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The Tragedy of Macbeth by Clay Collins and Andy Nolley

Summaries of Acts and Scenes

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  Act 1

  • Scene 1 - The story starts out as you see the witches casting spells. They plan to meet Macbeth, and then they leave. 
  • Scene 2 - A battle is going on between King Duncan's army and Norway.  It is a bloody battle but Macbeth becomes a hero.  The Thane of Cowdor is proclaimed a traitor and then the title is given to Macbeth for his bravery in battle.
  • Scene 3 - This scene describes the witches in more detail.  They talk amongst themselves about their evil deeds.  They later predict what will happen in the future for Macbeth and Banquo.  They say Macbeth will become Thane of Cowdor and become king one day.  They say Banquo will be father to a line of kings, but Banquo will never become one himself.
  • Scene 4 - The executed Thane of Cowdor comes to King Duncan for forgiveness and pays his respect and is dead.  In this scene it is clear that Macbeth will stop at nothing to become king.
  • Scene 5 - In this scene Lady Macbeth receives a letter telling her about the witches predictions.  Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that he is not ruthless and she begins to tell Macbeth that he should murder Duncan and become king.
  • Scene 6 - This is the scene where King Duncan and his sons arrive at Macbeth's castle as guests.  They are greeted with hospitality from Lady and Macbeth. 
  • Scene 7 - In this scene Macbeth and Lady Macbeth try to make a plan to kill Duncan.  Macbeth still doesn't want to kill him because he knows its wrong and he says there is too many consequences that go along with it. The lady convinces him to do so.  She calls him a coward , and Lady Macbeth says she is no longer a woman but a man.  She convinces him to kill Duncan.

Act 2

  • Scene 1 - Macbeth comes into Banquo's room and begins talking to him.  It startles Banquo and he calls for his sword.  Banquo gives Macbeth a ring which is a gift for his wife.  The ring was a gift from King Duncan.  Banquo said that he has been dreaming about witches, but Macbeth says he doesn't talk about such things as that.  They end up moving further and further apart.  Macbeth gets ready to kill Duncan after everybody has gone to sleep, but he has a vision.  The knife he plans to kill him with begins floating in the air, and he can't grab it, and blood begins dripping off of it.
  • Scene 2 - This is the scene where Macbeth kills Duncan.  Lady Macbeth assists in this deed.  The servants and guards are drunk so they won't see him as he goes to Duncan's sleeping chamber.  He carries the knife and does the deed.  He comes back and his wife says water can wash us from this deed.  He washes his hands clean and nobody will ever know what happened.
  • Scene 3- The porter hears a knocking on the door as Macbeth heard the night before.  He acts as if he is in guard hell's gate.  It was Macduff and Lennox at the door.  The porter jokes around in his drunkedness.  They come to see Duncan and MacBeth says "Twas a rough night" (line 63)  Screams were heard in the castle.  They discover Duncan is dead.  Lennox and MacDuff tell Lady MacBeth that he is dead.  She doesn't show much emotion, so MacBeth acts more surprised about the murder.  Malcolm flees to England and Donalbain to Ireland.
  • Scene 4-  Weird events begin happening.  MacDuff reports who killed Duncan and the leads are Malcolm and Donalbain because they fleed.

Act 3

  • Scene 1-  Banquo is suspicious that MacBeth killed Duncan.  MacBeth wants to kill Banquo, so that is why he is being kept at the castle.  MacBeth wonders where Banquo's son, Fleance, so that he can kill him as well, since he is next in line for king.  MacBeth is not as confident as he was.  Banquo is a strong man and MacBeth wonders if Banquo will kill for the crown too.  MacBeth sends murderers to kill Banquo.  He challenges the murderers so that they will want to kill Banquo because he is the enemy.  He also orders them to kill Fleance as well. 
  • Scene 2-  Lady MacBeth is concerned about MacBeth.  MacBeth wishes he was dead because his emotions are really bothering him and the lady realizes it.  She is suffering too.  He feels like Duncan got the better end of the deal because he is at peace. 
  • Scene 3-  The thrid murderer comes into the play supposedly sent by MacBeth because he doesn't trust anybody.  They kill Banquo, and Fleance runs away.
  • Scene 4-  MacBeth acts as a host sitting people in order by rank.  MacBeth's party is interruped by the first murderer who reports Banquo's death, but says Fleance escaped.  MacBeth returns to his party but is interrupted again by Banquo's ghost which has gashes on his body.  MacBeth raves on about the ghost.  The Lady says he does this all the time and tells the guests not to worry.  He won't quit, and the lady tells the guests that they can leave.  MacBeth begins to get weary of MacDuff because he didn't attend his party.  He becomes an adversary, and MacBeth is more worried than ever about keeping his throne and the power. 
  • Scene 5-  The witches meet Hecate and begin dancing.
  • Scene 6-  MacDuff asks for help from the other lords, but mainly the king of England to overthrow MacBeth.

Act 4

  • Scene 1- The witches are still developing some evil plans.  They are chanting spells for a recipe for an evil plot.  Hecate is there again with the witches helping cast the evil spells.  Macbeth comes to see the witches again.  He needs to ask them some questions.  He is a diffrent man this time being contained by evil.  He demanded for answers.  The witches tell Macbeth 3 things. 1.Beware of Macduff.  2.He cannot be defeated by any man born of a woman.  3.He will be king until Birnam Woods comes to Dunsinane.  He needs another answer.  He asked the witches will Banquo's sons ever become king?  The witches don't give him an answer, but the show him a vision of Banquo's sons in a mirror with Banquo pointing at them.  Macbeth knows that the answer is yes now.  Lennox tells Macbeth that Macduff has gone to England.  Macbeth has no other choice but to believe the witches because he has become evil anyway.
  • Scene 2 - Macduff leaves to go to England without even saying goodbye to his family.  Ross comes to tell Lady Macduff about where Macduff went and the lady feels as if he has abandoned them and is a traitor.  She tells her son that his father is dead, meaning that he won't come back.  Ross tells them that they are in danger and he leaves.  Several murderers come to the house and kill Lady Macduff and the family.
  • Scene 3 - Macduff goes to bring Malcolm back to Scotland.  Malcolm knows Macbeth has been sending spies to try to find him.  When Macduff comes Malcolm lies about himself saying that he wouldn't make a good king.  Macduff tells him that anybody would be better than Macbeth.  Malcolm keeps telling lies, and Macduff gives up hope.  By giving up, Macduff passes Malcolm's test.  Malcolm tells him that he has lied to Macduff and he is really who he is.  Malcolm prepares to come to Scotland with thousands of men to reclaim the throne.  Ross tells Macduff about his family, and he is shocked.  Malcolm tells Macduff to turn this grief into rage and is ready to go and overthrow Macbeth.

Act 5

  • The setting switches back to Macbeth's castle.  Macbeth isn't there because he is gone with his army.  Lady Macbeth has been sleepwalking and she asked the doctor to watch her while she sleeps one night.  The gentlewoman has seen her sleepwalk before but she will not tell what she has heard.  The doctor and gentlewoman watch Lady Macbeth as she sleepwalks.  The lady reveals all the murders she and Macbeth have done and returns to bed.  Now the truth is out.  The doctor and gentlewoman know who the murderers are.
  • Scene 2 - The army led by Macduff and Malcolm make their way to Birnam Woods, which was part of the prophesy by the witches.  Scotland's army led by Macbeth meets them there.  The armies are on the move.
  • Scene 3 - Macbeth becomes more confident than ever.  He is boastful and unafraid.  Seyton comes to tell him that Malcolm's army is approacing.  Macbeth tells Seyton to help him put on his armor but he later tells him to get it off.  Macbeth asks the doctor about how is wife is, and he tells Macbeth that she is beyond help.  Macbeth had a gut instinct about his wife, but he needed to know.  He realizes that everybody is against him now. 
  • Scene 4 - Malcolm and his army leave from Birnam Woods and go toward the castle and they are met by the Scottish thanes.  Malcolm promises his troops that the age of confusion will come to an end.
  • Scene 5 - Macbeth is in his castle in Dunsinane.  He has decided since so many soldiers were already lost, he is going to stay in his castle and fight it out there.  Seyton tells Macbeth that his wife is dead, but he reacts as if he doesn't really care. The only love he has now is power.  Macbeth announces that he is ready to die. 
  • Scene 6 - Malcolm's forces arrive at Macbeth's castle.
  • Scene 7 - The battle begins.  A young siward confront's Macbeth, but Macbeth slays him.  Macbeth doesn't want to fight, but he does because he is too prideful not too.  Macbeth walks off.  Macduff is on the look for Macbeth now.  Malcolm says that the battle is almost won.
  • Scene 8 - Macduff finds Macbeth, but Macbeth is not willing to fight.  Macbeth says that he cannot be defeated by a man born of woman, but Macduff tells him that he was ripped out of his mother's womb before birth.  By hearing this Macbeth becomes scared, and he wishes that he had never listened to the witches.  He fights Macduff anyway with pride but is defeated.  Malcolm and the Old Siward survey the battle ground to count the dead, and the Old Siward finds his son.  He sees the would was in the front of his body, so he is not grieved because he died fighting.  Macduff brings Malcolm Macbeth's head.  Macduff announces that Malcolm is King of Scotland.  Macbeth's death will bring joy to his people.  The natural and rightful king reclaims the throne, and the age of tyranny is finally over.


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The Tragedy of Macbeth