Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 4 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}


Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 4 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 4 Full Summary | Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 4 Summary

In front of Birnam Wood, Malcolm and Macduff, with Old Siward and Young Siward, and thousands of English soldiers meet the Scottish soldiers who are going to fight with them against King Macbeth and his soldiers.

Malcolm, remembering how his sleeping father, King Duncan, had been murdered by Macbeth, says that he hopes people will soon be safe in their bedrooms.

Menteith says they have no doubts (no worries about winning their fight against Macbeth). Old Siward asks what the name of the forest is. Menteith says they are at Birnam Wood.

Malcolm tells the soldiers to each take a tree branch to hold in front of them. He says if the soldiers hold the branches, the men Macbeth
sends to spy on them will not be able to count how many soldiers Malcolm has.

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Macbeth will not be able to get accurate reports. The soldiers say they will do what Malcolm asks.

Note: Readers should remember that in Act 4, Scene 1, the three witches showed Macbeth three images coming out of a cauldron.

First, a floating, helmeted head told him to be careful around Macduff. Second, a bloody child appeared and told him that “none of woman born / shall harm Macbeth.”

Third, a crowned child holding a tree branch told him that he would be safe until Binam Wood moved to Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth thought he had controlled Macduff by killing his family.

Macbeth did not know any way that a man could exist without being born from a woman, and he saw no way that Birnam Wood could move to his castle. Macbeth thought he was safe.

Two of the three images from Act 4 are now made clear. The helmeted head represented Macduff who is coming to fight Macbeth.

The crowned child carrying a tree branch represented Malcolm and his soldiers whose tree branches will hide their numbers from Macbeth. (Birnam Wood is moving to Dunsinane.)

Siward says that the only news they have is that Macbeth is confident (sure that he will not lose). He will allow the English and rebel Scottish armies to surround the castle (set up all around it).

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Malcolm says Macbeth hopes they will come to the castle. Macbeth cannot leave it and attack because he does not have enough soldiers.

Malcolm says that when they get a chance, both high-ranking soldiers and low-ranking soldiers have run away from Macbeth’s service. The only soldiers who have stayed are those who cannot leave. They will fight, but their hearts aren’t in it. (They don’t want to support Macbeth.)

Macduff says they should let their “censures” (their opinions) wait for the “true event” (the battle against Macbeth) and they should be good soldiers and fight well.

Old Siward says the time is coming when the battle will decide what power each side has or does not have. They each have their thoughts, guesses, and hopes, but the strokes of their swords will decide the “issue” (who will be Scotland’s king).

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Old Siward says it is time to “advance the war” (march forward, move forward). They move towards Dunsinane.

Thanks For Reading “Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 3 Full Summary“. And if you have any questions related to “Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 3 Full Summary”, So, please comment.

Also Read:

  1. Macbeth: Act 4, Scene 1 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}
  2. Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 5 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}
  3. Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 3 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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