Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 2 Full Summary | Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 2 Summary

Four Scottish noblemen with their soldiers are going towards Macbeth and his soldiers to fight.

Angus was one of the noblemen who, near the beginning of the story, had told Macbeth that King Duncan had made him the new Thane of Cawdor and Lennox had been at Macbeth’s royal banquet, but Caithness and Menteith are entering the story for the first time.

Menteith says the English army is near. He says Malcolm, Malcolm’s Uncle Siward, and Macduff are leading it. Menteith says that Malcolm and Macduff feel revenge (the desire to punish a person because they had hurt someone).

Menteith says even a dead man would fight a bloody war if that man had the reasons to fight (the murder of Malcolm’s father and the murder of Macduff’s family) that Malcolm and Macduff have.

Angus says he, Menteith, and the others will meet the English army at Birnam Wood. Caithness asks if anyone knows if Donalbain will be with his brother (Malcolm).

Lennox says that Donalbain is not with his brother and the English army. Lennox says he has a list of the noblemen, and Siward’s son and other young men are on it. They will be proving they are men by fighting.

Menteith asks what Macbeth the tyrant (unfair leader) is doing. Caithness says Macbeth is making his castle at Dunsinane stronger. People who hate Macbeth are saying that he is “mad” (crazy) and people who don’t hate Macbeth so much are saying he has “valiant fury” (brave anger).

Caithness makes a metaphor (a comparison). He says Macbeth’s rule or leadership is a belt that Macbeth cannot buckle (cannot
close) because his “cause” (his purpose in fighting) is “distempered” (crazy).

Note: Caithness is saying that Macbeth is like a man who cannot control his fat belly by wearing a tight belt. Macbeth is a leader who cannot control himself, so he cannot rule or govern others.

Angus says Macbeth is now feeling the blood of his “secret murders sticking on his hands.” Angus says people now are continually fighting against Macbeth because he was unfaithful to those who trusted him.

Angus says Macbeth’s soldiers fight only because he commands them, but they don’t love him. Angus says Macbeth’s title of king does not fit him. Angus says Macbeth’s title of king fits him like a giant’s robe fits a dwarf.

Menteith asks if anyone can say Macbeth is responsible for his body jumping backward and forward when Macbeth’s conscience (his feeling of guilt) is making him feel so bad.

Note: Menteith is saying that Macbeth can control nothing, not even his own body because Macbeth feels guilt about being a murderer.

Caithness says they should march on (move on) to meet the medicine (Malcolm – King Duncan‘s son) who will cure the sick country (Scotland).

Caithness says he and those who fight with Malcolm against Macbeth will “pour” (give) each drop of their blood to “purge” (free) Scotland from Macbeth.

Lennox says they will give the Malcolm blood that is needed to water the “sovereign flower” (Malcolm) and sovereign weeds to “drown the weeds” (Macbeth flower and his followers).

Note: Lennox is saying that their fighting men will help Malcolm become king just like water helps a flower grow. He is also saying that their fighting men will destroy Macbeth and Macbeth’s men just like too much water will drown weeds.

Lennox says it is time for them to go to Birnam Wood. They all leave.

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