Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Drum and colors. Enter MALCOLM, SIWARD, MACDUFF, Siward’s SON, MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, ROSS, and SOLDIERS, marching
MALCOLM, old SIWARD and his SON, MACDUFF, MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, ROSS, and SOLDIERS enter marching, with a drummer and flag.

MALCOLM

Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
That chambers will be safe.

MALCOLM

Kinsmen, I hope the time is coming when people will be safe in their own bedrooms.

MENTEITH

     We doubt it nothing.

MENTEITH

We don’t doubt it.

SIWARD

What wood is this before us?

SIWARD

What’s the name of this forest behind us?

MENTEITH

     The wood of Birnam.

MENTEITH

Birnam Wood.

MALCOLM

Let every soldier hew him down a bough
5And bear ’t before him. Thereby shall we shadow
The numbers of our host and make discovery
Err in report of us.

MALCOLM

Tell every soldier to break off a branch and hold it in front of him. That way we can conceal how many of us there are, and Macbeth’s spies will give him inaccurate reports.

SOLDIERS

     It shall be done.

SOLDIERS

We’ll do it.

SIWARD

We learn no other but the confident tyrant
Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure
10Our setting down before ’t.

SIWARD

We have no news except that the overconfident Macbeth is still in Dunsinane and will allow us to lay siege to the castle.

MALCOLM

     'Tis his main hope:
For, where there is advantage to be given,
Both more and less have given him the revolt,
And none serve with him but constrainèd things
Whose hearts are absent too.

MALCOLM

He wants us to lay siege. Wherever his soldiers have an opportunity to leave him, they do, whatever rank they are. No one fights with him except men who are forced to, and their hearts aren’t in it.

MACDUFF

     Let our just censures
15Attend the true event, and put we on
Industrious soldiership.

MACDUFF

We shouldn’t make any judgments until we achieve our goal. Let’s go fight like hardworking soldiers.