Study Guide

Macbeth Act 5, Scene 4

By William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 4

  • More people meet, specifically Malcolm, Siward, Macduff, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, and Ross. Does anyone have a mnemonic for that? (Here you go: My silly mother makes cakes and lemon rinds.)
  • They hatch a plan: the soldiers will cut down branches to hide themselves under during the march to Dunsinane. Hm. That sounds a lot like the woods of Birnam are about to be on the move.
  • Many of Macbeth's men have deserted him, and it's clear that those still siding with Macbeth don't believe in the cause.
  • Still, Macbeth is so set in his certainty of victory that he is willing to let them march right up to Dunsinane, thinking the castle (and he) is protected from harm by the witches' prophecy.
  • At this point, it might be wise to review that prophecy.

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