Macbeth's last act rewrite

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For a class project, i re-wrote the last act of the play "Macbeth". if you have read that play, try reading a different kind of end for it. I think you might enjoy the twists.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Macbeth's last act rewrite

Submitted: February 10, 2013

Reads: 107

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Submitted: February 10, 2013






 Act V.

Scene I. Dunsinane A room in the castle.

Macbeth sits alone in a daze and suddenly enters the ghost of Banquo.

Macbeth. What is this fantasy that I behold once again, why do my past atrocities insist on haunting and tormenting me so?

Banquo. I have come to renew my visit to you, old friend, and this is how you receive me with such disbelief and unwelcoming manners. Is this truly what my long lasting friendship with you has earned me?

Macbeth. Oh! I know you are not human for you lack the warmth that all humans have as blood runs through their veins, or the way their chest moves in search of a breath to extends their miserable lives.

Banquo. Then, old friend, with the same logic you have just used, how do you explain my presence, and the fact that I am now standing at this very spot conversing with you?

Macbeth. Oh you wretched thing! Thou are nothing but a figment of my imagination caused by ………

Banquo. Do continue, friend. What is the reason for this fantasy that you now claim to behold?  If I am truly a ghost as you speak, then, why do I appear to you? Could you have possibly wronged me in some way that I am unaware of?

(Macbeth stands up and starts pacing along the room while Banquo stares at him in a challenging manner).

Macbeth. Why do you look at me so, you fool? I am guilty of nothing, and I challenge thee to prove otherwise.

Banquo. It seems to me, Macbeth, that it is thy conscience that charges thee of this wrongdoing not I. So, what  say you to that old mate?

Macbeth. Whether you are dead or alive, you dare accuse your king.

Banquo. King! What king? There is no king within my sight. The only king I know of, is King Duncan who was unfairly murdered by what I assume to be your own hands.

Macbeth. Even if the great Duncan met his end by my hands, do tell me, you mad ghost, who can hold me accountable for that deed?  I am the king, and I answer to no one.

Banquo. Well, if what you say is true, then, why are all your features governed by the fear of discovery and due punishment?

Macbeth. I fear none as all men, who come from a woman's womb, lack the ability to kill me, and that consequently renders me immortal.

Banquo. Perhaps.

Macbeth. You doubt it? Well, doubt no more, for the witches, who have foretold my future as king, have also through their prophecies proclaimed me immortal.

Banquo. Well, they have also foretold that my children will be kings, and if you had believed that truth, you would have taken action to rid yourself of me and my children, but you have not. Or have you?

Macbeth. I am innocent of such claims. The sin of your death and the smashing of your head falls on another man not me.

Banquo. I knew you to be ambitious, but still I believed in our brotherhood, as we have shared our bread, joys, sorrows, losses, and victories together. It did not occur to me that ending my life and my son's life would be such an easy feat for you.

Macbeth. What nonsense is that that you speak?

Banquo. I know now, for sure, that it was you who had ordered my demise. You have confessed it with your own tongue.

Macbeth. I have done no such thing.

Banquo. Oh! But you have when you said my "smashed head", and that is the injury which caused my death, of which only the killer and his instigator knew, so  consequently you must be one of the two. 

Macbeth. I had to do it. You must, surely, see the reason why. If I had let you, and your son live,then, all that I had committed, in the name of my ambition, would have been for naught.

Banquo. I would have never shown you the same disloyalty and betrayal that you had shown Duncan. You would have been my king, and before that, my brother.

Macbeth. Still, I could not take the chance of letting my crown be like a barren women that can not bring forth kings with my blood running through their veins.

Banquo. Excuses, These are nothing, but excuses that you make to conceal your monstrous nature that now craves to kill without any kind of end behind the deed.

Macbeth. Silence that mouth of yours.  I am no such thing.

Banquo. Oh! But you are, and now I am here to force you to face your hated reality.

Macbeth. No, all I have done was forced upon me. I once had honor, and I can have it again if I wish it.

Banquo. Honor can only be restored if you wash the innocent blood from your hands, and that can not be accomplished even by washing your hands with holy water for a thousand years.

Macbeth. That is enough. I can not take any more of this censure. I command thee to be gone from my sight this very moment.

(The ghost of Banquo vanishes, leaving Macbeth trembling on the floor with dagger in his hand).

Scene II. Country near Dunsinane.

Enter Lennox and some of the lords who revolted against Macbeth.

Lennox. Honored lords, I wish to hear your opinions on a subject that troubles me, and I ask for complete honesty, as what is to be said here shall never go beyond these walls.

First lord. What is it lord Lennox?

Lennox. It is just that, I begin to question the wisdom of what we have done by revolting against Macbeth.

Second lord. Then, did you want us to let our beloved Scotland fall into ruins, or let famine, and plagues ravish the bodies of our women, and children simply because they are ruled by such an unjust king as Macbeth?

Lennox. Nay, dear friend, you misunderstand me. What I question is not the reason or motivation beyond our actions, for that point, stands no argument. It is the wisdom of the action that I begin to doubt. Now, I will state my reasons for this doubt.

First lord. Then, make haste with your reasons as you have aroused my concern.

Lennox. Well, a rumor has spread lately. Macbeth claims that he is immortal and can never be defeated by a man of flesh and blood, and that is why he now kills so freely, and openly without any fear of consequences.

Second lord. This is utter nonsense. I do not believe such blasphemy for God would never let such a monster live forever.

Lennox. Perhaps, what you speak is the truth, but if not, wouldn't that mean that we are now on the losing side of the battle, and are thus signing our own death sentences?

First lord. Pray, friend, do not occupy your mind with such silly thoughts, for we have greater matters to attend to before Malcolm and his army reach Scotland to rid it of that beast.

Lennox. Yes, you are most likely correct. Yet I can not help but fear for our lives. Still, God willing, we will, soon, see the end of that devil's rule by the hands of the virtuous, Malcolm.

Second lord. Yes. Furthermore, to further ally your worries, I have learned that many of the lords have decided to join hands with Malcolm, and turn against Macbeth.

Lennox. That is truly great tidings. Yet, why did they come to such a decision now?

First lord. It is because of what Macbeth has committed against Macduff and his family. So, now, every lord fears that at any moment Macbeth in a fit of madness might turn against him and murders him and his family.

Lennox. You have truly given me a reason to hope that at the end, this battle will be ours, and we will get to see a Scotland that resembles paradise once again, and not this hell that we now live in.

Second lord. When do Malcolm and his army arrive?

Lennox. Soon, my friend, soon enough, to appease our anxious hearts.

Scene III. Dunsinane. A room in the castle.

Macbeth sits alone muttering incoherent thoughts, staring at the air, and (suddenly), enters Lady Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth. Oh my lord, what has become of you? This sight breaks the heart that I had thought already destroyed by the foul deeds that we have committed.

Macbeth. Wife, it seems that we were mistaken, and have no reason to feel this guilt that consumes both of our souls.

Lady Macbeth. Oh husband, I believe your senses have at last completely deserted you, for a guilty conscience is not enough to make up for what we have done. Even if, we were to live in hell for a thousand years, that might not be enough to wash away our sins.

Macbeth. Yes, I had once thought the same, but today I received a visit from one so loved to our hearts, and whom we have thought killed by none other than our own hands.

Lady Macbeth. What is this madness you speak of, king?

Macbeth. He was here I tell you. Banquo. He is not really dead, and our hands are free of his blood.

Lady Macbeth. Nonsense.  Banquo is dead, and it was you who had stabbed him in the back despite your so called love for him.

Macbeth. I tell you, you foolish woman, that he was just here in the very spot that you  are now standing in, making conversation with me.

Lady Macbeth. Oh! How I wish that it might be true, and that you could rid yourself of at least one innocent life wrongly ended.

Macbeth. What a simpleton you will feel when you see him, and find out that I was indeed telling you the truth.

Lady Macbeth. (aside). I can not take this any more. It pains me to see that my love has lost his mind, and that, I played a great part in causing this misery.  Oh dear god! Forgive me because if I had not pushed him to kill Duncan and, betray all that is good and honorable in the world, for the sake of my ambition and his, he would have now been at peace, and not be forced to resort to strange fantasies, just to be able to live with himself.

(Re-enter the ghost of Banquo).

Macbeth. Dear friend, how glad I am to see you once again.

Lady Macbeth. Who are you speaking to, husband?

Macbeth. What, have you gone blind and can not see the man that stands before you? It is Banquo, and he is alive, just like I told you.

Lady Macbeth. There is no one there.

Macbeth. Yes, there is. Speak to her, Banquo and tell this crazed woman that you live, and I have not truly betrayed my brother.

Banquo. What brother is that that you speak of ? Is it the one that despite knowing you to be a killer and an unlawful king, still gave you his trust and loyalty, and did not think that you would attack him while his back was turned? Or, is he the one whom you had sent murderers to kill and end the life of his only son, whom you have known since he was a baby, and should have regarded as your own?

Macbeth. Stop your jesting, friend. I have done no such thing, and the evidence is that you now stand before me unharmed. Is it not so, wife, do you see any wound on his body, or is he armed in any way?

Lady Macbeth. Please, come back to your senses and cease these words. The walls have ears. If you are heard by chance, then, we are damned, and even this uncertain greatness that we have given up everything for, will cease to be ours.

Banquo. Now, now friend, are you so naïve as to think that by ridding yourself of the guilt of having killed one person, that all you crimes will magically disappear? Is the ruthless Macbeth truly this childish and harbors such silly fantasies?

Lady Macbeth. Nay, this will not do. I must find a way to help you, and somehow fix what my hands have helped create. Then, maybe this suffering, that slowly eats my soul every single day, will end so that I will know, once again, what it means to be at peace.

Macbeth. What in heavens is the matter with both of you? You are the ones who have lost their senses not I. He claims to be dead when he is, so clearly, alive, simply to torture me. But, why ,wife do you play along with such a game and pretend that you can not see him? Have you come to loath me this much, and do not wish me to taste restful sleep once again without nightmares to haunt me?

Banquo. Fine, let's say that I live, but does that bring  Duncan back great man that you have killed while  he was a guest at your home, or does it bring Macduff's innocent buds that you have killed without even giving them a chance to flower?

(Macbeth gets riled up and reaches for dagger on the table, and holds it to his nick)

Lady Macbeth. No, I beg of you, do not commit such a folly that you can never regret or fix. Please, I can not live in this misery alone. Do not leave me, husband.

Banquo. So, you remain a coward to the very end, don't you? You have never chosen anything other than the easy way out. I guess it is an end that befits your meaningless existence. Yet, even in death, you will not own up to your crimes but fear not, for hell awaits you, my friend, and there, you will burn over and over again, and there will be no end to your suffering.

Macbeth. No, I have done nothing wrong, then, why should I take my own life? It is your deception and lies, Banquo that make me despair as such. Then, I just have to rid myself of you and all will be well again.

(Macbeth thrusts the dagger towards Banquo whom he sees moving towards lady Macbeth. So, Macbeth unknowingly stabs her instead, and she falls to the ground).

Macbeth. Get up this instant, woman. I command thee to rise for you are alright and are not hurt.

Lady Macbeth. Finally, it is over. But, how I wish that, it did not have to be by your hands, my love for I had wished to lift some of the heavy burden of your shoulder. Yet, now I add a mountain's worth on top if it.

Macbeth. Quit this nonsense love. Why do you speak like a woman on her death bed? You are fine. It is just a silly wound, and it is not fatal.

Lady Macbeth. You once said that blood will never cease to draw blood. Now, I wish with my last breath that my blood will be the last that you ever shed, husband.

Macbeth. I have not killed my wife, nay, I have not. You all lie for I love my wife more than my own life. All that, I have done, was for her sake, to prove my love for her, and to give her the position that she deserves. No, this is trickery, is not it? She feigns being dead to get me to admit how much I love her. Well, I love you more than this kingship, for whose sake I have committed things that any man with a soul should never do.

Banquo. Now, you have tasted your own medicine as you have lost your loved one just like you have robbed Malcolm of his father and Macduff of his children. This is the worst price you could ever pay.

(Macbeth holds the body of the dead lady Macbeth in his hands and wails)

Macbeth. Yes, I have killed countless souls who have done me no harm, and who, instead, deserved my loyalty and mercy. Now, this is the harshest punishment I could receive.

Banquo. It is not too late to repent, my friend.

Macbeth. Oh! I repent, but I pray to God to never show any mercy upon me, and to have me suffer in hell for all eternity, yet to show my wife's soul some mercy, and to save her from hell as she had to live in hell here on earth because of my wrongdoings.

Banquo. Fear not, my friend, as God's mercy has no limits.

Macbeth. I must beg for mercy. Do you forgive me, my friend?

Banquo. Yes, I do as the pain, that you now feel, makes up for the injustice you have done me.

Macbeth. Yet, there are so many whom I have to beg their forgiveness before I meet my end. Let us go and seek Duncan and Macduff's family, and see if they have it in their hearts to forget my sins against them.

Banquo. Come, friend. I will show you the way to those whom you have wronged.

(Macbeth and the ghost of Banquo exit the room).

Scene IV. An unknown forest.

Suddenly appears the three witches.

First witch. Come sisters, come.

 Second witch. Is it time, sister.

 Third witch. How lovely! is it almost here.

First witch. Yes, I can almost taste his end.

Second witch. Yes, his end. This delights my soul.

First witch. You forget, sister, that we have no soul. We only play with human souls for our entertainment.

Third witch. Oh yes, can you imagine how boring our existence would be if we did not ruin a human's life and cause his damnation every once in a while?

Second witch. It does break the rut, doesn't it?

First witch. Poor Macbeth, it was his bad luck that made him land in our grasp.

Third witch. He is poor indeed. You know, sisters, I have come to almost pity him.

First witch. I do admire your sense of humor.

(The three witches laugh in an evil way, a laugh that chases all living creatures from the forest).

Third witch. Make haste, sisters, to make yourselves invisible to the human eye, for here comes the mad Macbeth.

Second witch. Yes, I hear his steps and sense his ragged breath which he wishes to never take again.

First witch. Yes. Now, we disappear, but not for long sweet Macbeth, not for long.

Scene V. Dunsinane, a room in the castle.

Enter Malcolm, Macduff, and their lords.

Malcolm. At last, I am back to my rightful place.

Macduff. Yes, my king, all is almost set right again, but the most important task still lies ahead of us.

Malcolm. You speak the truth, my worthy lord, for we now must rid our beloved Scotland of the villain that plagues it, nay the whole world would better off without such a devil.

Macduff. And I have your word that the deed will be done by my hands.

Malcolm. Yes, you do as what has been done to you, earned you that right.

Macduff. Thank you, your majesty, for granting my most ardent wish. I promiseyou that once I have fulfilled my duty to my family, that my life is now and will always be at your service, to do with it what ever you please.

Malcolm. Is there still news on the whereabouts of the monster Macbeth?

Macduff. No, not yet, your majesty. This waiting tests my patience because every moment that passes, and that monster breathes the same air as I, is a moment in which the restless bones of my wife and children await the body of the villain to join them under the ground so they can finally find peace.

(A messenger enters the room with a letter in his hand).

Malcolm. What news do you bear?

The messenger. The soldiers have searched the castle and its surroundings and there is no sign of Macbeth, your majesty.

Malcolm. Has he fled the castle?

The messenger. It does seem so, my lord, for we have only found the body of his dead wife lying in one of rooms with a deadly wound in her stomach.

Macduff. Was she killed? And if so, by whose hands whom?

The messenger. From what we have gathered from the servants, it seems that it was done by her husband himself, but we are not sure of what really took place, my lord.

Macduff. Is there no end to that man's evilness? Please God, be merciful on my soul, and do not further delay the end of the monster whose own wife could even escape his malice.

Malcolm. I give you an order to use all the soldiers at your disposal to search for Macbeth, even if you have to search all the corners of the Earth. The villain must be found so that all of our hearts that yearn for vengeance can finally rest in our chests.

The messenger. Yes, your majesty.

(Exit the messenger).

Scene VI. Macbeth sits on a rock in the Great Birnam Wood. Then, he starts to walk without realizing for a long time, and wakes from his daze to find that he has reached Dunsinane hill.

Macbeth. What is this place?  How did I come to be here? Was this done by magic for I was in Birnam Wood just a moment ago? Banquo, where are you, friend?

(Enter the ghost of Banquo along with  the ghost of Duncan).

Banquo. I am here, and I have brought the one whom you desire to see the most.

Macbeth. Duncan, oh Duncan! I am truly glad to see your kind face once again.

Duncan. My kind face you say, then was my face unkind or cruel when you used a dagger to murder me in my sleep?

Macbeth. Forgive me. It was my greed and ambition that made me lose my sanity, and then I lost everything that matter to me.

Duncan. Your regret comes too late, for what is done can not be erased.

Banquo. Now, your majesty, perhaps if you give him your forgiveness, you will finally be able to let go of this world, and move on to heaven where you will surely live forever.

Duncan. If what you say is true, then forgiving this devil is a small price to pay. I will   see God's face and his angels in heaven, where I will spend my eternity, while this devil rots in hell.

Macbeth. Then, do I have your forgiveness?

Duncan. You have it, old friend, and may God end your misery here on earth, but still may he give you your due punishment in the other world, for that is only way the balance of good and evil can be maintained.

Macbeth.  Neither death nor betrayal has marred your great nature. An angel you were on earth, and as one you will surely live in the sky.

Duncan. Farewell.

Macbeth. Farewell, my king, the king that the likes of Scotland will never see again.

Banquo. Farewell.

(Exit the ghost of Duncan).

Banquo. Is your mind finally at peace, Macbeth?

Macbeth. No, I do not deserve to ever taste peace of mind or heart again. I have no right to crave such a luxury.

Banquo. Indeed, you do not.

Macbeth. Be it that you are real or not, I wish to make one request of you.

Banquo. What is it?

Macbeth. Would you bear to sufffr, just one more time, as my brother, for I ask of you to keep me company, and not to move on until I meet my end?

Banquo. But you have once claimed immortality.

Macbeth. Yes, but now I think that one of the prophecies that have foretold my end, have been fulfilled, be it through magic or my own imagination.

Banquo. You can fight if wish to survive, for I do not believe those witches and I never have.

Macbeth. Yes, perhaps you speak the truth, but I do not wish to postpone my end, in reality it can not come soon enough to please me. Yet it is almost here, and you shall not have to wait long to join Duncan in heaven.

Banquo. Fear not, Macbeth, I will not desert you as you were once, a most beloved brother to my heart.

(Enter the three witches, and they are standing on thin air. Macbeth runs to the edge of the hill to talk to them).

First witch. How nice it is to see you, unworthy king.

Second witch. Sister, quit you harsh words. Can not see you that our sweet Macbeth suffers?

Third witch. Yes, do not be so wicked, show him that you have a kind heart.

Second witch. Again and again, sister, you forget that we have no heart.

First witch. Well. I guess we are partially responsible for his misery so I must be nicer to him.

Third witch. Well, do not blame yourself so badly, sister, because in the end it was his black heart that caused his damnation.

Macbeth. No, it was your foul words that made me lose my humanity and honor.

 Second witch. Now, that is a lie. We can only nourish evil inside a human soul, but we can not create. Thus, you had a black and evil heart to begin with.

Macbeth. You lie. I had courage and honor and was loved by all.

First witch. Why do humans love appearances so much? You only looked like a good man on the outside, but you were rotten on the inside.

Macbeth. No, I was a good man and you ruined me. I must rid the world of you, you unnatural things, for you do not belong in this world.

Macbeth rushes forward to grab the witches but falls off the cliff and dies).)

Scene VII. A room within the castle.

Malcolm and Macduff are sitting, a soldier enters.

Soldier. I ask for permission to convey my news, you majesty.

Malcolm. You have it, but make haste with your words for my patience is already worn out. Have you found Macbeth?

Soldier. Yes, we have.

Macduff. And? Speak quickly or I will make this last time you speak for I will cut that slow tongue of yours.

Soldier. There are witnesses who saw him heading towards the Great Birnam wood and when we followed him there, we found his dead body at the bottom of the hill.

Macduff. You lie. Speak the truth or I will kill you this instant.

Soldier. I fear that it is indeed the truth, my lord.

(Macduff collapses on the floor and starts sobbing).

Malcolm. Do you know how he came to his end?

Soldier. No, sir. Yet I believe that he most likely have taken his own life when he realized that he was defeated, and has no way to escape his death.

Malcolm. Even in his death, he still torments us. It would not be enough of punishment, even if he burns in hell for all eternity, yes not enough.

Macduff. How will I face them, my poor wife and children? How can I defend myself that even after I had left them to die, I still could not avenge their death?

Malcolm. You must bear this like a man. Forget the past, and I will make you , my second in command and give greatness that you can not dream of.

Macduff. You ask me to forget my wife and children, how can I ever do that?

Malcolm. You will marry again to a fair maiden and have all the children you want with her. You can start over, so I pray you, do not despair.

Macduff. No, I belong with my family and to them I will go, even if I have to face them with a heart filled with shame because of my failure to both protect and avenge them.

(Macduff pulls his sword and stabs himself. Malcolm holds his dead body).

Malcolm. No, why must another good man go before his time? May your blood be the last blood that Scotland has to shed in order to be free and prosperous once again. Good bye, my friend, and now you can find your stolen happiness in heaven with those  whom you love.

Scene VIII. A deserted land in the middle of nowhere.

The three witches stand together chanting and laughing.

First witch. It is finally done, sisters.

Second witch. Yes, here goes another one.

First witch. Yes, but it was such a delight to cause his fall.

Second witch. You know what, sisters, I think I will miss him.

Third witch. True, but that is the beauty of the human world, there are so many souls that we can play with.

Second witch. Oh! How I yearn to toy with another great man's life and make him live in so much misery that he would wish to die simply for his suffering to end.

First witch. Then, let's make haste and find our next victim.

Third witch. What lies shall we tell this time, and what tricks shall we use?

Second witch. We will come up with something fun. We always do.

Third witch. Let's be on our way, for I can almost hear the greedy heart of our next toy calling.

First witch. Well, we can not keep him waiting, can we now?

(The three witches leave while laughing a laugh that would make the devil himself shiver in fear).






























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