Plot Summary of Macbeth

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Macbeth Plot Summary

In the beginning of the play, three witches confront Macbeth on his return from war with Scotland and Norway. They recite a paradox that foreshadows the events in the play (fair is foul and foul is fair) – good will be bad and the ones perceived as bad will be good. The first external conflict – Duncan king of Scotland talks to a wounded sergeant about Macbeths win against Norway (war – external conflict). They order the Thane of Cawdor’s execution…then give the title to Macbeth. The Thane of Cawdor was disloyal to Duncan, which foreshadows Macbeth being disloyal to Duncan. Then Macbeth and Banquo met the three witches and they say Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor because Macbeth doesn’t
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Macbeth meets the witches again and he learns that none born of a woman can harm him and that he wont lose his throne until Birnhamwood comes to Dunsinan. Macbeth learns the Macduff is urging Malcom to reclaim his throne so he goes and kills Macduffs family (external conflict) and Macduff seeks revenge. Macbeth prepares for battle (external conflict war Macbeth and his people). Lady Macbeth looses her mind and commits suicide. Macduff and his men take Birnamwood to Macbeth’s castle by using branches as camouflage. Macbeth meets Macduff in hand to hand combat bragging about how no man born of woman can harm him, Macduff tells Macbeth that he was not born of woman but c section. Macduff kills Macbeth and Malcom becomes king.


Act 1 scene 1 – foreshadowing the whole play by the witches

Exciting force/Rising action
The rest of act 1 – 2 + 3
Macbeths greed and desire for the crown ->leads to killing of Duncan and the killing of Banquo and his conscience. Also his betrayal to his friends and himself. The turning point at which the conflict begins to resolve is the death of Macduff”s family.

Climax – death of Duncan or the death of Macduffs family (climax Turning point at which the conflict begins to resolve itself for better or worse).

Falling action
From the death of Macduff”s family to act 5
The attack on Macbeth’s castle
Lady Macbeth
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