28th February 2017

William Shakespeares- MACBETH


Act: 1, Scene: 1

Characters: The three witches

Location: A desert place

Time: Unknown (before the end of the battle)

Events: The witches plan to meet again after the battle is over after sundown and to meet Macbeth on the heath.

Quote: “Fair is foul and foul is fair” – paradox.

Act 1 Scene 2

Characters: Duncan (King of Scotland), Malcolm, Sergeant (Captian), Donalbain, Lenox, Attendants.

Location: A camp near Forres.

Time: After the battle.

Events: A bloody man (sergeant), is bought to see King Duncan, he tells Duncan about the battle, explaining how Macbeth fought his way through the Norwegian soldiers to kill Macdonwald and behead him. The wounded sergeant gets help for his wounds and Rosse continues to tell the story. Norway bought in fresh soldiers and the fight continued. Scotland pulled through and won the battle, Rosse pronounces that if king Duncan wants his men buried he has to pay 10,000 dollars.

Quote: “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.” – Duncan

Act 1 Scene 3

Characters: Witches, Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, Angus.

Location: A heath near Forres

Time: After the battle before Macbeth is crowned.

Events: Witches wait on the heath for Macbeth and Banquo to tell them that Macbeth will be crowned king because of Cawdor unloyaltys. Banquo is told his children will be kings. Ross and Angus arrive and tell Macbeth they were sent by the master to tell him he will become king.

Quote: If chance will have me, king, why, chance may crown me, Without my stir. –  Macbeth

Act 1 Scene 4

Characters: Macbeth, Banquo, Rosse, Angus, Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lenox, and attendants.

Location: Forres (A room in Kings palace)

Time: Sometime after Cawdor’s Execution

Events: Cawdor is executed, Macbeth enters and is thanked for his actions in battle. Macbeth replies saying he is loyal to the king. The king (Duncan) tells his son (Malcolm) that he is heir to the throne. Macbeth states aside that he shall not let his deepest darkest desires be shown.

Quote: “Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be, which the eye fears, when it is done, to see”

Act 1, Scene 5

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Messenger, Macbeth.

Location: Inverness (A room in Macbeth’s castle)

Time: After Macbeth’s meeting with the king

Events: Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband which tells her about the witches’ prophecies. Lady Macbeth reflects that her husband has too much natural goodness in him to kill Duncan, but is delighted to hear the news that the king will be staying in their castle that night. she plans to kill Duncan while he stays the night and she tells Macbeth of her plans, there is no evidence that Macbeth is committed.

Quote: “Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t” – Lady Macbeth speaking to Macbeth.

Act 1, Scene 6 

Characters: Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lenox, Macduff, Rosse, Angus, Macbeth & Lady Macbeth

Location: Inverness, in front then within, Macbeth’s castle

Time: Before King, Duncan enters Macbeth’s castle

Events: Duncan is greeted by Lady Macbeth at Macbeth’s castle, lady Macbeth acts extremely kind and loyal while we know her dark intentions, the king asks to see Macbeth to pay him his thank you.

Quote: “Give me your hand, Conduct me to mine host, we love him highly, And shall continue our graces towards him. By your leave, hostess.” – King Duncan

Act 1, Scene 7

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Servants

Location: A room in Macbeth’s castle – a sewer with hoboys and torches with servants cleaning dishes.

Time: After the war.

Events: Macbeth has second thoughts about his plan and intentions to and believes he should be trying to stop anyone from killing Duncan than killing him himself. he does not want to be responsible or hold the knife, he tells Lady Macbeth his beliefs and she loses her nut, telling him he is a coward and she is stronger than him. If he will not do the deed she will do it herself, Lady Macbeth comes up with a plan and Macbeth agrees, ashamed of his weakness.

Quote: “… I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the other – ” – Macbeth

Act 2, Scene 1

Characters: Macbeth, Fleance, Banquo

Location: A courtyard within the castle

Time: After the war, before the killing

Events: Troubled by his thoughts, Banquo is Unable to sleep. Meeting Macbeth, he tells him of Duncan’s gratitude for the hospitality he has received and they begin to talk about the witches, Banquo states that he has dreamt about the witches and believes they speak the truth, Macbeth lies to Banquo’s face saying he hasn’t thought of them. Macbeth has an image of a dagger with blood on it, trying to work up the courage to do the deed. Whenking’sthe clock strikes midnight a bell sounds which signifies servant’s ending work and Macbeth sees this as a sign and goes off to kill Duncan.

Quotes: “the dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?’ – Macbeth

Macbeth’s last speech of the dagger signifies Macbeth’s caution and

Act 2, Scene 2

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth

Location: A Courtyard Within Macbeth’s Castle

Time: After Duncans Murder

Events: Lady Macbeth talks of how she has drugged the kings bodyguards and has placed their daggers ready for Macbeth to use upon Duncan. Macbeth returns from the killing with his hands covered in blood, greatly disturbed by his inability to say amen. A voice tells Macbeth he will never sleep again. He has brought the dagger with him in his distraction. He refuses to take them back because he is greatly unsettled and not bare see the killing scene again. Lady Macbeth stormily says she will do it herself. They both here knocking on the castle gates, Lady Macbeth returns without regret or guilt whilst Macbeth is already suffering from the guilt.

Quote: ” One cried “god bless us!” and “Amen” the other, As they had seen me these hangman’s hands. Listening to their fear, I could not say “Amen” when they did say “God bless us”

Act 2, Scene 3


Location: A Courtyard Within Macbeth’s Castle


Events: The castle porter goes to open the door. The porter imagines himself to be the porter of hell-gate, welcoming various types of sinner. He admits Macduff and Lenox and jokes with them about the effects of alcohol. Macbeth enters and shows Macduff where Duncan is lodging. Lenox describes the strange unnatural events of the previous night. Macduff enters, crying out in horror at his discovery of Duncan’s murder. as Lenox and Macbeth go to see the sight for themselves, Lady Macbeth enters. Macbeth returns and expresses his shock. Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, are told of their father’s murder at the hands, it seems, of his bodyguards.


Act 2, Scene 4

Act 2, Scene 4 Summary

Characters: Rosse, Old Man, Macduff

Location: Outside the castle

Time: Sometime after Duncan’s death

Events: Malcolm plans to flee to England and Donalbian to Ireland, Rosse is talking to an old man about the supernatural events occurring, the world has been turned upside down. The night is prolonged as the sun hasn’t made an appearance and Duncan’s horses were seen eating one another. Macduff reveals Malcolm and Donalbain’s escape and says that it places suspicion on them. Due to this, they discuss that Macbeth will now be invested as King. While Macduff will travel to Fife, Rosse will travel to Scone where Macbeth will be crowned.

Quote: “And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.” – Rosse

Act 3, Scene 1

Characters: Banquo, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Lenox, Rosse, Murderers

Location: Forres, in the palace

Time: After Macbeth’s coronation

Events: Macbeth has been crowned King. Banquo fears that Macbeth killed Duncan, prompting him to wonder if his prophecy will come true too. Macbeth questions Banquo about his plans and sends everyone away to think over his concerns about Banquo. Macbeth worries that Banquo’s prophecy will also come true and in order to prevent Banquo from gaining from Macbeth’s actions, he convinces two murderers that Banquo is their enemy and they should kill both him and Fleance, Banquo’s son.

Quote: “Upon my head, they placed a fruitless crown, and put a barren scepter in my gripe.” – Macbeth

The crown is fruitless and the scepter barren because Macbeth’s children will not be heirs if the witch’s prophecy comes true.

Act 3, Scene 2

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, Servant

Location: A room in the palace but a different room.


Events: Lady Macbeth and Macbeth relies upon although they have got what they want they are not happy, they live with the guilt and dangers treating them. Macbeth expresses his fears about Banquo and Fleance and hints that something terrible is about to happen.

Quote: “We have scorched the snake, not killed it” – Macbeth referring to killing Duncan saying we have made an impact but are still living with ongoing problems surrounding the issue.

Act 3, Scene 3

Characters: 3 Murderers

Location: A road leading to the palace.

Time: After Macbeth ordered Banquo’s death

Events: Two murderers wait to ambush Banquo and Fleance are joined by a third murderer sent by Macbeth. Banquo is killed but Fleance escapes.

Quote: “O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou mayest revenge!” – Banquo

Act 3, Scene 4

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Rosse, Lenox, Lords, Ghost of Banquo, Murderer

Location: Forres, a room in the palace

Time: At Macbeth’s coronation party

Events: Macbeth is informed of Banquo’s death although Fleance’s escape concerns him. Macbeth pretends that he is upset Banquo hasn’t come when the ghost of Banquo enters and Macbeth yells that nobody can say he killed him. Lady Macbeth attempts to make up for her husband’s outbursts as the party guests worry he has fallen ill, then tells him off for his “hallucinations.” Banquo leaves and Macbeth attempts to regain his composure and apologizes for his outbursts. At this moment Banquo re-appears and again shakes Macbeth up as he tells Banquo to leave. He is full of confusion as he can’t see how the others aren’t as scared of the appearance of Banquo’s ghost as he was; he doesn’t realize that only he can see him. This second round of outbursts causes the thanes to leave as Lady Macbeth sends them away with an explanation that he is simply sick. Macbeth is now concerned that Macduff didn’t attend the party and decides to revisit the witches to learn what is to come. He vows that, as he already has killed two, he won’t stop now if it means he can get what he wants.

Quote #1: “There the grown serpent lies: the worm, that’s fled, hath nature that in time will venom breed, no teeth for the present.” – Macbeth

Banquo is dead but Fleance has the possibility to become dangerous even though he is harmless at present.

Quote #2: “I am in blood. Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.”

Macbeth compares his situation to crossing a river of blood: he has gone so far that it would be difficult to go back as to continue to the other side.

Act 3, Scene 5

Characters: Three Witches, Hecate.

Location: The heath

Time: Day after the feast

Events: The three Witches are rebuked by the witch goddess, Hecate for not involving her in their dealings with Macbeth. Hecate vows to lead Macbeth to his destruction.

Quote: “And i the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms,” – Hecate

Act 3, Scene 6

Characters: Lenox, Lord

Location: Scotland


Events: Lenox voices his suspicions to another lord about Duncan’s and Banquo’s deaths. After Lenox’s ironic account of events, the lord reports that Malcolm is with the English king, Edward the confessor and that Macduff has journeyed there to find support for an attack upon Macbeth.


Act 4, Scene 1

Characters: Three witches, Hecate, Macbeth, Lenox

Location: A dark Cave


Events: The three witches prepare to meet with Macbeth by creating a magic brew, Macbeth enters and tells the witches to answer his questions, Macbeth is told that he shall not be killed by anyone born of woman and he will not lose a battle until the forest is upon the hill, he is filled with great confidence, he asks for more insight of the future from the witches and he sees a line of 8 Banquo’s as kings. The witches leave and Lenox enters, he tells Macbeth that McDuff has fled to England, Macbeth wants to kill McDuff’s wife and children who are still in Scotland.

Apparition 1: Armed head: Warning him of McDuff

Apparition 2: Bloody child: Reassures Macbeth that he cannot be harmed by any man to whom a woman has given birth.

Apparition 3: Child wearing a crown and carrying a tree: tells Macbeth that he will not be defeated until Birnam wood comes to dunsinan

Apparition 4: Line of kings following Banquo;


Act 4, Scene 2:

Characters: Lady Macduff, Rosse, McDuff Son, Messenger

Location: A room in Macbeth’s castle,


Events: Lady MacDuff tells roses that her husband’s flight to England showed little concern for his family, When roses leaves, Lady Macduff’s son, who refuses to believe the story that his father is dead, asks about traitors lady Macduff replies saying a traitor is someone who swears to something then lies, everyone who swears and lies must be hanged by the honest men, the son doesn’t believe MacDuff is dead and believes if his mother does not cry for hum then she will have a new husband soon enough. A messenger arrives and warns Lady Macduff of approaching danger, murderers burst in, kill Macduff’s son and he yell to his mother to run she runs with the murderers.


Act 4, Scene 3

Characters: Malcolm, Macduff, doctor

Location: England, a room in the king’s palace


Events: Macduff visits Malcolm, Malcolm is suspicious, fearing that Macduff might betray him to Macbeth for a reward. Macduff is dismayed to be suspected in this way. To test Macduff’s loyalty, Malcolm pretends to be even more sinful (evil) than Macbeth,

Quote: I think our country sinks beneath the yoke; it weeps, it bleeds; and each new day a gash is added to her wounds.”- Malcolm

Act 5, Scene 1

Characters: Doctor, Waiting-Gentlewoman, Lady Macbeth

Location: Dunsinane, A room in the King’s castle

Time: After Macduff hears of his children’s death

Events: Lady Macbeth’s gentlewoman tells a doctor about her mistress’s behaviors while sleepwalking. Then Lady Macbeth sleepwalks in, carrying a candle. In this state, she constantly rubs her hand, imagining she is washing the blood off her hands and talks about all the murders. The doctor leaves the room shocked at what he has seen and heard.

Quote #1: “Out, damned spot! out, I say! – One; two; why then ‘t is 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?” – Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth knows that she and Macbeth are so powerful that nobody can hold them account for their actions. However, guilt still overcomes her as she thinks of all the people, specifically Duncan, they killed.

Quote #2: “What’s done cannot be undone…” – Lady Macbeth

Related to when Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth: “what’s done is done” (from Act 3, Scene 2).

Act 5, Scene 2 Summary

Characters: Macbeth

Location: The county near Dunsinane

Time: After lady Macbeth’s sleep

Events: The Scottish army opposing Macbeth approaches Dunsinane and the thanes discuss Macbeth’s loss of control. As the rebel Scots march towards Birnam to meet the English army led by Malcolm and Macduff, Macbeth receives reports of the approaching forces. but comforts himself with the Witches’ predictions.

Quote: “Now does he fell his secret murders sticking on his hands; now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach: Those he commands move only in command, nothing in love: now does he feel his title hang loose around him, like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief.” – Angus discussing Macbeth’s loss of control and lack of respect.

Act 5, Scene 3 

Characters: Macbeth, Servant, Seyton, Doctor

Location: Dunsinan, a room in the castle

Time: When Macbeth receives reports of the approaching army.

Events: Macbeth reassures himself with the witches prophecies, that he shall not be killed by any man born of a woman and his kingdom will not fall till Birnam forest comes to Dunsinane. A servant reports that ten thousand English soldiers are opposing, Macbeth scolds the man for showing fear. Macbeth goes on to tell Seyton of his ruined life, he is not honoured by his people, the speak the words he likes to hear but with a lack of heart. The doctor reports that lady Macbeth is troubled with thick coming fancies and can not sleep, Macbeth orders him to heal her but the doctor says if she is to be healed she must heal herself. Macbeth asks for his armour and wants the doctor to come up with a medicine that will kill off the English soldiers.

Quote: “Cure her of that Canst thou not minister to a mind desiesd, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the wrotten trouble of the brain, and with some sweet oblivous antidote, clenanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff, which wieghs above the heart.

Macbeth does not like problems not having an easy fix, he likes things to be done quickly, demonstrated through how he rose to power.

Quote: Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, Profit again should hardly draw me here.” – servant

Act 5, Scene 4 

Characters: Malcolm, Siward, Menteth, Soldiers, Mcduff

Location: The county near dunsinane, Birnam wood

Time: Before the English attack

Events: The English army discusses strategy of attack (each soldier to cut down a tree from Birnam forest and to carry it to Dunisane so conceal the Army’s true size) Malcolm reports that many men have deserted from Macbeth.

Quote: “T is his main hope; for where there is advantage to be gone, both more and less have given him the revolt, and none serve with him but constrained things, whose hearts are absent too.” – Malcolm

Malcolm states that Macbeth’s only hope is fortifying the castle and withstanding the siege as many followers have deserted him.

Act 5, Scene 5

Characters; Macbeth, Seyton, and soldiers

Location: Within the castle

Time: Prior to the battle

Events: Macbeth believes that the strength of his castle can withstand a siege. He hears the cry of a woman and learns that Lady Macbeth has died. This prompts Macbeth to ponder what point life has to it. He then hears from a messenger that Birnam wood began to move, causing Macbeth to worry about the Witches prophecy. He begins to believe that his take-down is possible but vows to fight until he dies.

Quote: “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.” – Macbeth

Macbeth speaks this after Lady Macbeth’s death. His grief is apparent as he describes how the days stretched out into one another.

Act 5, Scene 6 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Old Siward, Macduff, Army

Location: Dunsinane, a plain before the castle

Time: Prior to the battle

Events: The come on carrying trees Malcolm begins to give orders about the battle and Macduff signals the trumpets to begin the battle.

Quote: “Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath, those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.” – Macduff

Act 5, Scene 7 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Young Siward, Macduff, Malcolm, Old Siward

Location: Dunsinane, another plain before the castle

Time: During the battle

Events: Macbeth comes across Siward’s son and he is confident that he cannot be harmed by any man born of woman. He kills Young Siward and leaves the castle just before Macduff comes in to look for him, closely followed by Malcolm and Young Siward.

Quote: “… Tyrant, show thy face: If thous be’st slain, and with no stroke of mine, my wife and children’s ghosts will haunt me still…” – Macduff

Act 5 Scene 8,

Characters: Macbeth, Macduff

Location: Another part of the field

Time: During the battle

Events: Macbeth faces Macduff and is horrified to discover that Macduff was born by Caesarean. At first, Macbeth refuses to fight. Then they fight and rather than submitting to Malcolm and facing the humiliation, Macbeth continues to fight before being killed.

Quote #1: “Despair thy charm, and let the angel whom thou still hast served tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb untimely ripped.” – Macduff informs that he was born by Caesarean

Quote #2: “I will not yield, to kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet, and to be baited with the rabble’s curse. Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane and thou opposed, being of no woman born, yet I will try the last: before my body I throw my warlike shield: lay on, Macduff; and damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!” – Macbeth’s final speech

Act 5, Scene 9 

Characters: Malcolm, Old Siward, Rosse, Macduff, Thanes, Soldiers

Location: Dunsinane, within the castle

Time: After the battle and Macbeth’s death

Events: Rosse tells Old Siward that his son is dead. Old Siward expresses his pride that his son died bravely, killed whilst fighting, and Macduff enters with Macbeth’s severed head, Malcolm rewards the loyal thanes by making them earls, explains what has to be done, and invites everyone to his coronation. Malcolm also reveals that he believes Lady Macbeth killed herself.

Quote: “Hail, King! for so thou art. behold, where stands th’ usurper’s cursed head: the time is free. I see thee compassed with thy kingdom’s pearl, that speak my salutation in their minds; whose voices I desire aloud wth mine, – Hail, King of Scotland!



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About Fiona

Born in Christchurch, One of New Zealand's children, dweller of the south island, I enjoy being called Fi, thanks. Spelling needs work. Yep. Nice.