Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 7




          Enter MACBETH.

       MACBETH
1-2. They have tied me ... course: Macbeth is comparing himself to the bear in the blood sport of bear-baiting, in which a bear was tied to a stake and dogs were set upon it. A "course" is a round of fighting in a bear-baiting event. See an Article on "Bear-baiting" at Wikipedia.
  1    They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
  2    But, bear-like, I must fight the course. What's he
  3    That was not born of woman? Such a one
  4    Am I to fear, or none.

YOUNG SIWARD: Young Siward is among the "unrough" (beardless) youths mentioned in Act 5, Scene 2, so he is 14-17 years old.
          Enter YOUNG SIWARD.

       YOUNG SIWARD
  5    What is thy name?

       MACBETH
                                       Thou'lt be afraid to hear it.

       YOUNG SIWARD
  6    No; though thou call'st thyself a hotter name
  7    Than any is in hell.

       MACBETH
                                        My name's Macbeth.

       YOUNG SIWARD
  8    The devil himself could not pronounce a title
  9    More hateful to mine ear.

       MACBETH
                                            No, nor more fearful.

Image source: Joseph Travers - Fight Director

       YOUNG SIWARD
 10    Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my sword
 11    I'll prove the lie thou speak'st.

          Fight and Young Siward slain.

       MACBETH
                                                     Thou wast born of woman.
 12    But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
 13    Brandish'd by man that's of a woman born.

          Exit.

          Alarums. Enter MACDUFF.

       MACDUFF
 14    That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face!
 15    If thou be'st slain and with no stroke of mine,
16. still: always.
 16    My wife and children's ghosts will haunt me still.
17. wretched kerns: i.e., ragged foot-soldiers.
 17    I cannot strike at wretched kerns, whose arms
18. staves: spears. 18-20. either thou, Macbeth ... undeeded: i.e., either I will fight you, Macbeth, or I will put my sword back in its sheath without any deeds to its credit. 20. There thou shouldst be: you must be over there. "There" is off-stage, where there is a "clatter." 21-22. By this great clatter ... bruited: by this great clatter, a most notable person seems to be announced.
 18    Are hired to bear their staves; either thou, Macbeth,
 19    Or else my sword with an unbatter'd edge
 20    I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;
 21    By this great clatter, one of greatest note
 22    Seems bruited. Let me find him, fortune!
 23    And more I beg not.

          Exit. Alarums.

          Enter MALCOLM and SIWARD.

       SIWARD
24. gently render'd: easily surrendered.
 24    This way, my lord; the castle's gently render'd:
 25    The tyrant's people on both sides do fight.
 26    The noble thanes do bravely in the war;
27. itself professes yours: gives itself to you.
 27    The day almost itself professes yours,
 28    And little is to do.

       MALCOLM
28-29. foes / That strike beside us: foes who deliberately miss when they swing their swords at us, or foes who fight on our side.
                                         We have met with foes
 29    That strike beside us.

       SIWARD
                                          Enter, sir, the castle.

          Exeunt. Alarums.