH
MACBETH
Why should I play the Roman fool, and die
On mine own sword? whiles I see lives, the gashes
Do better upon them.
Enter MACDUFF
MACDUFF
Turn, hell-hound, turn!
MACBETH
Of all men else I have avoided thee:
But get thee back; my soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.
MACDUFF
I have no words:
My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out!
They fight
MACBETH
Thou losest labour:
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,
To one of woman born.
MACDUFF
Despair thy charm;
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripp'd.
MACBETH
Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow'd 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.
MACDUFF
Then yield thee, coward,
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.'
MACBETH
I will not yield,
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 the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'
Exeunt, fighting. Alarums
Retreat. Flourish. Enter, with drum and colours, MALCOLM, SIWARD, ROSS, the other Thanes, and Soldiers
MALCOLM
I would the friends we miss were safe arrived.
SIWARD
Some must go off: and yet, by these I see,
So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
MALCOLM
Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
ROSS
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 confirm'd
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.
SIWARD
Then he is dead?
ROSS
Ay, and brought off the field: your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.
SIWARD
Had he his hurts before?
ROSS
Ay, on the front.
SIWARD
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 knoll'd.
MALCOLM
He's worth more sorrow,
And that I'll spend for him.
SIWARD
He's worth no more
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
MACDUFF
Hail, king! for so thou art: behold, where stands
The usurper's cursed head: the time is free:
I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl,
That speak my salutation in their minds;
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine:
Hail, King of Scotland!
ALL
Hail, King of Scotland!
Flourish
MALCOLM
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 honour 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 crown'd at Scone.
Flourish. Exeunt

In the battle Macbeth knew everything was lost.

 

“They've tied me to a stake. I cannot escape. Like a bear I must fight the course. Who is he who wasn't born of woman? Such a man I am to fear - if he exists.”

 

A soldier approached Macbeth, A young man from the camp of the enemy. It was young Siward.

 

“What is your name?” asked Siward.

 

“You'll be afraid to hear it.”

 

“No, not even if the name you call yourself is more hellish than any in hell.”

 

“My name is Macbeth.”

 

“The devil himself could not pronounce a name more hateful to my ear.”

 

“No, nor more terrifying!”

 

“You lie, you despised tyrant. With my sword I'll prove you are a liar.”

 

Macbeth leapt at the youngster. Siward's battle skills were far short of his enthusiasm and quickly Macbeth had defeated the inexperienced soldier.

 

“You were born of woman!” Macbeth said to the corpse. “Swords I smile at, and weapons I laugh at when they are brandished by a man born of a woman.”

 

Nearby in the field, Macduff heard the gloating and ranting of Macbeth.

 

“The noise was from over there!” Macduff told himself. “Tyrant, show your face. If you are slain and the stroke didn't come from me, the ghosts of my wife and children will haunt me forever. I don't want to fight wretched mercenaries, who only bear arms if the price is right.

Either it's you Macbeth, or my sword returns to its sheath unused. Let me find him! Fortune, I ask nothing else!”

 

Malcolm and the elder Siward were at another part of the battle swapping information on how things were going.

 

“This way, my lord” said Siward to Malcolm, “the castle has surrendered with barely a struggle. The tyrant's people fight on both sides. Your noble thanes fight bravely. The day is almost yours. There is little left to do.”

 

“Yes, we have encountered many who have switched sides,” Malcom said.

 

“Enter the castle, sir,” Siward said.

 

As Malcolm and Siward entered Dunsinane, Macduff still roamed the battlefield looking for Macbeth. In the confusion neither of them realised how close to each other they were.

 

“Why should I play the Roman fool and fall on my own sword? I see living men who suit my sword strikes better!” Macbeth asked himself aloud. But it was too loud. Macduff was barely a yard away.

 

“Turn, hellhound, turn!” Macduff yelled.

 

“Of all men, I've avoided you! Get back, there's enough of your blood staining my soul.”

 

“I have no words! My voice is my sword. You're a bloodier villain than words can say.”

 

Their swords clashed. They paced around each other knowing it would be a fight to the death.

 

“Your cause is lost! It would be easy to draw blood from the air than to make me bleed. Let your blade fall on vulnerable heads. I bear a charmed life, which will not yield to one born of a woman.”

 

“Forget your charm! Let your devil leader tell you this: Macduff had to be taken from his mother's womb just as her time on this earth was up!”

 

“Curses to the tongue that tells me this. It has cowed the better part of my spirit! Those devils who juggle words! Layer them with multiple meanings! Liars! They whispered promises in my ear and withdrew them when I wanted them. I will not fight you.”

 

“Then surrender to me, coward! And live to be exhibited and gazed at, as rare monsters are. Here you can see the tyrant!”

 

“I won't surrender, to kiss the ground beneath young Malcolm's feet and to be subjected to the jeering rabble. Even if Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane and you, my opponent, were not literally born of woman, I will fight to the last. I throw my warlike shield before my body. Fight on, Macduff. Damned be the first who cries, Hold it, enough.”

 

As Macbeth and Macduff were fighting to the death, Malcolm, Ross and the elder Siward had gathered the thanes and soldiers at the castle. They collated lists of causalities.

 

“I hope those who are still missing get here safely”, said Malcolm.

 

“Some must die”, said Siward, “but from this I see a great day comes cheap.”

 

“Macduff is missing, as is and your noble son,” Malcolm said.

 

Lord Ross sighed. “Your son, my lord, has died like a soldier. He only lived to reach manhood. He had no sooner proved his prowess in battle than he died in a manly way.”

 

“Then he is dead?” asked the numbed elder Siward.

 

“Yes, and brought off the field. Your sorrow must not be measured by his worth, for then it would have no end.”

 

“Were the wounds in his stomach?” Siward asked Ross.

 

“Yes, in front.”

 

“Well, then, let him be God's soldier. Had I as many sons as I have hairs I wouldn't wish him a fairer death. His bell has tolled.”

 

“He's worth more sorrow. I'll grieve for him!” Malcolm said.

 

“He's worth no more than any other. They say he died well and paid his score. And so God be with him.”

 

From the corner of his eye Siward then saw Macduff approaching them: “Here comes newer comfort!”

 

The party turned to see Macduff bearing the head of Macbeth impaled on his sword. Macduff stopped in front of Malcolm.

 

“Hail, King! For so you are. Behold the usurper's cursed head! The country has been freed! I see you surrounded by the noblest men in your kingdom. In their heads they speak my salutation, which I ask them to join me in crying aloud: Hail, King of Scotland!”

 

“Hail! King of Scotland!” the thanes said together.

 

“We shall not waste time before we express our gratitude to you all. My thanes and kinsmen, henceforth you shall be earls, the first in Scotland ever to have such an honour. There is so much to do now in these new times. We must call home our exiled friends who fled the tyranny. We must dispense justice to the ministers of the dead butcher and his fiendish wife, who it is thought took her own life. This and any other measure needed will be taken at the rightful time and place. So thanks to you all, and to each of you I invite you to see me crowned at Scone.”