Act Summaries Flashcards Preview

English Literature - Macbeth > Act Summaries > Flashcards

Flashcards in Act Summaries Deck (5)
Loading flashcards...

What happened in Act 1?

1) King Duncan rewards Macbeth with the title Thane of Cawdor for defeating betrayers in the battle.
2) The three witches prophesy that Macbeth will be the Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland.
3) Macbeth is officially the Thane of Cawdor and becomes amazed that the prophecy was true and hopes for the crown of Scotland.
4) Lady Macbeth hears about the the witches' prophecy and calls upon evil spirits to give her the strength to murder Duncan.
5) Duncan arrives at Macbeth's castle and is welcomed.
6) Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plan to murder Duncan.


What happens is Act 2?

1) Worried about the murder he is going to commit, Macbeth sees a vision of a dagger.
2) Lady Macbeth drugs the guards. Macbeth kills Duncan in his sleep and Lady Macbeth criticises Macbeth for being distressed. They clean up the murder and go to bed and act innocent.
3) Macduff discovers the murder and Macbeth slays the guards to cover up his crime. He kills them because they 'murdered' Duncan.
4) Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, run away in fear of their own lives.
5) Macbeth gets the throne but Macduff doesn't attend his coronation.


What happens in Act 3?

1) Banquo suspects Macbeth of treachery and Macbeth orders the murder of Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquo dies but Fleance escapes.
2) Banquo's ghost appears at Macbeth's banquet and Macbeth acts in a mad way, indicating he is feeling guilty.
3) Macbeth and the witches prepare to meet again.
4) Macduff flees to the English court, leaving his wife and children behind.


What happens in Act 4?

1) Macbeth visits the witches where they tell him that he should fear Macduff, he can't be beaten until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane, and he can't be killed by someone born of woman.
2) Macbeth orders the murder of Macduff's wife and children.
3) Macduff learns of his family's murder by Macbeth's orders.
4) Malcolm tells Macduff that he will form an army to defeat Macbeth, Macduff says he wants to personally kill Macbeth.


What happens in Act 5?

1) The English army marches on Macbeth disguised as branches from Birnam Wood.
2) Lady Macbeth sleep walks and visions her bloody hands, indicating that she's feeling guilty. She confesses to her doctor and commits suicide. Macbeth learns about his wife's death and mourns.
3) Macbeth finds out that Birnam Wood is coming and goes out to fight.
4) Macbeth meets Macduff, who was born via Caesarean, and realises that he has lost. Macduff kills Macbeth and brings his head to Malcolm.
5) Macduff hails Malcolm the King of Scotland and Malcolm invites everyone to his coronation.