Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 3
Enter MACBETH, Doctor, and Attendants.
1. let them fly all: let all [my thanes] desert [me]. Someone has just given Macbeth another of many reports that thanes of his have joined the forces marching against him. 3. taint: be infected with. the boy Malcolm: How old was Malcolm? 5. mortal consequences: the destinies of mortals. have pronounced me thus: i.e., have given me the following prophecy.
1Bring me no more reports; let them fly all.
2Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane,
3I cannot taint with fear. What's the boy Malcolm?
4Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
5All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:
6"Fear not, Macbeth; no man that's born of woman
7Shall e'er have power upon thee." Then fly, false thanes,
8. epicures: lovers of luxury. Thus Macbeth scornfully accuses those who hate and fear him of being soft. 9. The mind I sway by: the mind which rules my actions. Macbeth uses the word "mind" in the sense of "determination," as in the phrase "my mind is made up."
8And mingle with the English epicures!
9The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
10Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
11. loon: worthless, ignorant boy.
11The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
12Where got'st thou that goose look?
13There is ten thousand
14. over-red: redden over. Macbeth scornfully tells the boy to "prick" his face in order to make blood come and cover his fear. 15. lily-liver'd: cowardly. The liver was thought to be the seat of passions, and a liver which is bloodless, white as a lily, is the liver of a coward. patch: fool. 16. linen: i.e., white, bloodless. 17. Are counsellors to fear: i.e., will teach others to be afraid.
14Go prick thy face, and over-red thy fear,
15Thou lily-liver'd boy. What soldiers, patch?
16Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine
17Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?
18The English force, so please you.
19Take thy face hence.
19-20. I am ... behold: Macbeth doesn't finish the thought, but perhaps he fears that the servant boy's fear has begun to infect him. 20. This push: i.e., the coming battle. 21. disseat: unseat, remove from the throne. 22. way: course.
Seyton!I am sick at heart,
20When I beholdSeyton, I say!This push
21Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
22I have liv'd long enough: my way of life
23. sear: dry, withered.
23Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
24And that which should accompany old age,
25. As: such as.
25As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
26I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
27Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
28. Which the poor heart would fain deny: i.e., which the miserable hearts of Macbeth's unwilling followers would very much like to withhold.
28Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
|Gilded Greenwich harness of King Henry VIII|
Wikipedia: Greenwich armour
30What is your gracious pleasure?
What news more?
31All is confirm'd, my lord, which was reported.
32I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack'd.
33Give me my armour.
'Tis not needed yet.
34I'll put it on.
35. moe: more. skirr: scour.
35Send out moe horses; skirr the country round;
36Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine armour.
37How does your patient, doctor?
Not so sick, my lord,
38. fancies: imaginings, images.
38As she is troubled with thick coming fancies,
39That keep her from her rest.
Cure her of that.
40Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
41Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
42. Raze out: erase. written troubles of the brain: troubles written on the brain. 43. oblivious: causing forgetfulness.
42Raze out the written troubles of the brain
43And with some sweet oblivious antidote
44Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
45Which weighs upon the heart?
Therein the patient
46Must minister to himself.
47. physic: the practice of medicine.
47Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it.
48. staff: lance.
48Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff.
49. Seyton, send out: Macbeth is commanding Seyton to send one of the other servants for something, maybe his lance. 50. dispatch: hurry up. Maybe Seyton is trying to put Macbeth's armor on him. cast / The water: do an urine analysis. 52. pristine: perfect, as if the disease had never been. 54. Pull't off: This must be said to Seyton. Maybe Macbeth has changed his mind about putting on his armor. 55. rhubarb, senna: Both are purgative drugs.
49Seyton, send out. Doctor, the thanes fly from me.
50Come, sir, dispatch. If thou couldst, doctor, cast
51The water of my land, find her disease,
52And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
53I would applaud thee to the very echo,
54That should applaud again.Pull't off, I say.
55What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug,
56Would scour these English hence? Hear'st thou
56. them: i.e., the purgatives that would get rid of the English army.
57. preparation: preparation for war.
57Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
58Makes us hear something.
58. Bring it after me: take it and follow me. This is said to Seyton, who is still holding some of Macbeth's armor. 59. bane: ruin, fatal injury.
Bring it after me.
59I will not be afraid of death and bane,
60Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.
[Exeunt all but the Doctor.]
61Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
62. Profit again should hardly draw me here: i.e., no fee, no matter how much multiplied, could bring me back here.
62Profit again should hardly draw me here.