|Act IV, Scene 1 (A Cavern, In the middle, a boiling cauldron)|
The witches meet again and cook up a spell in their cauldron with all sorts of interesting ingredients. Macbeth approaches them to answer his question, regardless of any havoc it might wreak. Macbeth opts to hear it from the witches' masters and is greeted by an apparition that can read his mind and answer his question. The armed head represents Macbeth, telling him to beware of Macduff. The bloody child represents Macduff, who we later find out was not of woman born. Macbeth wonders why, then, he should fear Macduff but just to be safe he will kill him anyway. The crowned child is Malcolm, with the tree representing Burnham Wood, and says not to fear until Great Burnham wood moves against him. Macbeth feels safe since a wood can never move and he knows no people not of woman born. He thinks the prophecy is a good and insures him a safe life. Then a line of kings is seen, thought to represent the descendents of Banquo that eventually lead to King James. The last king holds a mirror to make the line seem endless. So Macbeth gets his question answered about Macbeth's descendents and the witches try to cheer him up by dancing. Then they disappear. Lennox tells Macbeth than Lennox has gone to England. Macbeth comments in his aside about how he was overtaken by time because he failed to act on his plan. He decides to kill Macduff's children.
|Act IV, Scene 2 (Fife, Macduff's Castle)|
Lady Macduff is wondering why her husband left. She thinks he was mad, looking like a traitor, loveless and cowardly to leave his family and possessions. Ross tries to comfort her, telling her he knows what is wrong at the moment. People don't know they are traitors, when they know fear. Ross leaves and says he will be back. Lady Macduff has an interesting conversation with her son Sirrah about what they will do without a father. The messenger tells her to leave, that she is in danger. But Lady Macduff doesn't know where to go, and she has done no wrong. As she realizes that doing good is sometimes a bad thing, the murderers arrive. The murderers kill the Son, but Lady Macduff escapes.
|Act IV, Scene 3 (England, before the King's Palace)|
Malcolm says they should find some place to cry, while Macduff says they should defend their native country the way they would a fallen comrade. Scotland is full of cries. Malcolm says this could be true, but he fears that Macduff could betray him to Macbeth for a reward. Malcolm says that even is Macduff isn't treacherous, he good give in to the royal command the way a cannon recoils after it is fired. He says bad things can look good while good things still look good. Malcolm asks why Macduff left his family. Macduff says he is not a bad person, that the tyrant Macbeth hurts Scotland as legal ruler. Malcolm says he does want to retake Scotland, but then to check still if Macduff is a spy, he lies, saying how he is a man of vices who would be an even worse ruler. At first, Macduff says the vices won't be a problem, that Scotland can deal with them and that Macbeth is worse. When Malcolm persists, Macduff says that Malcolm truly unfit to rule and fears for his country. Malcolm then says his fears are allayed, and that he really is virtuous person. Macduff says this is hard to deal with all of a sudden. The doctor then talks about how the king is healing people with the evil. Malcolm does not recognize Ross since he's been in England for a while. Ross tells how awful things are in Scotland, but assures Macduff his family is fine. He encourages them to return and save Scotland. Ross then tells Macduff that his family is actually dead. He encourages revenge. Macduff thinks Macbeth wouldn't have killed his kid if he had any of his own. They plan to go to Scotland.
|Act V, Scene 1 (Dunsinane, Ante-room in the castle)|
The gentlewoman who cares for Lady Macbeth has summoned a doctor, but in two nights the reported symptoms of waking up and writing something have not occurred. The doctor says it is a disturbance of nature for her to do such things while appearing to sleep. The gentlewoman will not repeat anything Lady Macbeth has said for she is unsure, but then Lady Macbeth appears, carrying a light. Lady Macbeth acts as if washing her hands, seeing a spot of blood. She questions why her husband should be scared, but complains still of the blood that was shed. She is wracked with guilt that troubles her as the two observe. The doctor says she needs the help of god, not a doctor for her troubles.
|Act V, Scene 2 (The country near Dunsinane)|
The English forces with the Scottish thanes are near, Menteith reports. The revenge they seek is a strong enough cause to raise the dead and wounded. Angus says they will met at Burnham wood, and Caithness asks if Donalbain is coming. Lennox explains he has a list of everyone, including boys ready to show their manhood in their first battle, and Donalbain is not on the list. Caithness explains that Macbeth is strengthening his castle, and is acting crazy, unable to rule. Angus explains these are the consequences of the murder; people don't willingly follow him and his title means little. Menteith explains Macbeth is afraid of himself, and Caithness compares Malcolm to doctor, and by working with him they will cure their country by shedding their blood.
|Act V, Scene 3 (Dunsinane, a room in the Castle)|
Macbeth is wondering how the prophecy will come true, and tries to remain confident. Macbeth upraids his servant for seeming afraid, but is told of the English forces. Mcabeth tells Seyton this revolt will either remove or leave him happy, as right now he has none of things due a man of old age. Macbeth asks for his armor, planning to defend himself to the end. Macbeth asks the doctor to cure his wife. The doctor wishes he weren't there.
|Act V, Scene 4 (Country near Birnam Wood)|
Malcolm hopes to regain the safety they once had. Menteith is sure it will happen. Malcolm tells each soldier to cut down a large tree branch and put it in front of him, thereby camouflaging himself. The scouts will think there are less of them. Macbeth waits in his castle, his only hope of defense. Though they have hopes of what they want to accomplish, now is the time for actual blows and battle to win.
|Act V, Scene 5 (Dunsinane, Within the Castle) |
Macbeth says let them come to the castle, he can hold them off. If they didn't have his soldiers, then he could have met them on the field and beat them back. Macbeth has forgotten what it is like to be afraid, having as much fear as a man can bear. Macbeth wishes his wife had died later, at a better time. He comments on how life passes at this little speed, with people dying after a futile life. Macbeth says the messenger comes to speak, he should give his report quickly. The messenger, unsure of how to report what he saw, says Birnham wood appeared to move (remember that the soldiers are carrying boughs to hide themselves as they move), thus the prophecy is fulfilled. Macbeth starts wishing this were just all over and prepares for death fighting.
|Act V, Scene 6 (Dunsinane, Before the Castle)|
Macolm and Macduff split off from Siward, and they throw down their boughs, preparing to fight.
|Act V, Scene 7 (Another part of the field)|
Macbeth knows he is stuck fighting, and he wonders who was not born of woman. Macbeth tells Young Siward who he is, and Macbeth says he should be not just hateful but fearful to Young Siward's ears. Macbeth says he doesn't fear any not of woman born and kills Young Siward. Macduff says he must kill Macbeth to avenge his family, and only Macbeth. By the noise of Macbeth's armor, he locates him. Siward explains the battle is easy. Malcolm enters the castle.
|Act V, Scene 8 (Another part of the field)|
Macbeth asks why he should kill himself when the wounds he might inflict upon himself would look better upon his living enemies. Macbeth says he has avoided Macduff and does not want to kill him after killing his family. Macduff says he will speak with his sword instead of words. Macbeth says the Macduff will not hurt him. Macduff then reveals that he was ripped from his mother's womb while she died. Macbeth is angry to discover that the prophecy will come true and only provided him false hope. Macduff tells him to give up and explains he will be put on a pole and displayed as a tyrant. Macbeth says he will try despite the prophecy rather than yield to Malcolm.
|Act V, Scene 9 (Another part of the field)|
Malcolm wishes no one had to die, but Siward says it is necessary and the cost wasn't that high for such a good day. Ross tells Siward that Young Siward, who just became a man in fighting, died. He tells him not to have sorrow, though. Siward says he died well then. Macduff hails Malcolm as king holding Macbeth's head.