13th April 2017

Macbeth, Act 5

Scene 1 †

Characters: Doctor, Gentle Woman, Lady Macbeth

Time: Night

Location: Dunsinane, a room in the castle

Events: A doctor and Gentle Woman discuss how Lady Macbeth has been sleep walking, they note how she is motioning her hands as if she is washing them, this is reference to her initial opinion that a small amount of water would wash the blood from her hands. But in her dreams it will never leave. She talks about the murder of Banquo and how he was killed. The doctor admits that this is far beyond his practice and that she cannot be cured by him.

Quote: “To bed, to bed. There’s knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!” – Lady Macbeth who confesses her guilt through saying “What’s done cannot be undone.” All of the terrible things herself and Macbeth have done will stay with them forever. Lady Macbeth is full of guilt for her actions, and is beginning to show signs of losing her mind to what she has done.

Scene 2 †

Characters: Menteth, Cathness, Angus, Lenox and soldiers

Time: Before Battle

Location: The country near Dunsinane

Events: The Scottish army prepares for the coming battle. It is clear that the men are torn, because they know that the person that they are fighting for (Macbeth) is corrupt. They do not believe in him, they are only fighting for their country, they remain loyal. The aim of this scene is to show how even the men of his own army have now come to see who Macbeth truly is.

Quote:  “The English power is near, led on by Malcolm, His uncle Siward and the good Macduff. Revenges burn in them, for their dear causes Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm Excite the mortified man.” – Mentheth, who speaks about how the english army burns with revenge, with Malcolm  and Macduff in their ranks. This need for revenge is so strong that Menteth says how even dead men would rise up and fight for their cause>

Scene 3 †

Characters: Macbeth, Doctor and attendants

Time: Before the coming battle

Location: Dunsinane, a room in the castle

Events: Macbeth’s subjects continue to show how their respect and loyalty is diminishing. Macbeth continues to proclaim that he will be victorious and that he is too strong to be felled, a sense of worry and fear is showing. He is informed that Lady Macbeth isn’t doing well and that the doctor cannot do anything more for her

Quote: “I’ll fight, till from my bones my flesh be hacked. Give me my armour” – Macbeth, insisting on having his armour even though the coming battle is still far away. he says that he will fight until they “hack the flesh from his bones” – he will fight until he is no more

Scene 4 †

Characters: Malcolm, Old Siward and his Son, Macduff, Menteth, Cathness, Angus, Lenox, Rosse and soldiers

Time: Near the beginning of the battle

Location: The country near the castle, before Birnam wood.

Events: Malcolm orders the soldiers to cover themselves with a branch from the trees in Birnam, so that their true number is masked. This shes that the witches prophecy us coming true, just not in the way it was expected.

Quote: “We learn no other but the confident tyrant Keeps still in Dunsinane and will endure Our setting down before ’t.” – Siward saying that Macbeth, who is grossly overconfident, is still residing in the castle, and they can begin the siege.

Scene 5 †

Characters: Macbeth, Seyton, and soldiers

Time: Soon before the battle

Location: Within the castle (Dunsinane)

Events: Macbeth and Seyton hear a woman’s scream coming from off the stage, Seyton leaves and returns to inform Macbeth that the queen is dead. This is the moment in which Macbeth truly voices his despair, his emotions are wrecking havoc on his mental state, even though he claims to be devoid of it.


(The next two scenes have been given to me by Sara, because mine didn’t update)

Act 5, Scene 6 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Old Siward, Macduff

Location: On a plain just outside Macbeth’s Castle

Time: Unknown

Events: Their army is carrying the branches from the Birnam Forest and are close to the castle. Malcolm says that Old Siward and his son to lead the first battle.

Quotes: "Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath, Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death." - Macduff announcing the beginning of the fight.

Act 5, Scene 7 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Young Siward, Macduff and Old Siward

Location: On a plain outside the castle

Time: Unknown

Events: Macbeth is only afraid of the “one who is not born from a woman” which makes him feel more confident of winning this battle. Macbeth’s comes across Siward’s son, they fight and the young Siward dies. Macduff is prepared to fight Macbeth and only Macbeth. Macduff says that it is his duty to kill him or else he will be haunted by him wife and child.

Quotes: "That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face! If thou best slain, and with no stroke of mine, My wife and children’s ghosts will haunt me still" - Macduff expressing his feelings about him being ready and prepared to fight Macbeth, otherwise his wife and child will haunt him.

Scene 8 †

Characters: Macbeth, Macduff

Location: The Castle

Time: During the battle

Events: Macbeth is confronted by Macduff, who reveals that he was a cesarean birth, Macbeth is distraught,  and refuses to fight, to which Macduff says that he will be placed on a stake and showcased to the world as the tyrant that he is. Macbeth would rather die than kneel before him and Malcolm, and decides to fight. He is slain.

Quote:  Despair thy charm, And let the angel whom thou still hast served Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb Untimely ripped. – Macduff, who reveals that he was taken out of his mother’s womb before he could be birthed naturally, therefore he can defeat Macbeth.

Scene 9 †

Characters: Malcolm, Macduff, Old Siward, Rosse, thanes and soldiers  (+ Macbeth’s head)

Location: Within the castle

Time: After the battle

Events: Siward is informed of his son’s death, who is seen as a hero. Macduff enters with Macbeth’s head, and hails the new king, Malcolm, who is then hailed by his army. They leave to crown him king.head

Quote: Hail, king! For so thou art. Behold where stands The usurper’s cursèd head. The time is free. I see thee compassed with thy kingdom’s pearl, That speak my salutation in their minds, Whose voices I desire aloud with mine. Hail, King of Scotland! – Macduff speaking to Malcolm as king and pronouncing that he has Macbeth’s head.

Respond now!


Macbeth, Writing