Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 1

          Enter a Doctor of Physic
          and a Waiting-Gentlewoman.

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

  4    Since his majesty went into the field, I have
  5    seen her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown
6. closet: chest.
  6    upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold
  7    it, write upon't, read it, afterwards seal it, and again
  8    return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.

  9    A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once
10. do the effects of watching: do the actions of a waking person. 11. agitation: activity.
 10    the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of
 11    watching! In this slumbery agitation, besides her
12. actual performances: i.e., observed activities.
 12    walking and other actual performances, what, at any
 13    time, have you heard her say?

14. That which I will not report after her: i.e., things which I will not repeat.
 14    That, sir, which I will not report after her.

15. meet: fitting, proper.
 15    You may to me, and 'tis most meet you
 16    should.

17. having no witness : because I have no witness. Apparently Lady Macbeth has said what we will soon hear her say, which amounts to a confession of murder. The Gentlewoman dares not repeat such things without a witness.
 17    Neither to you nor any one; having no witness
 18    to confirm my speech.

          Enter LADY [MACBETH], with a taper.

19. her very guise: exactly the way she always looks. 20. stand close: stay out of sight.

Lady Macbeth sleepwalking Artist: Johann Heinrich Füssli
 19    Lo you, here she comes! This is her very guise; and,
 20    upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.

 21    How came she by that light?

 22    Why, it stood by her. She has light by her
 23    continually; 'tis her command.

 24    You see, her eyes are open.

25. their sense: i.e., the ability to see.

Helen Rynne
Lady Macbeth
 25    Ay, but their sense is shut.

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

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

 31    Yet here's a spot.

32. set down: write down.
 32    Hark! she speaks. I will set down what comes
33. satisfy: confirm.
 33    from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more
 34    strongly.

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

 41    Do you mark that?

 42    The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now?—
 43    What, will these hands ne'er be clean?—No more o'
 44    that, my lord, no more o' that: you mar all with
45. this starting: these startled movements. Apparently Lady Macbeth is imagining the moments just after the murder of King Duncan, especially Macbeth's reaction to the knocking at the gate. 46. go to: "Go to" is a colloquial phrase with many possible meanings. In this case, the Doctor means something like "ai yi yi! we have a big problem."
Annika Boris
Lady Macbeth
 45    this starting.

 46    Go to, go to; you have known what you should
 47    not.

 48    She has spoke what she should not, I am sure
 49    of that; heaven knows what she has known.

 50    Here's the smell of the blood still. All the
 51    perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this
 52    little hand. O, O, O!

53. sorely charg'd: painfully overfull.
 53    What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely
 54    charg'd.

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

 57    Well, well, well.

58. Pray God it be, sir: The Doctor uses the phrase "well, well, well" as an expression of wonder and dismay; the Gentlewoman purposely takes the word "well" in its sense of "good, healthy." 59. beyond my practise: beyond the scope of my expertise.
 58    Pray God it be, sir.

 59    This disease is beyond my practise; yet I
 60    have known those which have walked in
 61    their sleep who have died holily in their beds.

 62    Wash your hands, put on your nightgown;
 63    look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo's
64. come out on's grave: come out of his grave.
 64    buried; he cannot come out on's grave.

 65    Even so?

 66    To bed, to bed! there's knocking at the gate:
 67    come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What's
 68    done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!

          Exit Lady.

 69    Will she go now to bed?

 70    Directly.

 71    Foul whisperings are abroad. Unnatural deeds
 72    Do breed unnatural troubles; infected minds
 73    To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.
 74    More needs she the divine than the physician.
76. the means of all annoyance: anything which might cause injury. The Doctor may think Lady Macbeth might commit suicide. 77. still: always.
 75    God, God forgive us all! Look after her;
 76    Remove from her the means of all annoyance,
 77    And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night:
78. mated: stupefied, bewildered, shocked.
 78    My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.
 79    I think, but dare not speak.

                                         Good night, good doctor.