Macbeth by William Shakespeare Summary

Here we are gonna discuss act wise summary of Macbeth written by William Shakespeare. It sensationalizes the detrimental physical and psychosomatic effects of political determination on those who hunt for power. This tragedy was performed for the very 1st time in 1606. It was published in 1623.

Act I Macbeth by William Shakespeare Summary

Two of King Duncan’s generals, Macbeth and Banquo, found three witches on bleak Scottish highlands. The witches make the revelation that Macbeth will be promoted twice: to Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland.

Banquo’s offspring will be kings, but Banquo is not supposed to be king of any kingdom himself. Both of the generals (Macbeth & Banquo) wanted to hear more, but the “witches” disappeared. 

Later, as a reward for his success in the recent battles, Macbeth was awarded Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan. The elevation to a new rank seemed to support the prophecy of the three witches. The King then intends to make a momentary visit that night to Macbeth’s fortress at Inverness.

Lady Macbeth came to know about the news from her husband about the prediction and his new title. She pledges to help her husband to become king by whatsoever means are compulsory.

Act II Macbeth by William Shakespeare Summary

Macbeth then returns to his fortress. Then King Duncan also comes into the castle. The Macbeths (husband & wife) plan together to kill King Duncan and they wait until everyone goes to sleep. At the prearranged time, Lady Macbeth gives drugged wine to guards so Macbeth can enter the room of the King and kill King.

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He feels guilty almost immediately, but his wife calms him. She places the bloody carving knife by the dead king just before Macduff, a nobleman.

When Macduff realizes the murder, Macbeth kills the guards, who are drunken, in a show of wrath and reprisal. Malcolm and Donalbain, King Duncan’s sons are blamed for the murder of the King, and flee, fearing for their own lives.

Act III Macbeth by William Shakespeare Summary

Macbeth becomes the King of Scotland but is afflicted by feelings of anxiety. He remembers the prediction of witches that Banquo’s broods will become heir to the throne. Macbeth makes a plan for Banquo and his son Fleance to be executed.

In the darkness, Banquo is murdered, but his son succeeded to escapes from the assassins. Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo at his court that night and makes the courtiers worried with his mad reaction. Lady Macbeth discharges the court and unproductively tries to calm her husband. 

Act IV Macbeth by William Shakespeare Summary

Macbeth searches for the witches who say that he will be safe until a local wood, Birnam Wood, tramps into battle against him. They also made prophesy that the Scottish progression will still come from Banquo’s son. Macbeth goes on board in a reign of horror, crushing many, including Macduff’s family.

Macduff had gone to seek Malcolm (one of Duncan’s sons who fled) at the court of the English king. Malcolm is young and unconfident in himself, but Macduff, wounded with grief, convinces him to lead an army against Macbeth. 

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Act V Macbeth by William Shakespeare Summary

Macbeth feels safe in his isolated castle at Dunsinane until he is informed that Birnam Wood is marching toward him. Malcolm’s army is carrying branches from the forest as a cover-up for their attack on Macbeth’s headlock.

Meanwhile, distraught and conscience-ridden Lady Macbeth walks in her sleep and conveys her secrets to her doctor. She commits suicide. As the final battle embarks, Macbeth hears of Lady Macbeth’s suicide and mourns. Macbeth is then killed in battle by Macduff, who was “from his mother’s womb premature ripped” by cesarean section and in that sense, he was not “of woman born.” In the end, Malcolm becomes the rightful king.

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