Macbeth Act by Act Summary
Act I. sc. I Setting: deserted heath; storming Summary: * Three witches chant * First witch asks when the three witches will meet again. * Second witch answers that they will meet after the battle is over. * Third witch says they’ll meet Macbeth tonight. * They all cackle that things are not as they seem and fly away. Act I. sc. II Setting: army camp near King Duncan’s castle Summary: * A sergeant comes from the battle to report to King Duncan how the war is going * The sergeant reports that at first the victor was in doubt.
The sergeant says that the rebel, McDonwald, seemed to be winning till brave Macbeth split him open * The sergeant continues saying that no sooner was this battle won and then the lord of Norway attacked with an army. * Ross says that Norway was assisted by the traitor, Thane of Cawdor, but both were defeated by Macbeth. * King Duncan announces he will kill the traitor Cawdor and give his land and title to Macbeth as a reward for his service.
Act I. sc. III Setting: abandoned heath Summary: * First witch tell others she has cursed a man because his wife would not give him her chestnuts. The man will be lost at sea, have no sleep, and become very weak, but will not die. * Witches chant. * Macbeth and Banquo question the reality of the witches. * First witch says that Macbeth is Thane of Glamis. * Second witch says Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor. * Third witch prophesies that Macbeth will be king. * Banquo asks to be told his fortune. * First witch prophesies that Banquo will be “Lesser than Macbeth and greater. ” * Second witch prophesies that Banquo will be “not so happy, yet much happier” than Macbeth. * Third witch prophesies than Banquo will father kings but not be one. * Witches hail Macbeth and Banquo. Witches vanish. * Ross greets Macbeth as Thane of Cawdor. * Ross tells Macbeth and Banquo that the current thane of Cawdor has been sentenced to death because he is a traitor. * Macbeth begins to think of killing King Duncan. * Macbeth decides not to do anything, other than his usual routine, in order to get the crown. * Macbeth and Banquo will meet later to chat. Act I. sc. IV Setting: King Duncan, in his castle, awaits news Summary: * King Duncan asks if the Thane of Cawdor has been executed. Malcolm, his son, responds that he heard he is dead and that he died with much dignity, even more than with which he lived.
The Thane of Cawdor confessed his treason and asked for pardon but it was not given to him. * King Duncan reflects than one cannot read people’s thoughts on their face. Before treason he fully trusted the Thane of Cawdor. * Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus enter the room. Duncan greet Macbeth, calling him his worthiest cousin, and saying that thanks and recompense are not enough to pay for all he did in battle. The king also greets and embraces Banquo. * Macbeth responds to the king’s greeting by confessing that to be loyal and serve him is enough payment. King Duncan announces that Malcolm, his son, is to be future king and names him Prince of Cumberland. Also, the king tells Macbeth that the royal family is going to Inverness. Macbeth departs before they do to prepare for their arrival. * Aside to himself Macbeth feels he must destroy Malcolm because he stands in his way to being king. Act I. sc. V Setting: Lady Macbeth enters Inverness reading a letter from Macbeth. Summary: * In the following letter Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth what follows: * Macbeth says that the three witches that meet him and Banquo (after winning the battle) have supernatural powers.
The witches vanished into the air when he wanted to ask them something and he stood amazed. After the witches vanished Duncan’s Messenger came greeting him as Thane of Cawdor. The three Weirs Sisters or witches had already called him Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he sends her this letter so that she can know what is in store for them. He also tells her to keep these news to herself. * Lady Macbeth says to herself that Macbeth deserves to not only be the Thane of Glamis but of Cawdor also. She is afraid that Macbeth’s tender heart can get in the way of her plans to kill Duncan.
Lady Macbeth highlights that Macbeth has the ambition to be great but that he wants to win the king’s position by righteous ways. * A messenger tells Lady Macbeth that Duncan is going to Inverness that night. * The messenger confirms to Lady Macbeth that Macbeth is on his way to Inverness. He made it quicker to Inverness that Macbeth in order to deliver the news that Duncan was coming. * Lady Macbeth asks for the night and sky to be dark so that Heaven cannot see what is happening. * Macbeth enters and confirms to Lady Macbeth that King Duncan is on his way.
She asks him when Duncan is to leave Inverness and Macbeth responds tomorrow. Lady Macbeth the exclaims that he shall never leave or see the sunlight! * Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to be like the innocent flower without but like the serpent within. * Lady Macbeth says he should not waste the opportunity of being king now that he can, and to leave everything to her. Act I. sc. VI Setting: the surrounding outside atmosphere of Inverness, Macbeth’s castle, around summertime Summary: * King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus, and Attendants are outside Inverness. Duncan comments that the location of Inverness is pleasant and that the clear and sweet air that flows around Inverness appeals to him. This is ironic because he is going to be betrayed by Macbeth who will kill him; (theme: appearance vs. reality). * Lady Macbeth cynically responds that if whatever Macbeth and she could do for the King (Duncan) could be doubled or increased then they both would double it. * Lady Macbeth says that in serving the King, Macbeth and she partially thank him. The past favors and the honors that Macbeth has earned are greater in value that the services that they have to offer the King (theme: appearance vs. eality). * Duncan asks where the Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth, is and notices that his great love and disposition to serve helped Macbeth get to Inverness before he did. * Duncan calls Lady Macbeth fair and noble (theme: appearance vs. reality) and tells her that Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus, Attendants, and he will be her overnight guests. * Lady Macbeth tells Duncan that Macbeth and she, her servants, and all that Macbeth and she possess are at his command. * Duncan tells Lady Macbeth to give him her hand and take him to Macbeth. He also says that he loves Macbeth and will continue to favor him. All go inside Inverness. Act 1. sc. VII Setting: Hautboys with torches, a Sewer, and servants scurry about Macbeth’s Castle. Summary: * If the assassination is done and if it were done well, and quickly, then all of Macbeth’s ambitions could come true. * Macbeth said that he would like for the rest of his life with the guilt of him killing Duncan. * But there are three reasons why Macbeth feels he shouldn’t kill Duncan. * * First Macbeth is Duncan’s kinsman, Macbeth serves the king because that is his place in the world. * Second, Macbeth said that he would not be honorable if he doesn’t kill Duncan himself, face to face. Third, Duncan is so loved by the people and the world that the whole world would weep his death. * Last, Macbeth has no will to be King, only ambition, that accomplishes nothing but pain and sorrow. * Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he will not kill Duncan. * Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that if he were a real man then he would kill Duncan to be King, she call’s him a coward for not trying. * Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he is not afraid to do everything that he needs to do to become a man but to kill another man just for the case of ambition is going too far. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that he was a man when he decided to kill Duncan and now he is less of a man. * Lady Macbeth also said that Macbeth doesn’t care about her because he doesn’t want the best things for her and their children (assuming they have some, which isn’t indicated in the story, or she could also be referring to the children that they are going to have) * Macbeth is concerned if they get caught. * Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that if they fail, they fail, but if they don’t try, then neither one of them will know if they could have pulled it off and rule Scotland. Macbeth starts saying, ” Well if we can somehow get the guards blamed for it. ” He is starting to consider doing it. * Lady Macbeth said that there isn’t anyone else in the kingdom that will be able to contest Macbeth’s claim on the crown. * Macbeth agrees with Lady Macbeth, and the two begin planning how they will kill Duncan. ACT 2. sc. I Setting: outside in the courtyard of Macbeth’s Castle (Inverness) Summary: * Banquo asks his son Fleance how late it is. * Fleance responds that he has not heard the clock strike but that the moon is down implying that it must be past midnight. Banquo says that even heaven has gone to bed because the sky is starless. * Fear of his own thoughts about how he might become the father of kings does not let Banquo go to sleep. * Macbeth steps in the courtyard where Banquo and Fleance are and Banquo tells Macbeth that Duncan is pleased with Macbeth’s hospitality. * Banquo tells Macbeth that he dreamed of the three witches. * Lying, Macbeth tells Banquo that he has not thought about the witches but that sometime he would talk to him about the witches. * Almost telling Banquo that he will kill Duncan, Macbeth says to Banquo that if he supports him he will be rewarded soon. Sensing that Macbeth will kill Duncan, Banquo says that he will not sacrifice his personal integrity to become the father of many kings. If he can keep his conscience clear he will listen to Macbeth’s advice. * The bell that Lady Macbeth will ring is to signal that the coast is clear for Macbeth to murder Duncan. * Alone and hallucinating, Macbeth reaches for his imaginary dagger which takes him toward Duncan’s door on the dagger. * Witchcraft celebrates its rites and murder stalks the night. * Macbeth asks for his horror and the darkness of the night to go away. ACT 2. sc. II Setting: Macbeth’s castle, the night of Duncan’s murder.
Summary: * Lady Macbeth has gotten the guards drunk, and they are now sleeping. * Lady Macbeth says she would have killed Duncan herself if he had not looked so much like her father. * Macbeth returns to inform Lady Macbeth that he has murdered the King. * Macbeth tells his wife that Malcom and Donalbain prayed and ended the prayer with “God Bless Us” and “Amen. ” * Macbeth informs his wife that he could not utter the word “Amen”; this marks Macbeth’s separation from God. * Macbeth also head someone say that he had murdered sleep; Macbeth fells he will never be able to sleep the same again after murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth notices Macbeth brought back the bloody daggers and instructs Macbeth to return the daggers to the owners and smear them (the guards) with blood. * Macbeth refuses to return to Duncan’s chamber so his wife returns the daggers. * Macbeth feels that he will not be able to wash his hands of the murder; not even all the water on Earth will be able to wash away the blood from his hands or the crime, instead these waters will turn red with blood also. * Lady Macbeth returns and tells Macbeth her hands are also red but she does not like being so innocent. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change into their night clothes so on one suspects them of the murder. * Macbeth hears the knocking and wishes Duncan could be awakened by the noise. ACT 2. sc. III Setting: the same * The scene starts with a knocking at the gate. * The Porter, who is stone drunk, wanders out to the gate swearing to the Devil because the knocking disturbed him. * Macduff and Lennox are at the gate. * Macduff asked if the Porter had stayed up to late last night. * The Porter tells Macduff that he is drunk * Macduff asks the Porter what three he gets out of drinking. * The Porter replies; a red nose, sleep, and urine. Macbeth comes out and Macduff tells Macbeth that the king wanted to see Macduff as soon as he arrived, Macbeth takes him to see the king, * Acting like nothing is wrong, Macbeth shows Macduff to the king’s chamber and begins talking to Lennox. * Lennox tells Macbeth that there is something wrong with the world: * Wind came out and blew down all the chimneys. * They heard strange sounds of death in the air. * Lennox says that there is something wrong with the world like something bad has happened. * Macduff re-enters the hall and cries “O horror, horror horror! ” * Duncan has been killed Both Macbeth and Macduff go into the chamber to investigate. * Macduff sounds the bell and calls for Donalbain and Malcolm * Lady Macbeth enters the chamber and asks what has happened. Macduff keeps from telling her anything because she is a woman, ‘and woman couldn’t handle such a situation. ’ * Macbeth, Lennox and Ross re-enter the chamber and Macbeth puts on a big show of how much a loss Duncan is to the world. * Lennox believes that the guards did it, just how Macbeth and Lady Macbeth hoped it would. * But then Macbeth tells them that it was he who killed the guards out of rage for their slaughter of Duncan. Malcolm and Donalbain whisper to each other that they both should get out of Scotland because whoever killed their father might come for them next. * Macbeth suggests that everybody get dressed and meet in the great hall to discuss the new situation. * After everybody leaves, Donalbain says that he is going to Ireland and Malcolm says that he is going to England to escape from whomever killed Duncan. ACT 2. sc. IV Setting: Duncan’s castle Summary: * An old man tells Ross about strange happenings that occurred around Duncan’s murdering.
This includes an eclipse, a falcon killed in air by an owl, and Duncan’s horses turning wild and eating each other. * Macduff joins Ross and the old man. He asks Ross if he knows who killed the King. Ross answers that the murderers are the guards that Macbeth killed. * Duncan’s sons, Malcom and Donalbain, are accused of having bribed the guards because they fled after the murder was discovered. * Macbeth is going to be crowned king at Scone. * Duncan’s body has already been carried away to his predecessors tomb at Colmekill. * Ross will attend the Crowning but Macduff will not, instead he goes to his castle at Fife. Act III. c. I Setting: Forres castle Summary: * Banquo reflects on the fact that Macbeth has received all the titles the witches promised him. * Banquo suspects Macbeth of foul play in order to receive the crown. * Banquo reflects about the witches prophecy about his own descendants but does not give any indication of taking steps to make his descendants become kings. * Banquo becomes quiet when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth enter with their attendants. * Macbeth refers to Banquo as his “chief guest” and Lady Macbeth tells Banquo that without him there would be a “gap” at their feast. * Macbeth invites Banquo to dinner and Banquo accepts. During the conversation Macbeth finds out that Banquo and his son Fleance will be out horseback riding and will not be back until dinner. * Macbeth tells Banquo that Malcolm and Donalbain are in England and Ireland respectively, and will not admit to murdering their father. * Macbeth tells everyone that he will alone until supper time. * In a soliloquy Macbeth says he is afraid of Banquo because he has a king’s character. * During the soliloquy Macbeth remembers that the witches promised Banquo that he would be father of line of kings, while to Macbeth they only promised that he himself would be king. Macbeth realizes that he has given his soul to the devil only to make Banquo’s lineage kings. * Macbeth challenges Fate in order to prevent anyone from taking his crown, which he received in exchange for his soul. * Macbeth then meets with two murderers and convinces them that Banquo has wronged them, with false promises. * Macbeth tells the murderers that if they are men they should not let Banquo get away with wrongdoing. * The murderers declare they are willing to do whatever it takes to get revenge from Banquo. * Macbeth hen tell them that Banquo is also his enemy and, though he could kill him himself, he will not do that because he and Banquo have common friends, and he will not like to lose those friends. * Macbeth tell the murderers they must kill Banquo and Fleance in such a way that Macbeth escapes the blame; the murderers agree. * Finally Macbeth tell the murderers he will tell them where to perform the murder within an hour. Act III. sc. II Setting: Inside Inverness Summary: * Lady Macbeth asks the servant if Banquo has gone away from Inverness and the servants answers by saying that he will be back in the evening. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to forget about Duncan’s murder because his worrying will not bring Duncan to life. She says that “what’s done is done”. * Macbeth hints that his idea to kill Banquo bears the same malice that he felt before killing Duncan. * The structure of things comes apart both heaven and earth perish. * Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to be happy and not show grief or guilt at the feast; appearance v. reality. * Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth to honor Banquo by look and speech; also he says they should show faces that cover the grief and guilt of their hearts. Macbeth says that his mind is troubled by Banquo and Fleance’s existence; he points to their death but does not tell Lady Macbeth he intends to kill them. * Macbeth calls for the night to be very dark, like the one of Duncan’s death (so that the murderers can kill Banquo and Fleance). Act III. sc. III Setting: Outside on the way back to Inverness, almost a mile from the castle gate. Summary: * A third murderer joins the two murderers Macbeth has already sent to kill Banquo and Fleance; they await for Banquo to appear. * Banquo says that it will rain that night. The three murderers attack Banquo but Fleance escapes. * The first murderer resolves for them three to report to Macbeth that only Banquo has been killed. Act III. sc. IV Setting: Forres castle, banquet hall. Summary: * Macbeth welcome lords to his feast. * The first murderer of Banquo comes to the door of the banquet hall and tells Macbeth that Banquo is dead, with twenty gashes in his head, but that his son, Fleance, escaped. * Macbeth compares Fleance to a baby serpent which in time will grow teeth and seethe with venom, presenting a threat to his crown. Macbeth returns cheerfully to the table and laments Banquo’s absence, almost blaming Banquo of unkindness for not being there. * Lennox asks Macbeth to take a sit but Macbeth says the table is full, but then suddenly stops because he sees Banquo’s ghost sitting on Macbeth’s chair; (Macbeth is the only one that sees the ghost). * An expression of horror appears on Macbeth’s face and he talks to the ghost. * Lady Macbeth excuses Macbeth’s actions by telling the lord that from his youth he has momentary delusions and asks them to please ignore this lapse. Lady Macbeth pulls Macbeth aside and asks him if he is a man, chiding him that what he sees is only a product of his fear. * Macbeth addresses the ghost, asking it what it has to say, and it exits; Macbeth remark that it used to be that when a man died he did not return. * Macbeth returns to the table and sits down; he and the lords make a toast to Banquo; Banquo’s ghost reenters. * Macbeth looses control and yells to the ghost to leave him alone; he says he wouldn’t be scared if it was in the form of anything but Banquo’s ghost; the ghost exits. Again Lady Macbeth tells the lord to ignore his behavior; and to Macbeth she tells him that he has displaced the joy with much confusion. * Macbeth responds by asking her how she can remain so ruddy when he himself is pale by what he sees. * Ross asks Macbeth to tell him what he sees but Lady Macbeth interrupts by telling him not to ask any questions because that enrages him in this state. * She says they better leave and bids the lords goodnight; the lords exit. * Macbeth babbles on about strange happening, and then, changing the conversation asks Lady Macbeth if Macduff refused to assist the feast. Lady Macbeth asks him if he sent for Macduff; Macbeth responds that he will send for him and that he has a man spying in Macduff’s house. * Macbeth adds that he will visit the Weird Sisters, even if it is to know the worst. * Lady Macbeth says that he is not in his five senses and they exit to go to sleep. Act III. sc. V Setting: A Heath Summary: * The three witches meet with Hecate. * Hecate asks the witches why they didn’t include her in their meddling with Macbeth. * Hecate tells the witches to go to the pit of Acheron where they will meet with Macbeth. * Macbeth will want to know about what the future holds for him. The witches will cast a spell and tell him what lies his future. * Hecate will leave the witches and come back after Macbeth is dead. * Macbeth, after hearing what the witches say to him, will be more confused and crazy than before, he will go mad, and eventually he will fulfill the prophesy. * Hecate casts a spell before she leave with the “Come Away” song in the background. * The witches decide to go and do what Hecate said before she comes back again. Act III. sc. VI Setting: The Palace Summary: * Lennox is talking to another lord about his doubts about Macbeth. He finds it unusual that Duncan, the king that Macbeth supposedly “loved” so much, wound up dead in his castle. * And Banquo, Macbeth’s closest ally also wound up dead, and his son Fleance is missing.. * Lennox also doesn’t believe that Donalbain and Malcolm could have killed their father. * Lennox also asks why Macbeth came to power so fast and why he didn’t share the same remorse over the death of Duncan that everybody else had. * Lennox also questions the motives behind Macbeth killing the guards, * Lennox asks the other lord why, and where Macduff is hiding. The Lord says that Macduff has gone to England to meet with Malcolm, King Edward of England, the Thane of Northumberland, and the Thane of Siward to raise an army to overthrow Macbeth. * Lennox asks if the Lord is going to see Macduff and said that he was, * Lennox tells the Lord to tell Macduff to be careful in England and to tell him that he hopes that they will come back to end the suffering of their kingdom. Act IV. sc. I Setting: A cavern, in the middle of a boiling cavern Summary: * Witches brew their concoction for a spell while chanting. * Macbeth goes to the witches to learn more about his future. Witches conjure their master to tell Macbeth his future. * An armored head appears. * The first witch tells Macbeth the apparition knows his thoughts, he must not speak. * The armored head tells Macbeth to beware of Macduff. * Armored head disappears. * A bloody child appears. * The child tells Macbeth to be a evil as possible because no one born of a woman can harm him. * Bloody child disappears. * Macbeth says he does not need to fear Macduff, but to be really sure Macduff will not harm him he will murder him. * A crowned child with a tree in his hand appears. The child tells Macbeth to be proud and not to worry where traitors are because he will never be defeated until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane Hill. * Macbeth realizes that the forest cannot move. * Macbeth asks if Banquo’s lineage will be kings. * The witches do not want to tell Macbeth the answer but he convinces them to tell him. * Eight kings followed by Banquo with a glass in his hand appear. * Macbeth sees all the kings look like Banquo, then sees Banquo with a glass showing him many more. * Banquo smiles at Macbeth and points to the kings and Macbeth takes this as meaning these are Banquo’s Descendants. Macbeth asks the witches if this is true and they tell him yes. * The witches, along with Hecate, try to cheer Macbeth up by dancing. * The witches vanish and Macbeth questions where they went. * Macbeth asks Lennox if he saw the witches and Lennox says no. * Macbeth says that those who trust the witches are fools. * Lennox tells Macbeth that Macduff has fled to England. * Macbeth says he will take action quickly. * Macbeth plans to attack Macduff’s castle and kill his family. Act IV. sc. II Setting: Fife, Macduff’s castle. Summary: * Lady Macduff asks why Macduff fled and says that when our actions do not make us traitors our fears do. Ross says she does not know if he fled in wisdom or fear but Lady Macduff says it was not wise for him to leave his family in a place he himself has fled. * Ross tells Lady Macbeth that things at their worst either stop or get better. * Lady Macduff says her son has a father but he is fatherless because his father is not there. * Ross leaves. * Lady Macduff and her son converse about Macduff. * Sirrah says he will live as birds do with what he gets. * Lady Macduff says that Macduff is a traitor because he swears and lies and traitors must be hanged by honest men. Sirrah tells her that traitors are fools because they outnumber the honest men and can beat them and hang them. * Sirrah does not believe his father is dead because Lady Macduff does not cry, and if he was and she did not cry it would be a sign he would quickly have a new father. * A messenger arrives and tells Lady Macduff she is in danger so she and her family should flee. * Lady Macduff says she did not do anything bad so why should she flee then realizes that sometimes being honest makes you a traitor and being evil is highly acceptable. Murderers arrive, ask for Macduff, and call him a traitor. * At this Sirrah proceeds to defend his father’s honor and dies in the process. * Lady Macduff runs away crying “Murder” followed by the murderers. Act IV. sc. III Setting: King Edward of England’s palace. Summary: * Macduff and Malcolm converse and Malcolm is cautious to trust Macduff right away. * Malcolm questions why Macduff left his family and also questions Macduff’s loyalty to him because Macbeth has not harmed him yet. * Macduff does not like his honor being questioned so he decides to leave. Malcolm tells Macduff not to be offended by his suspicions. * Malcolm tests Macduff’s loyalty to him by telling Macduff he is more evil than Macbeth, at first Macduff does not believe this but Malcolm convinces him of this. * Then Macduff says that Malcolm is not fit to govern or to live, and questions why he is so evil if his parents were so holy. * Macduff also regrets having fled from Scotland because now he can never return. * Malcolm then tells Macduff all he said about himself was a test to see if Macduff was like one of the others Macbeth sent to lead Malcolm straight to death. A doctor enters and says that the king is coming but he is healing people with his touch at the moment. * Ross speaks to Malcolm and tells him of the chaos going on at home. * Ross tells Macduff that his family is well but does not go into detail, so Macduff questions why and Ross finally tells him everyone in his castle was massacred. * Macduff then blames himself for their death but then decides to avenge their death by killing Macbeth. * Malcolm and the others are going to begin the fight. Act V. sc. I Setting: at Inverness waiting for Lady Macbeth to show up Summary: A Gentlewoman has seen Lady Macbeth walking in her sleep and asks for a medicine Doctor’s advice. * The Doctor says that Lady Macbeth’s ability to sleep-walk is cause of perturbation and asks the Gentlewoman what other strange things Lady Macbeth does. * Lady Macbeth appears and the Gentlewoman says that she has light by her continually (she is afraid of Duncan’s ghost). * The Doctor notices that Lady Macbeth continually rubs and washes her hands but the Gentlewoman says that this is usual of her (she wants to wash Duncan’s blood off of her hands). * Lady Macbeth remembers the clock striking 2:00 a. . just before Duncan’s murder and exclaims for the memory to be erased. * Lady Macbeth recalls that Macduff’s wife is dead and asks when her hands and Macbeth’s hands will be clean of blood. She says that * Macbeth’s sudden fits, which lead him to kill, cause disturbance and guilt. * The Doctor says that Lady Macbeth’s heart is greatly burdened as Lady Macbeth exclaims that no perfume will make her hands smell fresh. * Lady Macbeth recalls that Banquo was also killed. * The Doctor says that Lady Macbeth’s disease is not physical; rather, she needs spiritual healing. The Doctor prays for Lady Macbeth. Act V. sc II Setting: A Scottish force marches toward Birnam Wood to join Malcom and his English army. Summary: * The English power lead by Malcom, Siward, and Macduff is near Birnam Wood to revenge Macduff’s wife and children and Duncan. * Lennox reports that Donalbain is not accompanying the English army; Siward’s son and other youth are. Caithness says that some people in Dunsinane think of Macbeth as if he were crazy while others that do not hate him much say he is afraid of being killed. He cannot hide his guilt. Those that will fight for Macbeth will fight by command not for love to him. Act V. sc. III Setting: Macbeth is anxious at Inverness. Summary: * Reports are brought to Macbeth that Scottish and English forces are coming against him but he tries to stay calm by remembering the witches’ prophesies (1. he would not die in the hands of a woman born man or 2. until Birnam Wood was moved to Dunsinane. * Macbeth’s servant is afraid of the ten thousand soldiers that make up the English army. * Macbeth says that the outcome of the battle against the English army will determine if he keeps the king’s throne. Seyton reassures Macbeth that the English army is coming. * Macbeth asks for his armor and to kill (hang) those that fear the coming war. * Macbeth tells the Doctor to cure Lady Macbeth. He asks him if he can erase the guilt that tortures her and put her in a state of oblivion to relieve her heart. * The Doctor says that if he were away from Dunsinane not even money would persuade him to go there. Act V. sc. IV Setting: Country near Birnam Wood. Summary: * Malcolm hopes that the war with Macbeth will end soon and that the land will safely recover from his rule. Siward asks what the forest ahead of them is called and Menteith says it is Birnam Wood. * Malcolm instructs his army to cut branches from the trees and for everyone to cover themselves with the branches to conceal their numbers from Macbeth. * Siward reports that his scouts have reveled that Macbeth has fortified his castle and is preparing for battle. * Malcolm says that Macbeth’s soldiers only fight for him out of fear, not out of their loyalty to Macbeth. * Siward tells the group that any decisions that have to be made have better be made now, because the battle is about to start.
Act V. sc. V Setting: Dunsinane. Within castle. Summary: * Macbeth tells his troops to hang out their banners and to prepare for battle because Malcolm’s army still approached. * Macbeth tries to rally his troops, declaring that their castle will laugh at the enemies attempt to siege the castle and that they will fight until famine and pestilence overwhelms the enemy. * Macbeth claims that if those who were forced into the ranks of Malcolm’s army were in the castle now, then they would have gone out to the field and met Malcolm’s army, man to man and would beat them back. Macbeth says that troops were forced into the service of Malcolm and Malcolm says that troops were forced into the service of Macbeth. * Macbeth hears the cry of women within the castle but says that there once was a time in which if he ever heard the cry of a woman at night, that he would freeze with fear. * But now Macbeth has seen and performed so many horrors, that the cry of woman no longer frighten him. * Macbeth asks where the cry came from and Seyton tells him that Lady Macbeth is dead. * Macbeth says that she should have died long before now, there were plenty of times in which she could have died before. Macbeth says that he is tired of living, he has performed so many evil deeds in his life that he no longer wants to live. * Macbeth tells Seyton that life isn’t important, that the purpose of living is to die, and that to live means nothing. * A messenger comes to address Macbeth but hesitates to tell Macbeth because he doesn’t know how to explain what he saw to Macbeth. * The messenger tells Macbeth that while he was up on the hill, probably scouting Malcolm’s army, he saw the wood of Birnam begin to move. Macbeth doesn’t believe the messenger and even threatens the messenger with his life if he’s lying, but the messenger pleads with Macbeth, saying that if Macbeth doesn’t believe him, then he should go up to the castle wall and see the moving wood for himself. * Macbeth sees the moving grove and recites to himself the witches prophesy, “fear not till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane”. The prophesy is becoming true. * Macbeth tells his troops to arm themselves, to stop whatever their doing, and to prepare for battle. * He tells them to not be weary of the sun, and to hope that the order of the universe will be undone to ensure their victory. But Macbeth himself isn’t that sure that he will win the battle, one of the prophesies has come true, and he is now worried about the other prophesies, he even tells his troops that even if they don’t win they will at least die with honor. Act V. sc. VI Setting: Dunsinane. Before the castle. Summary: * Malcolm and his army approach the castle. * Malcolm tells his troops to lay down their cover branches and tells Siward that he will accompany him with the first wave and that Macduff will mop up any other enemy troops. Siward wishes everybody good luck, and hopes that either they completely win the battle or that they completely loose that battle. * Macduff calls for the trumpets to sound and for the battle to begin. Act V. sc. VII Setting: Dunsinane Castle Summary: * Macbeth realizes that he will not defeat Malcolm’s army but he does not fear for his life because he remembers that the witches said that nobody born of woman would hurt him * Young Siward encounters Macbeth and on learning who he is declares his hatred for Macbeth; and attacks him but is killed by Macbeth; Macbeth remarks that young Siward was born from a woman Macduff declares that he himself must kill must kill Macbeth because if not his family will hunt him and he goes to were the battle is louder to find Macbeth * Siward tells Malcolm that the lords on their side are fighting bravely and that Malcolm’s army will most likely win the war Act V. sc. VIII Setting: Dunsinane Castle Summary: On seeing that he trapped Macbeth considers but at the same time dismisses suicide * Macduff finds Macbeth and Macbeth tells him to depart because his soul is too much charged with Macduff’s blood already * Macbeth tells Macduff to use his sword on someone else because he is charmed and nobody born of woman can hurt him; Macduff says he was taken from his mother’s womb early so that he was not naturally born * Macbeth realizes that the witches tricked him and refuses to fight Macduff * Macduff threats him that if he does not fight he will be hung to a pole and be mocked and displayed for the tyrant that he is * Macbeth says he will not bow down to Malcolm as king and vows to fight till he dies * Macduff kills Macbeth * Malcolm and his thanes convene together * Ross tells Siward that young Siward died like a brave soldier; and though Siward is sorry he is glad he died honorably * Macduff comes to Malcolm an his thane’s presence carrying Macbeth’s head * Macduff and the other thanes hail Malcolm as king * Malcolm promises them reward for their service; he says he will call home all those that fled Macbeth’s tyranny; he also points that the evil queen, Lady Macbeth committed suicide * Finally Malcolm invites everybody to Scone to see him crowned
In Shakespeare’s life the people were very religious and almost all believed in heaven and hell and lived in fear of damnation. Also there was a very strong belief in […]
On first viewing both Polanski’s and Welles’ opening sequence of Macbeth you will immediately think them to be very different. However as we analyse them you will notice the similarities. […]
In the Seventeenth Century it was thought that witches could raise evil spirits by concocting a horrible brew with nauseating ingredients. It was also thought that witches had diabolical powers, […]
Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’ was written sometime between 1603 and 1606 at a time when people were fascinated with the idea of the supernatural and witchcraft. People were burned at the […]
An analysis of Macbeth’s relationship with the other characters in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. The Macbeth character in Macbeth by William Shakespeare can be played many ways. Macbeth’s relationship with other […]
A discussion of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, focussing on Macbeth as a tragic hero. Macbeth One might choose to assent to the statement, “Macbeth is a tragic hero.” This conclusion may be […]
A review of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, illustrating the witches influence on how Macbeth made his decisions, thereby playing a crucial part in contributing to his eventual destruction. Macbeth In the Shakespearean […]
A discussion of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” focussing on the issues involved in free choice, acts of evil and facing the consequences. Macbeth 1. THE PROBLEM IN “MACBETH” We have already seen […]
“Macbeth” is a play that revolves initially round a brave warrior, who is loyal to his king. This can be seen, as he fights for his king with so much […]
Act I. sc. I Setting: deserted heath; storming Summary: * Three witches chant * First witch asks when the three witches will meet again. * Second witch answers that they will […]