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 is 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 most 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

This section appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, providing citations to reliable, secondary sources, rather than simply listing appearances. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2018)

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow...

... and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death

Out, out, brief candle!

Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage.

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Other reuses

References

  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.
  3. ^ Robinson, Edward G.; Spigelgass, Leonard (1973). All my yesterdays; an autobiography. Internet Archive. New York, Hawthorn Books.
  4. ^ "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men", Wikipedia, 2020-10-28, retrieved 2021-01-02
  5. ^ "Take a Break Lyrics". lyrics.com. Retrieved 2018-12-23.