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Scenes 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, and 5.8

Scene 5.5 - Macbeth's castle
Macbeth declares that the only reason he doesn't challenge Malcolm's army directly is because Malcolm's numbers are reinforced with men that he feels should be on his side. There is a cry of women. Macbeth would have normally been startled by such a noise, but as of late he has become desensitized to shrieks of horror. A servant enters to inform him that the cry was for the death of his wife. His lack of sorrow at the news makes him realize that he doesn't care about life anymore. He coldly states that life is meaningless and that each interminable day brings us unknowingly closer to death. He would rather die now because in the grand scheme of things, he is like an actor with a worthless moment on the stage, and no one will remember him after the show is over.
A messenger enters to give a frightening report that Birnam Wood seemed to move towards Dunsinane. Macbeth threatens to hang him if he is wrong, but if he is right, Macbeth doesn't care if he gets hung himself. He curses the witches for lifting his hopes with such a deviously phrased prediction, and he declares that if he will die at least he will die fighting.

Scene 5.6 - As before
Malcolm commands the forces to throw down their leafy branches and split into two halves, with Siward and his son leading the first charge.

Scene 5.7 - As before
Macbeth finds himself alone with Young Siward. Macbeth slays him and gloats that he was not born of woman.

Scene 5.8 - Before Macbeth's castle; the battle continues
Macduff searches for Macbeth to confront him for murdering his family. He says that if he doesn't face Macbeth, his sword will have been worthless.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Scenes 1.1 and 1.2
Scene 1.3 - An open place
Scenes 1.4 and 1.5
Scenes 1.6 and 1.7
Scenes 2.1 and 2.2
Scene 2.3 and 2.4
Scene 3.1
Scenes 3.2 and 3.3
Scene 3.4
Scenes 3.5 and 3.6
Scene 4.1
Scene 4.2
Scene 4.3
Scenes 5.1 and 5.2
Scenes 5.3 and 5.4
Scenes 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, and 5.8
Scenes 5.9, 5.10, and 5.11


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