• Enter MACBETH, SEYTON, and SOLDIERS, with drum and colors

    MACBETH

    Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
    The cry is still “They come!” Our castle’s strength
    Will laugh a siege to scorn. Here let them lie
    Till famine and the ague eat them up.
    5Were they not forced with those that should be ours,
    We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
    And beat them backward home.
    A cry within of women
         What is that noise?

    SEYTON

    It is the cry of women, my good lord.
    Exit

    MACBETH

    I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
    10The time has been my senses would have cooled
    To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair
    Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
    As life were in ’t. I have supped full with horrors.
    Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts
    15Cannot once start me.
    Enter SEYTON
    Wherefore was that cry?

    SEYTON

    The queen, my lord, is dead.
  • MACBETH, SEYTON, and SOLDIERS enter with a drummer and flag.

    MACBETH

    Hang our flags on the outer walls. Everyone keeps yelling, “Here they come!” Our castle is strong enough to laugh off their seige. They can sit out there until they die of hunger and disease. If it weren’t for the fact that so many of our soldiers revolted and joined them, we could have met them out in front of the castle, man to man, and beaten them back to England.
    A sound of women crying offstage.
    What’s that noise?

    SEYTON

    It’s women crying, my good lord.
    SEYTON exits.

    MACBETH

    I’ve almost forgotten what fear feels like. There was a time when I would have been terrified by a shriek in the night, and the hair on my skin would have stood up when I heard a ghost story. But now I’ve had my fill of real horrors. Horrible things are so familiar that they can’t startle me.
    SEYTON comes back in.
    What was that cry for?

    SEYTON

    The queen is dead, my lord.