MACBETH – Act 3 Summary

Scene 1




Events: Banquo talks to himself about his suspicions that Macbeth killed Duncan, but he says that if the witches prophesies have come true for Macbeth then they must come true for Banquo’s kids as well. Macbeth enters and asks Banquo (multiple times) if he is going riding this afternoon, whilst also asking if he would like to come to dinner. Macbeth also asks what they should do about Malcolm and Donalbain, who have fled and may be plotting to kill Macbeth. Banquo leaves and … CONTINUED


MACBETH – Act 2 summary

Scene 1

Characters: Banquo, Fleance (his son), Macbeth.

Location: A court within the castle.

Time: Around 1 in the morning (the day after the big drama in Act 1 scenes 6/7)

Events: Banquo can’t sleep. He, his son and Macbeth are all walking around the castle and B and M bump into each other. Banquo had a dream about the witches so they talk about them for a bit. M speaks to the audience about dagger – real or imaginary?

Quote(s): “Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand…Or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” – Macbeth. This quote, as well as the sentences after it, are about a dagger that Macbeth is imagining. This dagger seems to be an image of death and I would argue is what convinces him to kill Duncan. 

Scene 2

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth.

Location: A courtyard in Macbeth’s castle.

Time: Right after Macbeth murders Duncan.

Events: Macbeth goes off to murder Duncan, using the daggers which belonged to Duncan’s guards (whom Lady Macbeth drugged up). He returns feeling very dirty and greatly disturbed by his actions. He says that at one point the guards cried “God bless us” and “Amen” and Macbeth was disturbed because he couldn’t say it back. He then talks about how he heard a voice saying “Macbeth murdered sleep (aka Duncan) and therefore Macbeth will sleep no more!” Lady Macbeth tells him to return the bloody daggers to the guards and Macbeth says he can’t do it, so she tells him to stop being a coward/sissy and she does it herself. Then they hear knocking on the door so pretend that they have been in their bedroom the whole time.

Quotes: “The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. ‘Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil.” Lady Macbeth 53. The sleeping and the dead can’t hurt you any more than an image can. Only a child would be afraid of scary pictures. 

“My hands are of your colour but I shame to wear a heart so white” – Lady Macbeth. I’m just as guilty as you but I would be ashamed to be so cowardly.

Scene 3

Characters: A Porter, Macduff, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Lenox, Banquo, Donalbain, Malcolm.

Location: A courtyard in the castle.

Time: The morning after Duncan was killed

Events: A Porter goes to answer the knocking at the gate, grumbling a lot about random stuff because he’s drunk (comic relief). Macduff and Lenox enter and Macbeth comes down to greet them. Macduff says that King Duncan asked for them and Macbeth offers to take them up to his bed. On the way, Lenox tells a tale about how that night “strange screams of death” filled the air and the earth shook like it had a fever. Macduff arrives again and cries “O horror!” and tells Macbeth and Lenox that Duncan is dead. He tells Banquo, Donalbain and Malcolm to wake up. Lady Macbeth is also awakened and she comes down, “realises” Duncan has been murdered and faints. They realise that the guards are covered in blood and have the murder weapon. Macbeth goes to kill the guards before they wake up. Malcolm and Donalbain become very suspicious of each other and also worried that they will either be killed or be accused of the murder. Malcolm says he will flee to England, Donalbain to Ireland. (During this scene, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth obviously pretend they know nothing about Duncan’s murder).

Quotes: “Lamentings heard i’ the air; strange screams of death, and prophesying with accents terrible of dire combustion, and confused events, new hatched to the woeful time” – Lenox 56. Cries of grief and sadness were heard in the air (talking about death), and they were predicting with confusing voices that terrible, chaotic things were going to happen. These things were going to begin a new age of sadness and confusion. 

NOTE: “He did command me to call timely on him: I have almost slipped the hour” – Macbeth. Basically, Macbeth was supposed to meet the king and was almost late. If he was early, then it might have prevented Duncan from being killed. I dunno if this is relevant but still…

Scene 4

Characters: Old Man, Rosse, Macduff

Location: Outside Macbeth’s castle

Time: Morning

Events: Rosse and Old Man (whoever that is) are talking outside the castle about the terrible night – the weather and the behaviour of animals etc.  Macduff arrives and tells Rosse that it is suspected to be the guards who killed Duncan, but how it could also be the King’s sons (Malcolm and Donalbain) ] because have fled from the scene. Macduff says how Macbeth is travelling to Scone to be crowned King and Rosse decides to go to see him be crowned. Macduff returns home to Fife instead of seeing Macbeth be crowned. (tension could arise later in the play coz of this).

Quotes: “Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man’s act, threatens his bloody stage” Rosse 5. You see the heavens as if they were disturbed by the deeds of man, threatening the earth which has been tainted with the blood of murder. Personification of heaven.

“Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!” – Macduff 37. Just like how old clothes are more comfortable than new ones, maybe Duncan’s way of ruling will be better than Macbeth’s. Metaphor.

“Gainst nature still: Thriftless Ambition, that wilt ravin up thine own life’s means” – Rosse 27. Another example of unnatural behaviour, Profitless Ambition, which will eat up the body which gives you life! Personification of Ambition.







MACBETH – Analytical Paragraph

Paragraph on a metaphor from Lady Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 5.

Lady Macbeth is a character noted for her effective use of metaphors to express her cruel desires. After she receives a message that the King will be visiting her castle, she immediately calls on the witches to “unsex her” and to help her murder the King. At one point, she says “That my keen knife see not the wound it makes”. By comparing herself to a sharp knife, she is illustrating herself as who she desperately wants to be; a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to murder the King. However, the use of this metaphor shows that she does know right from wrong and she maybe feels some remorse for her future actions, because she says “see not the wound it makes”, which I interpret this as meaning “Don’t let me see the damage that I will inflict on Duncan and on the people affected by his death”. This metaphor shows that she wants to be a cruel, evil person and murder the king, but she is also still a human and may come to regret her actions in the future.

Alternate introduction: Lady Macbeth is a character noted for her effective use of metaphor. She uses this language technique many times throughout Shakespeare’s Macbeth to express her cruel desires and evil thoughts.  


MACBETH – Act 1 summary

Scene 1

Characters: The three witches.

Location: A deserted/open place. Thunder and lightning set the scene. 

Time: Unknown, but before the end of the battle.

Events: The witches are planning to meet Macbeth “upon the heath” after the battle has finished.

Quote: “Fair is foul and foul is fair” – paradox. Situations or things appear to be good/bad but in reality it’s the other way around. This quote is kind of like a summary of the play and the idea behind it.

Scene 2

Characters: Duncan (The King of Scotland), Malcolm (his eldest son), Captain (wounded in the battle – part of Duncan’s army), Lenox and Rosse (other Scottish noblemen).

Location: A camp near Forres.

Time: After the battle between the Scots and the Norwegians.

Events: The wounded soldier tells Duncan about how Macbeth (the King’s cousin and friend) killed Macdonwald (bad Scottish person who sided with the Norwegians). Then Macbeth fought off an attack from the Norwegians who were allied with the Scottish rebels. Scotland won the battle, and Duncan raves about how brave his cousin is. He then gives a new title to Macbeth, and he becomes the Thane (Lord) of Cawdor. Macbeth does not know this yet.

Quote: “For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), // Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel // Which smoked with bloody execution // like Valour’s minion, carved out his passage // Till he faced the slave; // Which he ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him // Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops // And fixed his head upon our battlements.

  • This is spoken by the wounded soldier, and describes Macbeth killing many people including Macdonwald (whom he “unseams”).

Scene 3

Characters: The three witches, Macbeth, Banquo, Rosse, Angus 

Location: The heath which the witches referred to in Scene 1.

Time: After the battle.

Events: The witches tell Macbeth 3 things. 1) They say he is Thane of Glamis (which he already knew). 2) They say he is Thane of Cawdor. At the time, Macbeth thinks this is crazy because the Thane of Cawdor is still alive. However, Rosse arrives later on to tell him the news that he is, in fact, the Thane of Cawdor, so this prediction turned out to be true. 3) They say that he will someday become the King of Scotland. Macbeth thinks this prediction is ridiculous, but because the the first point was true and the second point turned out to be true, the third must also be true. The final point causes a bit of tension between Macbeth and Banquo, because the witches also predict that Banquo’s kids will be kings after Macbeth (meaning they will probably kill him at some point). This sets up conflict that could be returned to in the rest of the play.

Quotes: “If Chance have me king, why, Chance may crown me // Without my stir.” – Macbeth 143. Similar to Romeo and Juliet (fate). If fate wants me to be king, then maybe fate will make me king without me having to do anything. (without having to murder Duncan.)

“And oftentimes, to win us our harm, // The instruments of darkness tell us truths, // Win us with honest trifles, to betray us // in deepest consequence” – Banquo 125. Often to lead us to harm, evil things (the witches) win our trust by by being honest about unimportant things, in order to deceive us when it really matters. Banquo is basically warning Macbeth that the witches could be lying.

  • Macbeth is also quite unsettled by this prophecy.

Scene 4

Characters: Duncan, Lennox, Malcolm, Donalbain, 

Location: A room in the King’s palace.

Time: After the “meeting” with the witches.

Events: Duncan personally congratulates Macbeth and thanks him for his brave efforts in the battle. He also says how pleased he is of Banquo. He lets them know that he has named his son, Malcolm, as the prince of Cumberland, which means he is next in line for the throne. Macbeth is shocked and frightened by the murderous thoughts he has about Malcolm.

Quotes: The prince of Cumberland! That is a step // On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, // For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; // Let not light see my black and deep desires. // The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be //Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. – Macbeth, 50. The prince of Cumberland! That is a step that will either be my downfall or how I will get to the throne, because now it lies in my way of being King. Stars, hide your light so no one can see my bad thoughts and desires. I won’t let my eye see what my hand does, but in the end I will still do that horrible thing that I don’t want myself to do. 

  • This shows that Macbeth does know the difference between right and wrong and he hates himself for becoming like he has.

Scene 5

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Messenger, Macbeth

Location: At the castle or wherever Lady Macbeth lives

Time: During or after the “meeting” with Duncan.

Events: Macbeth sends a letter to his Lady saying about the witches and the wonderful news that he is Thane of Cawdor. He sends her this letter so she can rejoice with him. Lady Macbeth then has a rant about how Macbeth has the ambition and the desire but doesn’t have the evil streak that it takes to be the King.  She is frustrated and can’t wait for him to get home so she can talk him out of what’s stopping him getting the crown, because after all, fate and witchcraft want him there (she says that). The Messenger then tells L.M that the King is coming that night, and she freaks out because Macbeth didn’t tell her in time and she hasn’t had time to prepare. She then has a big speech where she screams a bit and calls on the witches to assist her with Duncan’s murder. She then tells Macbeth to make sure he looks innocent and friendly and hides his murderous thoughts, so that no one will suspect that they’ll kill Duncan. 


“The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!””
 – Come, you spirits that assist murderous thoughts, take away all my feminine qualities and fill my body with deadly cruelty! METAPHOR – her body is like a bottle or container for something, and cruelty is compared to a liquid like poison
 – Thicken my blood and clog up my veins so I won’t feel remorse. the heart is the body part we associate with feelings, so she is treating it like a bottle that can be blocked up so no feelings can get in. 
 – Come, thick night, and cover the world in the darkest smoke of hell, so that my knife doesn’t see the harm it inflicts on people, and so heaven can’t see through the darkness and say “No!”. The knife could also be compared to Lady Macbeth herself, saying “don’t let me see or be affected by the harm that I will inflict on people. Words in bold also linked to Romeo and Juliet. 
 – “Look like th’ innocent flower, // But be the serpent under ’t.” – L.M 56. Act like an innocent flower, but be like the snake that lies underneath the flower. As in, act innocent, but be ruthless and cunning (murdering Duncan). 

Scene 6

Characters: Duncan, Malcolm, Lennox, Donalbain, Banquo, Macduff, Rosse, Angus. However, only Duncan, Banquo and Lady Macbeth speak.

Location: Macbeth’s castle

Time: The same day as Lady Macbeth’s rant but later in the day.

Events: Duncan and Banquo arrive at the castle and Duncan says how nice it is (notes below). They barge into the castle and Duncan says what a blessing it is that he is here. He thanks her lots. Lady Macbeth gushes about how it was nothing and how it is her pleasure to host him.


“This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.”
 – This castle is in a pleasant place. The air is sweet and nice and appeals to my refined senses. Duncan start of Act 1 Scene 6
This is ironic because he’s gonna die later in the day but he doesn’t know it.  Example of dramatic irony coz we know something that the characters don’t.

Scene 7

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth

Location: A room in the castle

Time: Later in the same day. 

Events: Macbeth is having second (or third or fourth) thoughts about killing Duncan and tells Lady Macbeth that they will not do it.  Lady Macbeth enters and he tells her that they’re not going to murder the King. She calls him a cowards and rants on about how he promised to do it and even she, a mere woman, keeps her promises (very gruesome part). Macbeth says “If we should fail?” and she says all this stuff about how “we’ll get Duncan’s guards drunk so that he has no protection while he is sleeping.  Then we’ll murder him when he’s unguarded, then blame it on the guards”. Macbeth says to Lady Macbeth “Bring forth men-children only!” as in “you are so courageous you are surely only capable of producing male children!” They then agree they will seem so upset no one will think it was them. However, they never once say that they are actually going to do it, they just pretty much say “what could possibly stop us?”

Quote: “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” – Macbeth at the very end of Act 1 Scene 7. Basically, pretend you’re innocent when you’re actually guilty.

Text Transcript

Annika: “Yo yo what’s up girl” (Speech like interjection)

Me: “Hi bro!!!!!!!!” (Punctuation added for effect)

Annika: “How was it? Wait tell me at school! R u in mufti?” (Logograms)

Me: “Yes I am in mufti”

Me: “Are we actually allowed? Our teachers just said we can wear it if we want to”

Annika: “Yay!” (Speech like interjection)

Annika: “The year eights are”

Annika: “R u on the bus” (ellipsis)

Me: “No sorry not on_bus” (ellipsis)

Annika: “Oh man” (slang)

Me: “:-P” (Emoticon)

Annika (the day after):  “Morning! 🙂 _still ready for me at 8:15?” (Emoticonellipsis)

Me: “Yeee boiii” (repeated letters for emphasis)

Annika: “And pick up at 9:30″ (ellipsis)

Me: “Cool as bruh” (slang)

Annika: “I made cake yesterday too!”

Me: “Yumm!!! Ur cakes are the best :p :p” (Repeated letters & punctuation, Logogram, Emoticon)

Annika: “🙂” (emoticon)

Annika: “_Leaving now might be on time not early” (ellipsisomitted words and punctuation)

Annika: “At_bridge now” (ellipsis)

Me: “Cool beans” (slang)

Me (later on): “DUMBLEDORE IS EPIC” (Uppercase to donate tone) (Change of subject with no apparent reason – I’m not sure of the term for this)

Annika: “Haha I know! R u on the fifth one?”

Me: “Yes_still on the 5th” (ellipsis)

Annika: “Nice, we’re at the house working”

Me: “Fun!! Well I hope its fun anyway haha” (Omitted punctuation, Repeated punctuation, speech-like interjection)

Annika: “Hah! We’re sanding all_the doorways” (ellipsis)

Me: “Wait_ can I call u real quick_” (Logogram, contraction, omitted punctuation)

Annika: “Sure”

Me: “I’ll let u get back to your sanding now hehehe

Annika: “O:-)

Me: “l:D

Annika: “It was an angel”

Me: “Hahahahaha nice” (Speech like interjection, repetition for emphasis)

Me: “_

Annika: “_Going home for lunch! Yea boi!” (ellipsis, slang)

Me: “Yea boiiiii!!” (slang, repeated letters and punctuation)

Annika: “Should I have a wrap or a pita bread_” (Omitted punctuation)

Annika: “Ok_I’m having pita bread”

Annika: “Can I call you_

Me: “Sure”

Me: “Lol” (Acronym)


(N.B In this text conversation, both Annika and I had autocorrect turned on otherwise our spelling would be shocking! There would also be no capital letters involved because that is how we actually type.)







B.A.A Transcript

Annika: “You’re wrecking the field Abi!”

Abigail: “Sorreee”

Annika: “Keep your hands to yourself.”

Brianna: “Do you guys remember when they graffitied the field?”

Annika: “Yes?”

Abigail: “I wasn’t here for that.”

Annika: “Oh my god!”

Brianna: “It was so funny!”

Annika: “They like, didn’t they get fined or something?”  (Verbal filler)

Brianna: “They got like weedkiller.”

Abigail: “Oh yeah, didn’t they like spray it in the quad? Or on the field?”

Annika: “Yeah they did some on the quad as well.”

Brianna: “Yeah they got weedkiller and like, drew inappropriate things.”

Abigail: “Oh…” awkward face

Brianna: “It was quite funny.”

Annika: “Didn’t Mr Hose say they got fined or something?”

Abigail: “Yeah they probably did. Coz its like… bad stuff, what, what is it?”

Annika: “Yeah they had to, they had to re- like – ”

Brianna: “It cost a lot of money”

Abigail: “Huhuh. Wasn’t it a leaving prank or something?”

Annika: “Yeah”

Brianna: “Yeah, I wonder what Jessie and Stirling -”

Abigail: “Oh, they banned all of the pranks last year.”

Brianna: “Did they?”

Abigail: “And they said that if anyone like did any pranks they would get like ex -”

Brianna: “Well they can’t get expelled coz they’re leaving.”

Abigail: (interrupts Brianna at they’re) “Well, no, they, they would get a fine or s-something or rather (Brianna: “That sucks”) I’m not really sure.”

Annika: “What did they do last year?”

Abigail: “They, they couldn’t do it last year coz there was a big punishment.”

Brianna: “That’s, not, really fair.”

Abigail: “They didn’t do anything they weren’t allowed.”

Annika: “You sure?”

Abigail: “Yeah”

Brianna: “Yeah they did?! Didn’t they?”

Abigail: “No coz Sam was gonna do one but he couldn’t do it coz he would have got like a serious…”

Annika: (interrupts at “like”) “Has Sam left?!”

Abigail: “Yeah”

Annika: “Oh my god!”

Brianna: “He’s in year 13 last year.”

Abigail: “Yeah he moved yesterday.”

Annika: “Where’s he going?” (Brianna says simultaneously “Yesterday?”)

Abigail: “Or the, day before or something he’s going to um, Canterbury.”

Brianna: mumbles unidentifiable sound

Annika: “Oh cool.”

Abigail: “Engineering.”

Annika: “Oh, like Luke!”

Brianna: “Sounds like Sam, that smart unidentified mumbling

Annika: gasp “That’s so cool”

Abigail: “All of the boys in year 13 that have, like, half a brain, they’re all doing  engineering.”

Brianna: “Do you know what Georgia is doing?”

Annika: “Oh, guys this is like 2 minutes and a half…”

Abigail: “She’s take, she’s taking a gap year.”














Hoodie: “Yea?”

Ginger: “Oh, fanks for answerin’ geeza I know what I mean!”

Brownie: “Gimme that. Where you been, fool? Makin’ us rinse ou’ our credit leavin’ you messages an’ that.”

Ginger: “Mr Dores is well on the warpath of you bruv yea.”

Hoodie: “Coz of da bag an’ that?”

Ginger: “Wot bag? Coz you missed the lesson you chie – ”

Brownie: “Gimme that. The bag weren’t a problem. Teggsy never mentioned it. He bott’led it. Ey, you comin’ over to mine la’er to play compu’er?”

Hoodie: “Nah I’m not, I’m at home now, I got business I gotta run.”

Brownie: “Wot business?”

Hoodie: “Business that minds its own? I’m ou’.”


This is your online portfolio

Hello and welcome to your personal online journal.

This platform has been created to enhance and enrich your learning at Mount Aspiring College. Its purpose is to provide you with an audience for your work (or work-in-progress) and you have the choice (by altering the ‘visibility’ of your posts) of whether your work on here is visible to the world, or only to your teacher.

Anything you post here in the public domain represents you and thus it’s important that you take care with that decision, but don’t be afraid to publish your work – as the feedback you may get from people at home, your peers and people from around the internet is only likely to enhance it.

Remember you can always access your class blog and all manner of resources through the Department of English main website – and by all means check out the sites of your peers to see what they’re getting up to as well.

If you have any questions for me, an excellent way to get an answer is to create a new private post on this journal. I am notified of any new posts and will reply swiftly to any queries.

Make the most of, and enjoy this new freedom in your English learning.



Chris Waugh