Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Macbeth: Modern (Modern)
  • Editor: Anthony Dawson
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • Research assistant: Katie Davion
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-528-5

    Copyright Anthony Dawson. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Anthony Dawson
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Modern (Modern)

    Retreat and flourish. Enter with drum and colors Malcolm, Siward, Ross, Thanes, and Soldiers.
    I would the friends we miss were safe arrived.
    Some must go off, and yet by these I see
    So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
    Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
    Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt;
    2485He only lived but till he was a man,
    The which no sooner had his prowess confirmed
    In the unshrinking station where he fought
    But like a man he died.
    Then he is dead?
    Ay, and brought off the field. Your cause of sorrow
    Must not be measured by his worth, for then
    It hath no end.
    Had he his hurts before?
    Ay, on the front.
    Why then, God's soldier be he.
    Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
    I would not wish them to a fairer death;
    And so his knell is knolled.
    He's worth more sorrow,
    2500And that I'll spend for him.
    He's worth no more--
    They say he parted well and paid his score,
    And so God be with him. Here comes newer comfort.
    Enter Macduff with Macbeth's head.
    Hail, King, for so thou art. Behold where stands
    Th'usurper's cursèd head. The time is free.
    I see thee compassed with thy kingdom's pearl
    That speak my salutation in their minds,
    2510Whose voices I desire aloud with mine:
    Hail, King of Scotland!
    Hail, King of Scotland!
    We shall not spend a large expense of time
    Before we reckon with your several loves
    2515And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen,
    Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
    In such an honor named. What's more to do,
    Which would be planted newly with the time--
    As calling home our exiled friends abroad
    2520That fled the snares of watchful tyranny,
    Producing forth the cruel ministers
    Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen,
    Who, as 'tis thought, by self and violent hands
    Took off her life--this and what needful else
    2525That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace
    We will perform in measure, time, and place.
    So, thanks to all at once and to each one
    Whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone.
    Flourish. Exeunt.