Macbeth Acts 4 and 5: Characters, Terms, Themes, Motifs

The Witches 3 supernatural witches who deliver prophecies to Macbeth
Hecate goddess of witchcraft; “in charge” of the three witches
The Apparitions appear from the witches, as commanded by Macbeth; first: head w/ helmet, tells Macbeth to fear Macduff; second: bloody child, says no one born of a woman will hurt Macbeth; third: crowned child w/ tree in hand, says no one can defeat Macbeth until Birnam Woods uproots and moves to Dusinane; fourth: line of eight ghosts – descendants of Banquo, all crowned and holding specters
Doctor observes Lady Macbeth sleepwalking, states that she has gone insane from the guilt and only God can help her
Gentlewoman reports Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking to the Doctor
Lady Macbeth Macbeth’s wife, previously controlling and manipulative; now has lost her mind and gone crazy from the guilt that she carries, eventually commits suicide
Menteith nobleman of Scotland, supports Malcolm
Angus nobleman of Scotland, turns to Malcolm’s side
Caithness nobleman of Scotland, turns to Malcolm’s side
Lennox nobleman of Scotland, informs Macbeth that Macduff fled to England, however betrays Macbeth for Malcolm
Macbeth main character, now King of Scotland after killing King Duncan – becoming insane and deteriorating from guilt
Seyton Macbeth’s servant
Malcolm elder son of Duncan, named Prince of Cumberland and fled to England – now joining with Macduff to fight against Macbeth
Siward leader of English army fighting against Macbeth, loses his son in battle
Macduff nobleman of Scotland, betrays Macbeth and flees to England in support of Malcolm, convince Malcolm to fight against Macbeth
Young Siward Siward’s son, dies in battle – his death reveals the definition of manliness at the time
Ross nobleman of Scotland, brings news to Macduff in England, betrays Macbeth
Lady Macduff Macduff’s wife, calls him a traitor; later is murdered
Macduff’s son murdered under orders of Macbeth
Paradox statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.ex: Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Metaphor comparison that establishes a figurative identity between objects being compared.
Simile comparison using “like” or “as”
Hyperbole figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
Personification figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
Allusion reference to another work of literature, person, or event
Soliloquy long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on stage – is a type of monologue
Monologue long speech given by one person, gives background information
Aside spoken directly to the audience, no one else on stage can hear; words from a single character or a conversation between two
Imagery description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)
Devastation When Ambition Oversteps Morality Macbeth’s deterioration after feeling guilt
Power vs. Tyranny difference between having power and using it fairly and abusing power (Duncan vs. Macbeth)
Fate vs. Free Will CONTROL – idea of “Who is to blame?”; influence of others (witches, Lady Macbeth)
Appearance vs. Reality “masking” true feelings with an innocent appearance; truly good nobleman turns into a tyrant
Nature and the Natural World supernatural element: thunder/lightning and chaotic environment indicate that order has been messed with, evil has occurred; witches and apparitions bringing prophecies
Light and Darkness good vs. evil
Children represent innocence; any one that harms children is evil
Blood guilt (blood on hands)
Sleep (lack of sleep/insomnia) indicates guilt, Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking due to guilt
Visions Macbeth’s paranoia
Falling Action events that follow the climax: apparitions, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s deterioration, Malcolm and Macduff joining forces
Catastrophe event that marks the TRAGIC FALL of the protagonist, typically death of the character: Macbeth’s death (cockiness blindsides him), and Lady Macbeth’s suicide (“part” of Macbeth, dies because her ambition causes her extreme guilt)
Denouement ties up loose ends: Malcolm’s speech about restructuring Scotland
Anagorisis realization of tragic mistake of protagonist: Macbeth’s tomorrow soliloquy
Catharsis a “release,” feeling of sympathy and acceptance: Young Siward symbolizes what Macbeth once was, “Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell” – even those who are good can fall