English – “Macbeth” Notes

Duncan king of Scotland
Malcolm Duncan’s older son
Donalbain Duncan’s younger son
Captain apart of the king’s army
Macbeth first Thane of Glamis, then Thane of Cawdor, then King of Scotland
Seyton Macbeth’s armor bearer
Lady Macbeth the wife of Macbeth
A Gentlewoman servant to Lady Macbeth
Porter servant at Macbeth’s castle
Banquo a Thane (nobleman of Scotland)
Fleance Banquo’s son
Macduff Thane of Fife
Lady Macduff wife of Macduff
the Son the son of the Macduffs
Lennox, Ross, Menteith, Angus, and Caithness other Thanes
Siward Earl of Northumberland
Young Siward Siward’s son
Who are the 3 characters in England? Siward, Young Siward, and the Doctor
Who are the 3 characters from the supernatural world? the 3 witches, Hecate, and the Apparitions
When does this story take place and where? in the 11th century; in Scotland and England
Act 1 Summary – Scotland is at war / is faced with an invading army from Norway and rebellious subjects at home- nobleman to Duncan in Scotland = Macbeth- Macbeth leads Duncan’s forces / wins the battle- the play begins after the battle- Macbeth and Banquo meet the 3 witches- the witches predict that Macbeth will become the Thane of Cawdor and later the King of Scotland- the witches disappear and a messenger tells Macbeth and Banquo that the Thane of Cawdor is going to be executed- Duncan declares Macbeth the new Thane of Cawdor (the witches’ first prediction has come true)- to celebrate the victory, Duncan decides to visit Macbeth’s castle- Lady Macbeth and Macbeth talk about the witches’ prophecies- Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to kill Duncan during his visit so that Macbeth can steal his throne- Macbeth eventually gives in and they decide to go with her plan
What is the tone in the beginning of the story? dark
Why are there 3 witches? it represents the holy trinity (father, son, holy spirit), except it’s an evil trinity and mocks the holy trinity by using witches
What are Thanes? lords
Who is Macdonwald? a traitor who goes against the king
Act 2 Summary – King Duncan and his followers eat and drink until the king is ready for bed- Lady Macbeth drugs the king’s guards- while Duncan is sleeping, Macbeth creeps into his room and murders him with the sleeping guard’s daggers- as Macbeth leaves the room, he forgets to leave the daggers with the guards to make it look like they murdered Duncan- Lady Macbeth gets mad at him for this and takes the daggers back to Duncan’s room herself, smearing the sleeping guards with the King’s blood- in the morning, Macduff goes to Duncan’s chamber to wake him up- he discovers that Duncan has been murdered and alerts everyone in the castle- Macbeth returns to the King’s room and kills the guards- Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee the country out of fear (this makes them look guilty of killing their father)
Act 3 Summary – the witches’ second prediction comes true when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth become the new king and queen of Scotland- Macbeth thinks that Banquo suspects him of murder, so he persuades some men to meet Banquo and Fleance on a road and murder them- the murderers kill Banquo, but Fleance escapes- that same night, Macbeth holds a feast- the first murderer comes through the hall and tells Macbeth what had happened with Banquo and Fleance- Lady Macbeth soon persuades the banquet guests to go home- Duncan’s son Malcolm flees to England and seeks military aid from the English King Edward to overthrow Macbeth- Macbeth fears that people are plotting against him and continues to rule cautiously- Scotland is about to have a civil war- Macbeth goes to the witches’ lair to get advice from them
Act 4 Summary – the witches decide to trick Macbeth into thinking he is secure, warning Macbeth to beware of Macduff- they also assure Macbeth that no man born of a woman can kill him (no man) / Macbeth is joyful about this- the witches tell Macbeth that he will never be defeated in battle until the battle moves towards his castle- after meeting the witches, Macbeth hears that Macduff has gone to England, leaving his wife and children behind- Macbeth is enraged at this and sends murderers to Macduff’s castle to slaughter Macduff’s entire family- not knowing about Macbeth’s plans, Macduff arrives in England and meets with exiled Malcolm / urges Malcolm to invade Scotland, get rid of Macbeth, and become king- at first Malcolm doesn’t trust Macduff, but eventually agrees and gets an English army ready to march against Macbeth- at that same moment, Ross (a thane) arrives to tell Macduff how Macbeth has been plotting to kill his entire family- enraged, Macduff wants to get revenge on Macbeth
Act 5 Summary – back in Scotland, Lady Macbeth is going mad / the doctor and servant find her sleepwalking one night- Malcolm’s English army marches into Scotland / unites with Scottish rebels- many of Macbeth’s followers join the rebels, making it hard to trust anyone- Malcolm tells his soldiers to use tree branches to camouflage themselves- as the army approaches, Macbeth finds out that Lady Macbeth has committed suicide- Macbeth meets Macduff in the battlefield- Macbeth warns Macduff that he cannot be killed by a man born of a woman- they fight and Macduff eventually kills Macbeth- Macduff carries Macbeth’s head to Malcolm- Malcolm is declared King of Scotland / Macbeth’s violent reign has ended- Scotland looks forward to a time of peace and order

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