• Drum and colors. Enter MALCOLM, SIWARD, MACDUFF, Siward’s SON, MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, ROSS, and SOLDIERS, marching

    MALCOLM

    Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
    That chambers will be safe.

    MENTEITH

         We doubt it nothing.

    SIWARD

    What wood is this before us?

    MENTEITH

         The wood of Birnam.

    MALCOLM

    Let every soldier hew him down a bough
    5And bear ’t before him. Thereby shall we shadow
    The numbers of our host and make discovery
    Err in report of us.

    SOLDIERS

         It shall be done.

    SIWARD

    We learn no other but the confident tyrant
    Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure
    10Our setting down before ’t.

    MALCOLM

         'Tis his main hope:
    For, where there is advantage to be given,
    Both more and less have given him the revolt,
    And none serve with him but constrainèd things
    Whose hearts are absent too.

    MACDUFF

         Let our just censures
    15Attend the true event, and put we on
    Industrious soldiership.
  • MALCOLM, old SIWARD and his SON, MACDUFF, MENTEITH, CAITHNESS, ANGUS, LENNOX, ROSS, and SOLDIERS enter marching, with a drummer and flag.

    MALCOLM

    Kinsmen, I hope the time is coming when people will be safe in their own bedrooms.

    MENTEITH

    We don’t doubt it.

    SIWARD

    What’s the name of this forest behind us?

    MENTEITH

    Birnam Wood.

    MALCOLM

    Tell every soldier to break off a branch and hold it in front of him. That way we can conceal how many of us there are, and Macbeth’s spies will give him inaccurate reports.

    SOLDIERS

    We’ll do it.

    SIWARD

    We have no news except that the overconfident Macbeth is still in Dunsinane and will allow us to lay siege to the castle.

    MALCOLM

    He wants us to lay siege. Wherever his soldiers have an opportunity to leave him, they do, whatever rank they are. No one fights with him except men who are forced to, and their hearts aren’t in it.

    MACDUFF

    We shouldn’t make any judgments until we achieve our goal. Let’s go fight like hardworking soldiers.