Plot Events: Lady Macbeth suffers from a guilty conscience. She walks in her sleep and dreams that she and her husband are murdering King Duncan.
A Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman are in a room in the castle at Dunsinane.
- the doctor says to the gentlewoman that they’ve stayed up for 2 nights now, and they still haven’t seen Lady Macbeth sleep walking (like how the gentlewoman describe)
- Gentlewoman says that since Macbeth has been at war, the Gentlewoman has seen Lady Macbeth rise from her bed, put on her nightgown, unlock her closet, take out some paper, fold it, writ on it, read it, seal it up, and then return to bed, while remaining asleep the entire time
- the Doctor says it’s unnatural to be asleep and act as if you’re awake; he asks the Gentlewoman if besides the walking and performing of various activities, had the Gentlewoman heard anything that Lady Macbeth says
- Gentlewoman tells the Doctor that Lady Macbeth says something; however the Gentlewoman will not repeat it to the Doctor behind Lady Macbeth’s back
- the Doctor tells the Gentlewoman that she really should tell him
- Gentlewoman says she won’t confess what Lady Macbeth has said to the Doctor or anyone else, as there was no one else to confirm what Lady Macbeth says
Lady Macbeth enters, holding a candle.
- Gentlewoman tells the Doctor to look at Lady Macbeth who’s entered; she says to the Doctor that this is how Lady Macbeth always looks
- Gentlewoman adds that Lady Macbeth is fast asleep; she tells the Doctor to keep hidden while watching Lady Macbeth
- Doctor asks how Lady Macbeth got the candle; Gentlewoman says it came from Lady Macbeth’s bedside, as Lady Macbeth’s orders include always having a light next to her
- Doctor tells the Gentlewoman that Lady Macbeth’s eyes are open; Gentlewoman agrees they’re open, but says Lady Macbeth’s eyes don’t see anything
- Doctor asks the Gentlewoman what Lady Macbeth’s doing—the way she rubs her hands
- Gentlewoman says Lady Macbeth always does that—it looks like she’s washing her hands; Gentlewoman adds that she’s seen Lady Macbeth do those hand motions for as long as 15 minutes
- Lady Macbeth is heard, and she said “there’s still a spot here”
- Doctor says that since Lady Macbeth is talking, he’ll write down what she says so that he’ll remember it better
- Lady Macbeth continues to rub her hands, and says for the damned spot to come out, commanding it to come out many times; she says supposedly to her lord that he’s a soldier and yet he’s afraid, and asks him why they should be scare as no one can lay the guilt upon them; she then asks her lord how they could’ve known the old man had so much blood in him; says they don’t need to be afraid cause no one can make them confess how they got their power (appears as if she’s talking to Macbeth)
- the Doctor asks the Gentlewoman if she heard what Lady Macbeth said, but is interrupted by Lady Macbeth as she continues to sleep talk
- Lady Macbeth said “the thane of Fife had a wife, but where is she now?”; “What, will my hands never be clean?; “No more of that my lord, no more of that”; “you’ll ruin everything by acting startled like this
- the Doctor says to the Gentlewoman “now look what you’ve done; you’ve heard something you shouldn’t have”
- Gentlewoman replies that it was Lady Macbeth who said something she shouldn’t have said; she adds that haven knows what secrets Lady Macbeth is keeping
- Lady Macbeth says that she still has the smell of blood on her hands, and that all the perfumes of Arabia couldn’t make her hand smell better
- Doctor says that Lady Macbeth is carrying a heavy weight in her heart; Gentlewoman replies by saying she would never want Lady Macbeth’s heart even in exchange for being queen
- Doctor says “well, well, well”; Gentlewoman replies saying that she hopes what Lady Macbeth is saying is well
- Doctor said that Lady Macbeth’s disease is beyond his medical skills, but he does know people who have sleepwalked and weren’t guilty of anything
- Lady Macbeth says to herself to wash her hands, put on her nightgown, don’t look so frightened, and that Banquo is buried and can’t come out of his grave
- Doctor asks if this is true
- Lady Macbeth says “to bed, to bed; there’s a knocking at the gate; come, come, come, come, give me your hand; what’s done can’t be undone; to bed, to bed, to bed”
Lady Macbeth exits.
- Doctor asks the Gentlewoman if Lady Macbeth is going to bed now; Gentlewoman says that Lady Macbeth is going to bed right away
- Doctor says evil rumours are going around, and unnatural acts cause supernatural things to happen (sleepwalking and talking were considered supernatural during those times); he says that people with guilty and deranged minds will confess their secrets to their pillows as they sleep
- Doctor says that Lady Macbeth needs a priest more than a doctor, and says God forgive us all
- Doctor tells the Gentlewoman to look after Lady Macbeth, and remove anything Lady Macbeth might use to hurt herself with; he tells the Gentlewoman to watch Lady Macbeth constantly
- Doctor says goodnight to the Gentlewoman and adds that Lady Macbeth has bewildered his mind and amazed his eyes; he says that he has an opinion, but doesn’t dare to say it out loud
- Gentlewoman says goodnight to the good doctor
Plot Events: A section of the army marches towards Dunsinane. The leaders discuss their enemy Macbeth, who is showing signs of panic.
Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, and the soldiers are at the countryside near Dunsinane.
- Menteith says the English army is near, and it’s led by Malcolm, his uncle Siward, and Macduff; he adds that Malcolm, the English and Macduff are burning for revenge, as the wrongs that those men suffered would make dead men rise up and fight
- Angus says they’ll meet with Malcolm’s troops near Birnam Wood, as that’s the direction Malcolm’s troops are heading
- Caithness asks if anyone knows if Donalbain is with Malcolm
- Lennox says Donalbain isn’t there, as Lennox has a list of all the important men that are there—Siward’s son, and many boys too young to have beards have joined Malcolm’s side
- Menteith asks what the tyrant Macbeth is doing right now
- Caithness says Macbeth is fortifying his castle at Dunsinane with heavy defences; Caithness says that many people say Macbeth’s insane, and those that hate Macbeth call it brave anger; Caithness adds that one thing about Macbeth is certain, and that’s Macbeth is out of control
- Angus says that Macbeth is feeling the blood of the people he murdered to be sticking to his hands; he adds that rebel armies punish Macbeth every minute for his treachery
- Angus says that the soldiers Macbeth commands are only following orders, and they’re not fighting because the love Macbeth; Angus also says Macbeth is too small to be a great king (similar to a midge trying to wear the robes of a giant)
- Menteith says no one can blame Macbeth for acting crazy, as on the inside, Macbeth is condemning himself for everything he’s done
- Caithness says they should keep marching and give their loyalty to someone who truly deserves it; Caithness adds that they’re going to meet Malcolm, and Malcolm will cure their sick country; Caithness said that they would pour out their own blood to help Malcolm
- Lennox says that there needs to be much blood in order to water the royal flowers and drown the weeds; he adds that to make Malcolm king and get rid of Macbeth, they need to proceed on their march to Birnam
Plot Events: Macbeth tries to comfort himself by recalling the witches` prophecies as he is told of the approaching armies. He discusses his wife`s illness with the Doctor, and then goes off to battle.
Macbeth, the Doctor and attendants are in a room at the castle in Dunsinane.
- Macbeth says for them not to bring him any more reports of the thanes deserting him; he tells everyone that until Birnam Wood gets up and moves to Dunsinane, it won’t make Macbeth fear
- he adds that he need not be afraid of Malcolm, as Malcolm was obviously born from a woman
- he adds that the spirits of the future have told him to not be afraid, as no man born from a woman can defeat him
- he says he doesn’t care if the disloyal thanes join the weak English army, as Macbeth’s mind and courage will never have fear
A servant enters.
- Macbeth says to the Servant “may the devil turn you black, you white faced fool; why do you look like a frightened goose?”
- Servant says “there are 10 000—“; Macbeth interrupts and says “geese you idiot?”
- Servant says there are 10 000 soldiers; Macbeth tells the servant to pinch his cheeks to bring back some colour to the servant’s face, as the servant is a coward
- Macbeth then says to the servant “what soldiers fool?; curse you!; that pale face of your will frighten the others as well; what soldiers, milk face”
- Servant answers Macbeth saying it’s the soldiers of the English army; Macbeth tells the Servant to get out of his sight
- Macbeth calls his officer, Seyton; Macbeth says that the battle will either secure his place on the throne or end it, and adds that he has lived long enough, and that the course of his life is beginning to wither and fall away like a yellowing leaf in autumn
- he adds the things that should go with old age like honour, love, obedience, and loyal friends he has none
- instead he says he has passionate and quiet whispered curses and his subjects honour him with their words but not their hearts
- Macbeth says his heart would gladly end his lingering life, but he can’t bring himself to do it
- Macbeth calls Seyton again
- Seyton asks Macbeth what he wants, and Macbeth asks Seyton if there’s been anymore news
- Seyton says all the rumours have been confirmed; Macbeth tells Seyton he’ll fight until all the flesh has fallen off his bones; he tells Seyton to give him his armour
- Seyton tells Macbeth he doesn’t need his armour yet
- Macbeth says he’ll put it on anyways; he tells Seyton to send out more cavalry, and to scour Scotland and hang anyone who is spreading fear
- Macbeth asks the Doctor how his wife is
- Doctor says Lady Macbeth isn’t sick, but just troubled with endless visions that keep her from sleeping
- Macbeth tells the Doctor to cure her of that, as he trusts the Doctor can treat a diseased mind, and take away Lady Macbeth’s memory of sorrow; he adds that the Doctor should use some drugs to erase Lady Macbeth’s troubling thoughts and ease her heart
- Doctor said for that kind of treatment, Lady Macbeth must heal herself
- Macbeth says medicine is for dogs, and he won’t have anything to do with it
- Macbeth says to Seyton to help Macbeth put on his armour; he also tells Seyton to give him his lance and to send out the soldiers
- Macbeth says to the Doctor that the thanes are all running away from him, and he asks the Doctor if he can figure out what’s wrong with Scotland, and that if the Doctor can diagnose the disease of Scotland by examining its urine, and be able to bring it back to health, Macbeth will praise the doctor to the ends of the Earth
- Macbeth then asks the Doctor what drug would purge the English from Scotland; Doctor replies it sounds like Macbeth’s battle will purge the English from Scotland
- Macbeth says to Seyton to bring the armour to him; Macbeth adds he won’t be afraid of death and destruction until Birnam forest picks itself up and moves to Dunsinane
- Doctor says to himself that he wished he could be as far away from Dunsinane as he could; he adds nothing could pay to make him stay there
Plot Events: Malcolm and his soldiers draw closer to Dunsinane.
Malcolm, Old Siward, Young Siward, Macduff, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, Ross, and the soldiers are marching near Birnam wood.
- Malcolm says to the kinsmen that he hopes the time is near when people will be safe in their own bedrooms
- Menteith says he doesn’t doubt it
- Siward asks the name of the forest before them; Menteith says it’s Birnam Wood
- Malcolm says to the soldiers to break off a branch and hold it in front of them—it would conceal how many soldiers there are, thus leading Macbeth’s spies to give inaccurate reports
- Siward says he has no new news to bring except that Macbeth is still in Dunsinane, and Macbeth is allowing Malcolm’s troops to lay siege on the castle
- Malcolm says “Macbeth wants us to lay siege; whenever Macbeth’s soldiers have an opportunity to leave him, they do, despite their rank; no one fights with Macbeth except men who are forced to, meaning their hearts aren’t in it”
- Macduff says they shouldn’t make any judgements until they achieve their goal; he tells them they should go and fight like hardworking soldiers
- Siward says they’ll soon find out what they lack and possess in skill; he says it’s easy for them to get their hopes up just sitting around thinking about it, but the only way things are actually going to be settled, is by violence
- he says they should move their armies forward
Plot Events: The battle is at its height when Seyton brings news to Macbeth that his wife had just died. Macbeth doesn’t grieve, because he feels that life is meaningless. A messenger tells him that Birnam Wood is moving towards the castle.
Macbeth, Seyton and Macbeth’s soldiers are inside the castle.
- Macbeth says for them to hang their flags on the outer walls
- Macbeth hears everyone yelling “here they come!”; Macbeth says he knows the castle is strong enough to launch off their siege, saying Malcolm’s troops can sit out at the castle until they die of hunger and disease
- Macbeth adds that if it weren’t for the fact that so many of his soldiers joined Malcolm, Macbeth could have met Malcolm’s troops in the front of the castle, man to man, and beat Malcolm and his troops back to England
The sound of a woman crying is heard.
- Macbeth asks what that noise is
- Seyton says it’s women crying
- Macbeth says he’s almost forgotten what fear felt like; he says there was a time when he would’ve been terrified by a shriek in the night, and the hair on his skin would’ve stood up when he heard a ghost story
- he says now he’s had his fill of real horrors (murder), and the horrible things are so familiar that they can’t startle him
- Macbeth asks Seyton what the cry was; Seyton tells Macbeth Lady Macbeth is dead
- Macbeth said Lady Macbeth would’ve eventually died anyways; Macbeth says that the days creep slowly until the end of time, and that every day that has occurred already has taken fools much closer to their deaths
- Macbeth adds that life is nothing more than an illusion—it’s like a poor actor who struts and worries for his hour on the stage and then is never heard from again; he says life is a story told by an idiot, full of noise and emotional disturbance, but devoid of meaning
A Messenger enters.
- Macbeth tells the messenger that the messenger had obviously come to say something; Macbeth commands the messenger to say what he has to say quickly
- Messenger says to Macbeth that the Messenger needs to tell Macbeth what he say, but doesn’t know how to say it
- Macbeth tells the Messenger to just say it
- Messenger says that while he was standing watch on the hill, he looked towards Birnam, and though he saw the forest begin to move
- Macbeth tells the Messenger he’s a liar and a slave
- Messenger tells Macbeth that Macbeth can punish him if what he said wasn’t true; Messenger adds the 3 miles from the castle they can see the moving forest come towards them
- Macbeth says to the messenger that if the Messenger is lying, he’ll hang the messenger from the nearest tree, until the Messenger dies of hunger; Macbeth then says if what the Messenger says is true, he’ll allow the Messenger to hang Macbeth from the nearest tree and left to die from hunger
- Macbeth says his confidence is failing, and he’s starting to doubt the lies the devils told him, which at first sounded like the truth
- he remembers the old prophecy being not needing to worry until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane; he then says that the forest is now coming to Dunsinane
- Macbeth tells everyone to prepare for battle and go; he adds that if what the Messenger said is true, there’s no use running away or staying at the castle
- Macbeth says he’s starting to grow tired of living, and he’d like to see the world plunge into chaos
- Macbeth commands the bells to be rung, and the winds blow, and the winds to come ruin him
- he adds that they’ll die with their armour on at least
Plot Events: The battle begins.
Malcolm, Old Siward, Macduff, and Malcolm’s army are at a plain before the castle.
- Malcolm says they’re close enough now; he instructs that they can throw down the branches and show who they really are
- Malcolm tells his Uncle Siward that Old Siward (uncle) and Young Siward will lead the first battle; Malcolm adds that Macduff and he will do the rest according to their battle plans
- Siward tells Malcolm good luck; Siward adds that if they meet Macbeth’s army that night “let us be beaten if we can’t fight”
- Macduff says to blow all the trumpets to loudly announce the news of blood and death
Plot Events: The battle continues. Macbeth meets young Siward, and kills him. Macduff hurries in search of Macbeth. Victory is proclaimed, and Malcolm is made king.
Macbeth is at a part of the plain.
- Macbeth says they have tied him to a stake (a bear was tied to a post and attacked by dogs in the sport of bear-baiting), and he can’t run away; he says he has to stand and fight like a bear
- he wonders where’s the man who wasn’t born from a woman, and believes it is that man in which he should be afraid of
Young Siward enters.
- Young Siward asks Macbeth what Macbeth’s name is; Macbeth tells Young Siward that Young Siward would be too afraid to hear it
- Young Siward said he wouldn’t be afraid even if Macbeth was one of the worst demons in hell
- Macbeth tells Young Siward his name; Young Siward tells Macbeth that the devil himself couldn’t pronounce a name more hateful to Young Siward’s ears than the name Macbeth
- Macbeth replies saying the devil’s name couldn’t be more frightening than the name Macbeth
- Young Siward says Macbeth is lying about the devilness of his name
- Young Siward says to Macbeth he’ll prove to Macbeth he isn’t afraid of him by fighting Macbeth
Young Siward and Macbeth fight, and Young Siward is killed.
- Macbeth says to himself that Young Siward was born from a woman; he adds that swords don’t frighten him, and he laughs at any weapon used by a man born from a woman
- Macduff hears where the noise is coming from; he demands Macbeth show his face
- Macduff adds that if someone other than himself kills Macbeth, the ghosts of Macduff’s wife and kids can haunt him forever
- Macduff says he can’t bother to fight Macbeth’s soldiers who only fight for money—he says he’ll either fight Macbeth, or not fight at all
- Macduff says Macbeth must be where the great noise is, as he believes the loud noise sounds like the highest-ranking man is being announced
- Macduff says he hopes to find Macbeth, and says it’s his only wish
Malcolm and Old Siward enter.
- Old Siward says to Malcolm to follow him; he adds that the castle has been surrendered without a fight
- he adds that Macbeth’s soldiers are fighting on both sides, and that Malcolm’s troops are battling bravely
- Old Siward says he believes that the victory is theirs, as there doesn’t seem much left to do
- Malcolm says that their enemies fight them as if they’re not trying to hurt them
- Old Siward tells Malcolm to enter the castle
Old Siward and Malcolm exit.
- Macbeth says to himself why he should commit suicide like the ancient Romans (Romans thought it was dishonourable to be captured, and when they knew they were defeated the committed suicide to prevent capture)
- Macbeth adds that as long as he sees his enemies alive, he would rather kill them than himself
- Macduff tells Macbeth to turn around, calling Macbeth a dog from hell
- Macbeth tells Macduff that Macduff is the only man he`s avoided; Macbeth tells Macduff to go away, as Macbeth is already guilty of killing his entire family
- Macduff says to Macbeth that he has nothing to say to him, and that his sword will talk for him; he tells Macbeth that Macbeth is too evil for words
Macbeth and Macduff fight.
- Macbeth tells Macduff that Macduff is wasting his time trying to wound Macbeth; he tells Macduff that Macduff might as well try to stab the air with his sword
- Macbeth tells Macduff to fight someone who can be harmed; Macbeth says he leads a charmed life as no one born of woman can harm him
- Macduff tells Macbeth that Macbeth can forget the prophecy, as he tells Macbeth that he can ask the witches to learn Macduff wasn’t born of a woman—Macduff was cut from his mother’s womb, because Macduff was born premature and in a caesarean operation
- Macbeth curses Macduff for telling him this; he adds that Macduff frightened away his courage, and says he doesn`t believe the witches anymore
- Macbeth says that the witches tricked him with their wordgames, raising his hopes and then destroying them
- Macbeth says to Macduff that he won`t fight him
- Macduff tells Macbeth to surrender then, and Macduff tells Macbeth they`ll put Macbeth in a freakshow (just like how they did for deformed animals); he adds they`ll put a picture of Macbeth on a sign that says `come see the tyrant`
- Macbeth then says he`s not going to surrender in order to kiss the ground in front of Malcolm or be taunted by the public
- Macbeth says that even though Birnam Wood came to the castle, and Macduff isn’t of woman born, Macbeth will still fight to the end; Macbeth vows to put up his shield and battle Macduff
- Macbeth tells Macduff they should go at it, and damn the man who cries “stop” first
Macbeth and Macduff exit.
Malcolm, Old Siward, Ross, the thanes and soldiers enter.
- Malcolm says he wished that all of his friends could have survived the battle
- Old Siward says that in every battle, some people will be killed; he adds that from what he sees, their victory didn’t cost them much men
- Malcolm says Macduff is missing, as well as Young Siward
- Ross says Young Siward has paid the price of the solder, that being death; Ross adds that Young Siward only lived long enough to become a man, and as soon as he proved he was a man by fighting, he died
- Old Siward asks Ross if Young Siward is dead
- Ross says yes he’s dead, and was carried off the field; Ross adds that Old Siward’s grief will never match Young Siward’s worth
- Siward asks if Young Siward’s wounds were on the front side (meaning Young Siward wasn’t running away when he was killed); Ross said the wounds were on the front
- Old Siward is satisfied and gives Young Siward to God; he adds that if he had as many sons as he did hair on his head, he couldn’t hope that any of them would die more honourably than Young Siward
- Malcolm adds that Young Siward is worth mourning for, and that Malcolm will mourn for him
- Siward says Young Siward was worth no more than mourning as Young Siward died well and settled his scores
- Siward adds that he hopes God is with Young Siward
- Siward sees Macduff, and says he hopes Macduff brings better news
Macduff enters, carrying Macbeth’s head.
- Macduff says to Malcolm “hail king as that’s what you are now”; Macduff says for them to look at Macbeth’s cursed head, and that they’re free of Macbeth
- Macduff sees all the nobleman present, and Macduff says that he knows all the noblemen salute Malcolm in their hearts just like Macduff does
- Macduff tells everyone to loudly say “Hail, King of Scotland” to Malcolm
- everyone hails Malcolm, and the trumpets play
- Malcolm says that he’ll soon reward everyone for what they deserved; he names all his thanes and kinsmen earls (they’re the first earls Scotland ever had)
- Malcolm adds they have a lot to do at the dawn of this new ear; they must call home all of their exiled friends who fled from Scotland because of Macbeth; they must also bring justice to the evil ministers behind Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
- Malcolm adds that rumour has it Lady Macbeth committed suicide
- Malcolm says that whatever they are called to do by Got, they’ll do it at the right time and place
- Malcolm thanks everyone and invites all of them to come watch him be crowned at Scone