Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Act 5 Scene 8

page Act 5 Scene 8 Page 1

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter MACBETH
MACBETH enters.

MACBETH

Why should I play the Roman fool and die
On mine own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashes
Do better upon them.

MACBETH

Why should I commit suicide like one of the ancient Romans? As long as I see enemies of mine alive, I would rather see my sword wound them than me.
Enter MACDUFF
MACDUFF enters.

MACDUFF

     Turn, hellhound, turn!

MACDUFF

Turn around, you dog from hell, turn around!

MACBETH

Of all men else I have avoided thee.
5But get thee back. My soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.

MACBETH

You are the only man I have avoided. But go away now. I’m already guilty of killing your whole family.

MACDUFF

     I have no words.
My voice is in my sword. Thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out!

MACDUFF

I have nothing to say to you. My sword will talk for me. You are too evil for words!
They fight
They fight.

MACBETH

     Thou losest labor.
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
10With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmèd life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.

MACBETH

You’re wasting your time trying to wound me. You might as well try to stab the air with your sword. Go fight someone who can be harmed. I lead a charmed life, which can’t be ended by anyone born from a woman.

MACDUFF

     Despair thy charm,
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
15Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripped.

MACDUFF

You can forget about your charm. The evil spirit you serve can tell you that I was not born. They cut me out of my mother’s womb before she could bear me naturally.