William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”: A Retelling in Prose — Act 5, Scene 8 (Conclusion)

— 5.8 —

Macbeth, knowing that he had lost the battle, thought, Why should I play the Roman fool, and commit suicide by throwing myself on my own sword? Let Brutus or Cassius commit suicide when they see that their cause is lost. While I see enemy soldiers, gashes made by my sword look better on their bodies.

Macduff saw Macbeth and ordered, “Turn around, Hell-hound, turn around!”

Recognizing Macduff, Macbeth said, “Of all men, I have been avoiding you. Don’t fight me. My soul is already too much burdened with the blood of your wife and children. I do not want to add your blood to my burden of guilt.”

“I will not talk,” Macduff said. “My sword will do the talking. You are a bloodier villain than words can express.”

Macduff attacked Macbeth, who fiercely fought back.

At a pause in the fight, Macbeth said to Macduff, “You are wasting your time trying to kill me. You can kill air with your sword as easily as you can kill me. Go and fight soldiers who can be killed. I lead a charmed life. No man born of woman can kill me.”

“Your charm is worthless,” Macduff replied. “The evil spirit whom you have served and still serve can tell you that I was from my mother’s womb prematurely ripped. I was not born through the birth canal but had to be cut out of her womb to save my life.”

“May you be damned to Hell for telling me this!” Macbeth shouted. “You have taken away my confidence. Let no one believe the Weird Sisters — those deceiving fiends who trick mortals with equivocating words that appear as if they are good but that are in reality evil. I will not fight you.”

“Then surrender, coward,” Macduff said. “We will exhibit you before the gaze of your former subjects. We will treat you the way we treat deformed animals and make you a freakshow. We will paint your portrait on a sign on a pole along with the words ‘Here may you see the tyrant’!”

“I will not surrender and kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet, and I will not be subjected to cruel treatment and abuse by my subjects,” Macbeth said. “Although Birnam Forest has marched to Dunsinane and although you are not of woman born, yet I will try to kill you. In front of my body, I hold my shield. Fight, Macduff, and damned be the first man who cries, ‘Stop! I have had enough!’”

They fought.

Elsewhere, Malcolm, Siward, Ross, and the other Thanes were meeting.

“Not all of our friends are accounted for,” Malcolm said. “I hope that they survived the battle.”

“Some soldiers die in every battle,” Old Siward said. “Judging by the number of corpses we see, we have won a great battle while losing very few lives.”

“Macduff is missing, and so is your noble son,” Malcolm said.

Ross said to Old Siward, “Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt on the battlefield. He lived only until he reached adulthood. As soon as he became an adult, he proved his manhood by valiantly fighting. He died courageously, as befits a man.”

“My son is dead?” Old Siward asked.

“Yes,” Ross replied. “His corpse has been carried off the battlefield. If you were to mourn him as much as he is worth, you would never stop mourning him.”

“Were his wounds in the front?” Old Siward asked, knowing that cowards who run away are wounded in the back.

“Yes, they were in the front,” Ross replied.

“Then he deserves to be — and is — a soldier of God,” Old Siward said. “Had I as many sons as I have hairs, none could have a more honorable death than that of Young Siward. And so the death bell tolls for my son.”

“He deserves to be mourned more greatly than this,” Malcolm said, “and I shall mourn him.”

“No greater mourning is needed,” said the stoical Old Siward. “He died well and honorably. He settled all of his accounts. Look! Here comes better news!”

Macduff, carrying the decapitated head of Macbeth, said to Malcolm, “You are now King. Hail, King! Look at the cursed head of the tyrant. Scotland is now free from tyranny. I see around you the nobles of Scotland, and I ask them to join me in this cry: Hail, King of Scotland!”

Macduff and the nobles shouted, “Hail, King of Scotland!”

Malcolm said, “Not much time will pass before I reward you for your loyalty. I owe you now, and I will repay you. My Thanes and kinsmen, henceforth be Earls — the first Earls ever in Scotland. Much remains to be done with the dawn of this new era. We must call from abroad our friends in exile who fled from Macbeth’s tyranny. We must find the cruel supporters of this dead butcher and his fiend-like Queen, who is thought to have committed suicide. These and other things, God willing, we will do justly and at the right time and place. Thank you, all, and I invite you to see me crowned at Scone as the rightful King of Scotland.”

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Michael Gregor, MD: Turning the Clock Back 14 Years (YouTube)

Michael Gregor, MD: Turning the Clock Back 14 Years (YouTube)

Four simple health behaviors may cut our risk of chronic disease by nearly 80%, potentially dropping our risk of dying equivalent to that of being 14 years younger.



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Lize Bard: Pace — Haiku out of africa

I want to slow down ~ I want to have some more time ~ to count my words © Lize Bard @ https://wandererhaiku.wordpress.com/

via Pace — Haiku out of africa

COMMENT: I see what you did there — CLEVER!

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William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”: A Retelling in Prose — Act 5, Scenes 4, 5, 6, and 7

— 5.4 —

Malcolm, Old Siward and Young Siward, Macduff, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, and Ross rode horses near Birnam Forest. Many soldiers marched near them.

“Kinsmen,” Malcolm said, “I hope the time is near at hand when Scots can again be safe in their own homes.”

Menteith said, “All of us believe that will happen soon.”

Old Siward asked, “What forest is this ahead of us?”

“Birnam Forest,” Menteith said.

Malcolm ordered the soldiers, “Let every soldier cut down a branch and carry it in front of him. That way, we can hide the number of soldiers in our army and Macbeth’s scouts will make false reports of our army’s strength.”

The soldiers replied, “We shall do it.”

Old Siward said, “According to our own scouts, the impudent Macbeth is fortifying Dunsinane and will not attack us in open battle. He is willing to endure our setting siege to the castle.”

“Dunsinane is his main fortress,” Malcolm said. “He is forced to stay there. Whoever is able to desert him does so, whether they are nobility or common people. The soldiers who stay with him are forced to stay. They do not respect Macbeth and do not want to die for him. If Macbeth were to take the field, his soldiers would desert him.”

Macduff said, “Let us do our judging of soldiers after the battle is over. For now, let us fight.”

Old Siward said, “Soon we will find out whether we win or lose the war. We can talk and we can hope, but it will be fighting that wins the war.”

— 5.5 —

In a room in the castle at Dunsinane stood Macbeth, Seyton, and some soldiers.

Macbeth ordered, “Hang our banners on the walls of the castle that face the enemy. The news is still, ‘They come!’ But the strength of our castle will laugh a siege to scorn. Let the enemy soldiers lay siege until famine and fever eat them up. If they were not reinforced with deserters from my army, we might have boldly met them in open battle, beard to beard, and beat them back to England.”

Some women in the castle screamed.

“What is that noise?” Macbeth asked.

“It is the cry of women, my good lord,” Seyton said. He left to investigate the cause of the screams.

I have almost forgot what fear tastes like, Macbeth thought. At one time, my senses would have cooled if I had heard a scream at night and my hair would have risen and stood on end when I heard a scary story. But I have experienced so many murderous horrors that they are so familiar to me that a new horror cannot startle me.

Seyton entered the room.

“What is the cause of that screaming?” Macbeth asked.

“The Queen, my lord, is dead,” Seyton replied.

“She should have died at a later time,” Macbeth said. “Then I would have had time to mourn her. But she would inevitably die sometime, so now is as good a time as any.”

He thought, Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creep along from day to day until the end of time. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle of life! Life is only a walking shadow that passes quickly away. Life is only a poor actor who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. Life is meaningless: It is a tale told by an idiot, it is full of sound and fury, and it means nothing.

A messenger entered the room.

“You came here to tell me something,” Macbeth said. “Tell me quickly what you have to say.”

“My gracious lord,” the messenger said, “I need to report to you what I saw, but I do not know how to do it.”

“Just tell me,” Macbeth ordered.

“As I was doing guard duty on the hill, I looked toward Birnam Forest, and it seemed to me that the forest began to move.”

“Liar and slave!” Macbeth raged.

“If I am lying, punish me,” the messenger said. “Look for yourself and you will see the forest is now only three miles away and moving toward us.”

Macbeth said, “If you are lying, I will hang you alive from the nearest tree and let you die of hunger. If you are telling the truth, I will not mind if you do that to me.”

Macbeth thought, My confidence is disappearing, and I suspect that the apparition the three Weird Sisters showed me was equivocating and deliberately misleading me, making me think that one thing is true when actually something different is true. The apparition told me, “Fear not, until Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane.”

Macbeth said, “Let us not wait to be besieged! Instead, let us arm for battle and go forth from the castle! If this messenger is telling the truth, it is no use for me either to try to run away or to stay here and endure a siege.”

Macbeth thought, I begin to grow weary of the Sun and of life itself. I wish that the universe were plunged into chaos.

Macbeth said, “Ring the alarm bell! Blow, storm! Come, vengeance!”

Macbeth thought, At least I’ll die with armor on my back.

He had decided that if he should die, so be it. Still, he had some confidence in the third apparition’s prophecy: “No man born of woman shall harm Macbeth.”

— 5.6 —

Malcolm, Old Siward, and Macduff, along with many soldiers holding tree branches in front of them, stood outside Macbeth’s castle at Dunsinane.

Malcolm ordered, “We are close enough to the castle. Throw down the leafy tree branches and show yourselves to the enemy. Old Siward, you and your noble son, Young Siward, shall lead our first battalion. Macduff and I will do whatever else is needed to be done.”

Old Siward replied, “Fare you well. We go to find the tyrant’s army. If we cannot conquer the tyrant, we deserve to be beaten.”

“Make all our trumpets speak,” Malcolm said. “Blow all of them. Give them all breath, those noisy announcers of blood and death.”

— 5.7 —

Macbeth had led his few forces out of the castle and onto the battlefield, where they were badly losing.

Macbeth thought, I am like a bear that is tied to a stake for the night’s bloody entertainment of a bear fighting dogs. I cannot run away, but I must fight the dogs that attack me. Who is the man, if anyone, who was not born of woman? I must fear that man, or no man.

Young Siward saw Macbeth and asked him, “What is your name?”

“If I tell you my name, I will frighten you,” Macbeth said.

“No, you won’t,” Young Siward said. “Not even if you have a name that is hotter than any name in Hell.”

“My name is Macbeth.”

“Satan himself could not pronounce a name that is more hateful to my ear.”

“Or one that makes you more afraid.”

“You lie, hated tyrant! With my sword I will show you that your name causes no fear in me!”

Macbeth and Young Siward fought, and Macbeth killed Young Siward.

Macbeth said over the corpse, “You were born of woman, but I smile at the swords and laugh at the other weapons of all men who were born of woman.”

Macduff, who was seeking Macbeth elsewhere on the battlefield, shouted, “I seek the place where the most fighting is because that is where Macbeth will be. Tyrant, show your face! If you are already slain by no stroke of mine, my wife’s and my children’s ghosts will continue to haunt me. I will not strike at wretched foot soldiers, mercenaries who bear arms for money. Either I kill you, Macbeth, or I sheathe my sword with an unbloodied and unbattered edge. The great clamor I hear must be announcing your presence. Let me find Macbeth, god of Fortune! I ask for nothing more.”

Elsewhere, Old Siward and Malcolm met and talked about the battle.

“This way, my lord,” Old Siward said to Malcolm. “The castle surrendered to us without a fight. Most of the tyrant’s soldiers have turned against him and are now on our side. The battle is almost won. Little is left to do.”

Malcolm said, “We have met with ‘enemy’ soldiers who join our cause and fight by our sides against a common enemy: Macbeth.”

“Sir, enter the castle,” Old Siward said.

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William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”: A Retelling in Prose — Act 5, Scenes 2 and 3

— 5.2 —

The Scottish nobles Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Lennox, as well as many Scottish soldiers, were in a field. These nobles — rebels against Macbeth — were planning to meet and join the soldiers led by Malcolm.

Menteith said, “The English army is near, led on by Malcolm, his uncle Old Siward and the good Macduff. They burn to get revenge against Macbeth. The causes they have for revenge would rouse even a dead man to the bloody and fierce call to arms against Macbeth.”

Angus said, “We will meet the English army near Birnam Forest. That is the way their soldiers are marching.”

Caithness asked, “Is Donalbain with his brother, Malcolm?”

“No, sir, he is not,” Lennox replied. “I have a list of the gentry who are with Malcolm. Old Siward’s son is with Malcolm, as are many beardless youths who are now declaring themselves to be men by marching against Macbeth.”

“What is the tyrant Macbeth doing?” Menteith asked.

“He is fortifying his castle at Dunsinane,” Caithness replied. “Some people say that he is insane. Other people, who hate him less, call it valiant fury. Either way, he lacks self-control, and he cannot control the soldiers who should be fighting for him. Because he lacks soldiers who are willing to fight for him in open battle, he is preparing for a siege.”

“Now he can no longer blame his murders on other people, the way he blamed King Duncan’s murder on the King’s bodyguards and the King’s sons,” Angus said. “The blood of the people he has murdered now sticks to his hands. His subjects now continually rebel against him because of his many treacheries. He forces his soldiers to obey his orders — none of his soldiers obeys him out of respect. His crown is too large for him — he is not man enough to be King. His wearing the crown is like a dwarfish thief trying to wear a giant’s robe.”

“Everything that is inside Macbeth condemns his murders and other evils,” Menteith said. “No one can blame Macbeth’s tormented senses and awareness of guilt for causing him to act in fits of irrational anger.”

“Let us march forward,” Caithness said. “We will obey the orders of Malcolm, the true King to whom we truly owe allegiance. He will be the doctor of our sickly country, and with our blood we will help him purge the evil that is Macbeth.”

“We will use our blood to water the flower that is our rightful King and make it grow, and we will use our blood to drown the weed that is Macbeth,” Lennox said. “Now let us march to Birnam Forest.”

— 5.3 —

In a room in the castle at Dunsinane, Macbeth raged — the doctor and some servants witnessed his rage.

“Bring me no more reports,” Macbeth ordered. “I know that the Thanes are deserting me and going to support Malcolm, and I don’t care. Until Birnam Forest marches to Dunsinane, I shall fear nothing. What is the boy Malcolm to me? A danger? No! He was born of woman. Supernatural spirits that know the future of mortals have told me, ‘Fear not, Macbeth; no man who is born of woman shall ever have power over you.’ So desert me, disloyal Thanes, and support the effeminate and decadent English. My mind and my heart shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.”

A servant, pale with fear, entered the room.

Macbeth yelled at the servant, “May Satan turn you black, you cream-faced fool! Where did you get that foolish look of fear? You look like a frightened goose.”

His voice shaking with fear, the servant said, “There is ten thousand —”

Macbeth finished the sentence for him, “Geese, fool?”

“Soldiers, sir,” the servant said.

“Go prick your face and use the red blood to cover the whiteness of your frightened face, you lily-livered boy! What soldiers, fool? May your soul die! Your linen cheeks are witnesses of your fear. What soldiers, milk-face?”

“The English force, so please you.”

“Take your face away from here,” Macbeth ordered.

The servant left the room.

Macbeth began to call for an officer, whose name was Seyton.

“Seyton!” Macbeth called. “I am sick at heart, when I see such cowards. Seyton, come here!”

Macbeth thought, This battle will either establish me permanently on the throne or take the throne away from me.

He paused, then he thought, I have lived long enough. My life is now like a withered, dry, yellow leaf of autumn, ready to fall and die as winter arrives. All those things that an old man who has lived well should have — honor, love, loyalty, and troops of friends — I will not have. Instead, I will have curses that are not loud but are deep, the signs of honor that I force my subjects to show to me, and flattery — flattery that my subjects will not like to engage in but will be too afraid not to.

He yelled, “Seyton!”

Seyton entered the room and said, “What is your gracious pleasure?”

“Is there any more news?”

“All that was reported to you has been confirmed to be true.”

“I’ll fight until my flesh is hacked from my bones,” Macbeth said, “Give me my armor.”

“It is not needed yet,” Seyton said.

“I’ll put it on anyway,” Macbeth said. “Send out more people on horseback; let them scout the country around the castle and hang anyone who talks of fear. Give me my armor.”

Then Macbeth said, “How is your patient, doctor?”

“She is not so sick, lord,” the doctor said, “as she is troubled with numerous illusions and hallucinations that keep her from sleeping.”

“Cure her of that,” Macbeth ordered, “if you can. Can you treat a diseased mind? Can you remove her sorrows from her memory? Can you give her a drug that will clean away everything that weighs upon her heart?”

“Only the patient can heal that kind of illness,” the doctor said.

“In that case, let medical science go to the dogs,” Macbeth thundered. “I don’t want it.”

He said to Seyton, “Come, put my armor on. Give me my lance.”

He said to the doctor, “The Thanes fly from me.”

He said to Seyton, “Faster.”

He said to the doctor, “If you are able to, analyze the urine of my country, discover what disease it suffers from, and cure it so that Scotland has a sound and pristine health. If you can do that, I will applaud you until the echo of my applause returns to you.”

Having finished putting on his armor, Macbeth said to Seyton, “Pull my armor off, I say.”

Macbeth said to the doctor, “What rhubarb, senna, or purgative drug would purge Scotland of these English soldiers? Have you heard about the soldiers?”

“Yes, my good lord,” the doctor said. “I know that you are preparing for war.”

Macbeth said to Seyton, who was holding the armor he had taken off Macbeth, “Carry the armor behind me. I will not be afraid of death and destruction and bane until Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane.”

Macbeth and Seyton left, and the doctor thought, Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, a large sum of money would not again draw me here.

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California Dreamin’ in Santa Barbara — roads bel travelled

“I’m caught up in a dream. I’m gonna wish for it all. No one’s gonna tell me how, no way this is my dream now.” – Tesla (band) Santa Barbara is nestled between Santa Ynez mountains and Pacific Ocean providing breathtaking views along the coast. The drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara is quite […]

via California Dreamin’ in Santa Barbara — roads bel travelled

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William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”: A Retelling in Prose — Act 5, Scene 1

CHAPTER 5: The Fall of Macbeth

— 5.1 —

In an anteroom in Macbeth’s castle at Dunsinane, a doctor and a gentlewoman — a woman of high social standing — talked together.

The doctor said, “I have for two nights stayed up and watched with you, but I have seen nothing of what you have reported to me. When was it Lady Macbeth last sleepwalked?”

The gentlewoman replied, “Ever since Macbeth took his soldiers out to try to stop the rebellion of the nobles, I have often seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her body, unlock her chest, take out paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed. She has done all these things despite being in a deep sleep.”

“This is a great perturbation in nature, to receive the benefit of sleep and yet at the same time to do many things that are normally done while awake. Have you ever heard her say anything while she is sleepwalking?”

“Yes, sir, I have heard her say things that I will not repeat to you.”

“You may tell me,” the doctor said. “It is the right thing for you to do.”

“I will not tell you or anyone else — not until I have a witness to confirm what I would say,” the gentlewoman said.

Holding a candle, Lady Macbeth, sleepwalking, entered the room.

The gentlewoman said, “Look! Here she comes! This is what she often does. She is asleep — watch her, but stay hidden.”

“Where did she get the candle?”

“It was by her bed. She always has candles lit by her at night. She has ordered that this be done.”

“Her eyes are open,” the doctor said.

“Yes, but she does not see anything. She is still asleep.”

“What is she doing now?” the doctor asked. “Look how she rubs her hands.”

“Seeming to wash her hands is a habit of hers. I have seen her do this for a quarter of an hour.”

Lady Macbeth, thinking she saw King Duncan’s blood on her hands, said, “Yet here’s a spot.”

The doctor said, “I will write down what she says. It will help me to remember her words.”

Reliving the night that her husband and she murdered King Duncan, the sleepwalking Lady Macbeth said, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”

Reliving hearing the bell strike two the night of King Duncan’s murder, Lady Macbeth said, “One. Two. Why, then, it is time to do it. Hell is murky! My husband, are you a soldier and afraid? What need we fear who knows what we will have done, when none will have the power to bring us to justice?”

Reliving when she smeared King Duncan’s blood on the faces of his bodyguards, Lady Macbeth said, “Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”

“Did you hear that?” the doctor said.

Reliving the murder of Lady Macduff, Lady Macbeth said, “The Thane of Fife had a wife — where is she now?”

Reliving trying to wash her hands after she had smeared King Duncan’s blood on the faces of his bodyguards, Lady Macbeth said, “What, will these hands never be clean?”

Reliving the banquet at which her husband had been startled when he thought he saw Banquo’s ghost, Lady Macbeth said, “No more of that, my lord, no more of that — you will mar all unless you can appear to be innocent.”

“For shame,” the doctor said. “You have known what you should not.”

“She has spoken something that she should not, I am sure of that,” the gentlewoman said. “Heaven knows what she has known.”

Lady Macbeth said, “Here’s the smell of the blood still! All the perfumes of Arabia will not take away the smell of this blood!”

She sighed heavily.

“What a sigh she made!” the doctor said, “Her heart is gravely burdened.”

The gentlewoman said, “I would not have such a heart in my bosom even if I were Queen.”

The doctor said, “Well, well, well.”

“Pray God all be well, sir,” the gentlewoman said.

“This disease is beyond my medical knowledge, yet I have known some people who have walked in their sleep who have died holily and without guilt in their beds.”

Lady Macbeth said, “Wash your hands, put on your nightgown, don’t look so pale. … I tell you yet again, Banquo is buried — he cannot come out of his grave.”

“This is something new,” the doctor said.

Lady Macbeth said, “To bed, to bed! There is knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone. To bed, to bed, to bed!”

Still asleep, Lady Macbeth walked out of the room.

“Will she go now to bed?” the doctor asked.

“Yes. Immediately,” the gentlewoman said.

“Foul whisperings and evil rumors are abroad,” the doctor said. “Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles such as sleepwalking and sleeptalking — guilty minds will tell their secrets to their deaf pillows. Lady Macbeth needs a priest more than she needs a physician. May God forgive us all!”

He ordered the gentlewoman, “Look after her. Take away from her anything she can use to hurt herself. Watch her carefully.”

He added, “Now, good night. She has baffled my mind and amazed my sight. I dare not tell anyone what I think.”

“Good night, good doctor,” the gentlewoman said.

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