Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Home
Quotations
Critic
Decos
Charactors
Plot Overview
Macbeth's History
Vocabulary
Questions
Essays
Story
Fun Facts
About Shakespeare
Act 1 Animation

The Tragedy of Macbeth

macbeth.jpg

blood.gif

is2.jpeg

Think you know the story? Click here to find out!

 
 
Act 1


Scene 1




Set in medieval Scotland. The play opens in an isolated place where three witches are holding a conversation. They speak of a civil war that is being fought in Scotland, and to the witches, the outcome is known. The witches are waiting to meet with Macbeth, an honoured General in the Scottish army.

Scene 2




This scene takes place at King Duncan's camp, a fair distance from the actual fighting of the war. A wounded soldier brings the King the latest reports from the battlefield. The soldier praises the bravery of Macbeth and his fellow general, Banquo and speaks of their victory over the rebel traitor Macdonwald. During the battles, the Thane of Cawdor (a Scottish Lord), is found to be a traitor as well. Duncan orders Cawdor's immediate execution and Macbeth is to be granted his title.

Scene 3




In a bleak place, where the witches gather, the topic of discussion is the discomforts that they have been causing and then prepare a spell for Macbeth. While Macbeth and Banquo are on their way to Forres, they enter the witches' cave and are surprised to see a group of naked old hags telling the Generals their futures. The witches tell Macbeth that he will become the Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King of Scotland. When banquo asks the witches for his future, their answers are filled with paradox and contradiction. The witches say that Banquo will be both lesser and greater than Macbeth; not happy, but happier; and that he would father a line of kings. The witches then disappear. While Banquo is skeptical about the prophecies, Macbeth feels that they are true because he was already the Thane of Glamis, and shortly after he is told that he has been granted the title of Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth immediately ponders killing Duncan to acquire the position of king and to make his third prophecy come true, though the idea scares him.

Scene 4




This scene starts with Malcolm, Duncan's son, describing the execution of the tratiorous Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth enters with Banquo, Ross, and Angus as Duncan and his son are conversing about the former Thane of Cawdor. The King graciously thanks his generals and promises to reward them with more honours. Duncan then names his son, Malcolm, as his sucsessor to the throne. To show his gratitude towards Macbeth, Duncan invites himself and the court to visit Macbeth's castle at Inverness. Macbeth then leaves to prepare for the Royal visit, being shaken up by Duncan's naming of his sucsessor.

Scene 5




Lady Macbeth recieves a letter from her husband telling her of the prophecies and their partial fulfillment. She is determined that the prophecy of him becoming King will come true, but is worried that Macbeth won't have the guts to kill for the position. Macbeth arrives and his wife assures him that, at this appropriate time to kill the King, their scheme will pay off. Lady Macbeth reminds him to hide his true intentions and emotions while the King is present, for anyone can read Macbeth's face to learn what he is thinking about.

Scene 6




While most scenes in the play portray darkness and evil, this scene takes place in daylight and is located in a beautiful setting. With the exception of Macbeth, all of the plays major characters are present as Lady Macbeth greets the King and his court. Duncan is full of complements.

Scene 7




Macbeth leaves the banquet which is in honour of Duncan, for he needs time and privacy to think about his terrible plan of actions. He wants to become the King, but he doesn't want to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth then arrives and scolds him for being cowardice and weak. She says that she would rather kill her child than withdraw from a promised agreement. Macbeth finally agrees to commit the act and Lady Macbeth then fills him in on her plan: she'll get the attendants all drunk, send Macbeth into the King's chambers to kill him, plant the weapons with the attendants, and go back to bed.

blood.gif

Act 2

Scene 1




Set in Macbeth's courtyard late at night. Banquo and his son, Fleance, are walking to their bedrooms. Banquo has a feeling of anxiety towards going to sleep because he fears that he will dream of the witches' prophecies. Macbeth enters and persuades Banquo to talk about the prophecies with him sometime, although Banquo will not speak of anything disloyal to Duncan. When Macbeth is left alone in his courtyard, he sees a vision of a dagger. He is confused when he wonders where the dagger came from. Was it a real dagger, or was it just a vision in his mind? The dagger leads him to Duncan's chamber, at which time Lady Macbeth rings the bell, signifying that Duncan and his servants are asleep. The time has come for Macbeth to commit the crime.

Scene 2




In this scene, Lady Macbeth shows that she too is very tense. She required the help of alcohol and admits that she could not have committed the murder. When Macbeth returns from Duncan's chamber, Lady Macbeth takes control of her distressed husband. Macbeth is very worried about a sound that he heard, which apparently said, "Macbeth shall sleep no more." At this point in time, Lady Macbeth realizes that Macbeth is carrying the daggers which he was suposed to plant with the servants. Being unable to go back to the King's chamber, Macbeth allows Lady Macbeth to return the daggers to their appropriate places. At the sound of a knocking of the door, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth return to their room and wash the blood off their hands and change their clothes. Macbeth is concerned about the fact that the blood apparently wasn't coming off his hands.

Scene 3




This scene is the famous "Porter Scene." The castle's porter is awakened by a knocking at the door. He, being drunk, eventually stumbles his way across the courtyard, he curses Macbeth, saying that Macbeth is the Devil and that he is the porter of the gate of hell. After the porter stops for a pee, he opens the door to reveal Macduff and Lennox. Duncan had asked them to come early and wake him up. Macbeth enters, wondering who had been knocking at the door. After Macduff is greeted by Macbeth, he heads toward the King's chambers. Meanwhile, Lennox is talking about the unnatural disturbances during the night. Macduff then returns and, in hysteria, announces that Duncan has been murdered. Everyone is awakened by the ringing of the alarm bell. Macbeth and Lennox go to investigate the scene of the crime and, in seeing the bloody corpses of the servants, Macbeth admits to have killed the servants in the rage of the death of their King. When Lady Macbeth hears of the murder of the servants she faints. She wasn't mentally preparing these murders to take place, Macbeth had not told her that he had killed them. The King's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, silently escape to England because they sensed danger.

Scene 4




In this scene more is learned about the unnatural occurances of the previous night. To add effect to the day after Duncan was murdered, the sun has not risen. Macduff says to Ross that Malcolm and Donalbain are suspected of killing their father. He also says that Duncan's body was taken to be buried and that Macbeth was named king. Ross goes back to Fife to attend Macbeth's ascention, but Macduff decides that it would be better to not go back to Fife because he was afraid that the changes being made were for the worse.

blood.gif

Act 3

Scene 1




Macbeth is now living at the royal residence, at Forres. Banquo begins to suspect Macbeth in the murder of Duncan, but considers staying quiet because he still hopes that his prophecies will come true as they came true for Macbeth. Macbeth makes a formal entrance with his group and announces that there will be a banquet held for the state at his royal castle that night. Banquo tells Macbeth that he and Fleance will be out horseback riding until early evening, but he will be back in time for the banquet. Then Macbeth's court exits, leaving him alone to mainly think about the witches' prophecies for Banquo. Two hired murderers enter to talk to Macbeth. Macbeth convinces them that Banquo is their nemesis and he deserves to die. they agree to kill Banquo and his son as they are returning from their ride.

Scene 2




This scene begins with Lady Macbeth expressing her unhappiness with the situation but, when Macbeth enters, she goes back to being the backbone of the whole scheme. It is here where we learn about the lack of sleep, the nightmares, and the loss of appetite that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are suffering from. But they must hide their emotions and mental states to be happy and welcoming for their banquet. Macbeth tells his wife that he has made some drastic decisions, but refuses to tell her any details.

Scene 3




The two murderers wait for Banquo and Fleance to return form their ride in the early evening. The two murderers are joined by a third who has apparently been sent by Macbeth, who fails to trust anyone at this point in time. When Banquo and his son return, one of the three murderers holds a torch while the other two stab Banquo. In the rush of the moment, Fleance escapes into the darkness.

Scene 4




As the guests arrive at the castle, they are formally welcomed by the Macbeths. Just as Macbeth gets ready to drink to their health, one of the murderers appears at the door. The murderer tells him that Fleance escaped. Macbeth is not pleased with this news, but just as he is about to express his emotions, he is called back by Lady Macbeth to perform his duties as the host. As he joins his guests, he comments on how disappointed his is that Banquo is not present. Just then, as Macbeth is going to sit down at a table, the ghost of Banquo sits on the seat that Macbeth was about to sit on. Macbeth, in the eyes of the guests, is crazy. He is apparently speaking about nothing because nobody else can see the ghost but him. Lady Macbeth attempts to calm him, trying to make him return to his senses and to his being the host. When the ghost disappears, Macbeth blames his actions on his poor health. Now the collected host in honor of Banquo, but just as he says this the ghost reappears. Macbeth can't handle it and Lady Macbeth orders all the guests to leave in any order.

Scene 5




In this scene we are introduced to Hecate, the queen of the witches. she is angered at the three witches for not involving her in the business of the new King. In knowing that Macbeth will visit them the next morning, Hecate plans to lead Macbeth to his downfall by making him feel over-confident in himself.

Scene 6




In this scene Lennox and another lord are discussing the crimes that they now believe Macbeth is responsible for. They also discuss new developments in the situation. One being that Macduff and part of the Scottish army has joined with England in an attempt to overthrow Macbethfrom his position.

blood.gif

Act 4

Scene 1




The witches are dancing and chanting around a cauldron, making a spell. Macbeth enters thier cave, demanding that his questions be answered. The witches then decide to give him what he wants. The prophecies, this time, are spoken by appartions. They are as follows: a head wearing a battle helmet, a blood-covered child, and a child wearing a crown and carrying a tree. The witched tell Macbeth to watch out for Macduff, that he will not be killed by anyone born of women, and that he need not worry untill the Burnam Wood move towards his castle. As happened in the first predictions, the first was correct so Macbeth felt that his future was secure, but is still a bit worried about Banquo's decendents. The witches would not answer, danced around, then disapeared.

Scene 2




In this scene, Lady Macduff is visited at her castle by her relative, Ross. He is trying to explain that the reason Macduff went to England was valid. She does beleive her cousin, she feels that her and her children are very vulnerable, and her husband should be there. Then murderers come in just as Ross leaves, stab the child and pursue the screaming Lady Macduff.

Scene 3




Macduff arives at eh court of Edward the Confesser, King of England. Then he meets with Malcolm, and tries to convince him that they should prepare to attack Scotland. But Malcolm does not trust Macduff, and is worried that he was sent there only to kill Malcolm. Malcolm tests Macduff by saying that he would be a much worse king than Macbeth, saying that he was corrupt, greedy, lecherous and vicious. Just as Macduff is ready to leave in discust, Malcolm tells him the difference. Malcolm reveals that a force of 10,000 men is ready to invade Scotland. Everyone is happy. Then Ross arives from Scotland and speaks of worsening news. When asked about his family, Macduff was horrified to hear of the murder of his family. He then vows that he will be the one to kill Macbeth.

blood.gif

Act 5

Scene 1




The Macbeths have moved to Dunsinane Castle, likely because it is on a hill, where they are able to see further into the distance. As Lady Macbeth is going quite mad, a doctor has been employed to watch over her full time. The Lady has been seen sleepwalking, always with a candle in hand, she then writes on paper, and lockes it away. The nurse refuses to repeat what she has heard so she makes the doctor stay up and see for himself. When the doctor see's her, he states that there is nothing that he can do, and that they should watch her even more closely, for she may be suicidal.

Scenes 2 and 3




Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Lennox, Scottish nobles are on their to Birnam Wood near Dunsinane to join with the English forces and their leaders, Malcolm, Macduff and Siward. They are each prepared to die for their causes. Back at Dunsinane Castle, eveyone has deserted Macbeth but his servants, who are forced to stay. He recieves the news that the forces are on their way to attack. Macbeth is still pretty confidant for her knows that he will not be killed by anyone being born of women, he reassures that by remembering that he is not to worry until the Burnam Woods get up and walk towards his castle.

Scenes 4, 5, and 6




The Scotish and Englis army have come together and they decide to each cut down a branch and carry it with them, while they march to Dunsinane. In the mean time, Macbeth is still confidant that his castle will be fine. Later on he hears that his wife has killed herself. Then a messanger comes to tell Macbeth that it looked like the Birnam Woods are walking towards that castle. On their arrival to the castle, Malcolm orders the soldiers to throw down their camouflage of brances and to start their fighting.

Scenes 7 and 8




This scene takes place on the battlefield, Macbeth feels very scared, yet still is holding on to the third prophacy. He has an easy victory over young Siward and that boosts his confidance. Meanwhile, Macduff is looking around for Macbeth. Finally, the two meet. Macbeth does not want to fight anymore, he feels very bad for all ready have killing so many people. At this point he is positive that he will not be killed. Then Macduff reveals that he was born by caesarian section and thus he was not technically born of women. Macbeth finally realizes that the witches have been using equivocation. He still refuses to yield, and this time he fight to the end.

blood.gif