2.2 Characters and Key Scenes

This page contains video lectures about three key scenes in Macbeth. Each of the videos concludes with a scene extract featuring actors performing in historic properties in Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon.

1.3 To their surprise Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches. The witches prophesy that Macbeth will become King and Banquo's children will reign after Macbeth's death. Both men are intrigued by these suggestions, and can hardly believe what they have heard. The witches disappear into thin air, leaving the soldiers excited but confused.

1.7 Macbeth pushes himself to go through with the murder of King Duncan, but is riddled with doubt and fear. He tells his wife that they should give up on the idea of killing the King, but she does everything within her power to turn his mind around. Macbeth begins to feel ashamed of his earlier anxiety and takes strength from his wife's commitment and words of encouragement.

2.2 Macbeth returns from killing King Duncan and is lost in his own bloody thoughts. Lady Macbeth has been waiting anxiously for him, and is panicked to see him in such a nervous state. She grabs the bloody daggers from him and tells him how they must proceed in order to avoid drawing suspicion towards themselves. Although Macbeth is ready to do what his wife says, it is clear that his mind is tortured by guilt.

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