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Act 5, Scene 1


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Original Play

Modern Translation

Enter a DOCTOR of physic and a waiting-GENTLEWOMAN

A DOCTOR and a waiting GENTLEWOMAN enter.

DOCTOR
I have two nights watched with you but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?

DOCTOR
For two nights I've watched with you but haven't seen any evidence of what you've described. When did you last see her walk?

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5

GENTLEWOMAN
Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon 't, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.

GENTLEWOMAN
Since the king went to war, I have seen her rise from her bed, put on her nightgown, unlock her closet, take out some paper, fold it, write on it, read it, seal it, and then return to bed, all while remaining fast asleep.

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10

DOCTOR
A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching. In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say?

DOCTOR
It's deeply unnatural to be asleep while acting like one who is awake. When she is in this state, besides walking and doing other things, have you heard her speak?

GENTLEWOMAN
That, sir, which I will not report after her.

GENTLEWOMAN
Yes, sir, but I will not repeat it.

DOCTOR
You may to me, and 'tis most meet you should.

DOCTOR
You can tell me. That would be the proper thing.

GENTLEWOMAN
Neither to you nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech.

GENTLEWOMAN
I won't tell you or anyone else without having another witness to confirm what I heard.

Enter LADY MACBETH with a taper

LADY MACBETH enters, holding a candle.

15

Lo you, here she comes. This is her very guise; and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her, stand close.

Look, here she comes! This is what she always wears, and—I swear on my life—she's fast asleep. Watch her. Stay out of sight.

DOCTOR
How came she by that light?

DOCTOR
How did she get that candle?

GENTLEWOMAN
Why, it stood by her. She has light by her continually. 'Tis her command.

GENTLEWOMAN
It stands by her bedside. She keeps a light by her at all times. That's her command.

DOCTOR
You see her eyes are open.

DOCTOR
You see, her eyes are open.

GENTLEWOMAN
Ay, but their sense is shut.

GENTLEWOMAN
Yes, but they see nothing.

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20

DOCTOR
What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands.

DOCTOR
What's she doing now? Look how she rubs her hands.

GENTLEWOMAN
It is an accustomed action with her to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.

GENTLEWOMAN
She does that a lot, as if she's washing her hands. I've seen her keep doing that for fifteen minutes.

LADY MACBETH
Yet here's a spot.

LADY MACBETH
Yet there's still a spot here.

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25

DOCTOR
Hark! She speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.

DOCTOR
Listen! She's talking. I'll write down what she says, so that I'll remember it.

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30

LADY MACBETH
Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, 'tis time to do 't. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.

LADY MACBETH
(rubbing her hands) Come out, damned spot! Out, I order you! One, two. Now, it's time to do it.—Hell is murky!—Nonsense, my lord, nonsense! You're a soldier, and yet you're afraid? Why should we fear who knows what happened, when no one can match our power?—But who would have thought the old man would have had so much blood in him?

DOCTOR
Do you mark that?

DOCTOR
Did you hear that?

LADY MACBETH
The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will these hands ne'er be clean?—No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that. You mar all with this starting.

LADY MACBETH
The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will my hands never be clean?—No more of that, my lord, no more of that. You'll ruin everything acting in this startled way.

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35

DOCTOR
Go to, go to. You have known what you should not.

DOCTOR
Oh no. Oh no! You've learned something you shouldn't have.

GENTLEWOMAN
She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that. Heaven knows what she has known.

GENTLEWOMAN
She said something she shouldn't have said, I'm sure of that. Heaven knows what other secrets she has.

LADY MACBETH
Here's the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!

LADY MACBETH
My hands still smell of blood. All the perfumes of Arabia wouldn't sweeten the smell of my little hand. Oh, oh, oh!

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40

DOCTOR
What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.

DOCTOR
What a sigh! Her heart is painfully weighted down.

GENTLEWOMAN
I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body.

GENTLEWOMAN
I wouldn't want a heart like hers in my chest even if I could be queen.

DOCTOR
Well, well, well.

DOCTOR
Well, well, well.

GENTLEWOMAN
Pray God it be, sir.

GENTLEWOMAN
I pray to God that it is all well, sir!

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45

DOCTOR
This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds.

DOCTOR
This disease is beyond my skills to cure. Yet I have known people who walked in their sleep and died without sin.

LADY MACBETH
Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on 's grave.

LADY MACBETH
Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Don't look so pale. I tell you again, Banquo is buried. He cannot come out of his grave.

DOCTOR
Even so?

DOCTOR
Is it true?

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50

LADY MACBETH
To bed, to bed. There's knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your hand. What's done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!

LADY MACBETH
To bed, to bed. There's a knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your hand. What's done cannot be undone. To bed, to bed, to bed!

Exit

LADY MACBETH exits.

DOCTOR
Will she go now to bed?

DOCTOR
Now will she go to bed?

GENTLEWOMAN
Directly.

GENTLEWOMAN
Right to bed.

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55
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60

DOCTOR
Foul whisp'rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds
Do breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.
More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all! Look after her,
Remove from her the means of all annoyance,
And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night.
My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.
I think, but dare not speak.

DOCTOR
Evil rumors are circulating. Unnatural actions lead to unnatural troubles. Those with guilty consciences will, while asleep, confess their secrets to their pillows. Lady Macbeth needs a holy priest, not a doctor. God forgive us all! (to the GENTLEWOMAN) Look after her. Remove anything she could use to hurt herself, and even then keep watch over her. Now, good-night. She has shocked my mind and amazed my eyes. I have thoughts about all this, but don't dare to voice them.

GENTLEWOMAN
Good night, good doctor.

GENTLEWOMAN
Good night, good doctor.

Exeunt

They exit.

 

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