Macbeth surveyed the scene. Most of his men had deserted and corpses lay everywhere. They’d trapped him. like a bear tied to a stake. he couldn’t escape: he had to stay and fight. But anyway, there was no such thing as a man who wasn’t born of a woman. That was the only thing he had to fear.
Young Siward had spotted him and came towards him. ‘What’s your name?’ he said.
Macbeth drew his sword. ‘You’d be terrified to hear it.’
‘Never,’ said the young Englishman. ‘Even if you call yourself by a worse name than any in hell.’
‘My name’s Macbeth.’
‘The Devil himself couldn’t pronounce a title more hateful to my ear.’
‘No, nor more frightening.’
‘You lie, despicable tyrant! I’ll prove that with my sword.’
The young man fought bravely but before long he was lying at Macbeth’s feet, his heart pierced by a king’s sword.
You were born of woman,’ said Macbeth. ‘But I laugh at swords wielded by any man that’s born of woman.’
* * * * *
In another part of the battlefield Macduff was looking desperately for Macbeth. If only the tyrant would show his face! If he were to be killed by anyone else his murdered wife and children’s souls would never rest. He couldn’t strike out at the poor soldiers who had been forced into this. Macbeth was the only one he would use his sword on. It was either Macbeth or back to its scabbard unused.
He heard a great shout: that’s where he’d be. If only he could find him! He’d never ask for anything again.
* * * * *
Malcolm and Siward had secured the castle’s surrender. The drawbridge was down, waiting for them to enter.
‘This way, my Lord,’ said Old Siward. ‘It was a peaceable surrender: the tyrant’s people are fighting each other while the noble thanes have done well in the battle. It’s almost over: there’s not much left to do.’
‘We’ve encountered enemies that have joined us,’ said Malcolm.
‘Enter, Sir, the castle,’ said Siward.
Read more scenes from Macbeth:
Read all of Shakespeare’s plays translated to modern English >>
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!