William Shakespeare | Analysis of Macbeth: Act IV

Hecate knows that Macbeth will not question information given to him but will act upon it. Macbeth is given information that he feels will give him immortality. He is ready to believe only what he feels will benefit him, but he is unable to distinguish the “good” from the “bad”. The “Fair is foul and Read More

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William Shakespeare | Summary of Macbeth: Act IV, Scene 1-3.

Scene 1 The Witches are preparing a magic potion and casting a spell. They chant incantations three times to make sure the charm’s power will be strong. Macbeth greets the Witches and demands that they give him information about the future. The Witches call upon Apparitions to inform Macbeth of his future. The first Apparition Read More

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William Shakespeare | Analysis of Macbeth: Act III

Banquo says Macbeth has attained all the Witches said he would and at great cost to everyone; he feels his own prophecy should come true as well. The friendship between Banquo and Macbeth has been dissolved. Banquo no longer trusts his friend and must be cautious in his presence. Macbeth knows that all the Witches Read More

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William Shakespeare | Summary of Macbeth: Act III, Scene 1-6.

Scene 1 Banquo says that the prophecy has come true for Macbeth. He would like the prophecy the Witches made about his sons to come true also. Banquo feels that he must appear loyal to Macbeth, yet he does not trust him. Macbeth questions Banquo as to his schedule for the day and says to Read More

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William Shakespeare | Analysis of Macbeth: Act II

The second act opens with Banquo and his son, Fleance, walking the halls at Inverness, unable to sleep. Banquo has been plagued by dreams of the Witches. As he walks with Fleance, he hands him the sword and dagger he is wearing. Shakespeare uses this scene to foreshadow Fleance’s eventual assumption of his father’s role. Read More

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William Shakespeare | Summary of Macbeth: Act II, Scene 1-4.

Scene 1 There is something in the air that disturbs Banquo and Fleance and they cannot sleep. As they discuss the reasons for their inability to sleep, Macbeth joins them. Banquo confesses that he has been dreaming about the prophecy the Witches told them and he is concerned about the evil nature of the Witches. Read More

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William Shakespeare | Analysis of Macbeth: Act I

Introducing the play with the Witches in the first scene creates an evil tone and mysterious setting; something sinister is about to happen. Witches were traditionally thought of in Elizabethan times as evil and connected to devil’s work. The supernatural was feared and respected. The Witches statement, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”, clearly Read More

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William Shakespeare | Short Summary of Macbeth: Act V

Lady Macbeth, while sleepwalking, reveals her knowledge of the deaths of Duncan, Lady Macduff, and Banquo. Her continual washing of her hands cannot ease her dread or make her feel cleansed. The doctor and attendant realize they cannot help her. (i.) Macbeth is too involved with battle preparations against Malcolm and English and Scottish troops Read More

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William Shakespeare | Short Summary of Macbeth: Act IV

The witches show Macbeth three apparitions which warn him to beware Macduff, promise him that “none of woman born shall harm Macbeth,” and assure him he will remain safe until Birnam Wood moves. He feels comforted by these prophecies without seeing their double meaning but is shaken by a vision of Banquo and his eight Read More

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William Shakespeare | Short Summary of Macbeth: Act III

Macbeth plans to overturn the witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will become kings by sending two murders to kill both Banquo and his son, Fleance. (i.) Macbeth no longer needs Lady Macbeth’s involvement and bids her be “innocent of the knowledge” of his decisions. (ii.) A third murderer, obviously not known by the other two, Read More

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