during act 5, the soldiers of english army, led by Malcolm and the Scottish army meet by the Birnam Wood to join forces and ambush Macbeth’s castle to take his life and position from the throne. Macbeth’s servant, Seyton confirms to him that an army of 10 thousand english soldiers approach his castle, to this Macbeth replies; “I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked. Give me my armor.” and insists the doctor cure his wife of her delusions.
Malcom orders his soldiers to each cut down a branch from the wood of birnam and march whilst holding it front of him in order to conceal the true numbers of the army as they near the castle. “Let every soldier hew him down a bough And bear ’t before him. Thereby shall we shadow The numbers of our host and make discovery Err in report of us.”
inside the castle, Macbeth is preparing himself for battle but is interrupted by the screams of a woman, as he enquires where the racket is coming from, Seyton comes forward to inform him that the queen, Lady Macbeth is dead. Macbeth is uprepaired for this news and is left in distraught. here he performs his famous words of the speech, tomorrow and tomorrow.
“ She should have died hereafter.
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
following this, a messenger from the castle enters and claims he saw birnam wood moving toward the castle whilst on watch, enraged and terrifies, macbeth thinks back to the prophecy from the witches that stated he would not die until Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane. he then accepts that the witches prediction is to soon become a reality and claims that at least he will die fighting with armour on his back. “I ‘gin to be aweary of the sun, And wish th’ estate o’ th’ world were now undone.— Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack! At least we’ll die with harness on our back.”
as the battle commenses out side the castle. Macbeth stands by the witches prophecy that he is invinsible to all man born of woman can harm him until he encounters macduff. as they fight, macbeth informs macduff that he can not be slain by any man born from woman therefore he is merely wasting his time. To this, macduff replies with;” Despair thy charm, And let the angel whom thou still hast served Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb Untimely ripped.”, meaning he was cut from his mothers stomach as a cesarean sectioned birth before she was able to naturally give birth, therefore the claim that Macbeth can not be harmed by any man born of a women doesn’t apply to macduff. Macbeth, now fearing for his life claims he will not surrender and he and Macduff then continue to fight until Macbeth is slain.