Macbeth: Novel Summary: Act 3, Scene 4-Act 3, Scene 5

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Act 3, Scene 4: The banquet has begun and Macbeth warmly invites his guests to sit down and partake of the food.  One of the murderers enters the room and tells Macbeth that Banquo is dead but Fleance still lives.  Macbeth becomes angry and afraid.  He orders the murderer to come back tomorrow to discuss the capture and murder of Fleance.  Lady Macbeth urges her husband to come back to the table and be a merry host so that no suspicion is aroused.

Macbeth asks the assembly why Banquo is not present, and the noblemen reply that he has broken his promise to attend the feast.  At this point, Banquo's ghost enters the room and sits in Macbeth's place.  Macbeth turns pale after seeing this apparition and shouts at it to leave.  Since only he can see the ghost, the rest of the assembly thinks that Macbeth has gone mad.  Lady Macbeth tries to cover up the situation by saying that her husband occasionally has such fits of delirium.  She whispers to Macbeth that he should stop shouting lest the noblemen begin to suspect him of the crime.  Macbeth, however, is surprised that his wife cannot see the ghost and madly points and gestures at the seemingly empty seat.
Banquo's ghost leaves the banquet, but not after creating utter chaos in the castle.  Lady Macbeth scolds her husband for disrupting the mirth of the banquet with all of his screaming.  Alone after all of his guests have departed, Macbeth tells his wife that he fears for his life now that Banquo's ghost roams the area.  In addition, he is troubled that Macduff did not attend the feast.  Macbeth has spies in every nobleman's household except that of Macduff.  He decides to visit the weird sisters the next day to hear more of their prophecies, whether good or bad.
Act 3, Scene 5: The witches meet with their mistress, the powerful sorceress Hecate.  Hecate is a figure from Greek mythology, the queen of the night and the protector of witches and enchanters.  She is angry that the witches have not asked her for any help in their dealings with Macbeth.  Hecate is also furious that the weird sisters have helped Macbeth become king, while he has been utterly ungrateful to them despite all of their assistance.  After all, without the witches' prophecies, Macbeth would not be the King of Scotland.  Hecate decides to make a potion that will lead Macbeth to his ruin.

 

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