⌚ Macbeth Summary Of Each Act

Thursday, October 21, 2021 6:10:17 PM

Macbeth Summary Of Each Act



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Act One Overview - Macbeth: Plot Overview - GCSE English Literature

The witches call up apparitions which give Macbeth warnings, promises, and prophecies: beware Macduff, fear "none of woman born," fear nothing until Birnam wood come to Dunsinane, Banquo's issue shall be kings. The Witches vanish and Macbeth calls in Lennox, who tells him that Macduff has fled to England, whereupon Macbeth orders the murder of Macduff's wife and children. Lady Macduff and her son joke about Macduff being a traitor. A messenger rushes in to tell Lady Macduff to run for her life, but right after him come the murderers who kill the boy and his mother. A doctor tells of the English King's miraculous ability to heal the sick. Speaking to Malcolm and Macduff, Ross tells of Scotland's suffering under Macbeth and of the slaughter of Macduff's wife and children.

Everyone is now ready to make war against Macbeth. Act 5, Scene 1: Lady Macbeth's waiting-gentlewoman tells a doctor of the Lady's sleep-walking. Lady Macbeth walks and talks in her sleep, revealing guilty secrets. Act 5, Scene 2: The Scottish forces arrayed against Macbeth are on the march. The Scottish leaders comment on Macbeth's desperate rage. Act 5, Scene 3: Macbeth hears that his thanes are abandoning him, that the English army is approaching, and that his wife is soul-sick, but he tries to convince himself that he has nothing to fear, and prepares to fight.

Act 5, Scene 4: The forces opposed to Macbeth enter Birnam wood, and Malcolm gives the order for every soldier to cut a tree branch and hold it before him. Act 5, Scene 5: Macbeth expresses his defiance of the forces marching against him, then hears a cry of women and receives the news of his wife's death. A messenger reports that Birnam woods is coming to Dunsinane; Macbeth goes out to meet his fate. Act 5, Scene 7: Macbeth fights Young Siward and kills him.

Macduff seeks Macbeth. Malcolm and Siward take possession of Dunsinane. Act 5, Scene 8: Macduff and Macbeth do battle. Malcolm, Siward and the rest enter. Siward receives the news of his son's heroic death. Scene 7 : Macbeth ponders the situation but finds no reason to slay the king other than his own ambition, which undoubtedly will bring unforetold evils upon himself. Macbeth informs his wife that he has changed his mind about assassinating the king.

Lady Macbeth chastises her husband for his weakness. Scene 1 : After a late night discussion with Banquo and his son Fleance, Macbeth sees a vision of a dagger floating in the hall. He attempts to grab the dagger but fails. He sees blood on the blade and decides the vision is a result of his uneasiness. Scene 2 : Lady Macbeth hears Macbeth shout and fears the plan has failed. Macbeth enters, unsteady. Lady Macbeth attempts to calm her husband but becomes angry when she realizes he has forgotten to leave the daggers.

Macbeth refuses to return and Lady Macbeth returns them herself. Scene 3 : A porter knocks at the castle door. After a humorous interlude, Duncan appears and requests the presence of the king. Macduff suspects treachery. Malcolm and Donalbain realize they are not safe and flee. Scene 4 : Ross, another thane, appears and is informed by Macduff that Macbeth has been crowned king. Malcolm and Donalbain are suspected as a result of their flight from Inverness. Brief Analysis : Macbeth hesitates to commit the murder and immediately regrets it. Scene 1 : Macbeth soliloquizes that Banquo is his only threat. Two murderers enter. Macbeth entreats them to murder Banquo and Fleance. Scene 2 : Macbeth informs Lady Macbeth of his plan to kill Banquo and Fleance and urges her to show great kindness to them in order to create a false sense of security.

Scene 3 : Three murderers attack Banquo and Fleance. Banquo is murdered. Fleance flees. Scene 4 : One of the murderers informs Macbeth that Duncan has been killed and Fleance has survived. It does…until the ghost reappears. Lady Macbeth sends the guests out of the room and the ghost vanishes. Macbeth informs his wife that Macduff refuses to appear in court. However, despite the inner division caused by these forces greater than his struggling and weakening conscience, he is still able to murder, acting decisively like the soldier we meet at the start of the play.

Macbeth is never happy with his actions—even when they have earned him his prize—because he is acutely aware of his own tyranny. This divided conscience continues to the end of the play, where there is a sense of relief when the soldiers arrive at his gate. At his end, Macbeth embodies an eternal archetype of the weak tyrant: the ruler whose brutality is borne of inner weakness, greed for power, guilt, and susceptibility to others' schemes and pressures. The play ends where it began: with a battle. Although Macbeth is killed as a tyrant, there is a small redemptive notion that his soldier status is reinstated in the very final scenes of the play.

The character of Macbeth, in a sense, comes full circle: He returns to battle, but now as a monstrous, broken, and desperate version of his earlier, honorable self. Share Flipboard Email. Lee Jamieson. Theater Expert. Lee Jamieson, M. He previously served as a theater studies lecturer at Stratford-upon Avon College in the United Kingdom.

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