Act 5 scene Summaries
Act 4 Summary
Macbethconfronts the three Weird Sisters and they show him more visions.Thevisions lead Macbeth to believe that he cannot be killed by any man,givinghim a false sense of security. He then plans to sendmurderers tothe castle ofMacduff(who is in England ) in order to kill his family.Meanwhile,Macduffis in England begging Malcolm to return to Scotlandandseize the throne from Macbeth who has become a tyrant. Malcolm testsMacduff'sloyalty to Scotland and himself, and afterbeing satisfied withMacduff'sresponses, he agrees to wage war againstMacbeth. Malcolm'suncle (Siward) willalso aid in the attack.
5:1 – Macbeth’s Castle atDunsinane
Characters:Doctor, Lady Macbeth‘s attendant, Lady MacbethAction:Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and washing her hands. The Doctor and her attendant watch and discuss.Staging:Lady Macbeth must have a light near her.Problem or Solution:Problem—Lady Macbeth has slipped fully into insanity, and now she is a danger to herself.
5:2 – OutsideDunsinane
Characters:Mentieth,Caithness, Angus, LennoxAction:The men gather the troops, discussing how Macbeth is getting ready for attack.Staging:none in particularProblem or Solution:neither OR beginning of Solution, as Macbeth will soon be facing his demise
5:3 – Inside Macbeth’s Castle
Characters:Macbeth, Doctor,SeytonAction:Macbeth still clings to hope that the prophecies are true, but calls for his armor in order to fight. The doctor tells Macbeth about LadyMacbeth’s―disease.
Characters:Malcolm,Mentieth,Siward,MacduffAction:Malcolm orders the men to cut down part of a tree to disguise themselves moving closer toDunsinane.Staging:lots of soldiers with branchesProblem or Solution:Solution—By the soldiers holding the branches ofBirnamWood, they will ascend onDunsinane, making the third apparition‘s words come true
5:5 – Inside Macbeth’s Castle
Characters:Macbeth,SeytonAction:Macbeth learns that Lady Macbeth is dead; a messenger announcesBirnamWood is coming. Macbeth vows to die fighting.Staging:Inside the castle, flags of ScotlandProblem or Solution:Solution—Lady Macbeth is now dead, seemingly out of her misery. Macbeth braces himself for attack.
5:6 – Outside Macbeth’s Castle
Characters:Malcolm,SiwardAction:The soldiers continue to advance, now without the branches.Staging:men should be tattered from fighting, should have weaponsProblem or Solution:neither
5:7 – Inside Macbeth’s Castle
Characters:Macbeth, YoungSiward,MacduffAction:Macbeth kills YoungSiwardand feels temporarily better;Macduffshows upStaging:men in armorProblem or Solution:Solution—Macbeth feels comforted knowing that YoungSiwardwas not able to kill him
5:8 – Outside Macbeth’s Castle
Characters:Macbeth, Macbeth,Siward, MalcolmAction:Madufffights with and kills Macbeth, later enters with his head on his sword;Siwardlearns his son was killed; they declare victory and head off to crown Malcolm king.Staging:Macbeth’shead onMacduff’sswordProblem or Solution:Solution—Macbeth the tyrant is finally dead and now Malcolm can be king.
Act 5 Summary
Lady Macbeth has finally gone mad with guilt over themurders. The oncestrongand ruthless woman is now a scared child. Doctors are unableto help her.Someof the Scottish lords are discussing Macbeth's state of mindand havecome to the conclusion that they will help Malcolm andMacdufffight againstMacbeth. Of course, Macbeth isn't really concerned because theprophecy, he believes, insures that he cannot be killed by any manbornofwoman.Macbethsoon confrontsMacduffand learns thatMacduffwasrippedfrom his mother'sside (c-section)and not born naturally. Thus, Macbeth iskilledbyMacduff, just as Macbeth had conquered the other Thane of Cawdor.Malcolmthen becomes the rightful King of Scotland