Macbeth General Notes

Plot In Macbeth there is external conflict between Macbeth and Macduff. Internal conflict is that which occurs within the mind of a character. Macbeth agonizing over whether or not to kill Duncan is an example of Internal conflict
Setting The general setting of Macbeth is Scotland (and briefly England) in the tenth and eleventh centuries
Atmosphere The atmosphere in Macbeth is one of doom and foreboding. Much of the action takes place in foul weather or in the thick night of darkened castles. The witches and apparitions cast a pall whenever they appear.
Duncan King Duncan – The good King of Scotland whom Macbeth, in his ambition for the crown, murders. Duncan is the model of a virtuous, benevolent, and farsighted ruler. His death symbolizes the destruction of an order in Scotland that can be restored only when Duncan’s line, in the person of Malcolm, once more occupies the throne.
Malcolm Malcolm – The son of Duncan, whose restoration to the throne signals Scotland’s return to order following Macbeth’s reign of terror. Malcolm becomes a serious challenge to Macbeth with Macduff’s aid (and the support of England). Prior to this, he appears weak and uncertain of his own power, as when he and Donalbain flee Scotland after their father’s murder.
Donalbain Donalbain – Duncan’s son and Malcolm’s younger brother.
Macbeth Macbeth – Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches, especially after their prophecy that he will be made thane of Cawdor comes true. Macbeth is a brave soldier and a powerful man, but he is not a virtuous one. He is easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne, and once he commits his first crime and is crowned King of Scotland, he embarks on further atrocities with increasing ease. Ultimately, Macbeth proves himself better suited to the battlefield than to political intrigue, because he lacks the skills necessary to rule without being a tyrant. His response to every problem is violence and murder. Unlike Shakespeare’s great villains, such as Iago in Othello and Richard III in Richard III, Macbeth is never comfortable in his role as a criminal. He is unable to bear the psychological consequences of his atrocities.
Banquo Banquo – The brave, noble general whose children, according to the witches’ prophecy, will inherit the Scottish throne. Like Macbeth, Banquo thinks ambitious thoughts, but he does not translate those thoughts into action. In a sense, Banquo’s character stands as a rebuke to Macbeth, since he represents the path Macbeth chose not to take: a path in which ambition need not lead to betrayal and murder. Appropriately, then, it is Banquo’s ghost—and not Duncan’s—that haunts Macbeth. In addition to embodying Macbeth’s guilt for killing Banquo, the ghost also reminds Macbeth that he did not emulate Banquo’s reaction to the witches’ prophecy.
Macduff Macduff – A Scottish nobleman hostile to Macbeth’s kingship from the start. He eventually becomes a leader of the crusade to unseat Macbeth. The crusade’s mission is to place the rightful king, Malcolm, on the throne, but Macduff also desires vengeance for Macbeth’s murder of Macduff’s wife and young son.
Lennox A Scottish nobleman.
Ross A Scottish nobleman.
Fleance Son of Banquo
Siward Earl of Northumberland General of the English forces
Young Siward Son of Siward killed by Macbeth
Lady Macbeth Lady Macbeth – Macbeth’s wife, a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. Early in the play she seems to be the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges her husband to kill Duncan and seize the crown. After the bloodshed begins, however, Lady Macbeth falls victim to guilt and madness to an even greater degree than her husband. Her conscience affects her to such an extent that she eventually commits suicide. Interestingly, she and Macbeth are presented as being deeply in love, and many of Lady Macbeth’s speeches imply that her influence over her husband is primarily sexual. Their joint alienation from the world, occasioned by their partnership in crime, seems to strengthen the attachment that they feel to each another
The Three witches The Three Witches – Three “black and midnight hags” who plot mischief against Macbeth using charms, spells, and prophecies. Their predictions prompt him to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to blindly believe in his own immortality. The play leaves the witches’ true identity unclear—aside from the fact that they are servants of Hecate, we know little about their place in the cosmos. In some ways they resemble the mythological Fates, who impersonally weave the threads of human destiny. They clearly take a perverse delight in using their knowledge of the future to toy with and destroy human beings.
Murders The Murderers – A group of ruffians conscripted by Macbeth to murder Banquo, Fleance (whom they fail to kill), and Macduff’s wife and children.
Lady Macduff Lady Macduff – Macduff’s wife. The scene in her castle provides our only glimpse of a domestic realm other than that of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. She and her home serve as contrasts to Lady Macbeth and the hellish world of Inverness.
Hecate Hecate – The goddess of witchcraft, who helps the three witches work their mischief on Macbeth.
Porter The drunken doorman of Macbeth’s castle
Where is King Duncan Killed and How? He is killed in Macbeth’s Castle by Macbeth with help of his wife. He is stabbed during his sleep
How does Lady Macbeth Die? Lady Macbeth goes Crazy from all the guilt and blood on her hands she kills herself
Who Kills Macbeth? Macduff Kills Macbeth during the Invasion
How is Banquo Killed? Does his son Survive? Banquo is killed by 3 murders sent by Macbeth. Fleance his son is able to escape.
Where does Donalbain run away to? He runs away to Ireland
Where does Malcolm run away to? England
Who kills Lady Macduff and his family? Macbeth sends people to kill Macduff’s family. Macduff then swears revenge when he finds out.
Who does Macbeth see during the feast? He see Banquo ghost.
The three witches prophecies One, it is a floating head that warns him to beware of Macduff. Two, its a bloody child appearing saying that no man born of women shall harm Macbeth. Three, it was that no one shall harm Macbeth until the forest of birnam will unroot itself and go to Macbeth’s castle.
What is Macbeth named in the beginning of the story? Thanes Glames
ACT 1 Summary This Act opens with the three Weird Sisters setting up the entire theme of the play: Fair is foul and foul is fair. A war is taking place against Scotland (the setting of this play) and Norway. Scotland is victorious due to the valiant efforts of Macbeth. The traitorous Thane of Cawdor is captured and executed. King Duncan decides to reward Macbeth with the title of Thane of Cawdor to show his gratitude.The scene shifts to the battleground where the three Weird Sisters confront Macbeth and Banquo, telling Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and eventually king. Macbeth soon learns of his new title, fulfilling the first part of the prophesy, and sends word to his wife. King Duncan plans on staying the night at Macbeth’s home.Lady Macbeth receives the news and immediately plots the death of King Duncan so her husband will be king. Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth into following her plans, and he reluctantly agrees to murder Duncan. By the end of Act I, Macbeth is determined to follow through with the plan.
Act 2 Summary Macbeth again has some doubts (and visions), but he soon talks himself into following through with the murder. Macbeth freaks out so Lady Macbeth finishes the rest of the plan by wiping blood on the drunk guards.The next morning, Macduff and Lennox arrive at Macbeth’s, and Macduff discovers the dead body of King Duncan. All are shocked and Macbeth plays his role to perfection. The guards are immediately suspect and Macbeth kills them “in a fit of sorrow and rage.” Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s sons, flee the castle because they are afraid that they will be blamed for the murder of their father. The king is soon buried.
ACT 3 Summary Banquo begins to suspect Macbeth for the murder of King Duncan and Macbeth in turn feels that Banquo will reveal that it was he that killed the King. Therefore, Macbeth sends out some thugs to murder Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquo is murdered, but Fleance escapes.Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Lennox, Ross, and other lords attend a banquet. The ghost of Banquo presents itself to Macbeth. Macbeth begins to rant and rave, making the other guests uneasy. Lady Macbeth tries to cover up the situation by saying Macbeth is prone to fits. By the end of this Act, we learn that Macduff has not attended the banquet because he has gone to England, looking for aid because he is suspicious of Macbeth.
Act 4 Summary Macbeth confronts the three Weird Sisters and they show him more visions. The visions lead Macbeth to believe that he cannot be killed by any man, giving him a false sense of security. He then plans to send murderers to the castle of Macduff (who is in England ) in order to kill his family.Meanwhile, Macduff is in England begging Malcolm to return to Scotland and seize the throne from Macbeth who has become a tyrant. Malcolm tests Macduff’s loyalty to Scotland and himself, and after being satisfied with Macduff’s responses, he agrees to wage war against Macbeth. Malcolm’s uncle will also aid in the attack.
Act 5 Summary Lady Macbeth has finally gone mad with guilt over the murders. The once strong and ruthless woman is now a scared child. Doctors are unable to help her.Some of the Scottish lords are discussing Macbeth’s state of mind and have come to the conclusion that they will help Malcolm and Macduff fight against Macbeth. Of course, Macbeth isn’t really concerned because the prophecy, he believes, insures that he cannot be killed by any man born of woman. Macbeth soon confronts Macduff and learns that Macduff was ripped from his mother’s side and not born naturally. Thus, Macbeth is killed by Macduff, just as Macbeth had conquered the other Thane of Cawdor. Malcolm then becomes the rightful King of Scotland
Where are the kings crowned? Scone
Macbeth is given the title? Thane of Cawdor
what is the name of Macbeth’s castle? Castle of Inverness
Castle of Banquo? Castle of Fife
Name of Duncan and Macbeth’s Castle Dunsinane
What is the name of the king of England that helped Malcolm King Edward
Place where they bury king? Colmekill
Name of the Forest Brinam