A line-by-line translation

Macbeth

Macbeth Translation Act 5, Scene 3

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

MACBETH, a DOCTOR, and attendants enter.

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.

MACBETH

Don’t bring me any more reports. Let all the thanes run from me. Until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane, I’ll be unaffected by fear. What’s the boy Malcolm? Wasn’t he born from a woman? The spirits that know the future have told me this: “Do not fear, Macbeth. No man born from a woman will ever overpower you.” So run, disloyal thanes, and join the soft and self-indulgent English! My mind and heart will never waver with doubt or shake with fear.

A SERVANT enters.

MACBETH

The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!Where got’st thou that goose look?

MACBETH

May the devil turn you black, you pale-faced fool! Why do you look as frightened as a goose?

SERVANT

There is ten thousand—

SERVANT

There are ten thousand—

MACBETH

Geese, villain?

MACBETH

Geese, fool?

SERVANT

Soldiers, sir.

SERVANT

Soldiers, sir.

MACBETH

Go, prick thy face and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-livered boy. What soldiers, patch? Death of thy soul! Those linen cheeks of thine Are counselors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?

MACBETH

Go prick your cheeks so blood will hide their whiteness, you cowardly boy. What soldiers, fool? Damn you! That pale face of yours will influence the others to be afraid as well. What soldiers, milk-face?

SERVANT

The English force, so please you.

SERVANT

The English army, sir.

MACBETH

Take thy face hence.

MACBETH

Get your face out of here.

The SERVANT exits.

MACBETH

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 sere, the yellow leaf, And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have, but, in their stead, Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not. Seyton!

MACBETH

Seyton! I’m sick at heart when I see—Seyton, come here!—This battle will either secure my place forever or knock me from my throne. I have lived long enough. The path of my life now leads me toward withering and death, like a yellowing leaf. And I cannot hope to have those things that should be a part of old age, like honor, love, obedience, and loyal friends. Instead, men curse me, quietly but with profound hate; people honor me with words but not in their hearts. My heart would happily end my life, and yet does not dare to do it. Seyton!

SEYTON enters.

SEYTON

What’s your gracious pleasure?

SEYTON

What do you desire, your Grace?

MACBETH

What news more?

MACBETH

Is there more news?

SEYTON

All is confirmed, my lord, which was reported.

SEYTON

All the rumors have been confirmed, my lord.

MACBETH

I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked.Give me my armor.

MACBETH

I’ll fight until they hack the flesh off my bones. Give me my armor.

SEYTON

‘Tis not needed yet.

SEYTON

It’s 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 armor. How does your patient, doctor?

MACBETH

I’ll put it on anyway. Send out more cavalry. Search the entire country. Hang anyone talking of fear. Give me my armor. 

[To the DOCTOR] How is your patient, doctor?

DOCTOR

Not so sick, my lord, As she is troubled with thick-coming fanciesThat keep her from her rest.

DOCTOR

She is not physically sick, my lord. But she is troubled with constant visions that keep her from sleeping.

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 stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff Which weighs upon the heart?

MACBETH

Cure her of that. Can’t you heal a diseased mind? Remove from her mind the memory of sorrow? Eliminate the troubling thoughts from her brain, and use some sweet medicine to clean her chest of that awful stuff that weighs upon her heart?

DOCTOR

Therein the patientMust minister to himself.

DOCTOR

For that kind of relief, the patient must heal herself.

MACBETH

Throw physic to the dogs; I’ll none of it. Come, put mine armor 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, senna, or what purgative drug, Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of them?

MACBETH

Medicine is for the dogs. I will have nothing to do with it. 

[To SEYTON] Come, put on my armor. Give me my lance. Seyton, send out the soldiers. 

[To the DOCTOR] Doctor, the thanes run from me. 

[To SEYTON] Come on, sir, hurry up. 

[To the DOCTOR] Doctor, if you could please examine my country's urine, diagnose what ails it, and bring my country back to health, I will applaud you so loudly that you will hear it echo back from the end of the world.

[To SEYTON] Pull it off, I tell you. 

[To the DOCTOR] What drug would purge the English from this country? Have you heard of any?

DOCTOR

Ay, my good lord. Your royal preparation Makes us hear something.

DOCTOR

Yes, my good lord. Your war preparations sounds like such a drug.

MACBETH

Bring it after me.I will not be afraid of death and bane,Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.

MACBETH

[To SEYTON] Follow me with the armor. I will not be afraid of death and destruction until Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane.

DOCTOR

(aside) Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,Profit again should hardly draw me here.

DOCTOR

[To himself] If I were only far away and free from Dunsinane, no amount of money could bring me back.

They exit.

Macbeth
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Macbeth Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 672 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,595 quotes covering 672 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.