top-rated free essay

Macbeth summaries and questions

By lollymonsterr Oct 12, 2013 3150 Words
Act 1characterssummary
Scene 3Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, Angus, and the three sistersThe three witches arrive near the battlefield. Macbeth and Banquo come across the 3 witches. The witches hail Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis” and after “Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth asks the witches questions. The witches speak in riddles, and Macbeth is asking the witches more questions before they vanish, Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, Angus, the weird sisters.

Scene 4Duncan, Malcolm, Macbeth, BanquoMalcolm tells king Duncan that Cawdor has been executed. Banquo thanks Macbeth and Banquo for their gallant behaviour. Duncan reveals his plans to Make Malcolm heir to the throne, Scene 5Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, attendantLady Macbeth reading the letter sent from Macbeth, telling her about the witches, and how they referred to Macbeth, to the “King that shalt be”. The king is coming to their castle.

Macbeth returns to his beloved, and lady Macbeth tries to get Macbeth to do the business. Scene 6 Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth.Duncan and his fighters arrive at Macbeths Castle. Duncan and Banqou talking about the castle having a welcoming feel. Lady Macbeth joins them.

Scene 7Macbeth & Lady MacbethLady Macbeth holds a huge feast for Duncan and his men. Macbeth is contemplating about killing King Duncan.

Act 2Characters summary
Scene 1Banquo, Fleance, MacbethAt night after the huge feast, Banquo and Fleance are walking down a corridor when they see Macbeth. They three start to discuss about the witches, but decide to talk another time. Banquo and Fleance leave, and Macbeth has an eerie vision of a dagger covered in blood, pointing towards Duncan’s bedroom. And at that point, Macbeth decides to kill Duncan, and walks towards his room. Scene 2Macbeth, Lady MacbethMacbeths kills King Duncan, and comes out of the room covered in blood, holding the daggers. Lady Macbeth grabs the daggers from Macbeth, and places them in Duncan’s room, and makes it look like the sleeping chamberlains did it. She goes back to Macbeth and wash the blood of their hands. Scene 3Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Macduff, Banquo, Donalbain, Malcolm, Lennox, PorterIn the morning Macduff and Lennox go to see the kind, and Macbeth offers to take them to him. Macduff is the first to enter the room, and comes running out shouting the king has been murdered. Macbeth and Lennox run in to see what has happened, more people arrive including Lady Macbeth. Malcolm and Danalbain arrive, and Macbeth tells them that their father has been murdered, claiming it was the chamberlains. Macduff seems suspicious about the deaths, and Malcolm and his brother decide to leave, because they are no longer safe. Scene 4Ross, Macduff, Old ManAn old man and Macduff are chatting about the uncommon events of the past few days. Macduff tells Ross that Macbeth is now king. He explains to Ross that the chamberlains are suspects of the king’s death, but Malcolm and Donalbain also look suspicious, because they have run away.

Act 3characterssummary
Scene 1Banquo, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Attenders 2 murderers.Banquo is brooding the fact that Macbeth has become king and the prophecies of the 3 witches. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth enter the room, asking Banquo to attend the feast that night. They depart from each other and Macbeth meets up with two men, who are murderers that he has hired to kill Banquo and his son Fleance so he is able to keep the crown for himself. Scene 2Lady Macbeth, servants, MacbethLady Macbeth acts upset and asks one of the servants to go and get Macbeth. When he arrives he tells Lady Macbeth that they may not be done with their killing because there are still threats to the throne. He tells her to be really nice to Banquo during feast so he falls into their trap. Scene 3Banqou, Fleance, MacbethBanquo and Fleance approach the three murderers on their horses and they kill Banquo. Fleance escapes and the murderers take Banquo’s body to Macbeth. Scene 4Macbeth, Lords, Lady Macbeth, Murderer, Ross, LennoxAt the feast, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth enter as king and queen. During the feast, Macbeth sees one of the murderers and knows that Banquo is dead. He gets angry when he learns that Fleance had escaped. He returns to his guests but finds the ghost of Banquo sitting in his chair. He starts talking to the ghost, which cannot be seen by any of the other guests. He then goes into a frightened panic. The feast then ends and Macbeth and Lady Macbeth go to bed. Scene 5Three Witches, Hecate,The three then witches meet with Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. She yells at them for getting involved with Macbeth and instructs them to give him a false sense of security on his next visit. Scene 6Lennox, LordLennox walks with another lord, talking about the previous events that have happened. Fleance is blamed for the murder of Banquo but both men suspect Macbeth was the cause of the murders of Duncan and Banquo.

Act 4CharactersSummaries
Scene 13 witches, Hecate, Macbeth, 3 Apparitions, LennoxMacbeth goes to the witches again, and finds them surrounded by a cauldron chanting spells; they show Macbeth a series of visions. Lennox appears the witches vanish. Lennox tells Macbeth that Macduff has ran away to England, Macbeth decides that he has to kill Lady Macduff, and her child. Scene 2Lady Macduff, Ross, Lady Macduff’s son, Messegers, Murderers. Lady Macduff asks Ross why her husband has left, and he say to just trust his judgement. After Ross leaves, Lady Macduff is with her son, when a messenger comes and warns them that they are in danger. She doesn’t believe the messenger, but three murderes enter the room and kill her and her son, Scene 3Malcolm, Macduff, Doctor, RossMalcolm tells Macduff that is isn’t sure about whether he should trust him or not, because he ran away from the castle and he may be working with Macbeth. Malcolm finds out that Macduff are allies. Ross comes in, trying to tell Macduff that his wife and son are still alive, but ends up confessing that Macbeth has had them killed. Malcolm and Macduff plot their revenge to Macbeth.

Act 1Characterssummary
Scene 1 Doctor, waiting gentlewoman, lady MacbethLady Macbeth has gone insane, she believe that her hands are still covered in Duncans bloods. She continuously washes her hands in attempt to get the blood off. The guilt from the killing has turned her insane. Scene 2Manteith, Angus, Caithness. Lennox, SoldiersAn assembly of soldiers and lords get together and discuss about an army to overthrow Macbeth. Scene 3Macbeth, servant, Seyton, doctorMacbeth goes on, bragging about how he isn’t scared of the English army, because no man born of a woman can kill him. He then orders the doctor to sure Lady Macbeth.

Scene 4Malcolm, Monteith, Siward, Macduff, soldiersMalcolm and Siward talk about Macbeths plans to fortify his castle. They decide to disguise their army, telling each soldier to cut down a tree and walk with it in front of them. Scene 5Macbeth, Seyton, MessangerThere is a scream and Seyton appears to tell Macbeth that the Queen has died. He sees her body and then he is wandering around, not knowing what to do. He then makes his famous tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow speech, stating that life is a tale, told by an idiot that signifies nothing. Scene 6Malcolm, Siward, MacduffThe battle starts as the soldiers are ordered to drop the trees and bring out their swords. Scene 7Macbeth, Young Siward, Macduff, Old Siward, MalcolmMacbeth kills the young Siward in battle. Macduff then comes in to try and find Macbeth because he desperately wants to fight him. Malcolm and Siward enter the castle. Scene 8Macbeth, Macduff, Malcolm, Old Siward, Ross Macbeth finally finds Macduff to fight him. They are fighting and Macbeth says how he is invincible for no woman born can kill him. The Macduff announces that he was “ripped from the womb” and Macbeth knows that it is over. They exit fighting. Malcolm and Siward and walking the castle. Ross tells Siward that his son his dead, however he is glad that his son died nobly. Macduff then comes out holding Macbeth’s head and announces Malcolm as the king of Scotland.

Macbeth – Act by Act
1.Act 1:

a)Describe the atmosphere created in the opening scene of the play. What does it suggest about events that are about to unfold? A dark and eerie scene is set, suggesting that bad things will happen. b)What impressions of Macbeth’s character is created in act 1, scene 2? That he is a very brave warrior who is quite fearless. All of the people around him hold him in the highest regard. c)List the witches’ prophecies for Macbeth and Banquo. (Act 1, scene 3) Macbeth will become king and that although Banquo will not be successful in becoming king, his offspring will be. They also say that Banquo is “lesser than Macbeth, and greater” and “not so happy, yet much happier” d)How do Macbeth and Banquo react to the prophecies? (Act 1, scene 3, lines 50-60 and 128-142)? Macbeth believes them without hesitation, believing every word they say so he goes on planning the murder of the king. Banquo is sceptical about the witches’ prophecies. .

e)How do Macbeth and Banquo react when they learn of Macbeth’s new title? (Act 1, scene 4) Macbeth sees it as a sign that he is destined to be king.
Banquo wonders to himself if the witches’ prophecies could be at all true. f)After reading Macbeth’s letter, Lady Macbeth expresses ‘fear’ about him – what are her fears? (Act 1, scene 5) She fears that Macbeth may be too kind to bring himself to kill the king. She believes that he does not have the guts to do it. g)What does Lady Macbeth mean when she advises Macbeth to ‘…look like the innocent flower, / But be the serpent under’t’’? (Act 1, scene 5, lines 63-64) Act like he is innocent but to still continue with his cruel plans when no one is around. h)Outline the four reasons Macbeth considers against murdering King Duncan. (Act 1, scene 7, lines 1-28) What does this show about Macbeth’s character? He admires Duncan, Duncan trusts him, Duncan sees him as an ally and he believes that what goes around comes around. i)What arguments does Lady Macbeth use to persuade Macbeth to murder Duncan? (Act 1, scene 7, lines 48-58) She says that if he was a man, he would do it and calls him a coward. He loves her and does not want her to perceive him as weak and unable to do it. 2.Act 2:

a)Explain how Macbeth is affected by the vision of the dagger. (Act 2, scene 1) How does this make him feel about killing King Duncan? Macbeth believes that he is seeing the dagger because it is trying to turn him away from killing Duncan and it is just a figment of a guilty conscience. He then decides that he must kill Duncan. b)Explain Lady Macbeth’s excuse for not killing Duncan herself. (Act 2 scene 2) What does this reveal about her? Her excuse is that Duncan looks like her father while he is sleeping. It is unlikely that it is because she cares about her father and is probably just an excuse to hide her cowardly personality. c)How is Macbeth affected by killing King Duncan? (Act 2, scene 2) He comes back quite shaken up after killing Duncan. Lady Macbeth tries to calm him down but it takes quite a lot of time before he is calm. He says that he tried to say amen with the chamberlains but he could not get the words out. At first Macbeth goes on like nothing has happened; he is completely happy. After a while his mind, and Lady Macbeth’s mind, start to go insane. d)Malcolm and Donalbain reacted inappropriately to their father’s death – do you agree or disagree? (Act 2, scene 3) I disagree with that statement. I think that the running away was a good idea in the sense that, if they were dead as well, they would be no use to anybody. By running away they had time to gather an army to overcome Macbeth. They may have run away for their own cowardly reasons but in the end it worked out to be beneficial for the kingdom. e)As an overview, list things in Acts 1 and 2 that are ‘fair’ and those that are ‘foul’. The things that are fair are:

Macbeth originally gets promoted to Thane of Cawdor because he is a brave warrior The things that are foul are:
Macbeth killing the king
Lady Macbeth ridiculing Macbeth until he has the guts to kill the king

3.Act 3

a)Explain Banquo’s feelings about the witches’ prophecies and Macbeth’s fortunes. (Act 3, scene 1, lines 1-10) At first Banquo really just ignored the witches prophecies but as all the fortunes began to happen to Macbeth, he starts to wonder if these prophecies are really true and the witches prophecies are true. He then realises that Macbeth’s reign may not be a long one because the witches have said that his (Banquo’s) son will become an heir to the throne. b)Describe Macbeth’s attitudes towards Banquo. How does he persuade the murderers to assassinate him? (Act 3, scene 1) Macbeth believes that after hearing the witches prophecies, Banquo and his son will be a threat to the throne and that he must assassinate them in order to stay king. He persuades the murderers to do this by c)What does Act 3, scene 2 reveal about the states of mind of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth? This scene reveals that all of the power is making them extremely paranoid about anyone that their minds may perceive as a threat to their power. It also shows the declining of their sanity and suggests that things may just get worse for them. d)Is Banquo’s ghost real or a figment of Macbeth’s imagination? (Act 3, scene 4) It seems that Banquo’s ghost is a figment of Macbeth’s imagination. It would seem like the ghost is just a figment of Macbeth’s guilt conscience, reminding him of all the terrible things that he has done. However the ghost tells Macbeth that he should snap out of the trance that he is in. It would be an odd thing for the ghost to say if it was only in Macbeth’s imagination and leaves us to wonder whether the ghost is real or not. e)Explain Macbeth’s fear that ‘It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.’ (Act 3, scene 4, line 121) By this saying, Macbeth may mean that murdering people may become a habit of his. He may also mean that because he has murdered, he will probably be murdered himself, however he will not go down without a fight.

4.Act 4:

a)Why does Macbeth visit the witches in Act 4, scene 1? What is the outcome of his visit? Macbeth visits the witches because he is becoming paranoid and is anxious as to what awaits him in the future. He visits them hoping that they will deliver another prophecy that suggests that he will stay king. When he visits them they tell him that Macduff will be a danger, that no person that is woman born can kill him and that he is safe until the forest moves towards him. These prophecies confuse him but the witches are gone before he can get some understanding out of them. b)Macduff tells Malcolm of the terrible situation in Scotland under Macbeth’s reign. (Act 4, scene 3). What do we learn about the situation in Scotland? We learn that Macbeth has made Scotland a nightmare to live in. Not only did he slaughter Macduff’s wife and son but he has been doing cruel and wicked things like that every day. c)How does Malcolm test Macduff’s loyalty? (Act 4, scene 3) What does this test reveal about Macduff? To test Macduff’s loyalty, Malcolm tells Macduff how he does not know whether he is fit to be king because he is greedy and violent and a first Macduff disagrees with him. Soon after though Macduff says that he does not believe that Malcolm would not make a good ruler of Scotland and this proves his loyalty to Scotland, so he passes Malcolm’s test. This test reveals that Macduff’s loyalty lies with not a man, but his country. d)In Act 4, scene 3, there is much talk of the qualities of a king, including references to the mystical, healing powers of the King of England. Outline the positive and negative qualities of a monarch described in this scene. The positive qualities of a monarch

e)Throughout Act 4, scene 3, several derogatory terms are used to refer to Macbeth. Make a list of these terms. The derogatory terms that are used to refer to Macbeth in his scene are: •Tyrant

Fiend of Scotland
Hell-Kite

5.Act 5:

a)Describe Lady Macbeth’s behaviour in Act 5, scene 1. Why does she continuously refer to ‘blood’? Lady Macbeth eventually went insane because of the events with King Duncan. She is sleepwalking in Act five, Scene One and is reliving the night that she and Macbeth killed Duncan. When Macbeth killed Duncan, he had blood all over his hands and Lady Macbeth said that a little water would wash it off. Now she too sees blood on her hands, which is why she is referring to blood. In Act Five, Scene One she has just totally lost it and as much as they want to, no one can heal her. She is continuously rambling on about things that make no sense to others. b)What does the dialogue in Act 5, scene 2 tell you about the situation in Scotland? What does it tell you about Macbeth’s own problems? It suggests that things in Scotland are

c)Explain Macbeth’s vision of his own future. (Act 5, scene 3, lines 25-31) Macbeth has no fear for the English army because he knows that Malcolm is woman born so there is no way that Malcolm can harm him and the witches also said that he was safe until the forest came towards him, which he sees as being impossible. He believes that he is safe. d)Summarise Macbeth’s attitudes towards life in his famous speech ‘Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow…’ (Act 5, scene 5, lines 9-28) Macbeth’s attitudes towards life in this speech are that he has done everything for nothing. Life is not worth anything because his one true love has killed herself, all because of what they have done and the guilt they have felt because of it. e)Explain how Malcolm proposes to rule as King of Scotland. Malcolm advises that all of his thanes and kinsmen will be made earls; they will be the first that Scotland has ever had.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Macbeth Summaries

    ...Macbeth Scene Summaries. Act 1: * Scene 1: Three witches are singing “fair is foul and foul is fair”,. * SCENE 2: After the bravery shown by Banquo and Macbeth in the battle he rewards Macbeth with the title “Thane of Cawdor” * Scene 3: The witches prophesy that Macbeth shall be king and Banquo shall be father of kings...

    Read More
  • Macbeth Summary

    ...witches planning to meet again up on the plain with Macbeth. Macbeth along with Banquo was in battle with the Norwegians killing Macdonald. Macbeth and Banquo meet with the three itches on the plain where they prophesied that Macbeth would become king and that Banquo children would also become king. But Malcolm, who would be the heir to the thro...

    Read More
  • Macbeth Questions Act Iii

    ...Macbeth Questions – Act III Osato Agbaire 1. “The Mysterious Killer” 2. Macbeth didn’t kill Banquo mostly because he didn’t want to have to go through that guilt that and pressure that he went through when his wife was forcing him to kill Duncan. In the first act, he was having second thoughts and wasn’t really with Lad...

    Read More
  • Review Questions: Macbeth

    ... Mr. Golden Macbeth * Do you sympathize with Macbeth? Why or why not? Considering whether or not to feel sympathy for Macbeth can be based upon whether or not you think Macbeth has any control of his own destiny. If you think of Macbeth as a pawn in his own game, then you can feel sympathy. He is controlled by the witches, who ...

    Read More
  • Plot Summary of Macbeth

    ...Macbeth Plot Summary In the beginning of the play, three witches confront Macbeth on his return from war with Scotland and Norway. They recite a paradox that foreshadows the events in the play (fair is foul and foul is fair) – good will be bad and the ones perceived as bad will be good. The first external conflict – Duncan king of...

    Read More
  • Macbeth Questions

    ...Essay Questions on William Shakespeare's Macbeth 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) Discuss the various roles of the witches in ‘Macbeth’ with special emphasis on Coleridge’s remark that “the witches have the power of tempting those that have been tempters themselves.”...

    Read More
  • Macbeth Questions Act 2

    ...response to the then current political situation rather than an attempt to represent history as Macbeth was actually an admired and stable king. The then King for whom the play was performed (James I and VI) was believed to be a descendant of Banquo and consequently Banquo is represented as being on the side of good. The murder of Duncan is almo...

    Read More
  • Some Questions in Macbeth

    ...Drama Macbeth, Assi 1 Is Lady Macbeth the fourth witch in the play? So many educators and debaters of the English literature contributed in an online debate under this type of question whether Lady Macbeth should be considered the fourth witch. Some of them agreed that she is the fourth witch and others didn't. Each party has its own reason...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.