Macbeth: Plot Summary (Acts 3, 4 and 5)
Act 3, Scene 1
Act III opens at the royal castle on the day of a great feast to celebrate Macbeth's coronation. Banquo is the first to enter the great dining hall. The prophecy of the Witches races through his mind, and he begins to believe that Macbeth himself was responsible for the fulfillment of the Hags' prediction. He thinks upon his own destiny as foretold by the Witches. If Macbeth is now king, Banquo is sure to father future kings. A trumpet sounds and King Macbeth and his Queen enter the hall with Lennox, Ross, and a long parade of servants. Macbeth is very concerned with Banquo's activities for the day, and asks him where he plans to go before dinner begins. Banquo tells him that he and his son, Fleance, are going to ride on the vast castle grounds in the afternoon, but he assures Macbeth he will not miss the feast. Macbeth orders everyone to take the afternoon for himself and be 'the master of his time' until seven that evening, when the banquet will commence. Everyone rushes off, except Macbeth and a servant. He asks the servant to bring in two men that have been waiting at the palace gate. Alone for a brief moment, Macbeth reveals his plan to have Banquo and Fleance murdered while they are out riding. Killing now comes easier to Macbeth and he will gladly slay his friend and his child if it means securing the throne for his own lineage. The servant returns with the men whom Macbeth has commissioned to kill Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth gives them some final instructions and sends them on their way. As the scene comes to a close, we see Macbeth's transformation into a evil villain now complete: "It is concluded: Banquo, thy soul's flight/If it find heaven, must find it out to-night." (3.1.140-141).
Act 3, Scene 2
In another room in the castle, Lady Macbeth orders a servant to find her husband. Lady Macbeth is not as happy as she thought she would be as Queen of Scotland, and, although she hides it...
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