—  – 3 witches meet on a deserted heath

—  – King Duncan defeats the rebels and praises “noble” Macbeth

—  – Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches who prophesise that Macbeth will be king

—  – Macbeth sends a letter to his wife

—  – They plot Duncan’s murder

—  – Duncan arrives at Macbeth’s castle…

—  – Macbeth is unsure of the plan


—  – Duncan and his servants are murdered

—  – Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalblain flee from Scotland


—  – Macbeth becomes king

—  – Macbeth, afraid of Banquo, murders him

—  – Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost


—  – Macbeth seeks out the witches

—  – They show him apparitions

—  – Macbeth arranges the murder of Macduff’s wife and children


—  – Lady Macbeth sleepwalks

—  – She dies, having gone mad

—  – Macbeth kills Seyward (General of the English forces)

—  – Macbeth is slain

—  – Malcolm becomes king




Macbeth Scene 1

See if you can translate this into modern English. Go on, have a go….


MACBETH ACT 1 SCENE 5. Inverness. Macbeth’s castle.

Enter LADY MACBETH, reading a letter


‘They met me in the day of success: and I have
learned by the perfectest report, they have more in
them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire
to question them further, they made themselves air,
into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in
the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who
all-hailed me ‘Thane of Cawdor;’ by which title,
before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred
me to the coming on of time, with ‘Hail, king that
shalt be!’ This have I thought good to deliver
thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou
mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being
ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it
to thy heart, and farewell.’
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou’ldst have, great Glamis,
That which cries ‘Thus thou must do, if thou have it;
And that which rather thou dost fear to do
Than wishest should be undone.’ Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crown’d withal.

Enter a Messenger

What is your tidings?


The king comes here to-night.


Thou’rt mad to say it:
Is not thy master with him? who, were’t so,
Would have inform’d for preparation.


So please you, it is true: our thane is coming:
One of my fellows had the speed of him,
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make up his message.


Give him tending;
He brings great news.

Exit Messenger

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 murdering 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!’


Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!
Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.


My dearest love,
Duncan comes here to-night.


And when goes hence?


To-morrow, as he purposes.


O, never
Shall sun that morrow see!
Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under’t. He that’s coming
Must be provided for: and you shall put
This night’s great business into my dispatch;
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.


We will speak further.


Only look up clear;
To alter favour ever is to fear:
Leave all the rest to me.


Cloze Procedure – Macbeth

Macduff – Homework [Macbeth]


Your task is simple; insert the words into the gaps so that this makes complete sense and then write it out for your own notes when studying the play.


Macduff is the archetype of the avenging _ _ _ _, not simply out for revenge but with a _ _ _ _ and holy purpose. Macduff is the character who has two of the most significant _ _ _ _ _ in the play.


First, he is the discoverer of _ _ _ _ Duncan’s body. Second, the news of the callous _ _ _ _ _ _ of his wife and children (Act IV, Scene 3) spurs him toward his desire to take personal _ _ _ _ _ _ _ upon the tyrannical _ _ _ _ _ _ _.


When he knocks at the gate of Macbeth’s castle in Act 2, Scene 3, he is being equated with the _ _ _ _ _ of Christ, who before his final ascension into Heaven, goes down to release the souls of the damned from hell.


Like Macbeth, Macduff is also shown as a _ _ _ _ _ being. When he hears of the death of his “pretty chickens,” he has to hold _ _ _ _ his emotions. Even when in Act 4 Scene 3) Malcolm urges him to “Dispute it like a man,” Macduff’s reply is “I will do so. But I must also feel it as a man” enabling the audience to weigh him against _ _ _ _ _ _ _, an unfeeling man if ever there was one.


In the final combat between _ _ _ _ and anti-hero, this humanity is recalled once more when Macduff _ _ _ _ _ out, “I have no words; my voice is in my sword.” It is his very wordlessness that _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ with Macbeth’s _ _ _ _ _ rhetoric.


Words to use

RHETORIC                        MACBETH                         HERO                     HUMAN


ROLES                                        GOOD                               BACK                      FIGURE


CRIES                               KING                                MURDER                 EMPTY


HERO                               MACBETH                         REVENGE                

Macbeth – Character List

Macbeth – Character List


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 fulfil 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. Macbeth is never comfortable in his role as a criminal. He is unable to bear the psychological consequences of his atrocities.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Fleance –  Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. At the end of the play, Fleance’s whereabouts are unknown. Presumably, he may come to rule Scotland, fulfilling the witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will sit on the Scottish throne.

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 –  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.

Donalbain –  Duncan’s son and Malcolm’s younger brother.