Act 5 Summary

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 1 Summary

Characters: Doctor, Gentlewoman, Lady Macbeth.

Location: Dunsinane, a room in the castle.

Time: After the murders of Macduff’s family.

Events: Lady Macbeth’s gentlewoman tells a doctor about her mistress’s behaviour while sleeping. Lady Macbeth then appears sleepwalking. While sleepwalking she imagines washing the blood off her hands and talks about the recent murderers. The doctor and gentle-woman leave, shocked about what they have just seen and heard.

Quotes: “Why, it stood by her: she has light be her continually; ‘t is her command.” (She has light beside her always because she is afraid of the dark) – Gentle-Woman

Quotes: “Out damned spot! out, I say!” (Blood get off my hands) – Lady Macbeth

This is funny because when Lady Macbeth and Macbeth talked about murdering the king they spoke of darkness covering their evil intents but now she is afraid of it.

Several times in the play, Macbeth appeared to a bit mad and now Lady Macbeth is showing signs of it too.

The gentle-woman and the doctor start to suspect and are now in danger from knowing that information.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 2 Summary

Characters: Menteth, Angus, Cathness, Lenox.

Location: The country near Dunsinane.

Time: Not sure.

Events: The Scottish army opposing Macbeth approaches Dunsinane and the thanes discuss Macbeth’s loss of control and that he has fortified his castle.

Quotes: “He cannot buckle his distempered cause within the belt of rule.” (He is unable to control the kingdom) – Cathness

Quotes: “Now does he feel his title hang loose about him, like a giants robe upon a dwarfish thief.” (He has become unfit to have the title of King.) – Angus.

More clothing metaphors.

Quotes: “Or so much as it needs to dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.” (However much blood we must spill to water the royal flower (Malcolm)  and drown the weeds (Macbeth)).

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 3 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Servant, Seyton, Doctor.

Location: Dunsinane, a room in the castle.

Time: When the English army and Scottish rebels are gathering in the forest.

Events: Macbeth receives a report of the approaching armies but comforts himself by remembering what the witches told him. He realized he cannot have what he would have wanted at that age and he decided to live with it.  The doctor reports that Lady Macbeth’s sickness is of the mind. Macbeth struggled into his armour as the doctor leaves saying he will never come back.

Quotes: “If thou couldst, doctor, cast the water of my land, find her disease.” (If you could, doctor find out what disease is plaguing Scotland.) – Macbeth

Macbeth sees Scotland as sick which is ironic because he is the cause of that “sickness”.

Quote: “Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with some sweet, oblivious antidote cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart?”

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 4 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Menteth, Siward, Soldiers, Macduff.

Location: The country near Dunsinane.

Time: Not sure.

Events: The Scottish Lords and the English army leader talk about the upcoming war and they make a plan to break off branches to camouflage the army and hide their numbers. Macbeth is still in the castle which is heavily fortified and could last siege a long time.

Quotes:

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 5 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Seyton, Messanger.

Location: Dunsinane, within the castle.

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 6 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Siward, Macduff.

Location: Dunsinane, outside the castle.

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 7 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Young Siward, Macduff, Siward, Malcolm.

Location: Dunsinane, outside the castle.

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 8 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Macduff.

Location: Dunsinane, outside the castle.

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 9 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Siward, Rosse, Macduff.

Location: Dunsinane, within the castle.

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