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 2

          Drum and colours. Enter MENTEITH,
          CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, Soldiers.

  1    The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
  2    His uncle Siward and the good Macduff.
3-5. their dear causes ... man: their heartfelt motives for revenge [the murders of Malcolm's father and Macduff's family] would make even a half-dead man eager to rush into a bloody and fearful battle.
  3    Revenges burn in them; for their dear causes
  4    Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
  5    Excite the mortified man.

                                              Near Birnam wood
6. well: no doubt.
  6    Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.

  7    Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?

8. file: list.
  8    For certain, sir, he is not; I have a file
  9    Of all the gentry: there is Siward's son,
10. unrough: smooth-faced, without beards. In Shakespeare's time, men often started their military careers as young as age fourteen. 11. Protest their first of manhood: make their first show of real manhood.
 10    And many unrough youths that even now
 11    Protest their first of manhood.

                                                  What does the tyrant?

 12    Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
 13    Some say he's mad; others that lesser hate him
 14    Do call it valiant fury; but, for certain,
15-16. He cannot buckle his distemper'd cause / Within the belt of rule: he cannot, by any moderation ["rule"], control his diseased impulse to act. The metaphor summons up an image of a man vainly trying to buckle his belt around his swollen belly.
 15    He cannot buckle his distemper'd cause
 16    Within the belt of rule.

                                           Now does he feel
 17    His secret murders sticking on his hands;
18. minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach: every minute new revolts upbraid him for his breach of faith. 19. in command: because they are ordered to; i.e., out of fear.
 18    Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach;
 19    Those he commands move only in command,
 20    Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
 21    Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe
 22    Upon a dwarfish thief.

                                            Who then shall blame
23. pester'd: tormented. start jump about fitfully.
 23    His pester'd senses to recoil and start,
 24    When all that is within him does condemn
 25    Itself for being there?

                                            Well, march we on,
 26    To give obedience where 'tis truly owed.
27. Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal: We are going to join the medicine [i.e., Malcolm] that will cure the sickly commonwealth. 28-29. And with him ... us: and with him [Malcolm] we will pour every drop of our blood into the cure of our country.
 27    Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal,
 28    And with him pour we in our country's purge
 29    Each drop of us.

                                      Or so much as it needs,
30. dew: water. sovereign royal; having the greatest power to cure.
 30    To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
 31    Make we our march towards Birnam.

          Exeunt, marching.