Order It: Macbeth’s “Out, out, brief candle!”

As the play’s climactic battle approaches, Macbeth is told of his wife’s death. He responds, “She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word.” And then he launches into one of Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquies, about the fleeting and fragile nature of life. Can you correctly order these lines from Act 5, Scene 5 of Macbeth?


Phrases from this speech have been used for titles by other authors, such as “Out, Out—”, a poem by Robert Frost; “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”, a short story by Kurt Vonnegut; and The Sound and the Fury, a novel by William Faulkner.

Watch Ian Merrill Peakes perform this soliloquy in the 2008 Folger Theatre and Two River Theater Company production of Macbeth, co-directed by Teller and Aaron Posner.

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