Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

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She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
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
Signifying nothing.


— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" is the beginning of the second sentence of one of the more famous soliloquies in William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth. It takes place in the beginning of the 5th scene of Act 5, during the time when the Scottish troops, led by Malcolm and Macduff, are approaching Macbeth's castle to besiege it. Macbeth, the play's protagonist, is confident that he can withstand any siege from Malcolm's forces. He hears the cry of a woman and reflects that there was a time when his hair would have stood on end if he had heard such a cry, but he is now so full of horrors and slaughterous thoughts that it can no longer startle him.

Seyton then tells Macbeth of Lady Macbeth's death, and Macbeth delivers this soliloquy as his response to the news.[1] Shortly afterwards he is told of the apparent movement of Birnam Wood towards Dunsinane Castle (as the witches previously prophesied to him), which is actually Malcolm's forces having disguised themselves with tree branches so as to hide their numbers as they approach the castle. This sets the scene for the final events of the play and Macbeth's death at the hands of Macduff.

Titular reuses[edit]

Other reuses[edit]

  • Minister Zhang from Mr. Robot quotes the speech in an episode titled "Logic Bomb".[citation needed]
  • In the movie Birdman by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the entire monologue is recited by a jobless actor in the street.
  • In the video game Saints Row IV, the main antagonist Zinyak recites the soliloquy in its entirety, save for the first sentence.
  • The mis-quote "creeps on this petty pace" is used by the Sopranos character Johnny Sack in the season four finale when complaining to Tony Soprano over Johnny's working relationship with his boss.
  • In Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen (episode 4) the Doctor, having destroyed a cyberman using a cybermat, declaims before the body: "...dusty death. Out, out..." - he is heard no more as Sarah Jane Smith hurries him from the room.
  • Marilyn Manson recites part of the soliloquy in the song "Overneath the Path of Misery" and in the short film Born Villain (2011).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andersen, Richard (2009). Macbeth. Marshall Cavendish. p. 104.
  2. ^ Platou, Arnold S. (March 31, 2003). "Harry Warner's parallel universe". The Herald-Mail. Retrieved 22 October 2016.

External links[edit]