Macbeth All Acts Scene Summaries

Act 5 Scene 1 A servant to the queen, a gentlewoman is talking to the doctor about Lady Macbeth’s strange behaviour, including her sleepwalking and her thoughts, which the gentlewoman refuses to say to the doctor, their conversation is interrupted by sleepwalking Lady Macbeth talking in disjointed language about Macbeth’s murder plans, and how she is unable to wash the blood from her hands.
Act 5 Scene 2 The soldiers and four lords of Malcolm have agreed to join with the English allies, they all talk of the fear and misery Macbeth has been bringing to Scotland, Malcolm hopes to bring back peace into the community with a rightful ruler.
Act 5 Scene 3 News of the great strength of the invading army is brought upon Macbeth, he claims he is not troubled, but is still unhappy. He asks for his armour and discusses Lady Macbeth’s weakening health condition with the doctor.
Act 5 Scene 4 Malcolm demands to hide the size of his army so he asks them to cut of branches of Birnam Wood so they can hide their true strength from Macbeth. They also discuss Macbeth’s remaining honour and position as king.
Act 5 Scene 5 Macbeth starts preparing defence forces after his discovery of Lady Macbeth’s death, he soon realises the pointlessness of his life. He is then told that Birnam wood is moving towards the castle.
Act 5 Scene 6 Malcolm and his soldiers put down their branches and approach Macbeth’s castle.
Act 5 Scene 7 Macbeth is fighting in his castle and kills the young Siward (battling against Macbeth). In another part of the field Macduff is searching for Macbeth, and Malcolm is informed that Macbeth’s forced have surrendered the castle.
Act 5 Scene 8 Macduff confronts Macbeth who is very confident at battle at this point. They fight and Macbeth seems to be winning until Macduff tells Macbeth that he was ripped from his mother’s womb and therefore not woman born, this throws Macbeth’s confidence and so he is eventually killed by Macduff.
Act 5 Scene 9 Malcolm is proclaimed the new king of Scotland, he promises to restore peace and order.
Act 4 Scene 1 The witches are preparing a charm when Macbeth enters demanding to find out about his future, they tell him he must find out from the real masters who are the apparitions. The apparitions predict things that are favourable for Macbeth. However, when Macbeth asks about whether Banquo’s descendants will rule Scotland, he is shown with a vision of kings all descending from Banquo himself. Then the witches disappear, and Lennox tells Macbeth that Macduff has fled to England so Macbeth decides to kill his family.
Act 3 Scene 1 Banquo expresses his suspicions about Macbeth alone, and his line of descendants as king. Then Macbeth tells Banquo about the banquet in feast that night, and they also discuss Banquo’s riding plans in the afternoon. Later, Macbeth reflects on his fear of Banquo alone, after this he persuades two murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance.
Act 3 Scene 2 Lady Macbeth is alone in the room reflecting on her unhappiness when Macbeth walks into the room talking of his tortured and insecure mind. They discuss the importance of hiding their anxieties from everyone at the banquet that night. Macbeth also hints at his plans on murdering Fleance and Banquo but does not disclose any details.
Act 3 Scene 3 The two murderers from Act 3 Scene 1 are accompanied by a third, they all ambush Banquo and Fleance who are on their way to Macbeth’s castle for the banquet. However, the murderers only succeed in killing Banquo, Fleance has escaped.
Act 3 Scene 4 Macbeth holds a banquet for the Scottish nobles. During the banquet, one of the murderers appears at the door to inform Macbeth that Banquo has been killed but Fleance escaped. When Macbeth rejoins his guests, he imagines Banquo’s ghost who goes and sits on his seat, sending Macbeth into mad panic. Lady Macbeth fails to calm her husband but he recovers when the ghosts vanish. When the ghost returns, Macbeth’s mad rage causes Lady Macbeth to dismiss all their guests. Once alone, Macbeth informs his wife of his determination to visit to witches.
Act 2 Scene 1 Outside the castle courtyard, Banquo comments on the extraordinariness of the darkness of night, and tries to pray. Macbeth enters and talks to Banquo uneasily. After Banquo and his son Fleance leave, and Macbeth has a hallucination of a dagger, which sets him off to commit the murder of King Duncan.
Act 2 Scene 2 Lady Macbeth nervously waits for Macbeth to return from committing the murder of King Duncan. When he arrives, he looks very disturbed by his crime. Lady Macbeth is horrified that he has brought the bloody daggers with him, when he refuses to put them back in Duncan’s chamber, she goes instead. While she is gone, Macbeth reflects on the murder and his own guilt, the scene ends in tension with insistent knocking at the castle gate.
Act 2 Scene 3 The knocking from previous scene continues, and the porter who is very drunk opens the castle gate. He humurously imagines that he is the Porter of hell and is letting in all kinds of sinners, this joking continues and Lennox and Macduff enter. Macbeth greets them and shows them to Duncan’s chamber. Lennox and Macbeth are discussing how rough the night has been, when Macduff comes in horrified to tell them that the king has been murdered. Macbeth reveals that he has killed Duncan’s two guards who he believes are responsible. Fearing for their lives, the King’s two sons Donalbain and Malcolm decide to flee the country
Act 2 Scene 4 Ross and an old man are discussing the unnatural events that have occurred during the night, they are joined by Macduff who brings them the news that Macbeth is to be the new King of Scotland.
Act 1 Scene 2 A wounded sergeant reports the information from the battle to King Duncan. He tells him that the battle looked doubtful for the King’s army until Macbeth and Banquo overcame the enemy. The Thane of Ross brings further news: Norway had taken advantage of the situation and was assisted by the Scottish Thane of Cawdor, invaded Scotland: this invading army was defeated by Macbeth. King Duncan orders the execution of the current Thane of Cawdor and awards this title to Macbeth.
Act 1 Scene 3 The Witches talk as they wait for Macbeth. They greet Macbeth as the Thane of Cawdor and predict that he will become King of Scotland. They also predict that Banquo’s descendants will be kings. When Macbeth seeks further information, the Witches disappear. Angus and Ross arrive with the news that Macbeth is the new Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is troubled by the Witches’ predictions and agrees with Banquo to discuss it further at some future time.
Act 1 Scene 4 King Duncan is told about the current Thane of Cawdor’s execution. Macbeth enters and Duncan praises him highly promising him future rewards. Duncan proclaims his eldest son Malcolm as next in line for the throne and announces his intention to stay that night at Macbeth’s castle. As Macbeth leaves to make preparations for the king, he reflects on how Malcolm (Prince of Cumberland) is another obstacle preventing him from obtaining the crown.
Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth, which informs her of his meeting with the witches and of his new title as Thane. Lady Macbeth reflects that Macbeth has the ambition to become king but lacks the ruthless nature to make it happen. A messenger brings news of Duncan’s visit, which makes her excited. Lady Macbeth calls the spirits to suppress her feminine instincts. When Macbeth enters, they begin to plot Duncan’s murder.
Act 1 Scene 6 King Duncan and his men arrive at Macbeth’s castle, commenting on the pleasant surroundings. Lady Macbeth courteously welcomes them and takes them inside.
Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth leaves the banquet to wrestle with his conscience. When Lady Macbeth enters, he tells her that they should not kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth criticises Macbeth’s lack of courage and quickly persuades him with a plan to murder the King while he sleeps.

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