by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter MACBETH, SEYTON, and SOLDIERS, with drum and colors
MACBETH, SEYTON, and SOLDIERS enter with a drummer and flag.
Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
The cry is still “They come!” Our castle’s strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn. Here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up.
5Were they not forced with those that should be ours,
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.
Hang our flags on the outer walls. Everyone keeps yelling, “Here they come!” Our castle is strong enough to laugh off their seige. They can sit out there until they die of hunger and disease. If it weren’t for the fact that so many of our soldiers revolted and joined them, we could have met them out in front of the castle, man to man, and beaten them back to England.
A cry within of women
A sound of women crying offstage.
     What is that noise?
What’s that noise?
It is the cry of women, my good lord.
It’s women crying, my good lord.
SEYTON exits.
I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
10The time has been my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in ’t. I have supped full with horrors.
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts
15Cannot once start me.
I’ve almost forgotten what fear feels like. There was a time when I would have been terrified by a shriek in the night, and the hair on my skin would have stood up when I heard a ghost story. But now I’ve had my fill of real horrors. Horrible things are so familiar that they can’t startle me.
SEYTON comes back in.
Wherefore was that cry?
What was that cry for?
The queen, my lord, is dead.
The queen is dead, my lord.