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Macbeth
Act 3, scene 6

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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 6
Enter Lennox and another Lord.

LENNOX 
 My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
 Which can interpret farther. Only I say
 Things have been strangely borne. The gracious
 Duncan
5 Was pitied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead.
 And the right valiant Banquo walked too late,
 Whom you may say, if ’t please you, Fleance killed,
 For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late.
 Who cannot want the thought how monstrous
10 It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
 To kill their gracious father? Damnèd fact,
 How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight
 In pious rage the two delinquents tear
 That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
15 Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely, too,
 For ’twould have angered any heart alive
 To hear the men deny ’t. So that I say
 He has borne all things well. And I do think
 That had he Duncan’s sons under his key
20 (As, an ’t please heaven, he shall not) they should
 find
 What ’twere to kill a father. So should Fleance.

115
Macbeth
ACT 3. SC. 6

 But peace. For from broad words, and ’cause he
 failed
25 His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear
 Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell
 Where he bestows himself?
LORD  The son of Duncan
 (From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth)
30 Lives in the English court and is received
 Of the most pious Edward with such grace
 That the malevolence of fortune nothing
 Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduff
 Is gone to pray the holy king upon his aid
35 To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward
 That, by the help of these (with Him above
 To ratify the work), we may again
 Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
 Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
40 Do faithful homage, and receive free honors,
 All which we pine for now. And this report
 Hath so exasperate the King that he
 Prepares for some attempt of war.
LENNOX Sent he to Macduff?
LORD 
45 He did, and with an absolute “Sir, not I,”
 The cloudy messenger turns me his back
 And hums, as who should say “You’ll rue the time
 That clogs me with this answer.”
LENNOX  And that well might
50 Advise him to a caution t’ hold what distance
 His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
 Fly to the court of England and unfold
 His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
 May soon return to this our suffering country
55 Under a hand accursed.
LORD I’ll send my prayers with him.
They exit.