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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 3

          Enter MACBETH, Doctor, and Attendants.

1. let them fly all: let all [my thanes] desert [me]. Someone has just given Macbeth another of many reports that thanes of his have joined the forces marching against him. 3. taint: be infected with. the boy Malcolm: How old was Malcolm? 5. mortal consequences: the destinies of mortals. have pronounced me thus: i.e., have given me the following prophecy.
  1    Bring me no more reports; let them fly all.
  2    Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane,
  3    I cannot taint with fear. What's the boy Malcolm?
  4    Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
  5    All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:
  6    "Fear not, Macbeth; no man that's born of woman
  7    Shall e'er have power upon thee." Then fly, false thanes,
8. epicures: lovers of luxury. Thus Macbeth scornfully accuses those who hate and fear him of being soft. 9. The mind I sway by: the mind which rules my actions. Macbeth uses the word "mind" in the sense of "determination," as in the phrase "my mind is made up."
  8    And mingle with the English epicures!
  9    The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
 10    Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.

          Enter Servant.

11. loon: worthless, ignorant boy.
 11    The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
 12    Where got'st thou that goose look?

 13    There is ten thousand—

                                           Geese, villain?

                                                                      Soldiers, sir.

14. over-red: redden over. Macbeth scornfully tells the boy to "prick" his face in order to make blood come and cover his fear. 15. lily-liver'd: cowardly. The liver was thought to be the seat of passions, and a liver which is bloodless, white as a lily, is the liver of a coward. patch: fool. 16. linen: i.e., white, bloodless. 17. Are counsellors to fear: i.e., will teach others to be afraid.
 14    Go prick thy face, and over-red thy fear,
 15    Thou lily-liver'd boy. What soldiers, patch?
 16    Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine
 17    Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?

 18    The English force, so please you.

 19    Take thy face hence.

          Exit Servant.

19-20. I am ... behold—: Macbeth doesn't finish the thought, but perhaps he fears that the servant boy's fear has begun to infect him. 20. This push: i.e., the coming battle. 21. disseat: unseat, remove from the throne. 22. way: course.
                                        Seyton!—I am sick at heart,
 20    When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This push
 21    Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
 22    I have liv'd long enough: my way of life
23. sear: dry, withered.
 23    Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
 24    And that which should accompany old age,
25. As: such as.
 25    As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
 26    I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
 27    Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
28. Which the poor heart would fain deny: i.e., which the miserable hearts of Macbeth's unwilling followers would very much like to withhold.
 28    Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
 29    Seyton!

          Enter SEYTON.

Gilded Greenwich armour of King Henry VIII

Image Source:
Wikipedia: Greenwich armour
 30    What is your gracious pleasure?

                                                          What news more?

 31    All is confirm'd, my lord, which was reported.

 32    I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack'd.
 33    Give me my armour.

                                      'Tis not needed yet.

 34    I'll put it on.
35. moe: more. skirr: scour.
 35    Send out moe horses; skirr the country round;
 36    Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine armour.
 37    How does your patient, doctor?

                                                       Not so sick, my lord,
38. fancies: imaginings, images.
 38    As she is troubled with thick coming fancies,
 39    That keep her from her rest.

                                                   Cure her of that.
 40    Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
 41    Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
42. Raze out: erase. written troubles of the brain: troubles written on the brain. 43. oblivious: causing forgetfulness.
 42    Raze out the written troubles of the brain
 43    And with some sweet oblivious antidote
 44    Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
 45    Which weighs upon the heart?

                                                   Therein the patient
 46    Must minister to himself.

47. physic: the practice of medicine.
 47    Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it.
48. staff: lance.
 48    Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff.
49. Seyton, send out: Macbeth is commanding Seyton to send one of the other servants for something, maybe his lance. 50. dispatch: hurry up. Maybe Seyton is trying to put Macbeth's armor on him. cast / The water: do an urine analysis. 52. pristine: perfect, as if the disease had never been. 54. Pull't off: This must be said to Seyton. Maybe Macbeth has changed his mind about putting on his armor. 55. rhubarb, senna: Both are purgative drugs.
 49    Seyton, send out. Doctor, the thanes fly from me.
 50    Come, sir, dispatch. If thou couldst, doctor, cast
 51    The water of my land, find her disease,
 52    And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
 53    I would applaud thee to the very echo,
 54    That should applaud again.—Pull't off, I say.—
 55    What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug,
 56    Would scour these English hence? Hear'st thou
56. them: i.e., the purgatives that would get rid of the English army.
             of them?

57. preparation: preparation for war.
 57    Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
 58    Makes us hear something.

58. Bring it after me: take it and follow me. This is said to Seyton, who is still holding some of Macbeth's armor. 59. bane: ruin, fatal injury.
                                            Bring it after me.—
 59    I will not be afraid of death and bane,
 60    Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.

          [Exeunt all but the Doctor.]

 61    Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
62. Profit again should hardly draw me here: i.e., no fee, no matter how much multiplied, could bring me back here.
 62    Profit again should hardly draw me here.