Macbeth Acts and Scenes

Act 1 Scene 1 3 witches plan to meet macbeth
Act 1 Scene 2 Duncan, the King, hears account of Macbeth and Banquo’s success in battle. Orders the execution of the rebel thane of Cawdor and sends messengers to tell Macbeth that he has become the thane of Cawdor.
Act 1 Scene 3 Macbeth meets the witches, who tell him that he’s destined to bc thane of Cawdor and, eventually, king. They then promise Banquo that though he will not be a king, he will father a line of kings. Almost immediately after the witches disappear, Ross and Angus, Duncan’s messengers, reach Macbeth and tell him he is the new thane of Cawdor. Macbeth contemplates murdering Duncan in order to become King
Act 1 Scene 4 Duncan is assured that the former thane of Cawdor has been executed. Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus join him and he thanks Macbeth and Banquo (macbeth especially) for their service. He announces that he plans to make his eldest son, Malcolm, king after him but says the others will receive honors as well. He wants to visit Macbeth at Inverness and Macbeth tells him he will go ahead of the rest of the party to let his wife know of their coming. Since Malcolm has been declared the next heir, Macbeth decides he can only become king by killing Duncan.
Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth reads a letter Macbeth has sent her. He tells her about meeting the witches, becoming thane of Cawdor, and how he must kill Duncan in order to become king; she worries he doesn’t have the guts to do it and decides that she will make preparation for Duncan’s murder, calling upon evil spirits to fill her with cruelty. Macbeth arrives and tells her that Duncan is arriving in a few hours and they decide to kill him that evening
Act 1 Scene 6 Duncan arrives at Inverness, comments on the loveliness of its situation, and inquires after Macbeth, who isn’t present in the scene. Lady Macbeth welcomes them to her home
Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth starts to chicken out. Lady Macbeth arrives and tells him to stop being such a coward. She tells him her plan: she’ll get Duncan’s attendants so drunk that they pass out, then he will murder Duncan and smear his blood on the attendants to make it seem as though they’ve done it. Macbeth is inspired again and contrives to kill Duncan
Act 2 Scene 1 Banquo, who is also at Inverness, is nervous because he is also tempted by the witches’ prophecies, but only in his dreams. He tells Macbeth, who says he has forgotten about them. When Banquo leaves, Macbeth begins to hallucinate from his fear and panic and sees a gory dagger which leads him to Duncan’s chambers. After hearing Lady Macbeth ring the bell, he sets off to kill Duncan
Act 2 Scene 2 Lady Macbeth waits nervously for Macbeth to finish murdering Duncan. When he enters the scene Macbeth is horrified by what he’s done. He has accidentally brought the daggers with him but refuses to go back so Lady Macbeth takes them back and tells him to go wash his hands while she’s at it. When she leaves Macbeth hears knocking, but thinks its another hallucination. Lady Macbeth returns, hears the knocking and urges Macbeth (again) to wash his hands and put on his nightgown so they look like observers not murderers.
Act 2 Scene 3 The porter goes to the door and pretends to be the gatekeeper of hell letting different people in. It is Macduff and Lennox knocking and Macduff goes to the wake the King who requested to be woken early. He finds him dead and freaks out, waking Banquo, Donalbain, and Malcolm and ringing the alarm bell. Macbeth kills the attendants. Macbeth, Banquo, Macduff, Ross, and Lennox go to get dressed before discussing what has happened, but Malcolm and Donalbain, recognizing that the murderer is likely still in the house, fear that they will be killed next and flee (Malcolm to England and Donalbain to Ireland)
Act 2 Scene 4 Ross and an old man talk about recent abnormal things that have been happening recently. Macduff enters and tells them that it is now thought that Malcolm and Donalbain bribed the attendants to murder Duncan as they have disappeared. He also announces that Macbeth has been declared the new king. Ross goes to the coronation but Macduff goes home to Fife.
Act 3 Scene 1 Banquo expresses suspicion that Macbeth played a role in Duncan’s murder. He remembers though that the same fates who promised Macbeth all he has achieved also promised Banquo that he would father a line of kings. Macbeth invites Banquo to a feast he will be hosting that evening. Banquo accepts and then sets out for a ride with Fleance. Macbeth mourns the idea that he has sacrificed his soul only for Banquo’s sons to become kings. He plots to murder Banquo and meets with two “murderers” whom he has convinced that Banquo is responsible for their lowly state of living and misfortunes. He convinces them to murder Banquo and Fleance for him as they return from their ride.
Act 3 Scene 2 The scene opens with Lady Macbeth, who expresses her lack of happiness despite the fact that Macbeth is now king. She speaks to Macbeth, who is still tormented by thoughts of what he has done. He has found yet another thing to be paranoid about: Banquo and Fleance. He warns Lady Macbeth of something dreadful that will happen but doesn’t tell her what it is.
Act 3 Scene 3 The two murderers are joined by a third who brings specific instructions from Macbeth. They murder Banquo but Fleance escapes
Act 3 Scene 4 Macbeth is hosting the feast when one of the murderers arrives to tell him. Afterwards he begins to see hallucinations of Banquo’s ghost and Lady Macbeth sends everyone him before convincing him that all he needs is sleep.
Act 3 Scene 5 The 3 witches meet with Hecate who is angry with them for speaking to Banquo and Macbeth without first consulting her. She commands them to make preparations as Macbeth will come the next day to question them further about his fate.
Act 3 Scene 6 Lennox and one of the lord discuss the politics in Scotland. Lennox satirically comments on the “official” versions of recent murders that Macbeth has released. The lord tells him about how Macduff has fled to Englands and seeks help in overthrowing Macbeth.
Act 4 Scene 1 Macbeth meets with the witches to learn how to secure his position as king. They show him 3 apparations: an armed head, a bloody child, and a child crowned with a tree in his hand. They tell him to beware of Macduff but reassure him that no one born of women will harm him and that he won’t be overthrown until Birnam Wood literally moves yo Dunisane. Macbeth is reassured but is faith is shaken when they show him a line of kings to come, all in Banquo’s image. After they disappear, Macbeth discovers Macduff has fled and plots to murder his family.
Act 4 Scene 2 Ross visits Lady Macduff and tries to justify Macduff’s flight to England which has left his family defenseless. After he leaves, a messenger arrives to warn her to flee but before she can do son, Macbeth’s men attack her and murder her son.
Act 4 Scene 3 Macduff finds Malcolm at the English court and urges him to overthrow Macbeth. Malcolm suspects that Macduff has been sent by Macbeth in order to lure him to his death. After Malcolm tests Macduff, he reveals that Edward, the king of England, has provided Commander Siward and 10k troops for the invasion of Scotland. Ross arrives and tells Macduff about the murder in his household. Macduff is initially stricken with grief but turns his grief into a deep desire to avenge his family.
Act 5 Scene 1 One of Lady Macbeth’s attendants has seen her walking in her asleep and asks for a doctor’s help. They watch her as she repeats the action of washing her hands repeatedly as she relives the horrors that she acbeth have carried out. The doctor tells her that the problem is spiritual, not physical, and that he can’t help her.
Act 5 Scene 2 A Scottish force in rebellion against Macbeth marches toward Birnam Woods to meet Malcolm and the English forces.
Act 5 Scene 3 Reports are brought to Macbeth of the troops rallied against him and he seeks comfort from the apparitions the witches showed him. He frets about Lady Macbeth’s condition and the doctors inability to help her.
Act 5 Scene 4 The rebel Scottish forces arrive at Birnam Wood. Malcolm order each soldier to cut down and carry a bough from the trees in order to conceal their numbers from Macbeth and his spies.
Act 5 Scene 5 Macbeth expresses confidence is his ability to hold off the attackers and then finds out that Lady Macbeth takes her own life. Reports come that it appears as though Birnam Wood is moving toward Dunisane Castle, where he lies in wait. In his desperation, he resolves to abandon the castle and meet Malcolm on the battlefield
Act 5 Scene 6 Malcolm arrives with troops before Dunisane castle.
Act 5 Scene 7 On the battlefield, Macbeth kills young Siward. After he exits, Macduff enters, searching for him. He discovers young Siward. Dunisane Castle has been surrendered to Malcolm, whose forces are strengthened by deserters from Macbeth’s army.
Act 5 Scene 8 Macduff finds Macbeth, who is reluctant to fight with him because he doesn’t want to kill him after murdering his family. When Macduff announces that he isn’t, strictly speaking, born of a woman as his mother had a c-section, Macbeth is afraid to fight him. He only fights him when Macduff threatens to capture him and display him as a public spectacle. Macduff kills Macbeth, cuts his head off, and brings it to Malcolm. With Macbeth dead, Malcolm is now king and gives new titles to his loyal supporters.

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