Macbeth consists of five major acts, each with a variation of scenes. The story tells of one man’s quest for dominance in the Scottish monarchy structure, and how his future becomes a twisted paradox that brings him nothing but trouble. In the first act, Macbeth is visited by two witches that tell him prophecies of the future. The tales tell of Macbeth becoming king, and Banquo founding a line of kings. Macbeth then becomes obsessed with finding a way of killing King Duncan. Later in the act, Macbeth is summoned by Duncan in congratulations of his battle victory.
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The second act is one of, if not, the important acts in the play. Macbeth kills the king in his sleep as Lady Macbeth awaits him back in their quarters. When he comes back, he has blood on his hands. She urges him to wash them, as she puts the daggers near the grooms. When Macduff enters, everyone is alerted of the king’s death. The chase is afoot to find the killer. As the third act unfolds, Macbeth is now the proclaimed king. At a ceremonial banquet in his honor, Macbeth is tormented by his visions of Banquo. He plans to have Banquo and his son Fleance murdered.
The attempt is somewhat successful, as Banquo is killed but Fleance manages to escape. In the last few scenes of this act, Macbeth is plagued by the ghost of Banquo. People start to suspect something suspicious of Macbeth. The fourth act starts off, once again, with Macbeth visiting the witches. They tell him that he will not be harmed by a woman, and that he will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth has Lady Macduff and her son killed. When Macduff learns about this news, he vows to kill Macbeth when he meets him on the field of battle.
He and Malcolm start to conjure up plans to invade Macbeth’s castle. The fifth act of Macbeth is the final chapter in this play. Lady Macbeth has been suffering from mental instability and sleepwalks around the castle. As Macbeth gets ready for battle, he learns that his wife has commited suicide (what a way to go). Life is now meaningless to him. It seems he wants to become a martyr. The battle begins, and Macbeth’s forces are severly weakened. Macbeth fights to the death and is finally killed by Macduff.