English 3-4H Final Exam- Macbeth (Characters, Quotes and Plot)

Macbeth a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches, especially after their prophecy that he will be made thane of Cawdor comes true. (main character)
Lady Macbeth Macbeth’s wife, a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. Early in the play, she seems to be the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges her husband to kill Duncan and seize the crown.
The Three Witches Three “black and midnight hags” who plot mischief against Macbeth using charms, spells, and prophecies. Their predictions prompt him to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to blindly believe in his own immortality. (similar to the fates from Greek mythology)
Banquo The brave, noble general whose children, according to the witches’ prophecy, will inherit the Scottish throne. Like Macbeth, he thinks ambitious thoughts, but he does not translate those thoughts into action. In a sense, Banquo’s character stands as a rebuke to Macbeth, since he represents the path Macbeth chose not to take: a path in which ambition need not lead to betrayal and murder.
King Duncan The good King of Scotland whom Macbeth, in his ambition for the crown, murders. Duncan is the model of a virtuous, benevolent, and farsighted ruler. His death symbolizes the destruction of an order in Scotland that can be restored only when Duncan’s line, in the person of Malcolm, once more occupies the throne.
Macduff A Scottish nobleman hostile to Macbeth’s kingship from the start. He eventually becomes a leader of the crusade to unseat Macbeth. The crusade’s mission is to place the rightful king, Malcolm, on the throne, but he also desires vengeance for Macbeth’s murder of his wife and young son.
Malcolm The son of Duncan, whose restoration to the throne signals Scotland’s return to order following Macbeth’s reign of terror. He becomes a serious challenge to Macbeth with Macduff’s aid (and the support of England). Prior to this, he appears weak and uncertain of his own power, as when he and Donalbain flee Scotland after their father’s murder.
Hecate The goddess of witchcraft, who helps the three witches work their mischief on Macbeth.
Fleance Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. At the end of the play, his whereabouts are unknown. Presumably, he may come to rule Scotland, fulfilling the witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will sit on the Scottish throne.
Lennox A Scottish nobleman.
Ross Another Scottish nobleman.
The Murderers A group of ruffians conscripted by Macbeth to murder Banquo, Fleance (whom they fail to kill), and Macduff’s wife and children.
Porter The drunken doorman of Macbeth’s castle. (also serves as comic relief in the play)
Lady Macduff Macduff’s wife. The scene in her castle provides our only glimpse of a domestic realm other than that of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. She and her home serve as contrasts to Lady Macbeth and the hellish world of Inverness.
Donalbain Duncan’s son and Malcolm’s younger brother.
Act 1, Scene 1 Thunder and lightning crash above a Scottish moor. Three haggard old women, the witches, appear out of the storm. In eerie, chanting tones, they make plans to meet again upon the heath, after the battle, to confront Macbeth. As quickly as they arrive, they disappear.
Act 1, Scene 2 Generals Macbeth and Banquo are hailed as heroes in their victories against the Irish, and Macbeth’s execution of the traitorous general Macdonwald. King Duncan makes a decree that the thane of a Cawdor is traitor and he should be killed.
Act 1, Scene 3 Macbeth and Banquo encounter the three witches, who give them the 3 prophecies that state that Macbeth will become thane of Cawdor, and future king. The witches also tell Banquo that his sons will become king.
Act 1, Scene 4 After the execution of the previous thane of Cawdor, King Duncan appoints Macbeth as the next thane of Cawdor. He also announces that Malcolm will be the next heir to the throne, creating opposition to Macbeth’s prophecy. Plans are made for Duncan to dine at Inverness, Macbeth’s castle.
Act 1, Scene 5 Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth, informing her of the prophecy and other recent events. She comments that Macbeth is incapable of the cruelty required for him to seize power. When Macbeth arrives home, she makes plans with him to assassinate King Duncan.
Act 1, Scene 6 Duncan, the Scottish lords, and their attendants arrive outside Macbeth’s castle. Duncan praises the castle’s pleasant environment, and he thanks Lady Macbeth, who has emerged to greet him, for her hospitality. She replies that it is her duty to be hospitable since she and her husband owe so much to their king. Duncan then asks to be taken inside to Macbeth, whom he professes to love dearly.
Act 1, Scene 7 Towards the end of the dining party, Macbeth has a monologue outside the dining hall. He states that he can’t kill Duncan because he is his kinsman, a subject to Duncan, and Duncan’s host. However later Lady Macbeth calls him weak for these reasons and plans with him to blame the chamberlains for the assassination by intoxicating them and placing the daggers in their hands.
Act 2, Scene 1 Macbeth speaks with Banquo and Fleance, who then promptly leave. He then is faced with a vision of a floating dagger that points towards Duncan’s bedroom. He dismisses as a manifestation of his uncertainty in killing Duncan.
Act 2, Scene 2 Lady and Lord Macbeth prepare to assassinate Duncan. Macbeth then refuses to commit the act with the daggers, and Lady Macbeth takes it upon herself to perform the deed. After it is finished, Macbeth is plagued with guilt and hearing a vicious knocking sound from somewhere in the castle.
Act 2, Scene 3 Macduff and Lennox come to visit Macbeth at his castle. They are greeted by the porter, who give a comedic spiel, then proceeds to open the door. They discover the dead body of King Duncan and believe it was the work of the chamberlains, who Macbeth claimed were killed in his rage. Lady Macbeth pretends to be unaware of what happened while Macbeth hides his guilt. However, Macduff picks up on this and becomes suspicious. Malcolm and Donalbain are informed of their father’s death. They make preparations to flee Scotland.
Act 2, Scene 4 Ross, a thane, walks outside the castle with an old man. They discuss the strange and ominous happenings of the past few days: it is daytime, but dark outside; last Tuesday, an owl killed a falcon; and Duncan’s beautiful, well-trained horses behaved wildly and ate one another. Macduff emerges from the castle and tells Ross that Macbeth has been made king by the other lords, and that he now rides to Scone to be crowned. Macduff adds that the chamberlains seem the most likely murderers, and that they may have been paid off by someone to kill Duncan. Suspicion has now fallen on the two princes, Malcolm and Donalbain, because they have fled the scene. Macduff returns to his home at Fife, and Ross departs for Scone to see the new king’s coronation.
Act 3, Scene 1 Banquo paces and thinks at his castle, considering the prophecies from the witches. He then receives a letter from Macbeth, which is an invitation to his coronation feast and to discuss the witches’ prophecies. He accepts it. Later, Macbeth is informed by a servant that the murderers have been hired. After the servant leaves, Macbeth has a soliloquy, expressing his fear for his friend Banquo, as he knows about the prophecies.
Act 3, Scene 2 Macbeth and Lady Macbeth discuss the current state of events. Macbeth mentions that his path to kingship is not fulfilled yet, as he must continue to eliminate the enemies of his claim to the throne. He mentions that Banquo will be on the receiving end of a dreadful deed. He commands her to be accommodating to Banquo and Fleance, in order to lower their guard.
Act 3, Scene 3 It is dusk, and the two murderers, now joined by a third, linger in a wooded park outside the palace. Banquo and Fleance approach on their horses and dismount. They light a torch, and the murderers set upon them. The murderers kill Banquo, who dies urging his son to flee and to avenge his death. One of the murderers extinguishes the torch, and in the darkness, Fleance escapes. The murderers leave with Banquo’s body to find Macbeth and tell him what has happened.
Act 3, Scene 4 Macbeth is informed by the murderers of Banquo’s death. However is upset by the news that Fleance escaped. At his coronation feast, he goes to sit when in his chair when he sees the ghost of Banquo in it. This brings him to the breaking point of his guilt. However, Lady Macbeth covers for him by explaining that it’s normal for him to have bouts of insanity. The ghost then disappears, allowing him to recover. By as he goes for a toast he sees Banquo’s ghost once again, which brings him back to the breaking point. Lady Macbeth dismisses all guests from the dining hall. Macbeth later learns of Macduff’s absence, which makes him suspicious of Macduff. He plans to visit the witches to learn more about the future and who is plotting against him.
Act 3, Scene 5 Upon the stormy heath, the witches meet with Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. Hecate scolds them for meddling in the business of Macbeth without consulting her but declares that she will take over as supervisor of the mischief. She says that when Macbeth comes the next day, as they know he will, they must summon visions and spirits whose messages will fill him with a false sense of security and “draw him on to his confusion”. Hecate vanishes and the witches go to prepare their charms.
Act 3, Scene 6 That night, somewhere in Scotland, Lennox walks with another lord, discussing what has happened to the kingdom. Banquo’s murder has been officially blamed on Fleance, who has fled. Nevertheless, both men suspect Macbeth, whom they call a “tyrant,” in the murders of Duncan and Banquo. The lord tells Lennox that Macduff has gone to England, where he will join Malcolm in pleading with England’s King Edward for aid. News of these plots has prompted Macbeth to prepare for war. Lennox and the lord express their hope that Malcolm and Macduff will be successful and that their actions can save Scotland from Macbeth.
Act 4, Scene 1 In a dark cavern, a bubbling cauldron hisses and spits, and the three witches suddenly appear onstage. They circle the cauldron, chanting spells and adding bizarre ingredients to their stew—”eye of newt and toe of frog, / Wool of bat and tongue of dog”. In fulfillment of the witch’s prediction, Macbeth enters. He asks the witches to reveal the truth of their prophecies to him. To answer his questions, they summon horrible apparitions, each of which offers a prediction to allay Macbeth’s fears. First, a floating head warns him to beware Macduff; Macbeth says that he has already guessed as much. Then a bloody child appears and tells him that “none of woman born / shall harm Macbeth”. Next, a crowned child holding a tree tells him that he is safe until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane Hill. Finally, a procession of eight crowned kings walks by, the last carrying a mirror. Banquo’s ghost walks at the end of the line. Macbeth demands to know the meaning of this final vision, but the witches perform a mad dance and then vanish. Lennox enters and tells Macbeth that Macduff has fled to England. Macbeth resolves to send murderers to capture Macduff’s castle and to kill Macduff’s wife and children.
Act 4, Scene 2 At Macduff’s castle, Lady Macduff accosts Ross, demanding to know why her husband has fled. She feels betrayed. Ross insists that she trust her husband’s judgment and then regretfully departs. Once he is gone, Lady Macduff tells her son that his father is dead, but the little boy perceptively argues that he is not. Suddenly, a messenger hurries in, warning Lady Macduff that she is in danger and urging her to flee. Lady Macduff protests, arguing that she has done no wrong. A group of murderers then enters. When one of them denounces Macduff, Macduff’s son calls the murderer a liar, and the murderer stabs him. Lady Macduff turns and runs, and the pack of killers chases after her.
Act 4, Scene 3 Macduff goes to England to meet with Malcolm. Malcolm tests his loyalty to him, as he fears that Macduff may be working for Macbeth. To determine whether Macduff is trustworthy, Malcolm rambles on about his own vices. He admits that he wonders whether he is fit to be king, since he claims to be lustful, greedy, and violent. At first, Macduff politely disagrees with his future king, but eventually Macduff cannot keep himself from crying out, “O Scotland, Scotland!”. In giving voice to his disparagement, Macduff has passed Malcolm’s test of loyalty. Ross enters. He has just arrived from Scotland, and tells Macduff that his wife and children are well. He urges Malcolm to return to his country, listing the woes that have befallen Scotland since Macbeth took the crown. Malcolm says that he will return with ten thousand soldiers lent him by the English king. Then, breaking down, Ross confesses to Macduff that Macbeth has murdered his wife and children. Macduff is crushed with grief. Malcolm urges him to turn his grief to anger, and Macduff assures him that he will inflict revenge upon Macbeth.
Act 5, Scene 1 At night, in the king’s palace at Dunsinane, a doctor and a gentlewoman discuss Lady Macbeth’s strange habit of sleepwalking. Suddenly, Lady Macbeth enters in a trance with a candle in her hand. Bemoaning the murders of Lady Macduff and Banquo, she seems to see blood on her hands and claims that nothing will ever wash it off. She leaves, and the doctor and gentlewoman marvel at her descent into madness.
Act 5, Scene 2 Outside the castle, a group of Scottish lords discusses the military situation: the English army approaches, led by Malcolm, and the Scottish army will meet them near Birnam Wood, apparently to join forces with them. The “tyrant,” as Lennox and the other lords call Macbeth, has fortified Dunsinane Castle and is making his military preparations in a mad rage.
Act 5, Scene 3 Macbeth strides into the hall of Dunsinane with the doctor and his attendants, boasting proudly that he has nothing to fear from the English army or from Malcolm, since “none of woman born” can harm him and since he will rule securely “[t]ill Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane”. He calls his servant Seyton, who confirms that an army of ten thousand Englishmen approaches the castle. Macbeth insists upon wearing his armor, though the battle is still some time off. The doctor tells the king that Lady Macbeth is kept from rest by “thick-coming fancies,” and Macbeth orders him to cure her of her delusions.
Act 5, Scene 4 In the country near Birnam Wood, Malcolm talks with the English lord Siward and his officers about Macbeth’s plan to defend the fortified castle. They decide that each soldier should cut down a bough of the forest and carry it in front of him as they march to the castle, thereby disguising their numbers.
Act 5, Scene 5 Within the castle, Macbeth blusteringly orders that banners be hung and boasts that his castle will repel the enemy. A woman’s cry is heard, and Seyton appears to tell Macbeth that the queen is dead. Shocked, Macbeth speaks numbly about the passage of time and declares famously that life is “a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing”. A messenger enters with astonishing news: the trees of Birnam Wood are advancing toward Dunsinane. Enraged and terrified, Macbeth recalls the prophecy that said he could not die till Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane.
Act 5, Scene 6 Outside the castle, the battle commences. Malcolm orders the English soldiers to throw down their boughs and draw their swords.
Act 5, Scene 7 On the battlefield, Macbeth strikes those around him vigorously, insolent because no man born of woman can harm him. He slays Lord Siward’s son and disappears in the fray.
Act 5, Scene 8 Macduff emerges and searches the chaos frantically for Macbeth, whom he longs to cut down personally. He dives again into the battle.
Act 5, Scene 9 Malcolm and Siward emerge and enter the castle.
Act 5, Scene 10 Elsewhere on the battlefield, Macbeth encounters Macduff. They fight, and when Macbeth insists that he is invincible because of the witches’ prophecy, Macduff tells Macbeth that he was not of woman born, but rather “from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped” (cesarian section). Macbeth suddenly fears for his life, but he declares that he will not surrender “[t]o kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet, / And to be baited with the rabble’s curse”. They exit fighting.
Act 5, Scene 11 Malcolm and Siward walk together in the castle, which they have now effectively captured. Ross tells Siward that his son is dead. Macduff emerges with Macbeth’s head in his hand and proclaims Malcolm King of Scotland. Malcolm declares that all his thanes will be made earls, according to the English system of peerage. They will be the first such lords in Scottish history. Cursing Macbeth and his “fiend-like” queen, Malcolm calls all those around him his friends and invites them all to see him crowned at Scone.
Lady Macbeth, Duncan’s assassination “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly.” (Who said it and what were they referring to?)
Macbeth, Duncan’s assassination “Whence is that knocking?— How is’t with me, when every noise appals me? What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red.” (Who said it and what were they referring to?)
Lady Macbeth, guilt over Duncan’s assassination “Out, damned spot; out, I say. One, two,—why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” (Who said it and what were they referring to?)
Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s suicide “She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow 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. ” (Who said it and what were they referring to?)

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