Act 3: Scene 1 to 3

Act 3, Scene 1

The scene opens at the Forres royal palace. The witches’ prophecies cause Banquo to fret. He begins to consider that the first prophecy of the witches has come true: Macbeth is becoming king. Therefore, the second prophecy—that Banquo’s children will inherit the throne—is also likely to come true. Macbeth enters, and it is clear that he is now king. Lady Macbeth and his court follow his entrance. Lady Macbeth invites Banquo to attend a feast that night. Macbeth tells Banquo that they need to talk about the fleeing of King Duncan’s sons, especially because they might covet the crown.

Banquo leaves. After he dismisses the court, Macbeth stands in the hall with one servant. The servant tells Macbeth that some men wish to see him. The servant goes to find the men. When the servant departs, Macbeth soliloquizes that if the prophecies come to fruition, he will never produce an heir to the throne. Macbeth wonders if killing Duncan might inadvertently cause Banquo’s heirs to overthrow Macbeth from the throne.

The two men appear before Macbeth, and he indicates that they are murderers he hired to kill Banquo. He reminds them of how Banquo has wronged them in past occurrences. The men assure Macbeth that they are ready to commit the murder. Macbeth reminds the men that in addition to Banquo, they must also murder Banquo’s son, Fleance.

Act 3, Scene 2

Lady Macbeth orders a servant to bring Macbeth to her. Macbeth enters and relays to Lady Macbeth that worry burdens his mind. Even though Duncan is now dead, Macbeth feels that many others must be eliminated before he will feel safe at the throne. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth of his plans to have Banquo and Fleance murdered. He encourages Lady Macbeth to be especially friendly to Banquo during the feast; thus, he and his family would believe that they are safe.

Act 3, Scene 3

At dusk, the two murderers wait in the woods outside of the palace....

Sign up to continue reading Act 3: Scene 1 to 3 >

Essays About Macbeth