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Macbeth Synopsis

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Scene 1 begins in a deserted place between Scotland and England, with Birnam wood in the distance. There are Scottish refugees containing men, women, and children. Macduff stands at distance from the others, mournfully. A chorus starts singing about Scotland and how it has become an oppressed land, full of mourning people and the tomb for its own sons. They show a great love for their homeland and a great sadness for losing it to the tyrant, Macbeth. Macduff is sad about the death of his child and wife and the fact that he was not there to protect them. Macduff is sad that their last breath and thoughts were of him as a fugitive in hiding, thus making him long for revenge against Macbeth. Scene 2 is in the same location, at the sound of drums Malcolm enters leading a larger number of English soldiers. The chorus points out that the trees are Birnam Wood. Malcolm informs the chorus that every man should break off a branch of Birnam wood to conceal himself, thus tying into the prophecy that “you will be glorious and invincible until you see Birnam Wood.” Malcolm calls on vengeance to Macduff, but Macduff claims he cannot have it as Macbeth has no children. Everyone joins in to recite lines about winning back their oppressed homeland. Scene three is at night in a hall in Macbeth’s Castle, a doctor and Lady Macbeth’s gentlewoman wait for Lady Macbeth to sleepwalk again. Two nights ago Lady Macbeth said something that was so bad that no living man should repeat it. In scene 4 Lady Macbeth finally enters sleepwalking. The Doctor is perplexed by Lady Macbeth’s rubbing of her hands and the gentlewoman points out that she is washing them. Lady Macbeth is dreaming of washing the blood from her hands, shocked by the amount of blood that came from the old man. Lady Macbeth continues to speak as she mentions the Thane of Fife recently becoming a husband and father, questioning whether she will ever be able to clean her hands of the blood. The Doctor and Gentlewoman at this point are in horror. Lady Macbeth talks about Banquo’s death and how she need not worry because no one comes back from the grave. Then in her sleep she hears knocking and tells Macbeth to not let his Parlor accuse him. The Gentlewoman and the Doctor have heard her confessions and state “lord, have mercy on her!” Scene 5 is in a hall in the castle, Macbeth calls Macduff, Malcolm, and the others that joined with the English army traitors. He reassures himself with the prophecy that “no man born of woman will harm you,” proclaiming that the attack will confirm his position on the throne. He then starts to talk about the comforts of growing old and how only curses will be his funeral hymn. Distant voices call out “she is dead,” and Macbeth questions what is that crying. In scene 6 the gentlewoman rushes into the hall and proclaims that Lady Macbeth is dead. Macbeth shows little care, questioning whether life matters. In scene 7 Soldiers (chorus) now enter, informing Macbeth that Birnam wood is moving and Macbeth states that the “hellish Prophecy” has deceived him. He readies himself for battle. Scene 8 takes place on vast plain surrounded by hills and woods, with English soldiers in the background advancing slowing, carrying branches of Birnam wood in front of them. Macduff informs the soldier to throw away the branches and take up their arms. In scene 9 Macduff calls Macbeth the butcher of his children and informs him that he now will kill him. Macbeth replies that no man born of woman can hill him, and Macduff tells Macbeth that he was a C-section baby plucked from his mother’s womb. Macbeth gets scared. They leave the scene battling ferociously. In scene 10 a chorus of women prays for their sons, the fighting stops and a distant chorus shouts victory, as the chorus of women repeats the words. In scene 11 Malcolm enters followed by English soldiers, bards and people. Macduff states to Malcolm that he has finished Macbeth and Hails to the King. The chorus repeats hailing to the king and thanking the hero Macduff for killing the traitor Macbeth. The women are thankful to the God of Vengeance, singing hymns of glory to their liberator. Macduff asks all to put their trust back in the king and Malcolm promises to bring joy back the land.…...

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