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Summary Act 3

Scene 1

Forres at the palace.

Enter Banquo

He talks of how Macbeth is now king because Duncan was murdered and his sons ran away making them seem guilty. He talks of the witches prophecy and how for Macbeth it was coming true but as for him it was not.

Enter Macbeth as king, Lady Macbeth as queen, Lennox, Ross, and various lords and ladies and their attendants.

Macbeth addresses Banquo as his most important guest and asks if he will be taking a ride later. To which banquo responds yes, and he’ll be taking Fleance with him. Macbeth bids them farewell and they leave.

Exit all but Macbeth and attendant. The attendant asks if the king will see the men he invited.

Aside Macbeth talks about his fears of Banquo

Enter the murderers

Macbeth orders them to kill Banquo and Fleance

Scene 2

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth talk of things they must do to keep their new positions. Macbeth is bent on illing everyone who poses a threat, he feels as though he has complicated things so much that everyone is after his head. His wife tries to console him, but it doesn’t work.


Scene 3

At a park near the palace

Enter three murderers

They ask why the third joined the two and settle things between themselves, they ask amongst themselves where banquo and fleance are

Enter Banquo and Fleance

The murderers catch and kill banquo but fleance escapes.


Scene 4

The same in a hall in the palace.

Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Ross, Lennox, Lords and attendants.

They are all mingling and getting ready for dinner when the murderers come in and Macbeth talks to them asking if it is done. The murderers tell him about it and how Fleance escaped.

Lady Macbeth enters and asks Macbeth why he is not eating. Macbeth goes to sit and eat but Banquo’s ghost is sitting in his place.

Macbeth has a mental episode in that he can see the ghost and no one else can. He becomes very upset and Lady Macbeth tries to console him, but it does not work.

The ghost leaves and Macbeth tells his guests not to pay attention to him, that he has a rare condition.

Re-enter the ghost of Banquo

Macbeth again becomes distraught and starts spewing nonsense (for what his guests can tell) at the apparition

The ghost leaves again and Macbeth’s guests ask what he has seen, to which he replies that he will not speak of it for fear it will make the episodes worse. Lady Macbeth asks the guests to leave.

Exit all but Macbeth and Lady Macbeth The two talk of what he has seen. Lady Macbeth tries to help her husband keep from going insane, Macbeth keeps telling her of his visions, the two go to bed.


Scene 5

At a heath

Thunder and enter the three witches meeting Hecate the greek goddess

They ask her why she is so upset. She tells them it is because her gifts ate not meant to be playthings. She is angry with Macbeth for spurning fate and scorning death and still having high hopes.

The witches leave

Scene 6

Forres at the palace

Enter Lennox and another lord

They talk of how Macbeth has taken the crown wrongfully and committed murder.


William Shakespeare