List iconMacbeth:
Act 3, scene 5
List icon

Act 3, scene 5



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Macbeth, set primarily in Scotland, mixes witchcraft, prophecy, and murder. Three “Weïrd Sisters” appear to Macbeth and his comrade Banquo…

Act 1, scene 1

Three witches plan to meet Macbeth.

Act 1, scene 2

Duncan, king of Scotland, hears an account of the success in battle of his noblemen Macbeth and Banquo. Duncan orders…

Act 1, scene 3

The three witches greet Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis” (as he is), “Thane of Cawdor,” and “king hereafter.” They then…

Act 1, scene 4

Duncan demands and receives assurances that the former thane of Cawdor has been executed. When Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus…

Act 1, scene 5

Lady Macbeth reads her husband’s letter about his meeting the witches. She fears that Macbeth lacks the ruthlessness he needs…

Act 1, scene 6

Duncan and his attendants arrive at Inverness. Lady Macbeth welcomes them.

Act 1, scene 7

Macbeth contemplates the reasons why it is a terrible thing to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth mocks his fears and offers…

Act 2, scene 1

Banquo, who has accompanied Duncan to Inverness, is uneasy because he too is tempted by the witches’ prophecies, although only…

Act 2, scene 2

Lady Macbeth waits anxiously for Macbeth to return from killing Duncan. When Macbeth enters, he is horrified by what he…

Act 2, scene 3

A drunken porter, answering the knocking at the gate, plays the role of a devil-porter at the gates of hell….

Act 2, scene 4

An old man and Ross exchange accounts of recent unnatural happenings. Macduff joins them to report that Malcolm and Donalbain…

Act 3, scene 1

Banquo suspects that Macbeth killed Duncan in order to become king. Macbeth invites Banquo to a feast that night. Banquo…

Act 3, scene 2

Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth express their unhappiness. Macbeth speaks of his fear of Banquo especially. He refers to a…

Act 3, scene 3

A third man joins the two whom Macbeth has already sent to kill Banquo and Fleance. The three assassins manage…

Act 3, scene 4

As Macbeth’s banquet begins, one of Banquo’s murderers appears at the door to tell Macbeth of Banquo’s death and Fleance’s…

Act 3, scene 5

The presentation of the witches in this scene (as in 4.1.38 SD–43 and 141–48) differs from their presentation in the…

Act 3, scene 6

Lennox and an unnamed lord discuss politics in Scotland. Lennox comments sarcastically upon Macbeth’s “official” versions of the many recent…

Act 4, scene 1

Macbeth approaches the witches to learn how to make his kingship secure. In response they summon for him three apparitions:…

Act 4, scene 2

Ross visits Lady Macduff and tries to justify to her Macduff’s flight to England, a flight that leaves his family…

Act 4, scene 3

Macduff finds Malcolm at the English court and urges him to attack Macbeth at once. Malcolm suspects that Macduff is…

Act 5, scene 1

A gentlewoman who waits on Lady Macbeth has seen her walking in her sleep and has asked a doctor’s advice….

Act 5, scene 2

A Scottish force, in rebellion against Macbeth, marches toward Birnam Wood to join Malcolm and his English army.

Act 5, scene 3

Reports are brought to Macbeth of the Scottish and English forces massed against him. He seeks assurance in the apparitions’…

Act 5, scene 4

The rebel Scottish forces have joined Malcolm’s army at Birnam Wood. Malcolm orders each soldier to cut down and carry…

Act 5, scene 5

Macbeth is confident that he can withstand any siege from Malcolm’s forces. He is then told of Lady Macbeth’s death…

Act 5, scene 6

Malcolm arrives with his troops before Dunsinane Castle.

Act 5, scene 7

On the battlefield Macbeth kills young Siward, the son of the English commander. After Macbeth exits, Macduff arrives in search…

Act 5, scene 8

Macduff finds Macbeth, who is reluctant to fight with him because Macbeth has already killed Macduff’s whole family and is…

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Scene 5
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecate.

 Why, how now, Hecate? You look angerly.
 Have I not reason, beldams as you are?
 Saucy and overbold, how did you dare
 To trade and traffic with Macbeth
5 In riddles and affairs of death,
 And I, the mistress of your charms,
 The close contriver of all harms,
 Was never called to bear my part
 Or show the glory of our art?
10 And which is worse, all you have done
 Hath been but for a wayward son,
 Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
 Loves for his own ends, not for you.
 But make amends now. Get you gone,
15 And at the pit of Acheron
 Meet me i’ th’ morning. Thither he
 Will come to know his destiny.
 Your vessels and your spells provide,
 Your charms and everything beside.
20 I am for th’ air. This night I’ll spend
 Unto a dismal and a fatal end.
 Great business must be wrought ere noon.
 Upon the corner of the moon
 There hangs a vap’rous drop profound.
25 I’ll catch it ere it come to ground,
 And that, distilled by magic sleights,
 Shall raise such artificial sprites
 As by the strength of their illusion
 Shall draw him on to his confusion.
30 He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
 His hopes ’bove wisdom, grace, and fear.

ACT 3. SC. 6

 And you all know, security
 Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.
Music and a song.
 Hark! I am called. My little spirit, see,
35 Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me.Hecate exits.
Sing within Come away, come away, etc.
 Come, let’s make haste. She’ll soon be back again.
They exit.