James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 5

Killing of Macbeth

By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

From Macbeth, Act. V, Scene 7.

Slain by Macduff, Dec. 5, 1056.


Macduff:Turn, hell-hound, turn!

Macbeth:Of all men else I have avoided thee:

But get thee back; my soul is too much charged

With blood of thine already.

Macduff:I have no words:

My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain

Than terms can give thee out![They fight.

Macbeth:Thou losest labour:

As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air

With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:

Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;

I bear a charmed life, which must not yield

To one of woman born.

Macduff:Despair thy charm:

And let the angel whom thou still hast served

Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb

Untimely ripp’d.

Macbeth:Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,

For it hath cow’d my better part of man!

And be these juggling fiends no more believed,

That palter with us in a double sense;

That keep the word of promise to our ear,

And break it to our hope. I’ll not fight with thee.

Macduff:Then yield thee, coward,

And live to be the show and gaze o’ the time:

We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,

Painted upon a pole, and underwrit,

‘Here may you see the tyrant.’

Macbeth:I will not yield,

To kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet,

And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.

Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,

And thou opposed, being of no woman born,

Yet I will try the last. Before my body

I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,

And damn’d be him that first cries ‘Hold, enough!’[Exeunt, fighting. Alarums.