Friday, October 12, 2012

Mangled Macbeth, Act 5

Mangled Macbeth
Written by William Shakespeare.  Abridged, translated, and slightly mangled by Melinda Brasher.

Act 5 scene 1
DOCTOR:  I've watched two nights with you, but haven't seen evidence of your claim.
GENTLEWOMAN:  I tell you, I've seen her rise from bed, throw on her nightgown, unlock the closet, take forth paper, write upon it, read it, seal it, and then return to bed, all while fast asleep.
            Enter Lady Macbeth
GENTLEWOMAN:  Look, here she comes.  Upon my word, she's fast asleep again.
DOCTOR:  How did she get the candle?
GENTLEWOMAN:  There's always one by the bed.  It's her command.
DOCTOR:  Her eyes are open.
GENTLEWOMAN:  Yes, but they're vacant.
DOCTOR:  What's she doing?  Look how she rubs her hands.
GENTLEWOMAN:  I've known her to do it for a quarter of an hour straight.
LADY MACBETH:  Yet here's a spot.  Out, damned spot!  Out!  Shame, my husband.  A soldier, and still afraid?  We mustn't fear who knows it.  None can question our power.  Yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him?  And Macduff had a wife.  Will these hands never be clean?  All the perfumes of Arabia will not mask the smell of blood on these hands.
DOCTOR:  This disease is beyond my practice.
LADY MACBETH:  Go to bed, husband!  Look not so pale.  Banquo's buried.  He can't escape his grave. 
DOCTOR:  Foul whisperings are abroad.  Unnatural deeds breed unnatural troubles.  Infected minds spill their secrets.  She needs God more than she needs a doctor.

Act 5 scene 2

LORDS:  The English army, led by Malcolm, approaches, burning with revenge.  We'll meet them on the field near Birnam Wood.  The tyrant Macbeth is fortifying Dunsinane.  Some say he's gone crazy.  Others who hate him less call it a valiant fury.
ANGUS:  Now he feels his secret murders sticking on his hands.  Those he commands obey him out of habit, not love.  Macbeth feels his title hanging loose about him, like a giant's robe on a tiny thief.
LORDS:  Let's join Malcolm, who will heal the kingdom.

Act 5 scene 3

MACBETH:  Bring me no more reports. Till Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane, I shall not fear.  And what about the boy, Malcolm?  Was he not born of woman?  The witches promised no man born of woman shall have power over me.  So flee, traitorous lords, and mingle with these English cowards.  I shall not fear. 
            Enter servant
SERVANT:  There are a thousand—
MACBETH:  Geese?
SERVANT:  Soldiers, sir.
MACBETH:  Pluck up your courage, lily-livered boy.  Give me my armor.  Scour the countryside and hang anyone who talks of fear.  Doctor, how's my wife?
DOCTOR:  Not so sick as troubled.
MACBETH:  Can't you heal a diseased mind?  Pluck sorrow from her memory and with an antidote deliver her to sweet oblivion?
DOCTOR:  In these matters a patient must administer to himself.
MACBETH:  Throw medical practice to the dogs.  Give me my armor.  I will not fear death until Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane.
            Exit all but Doctor
DOCTOR:  If I were safely away from here, no amount of money could tempt me back.

Act 5 scene 4

SIWARD:  What wood is this before us?
MENTEITH:  The wood of Birnam.
MALCOLM:  Let every soldier cut a branch and carry it before him, to hide our numbers.

Act 5 scene 5

MACBETH:  Hand out our banners.  The castle's strength will laugh a siege to scorn.  If my deserters weren't padding their forces, we'd easily beat them back home.  What's that noise?
SEYTON:  The cry of a woman.  [Goes to door and returns.] The queen is dead!  [aside] By her own hand.
MACBETH:  I wish she'd died later, when we had more time for grief.  Out, out, brief candle!  Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.  It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
            Enter messenger
MESSENGER:  I don’t know how to explain what I saw.
MACBETH:  Well, try.
MESSENGER:  As I stood watch, I looked toward Birnam and anon, methought, the woods began to move.
MESSENGER:  I'll endure your wrath if I’m wrong, but soon you'll be able to see it yourself:  a moving grove.
MACBETH:  If you're lying, I'll hang you on the nearest tree.  "Fear not, till Birnam wood do come to Dunsinane."  And now it does.  Ring the alarm!  At least we'll die with our armor on.

Act 5 scene 6

Malcolm:  Throw down your leafy screens.  Attack!

Act 5 scene 7

MACBETH:  They've tied me to a stake.  I cannot fly, but must fight.  But was not my enemy Malcolm born of woman?  Such a one I need not fear.
            Enter Young Siward.  They fight.  Siward died.
MACBETH:  Take that, you man of woman born!
            Exit Macbeth
MACDUFF:  Tyrant, show your face!  The day is almost ours, but if you have died on someone else's sword, my wife and children's ghosts will haunt me forever.  I beg Fortune to let me be the one to find and kill you!

Act 5 scene 8

MACDUFF:  There you are!  Turn and face me, tyrant.
MACBETH:  I have enough of your family's blood on my hands.  Get away.
MACDUFF:  I have no words.  My sword will speak for me.
            They fight.
MACBETH:  I live a charmed life, which will not yield to one of woman born.
MACDUFF:  Hah!  I was not born, but ripped prematurely from my mother's womb.  MACBETH:  Curse it all!
            They fight.  MacDuff slays Macbeth and caries him off stage. 
            Enter Malcom, Siward, and others.
MALCOLM:  We have gained victory.  So great a day is cheaply bought.
SIWARD:  Except my son, who died in valiant battle like a man.  Had I as many sons as I had hairs, I could not wish a better death for them.
            Enter Macduff with Macbeth's head
MACDUFF:  Hail, Malcolm, King of Scotland, I present your usurper's head.
ALL:  Hail, King of Scotland.
MALCOLM:  Good lords, I hereby make you all earls.  We'll waste no time in calling back our exiled friends and righting the wrongs done by the butcher, Macbeth, and his fiendlike queen.  Thank you all, and please come to my coronation party up at Scone.      


For the real thing, read Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
To read from the beginning, click on Mangled Macbeth Act I
Also Check out "Shakespeare:  "Therein Lies the Confusion"

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