• Drum and colors. Enter MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, and soldiers

    MENTEITH

    The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
    His uncle Siward and the good Macduff.
    Revenges burn in them, for their dear causes
    Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
    5Excite the mortified man.

    ANGUS

         Near Birnam Wood
    Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.

    CAITHNESS

    Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?

    LENNOX

    For certain, sir, he is not. I have a file
    Of all the gentry. There is Siward’s son,
    10And many unrough youths that even now
    Protest their first of manhood.

    MENTEITH

         What does the tyrant?

    CAITHNESS

    Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
    Some say he’s mad, others that lesser hate him
    Do call it valiant fury. But, for certain,
    15He cannot buckle his distempered cause
    Within the belt of rule.

    ANGUS

         Now does he feel
    His secret murders sticking on his hands.
    Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach.
    Those he commands move only in command,
    20Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
    Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
    Upon a dwarfish thief.
  • MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, and soldiers enter with a drummer and flag.

    MENTEITH

    The English army is near, led by Malcolm, his uncle Siward, and the good Macduff. They burn for revenge. The wrongs they have suffered would make dead men rise up and fight.

    ANGUS

    We’ll meet them near Birnam Wood. They are coming that way.

    CAITHNESS

    Does anyone know if Donalbain is with his brother?

    LENNOX

    He is definitely not there, sir. I have a list of all the important men. Siward’s son is there, as well as many boys too young to have beards who will become men by joining in this battle.

    MENTEITH

    What is the tyrant Macbeth doing?

    CAITHNESS

    He is fortifying his castle at Dunsinane with heavy defenses. Some say he’s insane. Those who hate him less call it brave anger. One thing is certain: he’s out of control.

    ANGUS

    Now Macbeth feels the blood of his murdered enemies sticking to his hands. Now, rebel armies punish him every minute for his treachery. The soldiers he commands are only following orders. They don’t fight because they love Macbeth. Now he seems too small to be a great king, like a midget trying to wear the robes of a giant.