Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 6 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}


Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 6 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 6 Full Summary | Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 6 Summary

Lennox and an unnamed lord are talking about the strange things that have happened since King Duncan’s death.

Lennox says that he knows that the words he has spoken in the past about Scotland’s government are the same as the lord’s thoughts, so they can talk more.

Lennox says that all that he is saying is that strange things have happened. First, Macbeth “pitied” (felt sadness for) King Duncan, but only after Duncan’s death.

Lennox speaks sarcastically (saying the opposite of what he believes is true). He says that Banquo went out for a walk too late. Lennox says they could say that Fleance killed his father because, after all, Fleance ran away.

(Some people think if someone runs away from the scene of a murder, it is possible that he is the murderer.) Lennox says men should not go walking at night.

  • Truth =  Macbeth had Banquo killed.
  • Macbeth’s lie = Fleance killed his father and ran away.

Lennox asks who cannot have the thought that it was terrible for Malcolm and Donalbain to kill their father? Lennox says the terrible murder of King Duncan made Macbeth sad and angry.

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Lennox asks if Macbeth was so angry that he immediately killed Duncan’s two guards who had had too much to drink and were therefore asleep.

Lennox says yes, it was a wise thing Macbeth had killed the guards because anyone with a living heart would have been angry to hear the men say they had not killed their own king – King Duncan.

Note: Lennox is still speaking sarcastically. He is making it clear to the other lord that he believes that Macbeth is lying and that it is Macbeth who is Duncan’s murderer.

Lennox says that Macbeth has done well. (Lennox means the opposite.) Lennox says if Macbeth had Malcolm and Donalbain locked up and Macbeth had the key (and Lennox says he hopes that never happens) then Malcolm and Donalbain would find out what happens to people who kill their fathers.

(Lennox means that Macbeth So would Fleance. would kill Malcolm, Donalbain, and Fleance if he could.) Lennox says that he has talked enough.

He tells the lord that he has heard that Macbeth is not happy with Macduff because Macduff speaks too honestly and did not go to Macbeth’s feast.

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Lennox calls it “the tyrant’s feast.” (A tyrant is an unfair ruler who imprisons or kills people he does not like.) Lennox asks the lord if he knows where Macduff is.

The lord tells Lennox that the older son of Duncan, Malcolm, is now living in England at King Edward’s palace. Lennox says Macbeth, the tyrant, stole Malcolm’s birthright (the right to be the King of Scotland).

The lord says King Edward is giving Malcolm great respect during Malcolm’s bad time (during the time when Malcolm’s father has been murdered and Malcolm has had to leave Scotland because of the evil Macbeth).

The lord tells Lennox that Macduff also has gone to talk to King Edward. The lord says that Macduff hopes to get King Edward to talk to Siward, the leader of Northumberland.

The lord says that the hope is that Edward, Siward, and God will help Malcolm become the new King of Scotland by winning a war against Macbeth.

The lord says that if Malcolm and Macduff are successful, Scottish lords will be able to put meat on their tables, be able to sleep at night, be free to attend feasts without bloody murders, be able to honor their king and be able to get honor for themselves.

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Those things, says the Lord, are what the lords want. The lord says that Macbeth has heard reports of trouble and he is preparing for war. Lennox asks if Macbeth had told Macduff to come back to Scotland.

The lord says that Macbeth did send a messenger to Macduff to tell him to return to Scotland. Macduff said he would not return, and the messenger made an angry sound as if to say that Macduff would be sorry that he had given that answer.

Lennox says that the messenger’s reaction might be a warning to Macduff (that Macbeth will be very angry with him). Lennox says Macduff might want to stay some distance away from Scotland to be safe.

Lennox says, “Some holy angel should fly to the court in England” to give a message to Macduff. The message should ask Macduff to come back to Scotland, a country suffering under Macbeth’s cursed (evil) hand. The lord says, “I will send my prayers..”

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