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Macbeth
Act 5, scene 2

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Contents

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 2
Drum and Colors. Enter Menteith, Caithness, Angus,
Lennox, and Soldiers.


MENTEITH 
 The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
 His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.

167
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Revenges burn in them, for their dear causes
 Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
5 Excite the mortified man.
ANGUS  Near Birnam Wood
 Shall we well meet them. That way are they coming.
CAITHNESS 
 Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?
LENNOX 
 For certain, sir, he is not. I have a file
10 Of all the gentry. There is Siward’s son
 And many unrough youths that even now
 Protest their first of manhood.
MENTEITH  What does the tyrant?
CAITHNESS 
 Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
15 Some say he’s mad; others that lesser hate him
 Do call it valiant fury. But for certain
 He cannot buckle his distempered cause
 Within the belt of rule.
ANGUS  Now does he feel
20 His secret murders sticking on his hands.
 Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach.
 Those he commands move only in command,
 Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
 Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
25 Upon a dwarfish thief.
MENTEITH  Who, then, shall blame
 His pestered senses to recoil and start
 When all that is within him does condemn
 Itself for being there?
CAITHNESS 30 Well, march we on
 To give obedience where ’tis truly owed.
 Meet we the med’cine of the sickly weal,
 And with him pour we in our country’s purge
 Each drop of us.
LENNOX 35 Or so much as it needs

169
Macbeth
ACT 5. SC. 3

 To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
 Make we our march towards Birnam.
They exit marching.