Act I[ edit ] The play opens amid thunder and lightning, and the Three Witches decide that their next meeting will be with Macbeth. In the following scene, a wounded sergeant reports to King Duncan of Scotland that his generals Macbeth, who is the Thane of Glamis, and Banquo have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were led by the traitorous Macdonwald, and the Thane of Cawdor.
They have in front of them a cauldron and, together, they are casting a spell by creating a concoction of some rather strange ingredients, including entrails, a newt's eye, a frog's toe, and a lizard's leg to name a few.
Macbeth soon enters the scene, and he demands to know how much the witches' prophecies hold truth.
In response to his questions, the witches summon several apparitions out of their spell, all of whom deliver a message to Macbeth. The first apparition, a floating armored head, bids Macbeth to beware of Macduff. The final apparition is a child wearing a crown and holding a tree.
Again, Macbeth's confidence is bolstered by this, as he thinks he cannot be defeated. After all, how can a forest possibly get up and move? After the three apparitions have delivered their messages, a final image appears to Macbeth.
He sees eight kings in a line, the last holding a mirror and, at the end of the line, Banquo's ghost walks.
Macbeth is startled to see this, recalling the final prophecy which dictated Banquo's heirs would be kings. Macbeth demands to know from the witches what this final vision means; however, the witches vanish into thin air, just as they have before.
Shortly, Lennox enters to tell Macbeth news about Macduff and how he has fled to England. In response to this, Macbeth decides that he will invade Macduff's castle, killing his wife and children.
The next acts shifts to Macduff's castle in Fife, showing his wife and one of his sons. The young son wonders where his father is, to which his mother replies that he is dead. However, the boy says that, if this were the case, surely his mother would weep for him.
The mother then tells her son that his father is actually is a traitor, showing how she feels betrayed and abandoned. A messenger suddenly comes onto the scene, warning Lady Macduff to flee.
However, Lady Macduff refuses, feeling she has done no wrong and should not be chased out of her home. A group of murderers then bursts onto the scene, killing the young son. Lady Macduff flees, and the murderers pursue her.
The audience is left to assume that they kill her as well. The last scene of the act moves to Macduff, who has now fled to England to meet with Malcolm. Malcolm does not trust Macduff, feeling as though Macbeth may have sent him as a spy.
To test his trustworthiness, Malcolm begins to tell Macduff a series of lies about his own vices. Claiming to be lustful, violent, and greedy, he explains to Macduff that he would make a terrible king. Eventually, Macduff is so overwhelmed with Malcolm's list of flaws that he agrees Malcolm would make a terrible king.
He thereby proves himself to Malcolm by showing his loyalty to Scotland and his desire to do right for the country. Malcolm then explains that everything he has just said is a lie and was actually a test.
He embraces Macduff as an ally.When Macbeth and Banquo first encounter them in Act 1, Scene 3 of the play, the three witches make three predictions: The Second Witch predicts that Macbeth will be made Thane of Cawdor. "All. In Macbeth, William Shakespeare's tragedy about power, ambition, deceit, and murder, the Three Witches foretell Macbeth's rise to King of Scotland but also prophesy that future kings will descend from Banquo, a fellow army captain.
Summary Act 2. Scene 1 Court of Macbeth’s castle.. Enter Banquo, and Fleance. Banquo asks how the night has gone, they discus how Banquo feels unrest this night. Enter Macbeth and a servant. Macbeth study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a .
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In Macbeth, William Shakespeare's tragedy about power, ambition, deceit, and murder, the Three Witches foretell Macbeth's rise to King . A complete summary of William Shakespeare's Play, Macbeth. Find out more about his desire to be King and the lengths that he and his wife will both go Summary of William Shakespeare's Macbeth: Macbeth hears that he is going to be king; he and Lady Macbeth kill people so he can become king; both of them die.
— Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 1.