Wood and Macbeth
Royal Forest, which includes Birnam Hill, was gifted in 1160
by Malcolm, the Maiden, to Duncan, Earl of Fife, on his marriage
with Princess Ada, the King's niece. This Duncan was a descendant
of that MacDuff who accompanied Malcolm Canmohr on his march
to oust the victorious usurper, Macbeth..
as this hill is, with its belts of graceful birches andgreen
tasselled larches, its patches of purple heather and green blaeberry
knolls, its huge precipitous rocks and gentle slopes with magnificent
prospects, it does not owe its world-wide fame to beauty or
prominence of situation. It has been rendered classical by Shakespeare's
reader knows the story of Macbeth and great Birnam Wood. Duncan,
"gentle king," whose assassination by his general
Macbeth, forms part of the play, was a son of Crinan, the lay
Abbot of Dunkeld. Seventeen years after King Duncan's assassination
by Macbeth, Duncan's son Malcolm marched from Stirling on to
Crieff, thence through the Sma' Glen, their resting place for
the night. Various reasons are cited for the subsequent adornment
of Malcolm's army with branches from Birnam Wood.
in Shakespeare's Macbeth,
V, Scene 3
a room in the castle of Dunsinane:
tells the doctor that he is not afraid of an invasion, because
of the witches´ predictions that, 1) No man born of woman
can kill him and 2) the woods must march before he is defeated.
the country near Birnam Wood:
Macduff and their army are ready to invade Macbeth´s castle.
Malcolm tells his men to camouflage themselves with branches
from the trees in the forest.
every soldier hew him down a bough
bear't before him; thereby shall we shadow
numbers of our host and make discovery
in report of us."
the castle. Macbeth is told that Lady Macbeth is dead. Macbeth
is stunned. A messenger arrives telling Macbeth that Birnam
Woods is marching on Dunsinane. Macbeth realizes that the witches´
prophecy is not good for him, but he fights on, because he is
certain that he will not be killed, because of the other prophecy
that no man born of woman can kill him.
I will not yield,
kiss the ground before young Malcom's feet,
to be baited with the rabble's curse.Though
Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
thou opposed, being of no woman born,
I will try the last. Before my bodyI
throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
Damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough'
to Dunkeld History