Study Guide

Macbeth Act 5, Scene 7

By William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 7

  • Macbeth appears on stage and compares himself to a bear in a bear-baiting contest (i.e. he's in a serious jam).
  • History Snack: Bear-baiting is a blood sport that involves chaining a bear to a stake and setting a pack of dogs on it.
  • Elizabethans thought this was good clean family fun. Bear-baiting arenas were located in the same neighborhoods as the theaters, just in case anyone wanted to take in a play and then top off their day of fun with a little animal cruelty.
  • Young Siward enters and...quickly dies. Macbeth talks some evil smack over the dead body, to the effect of "your swords and weapons can't touch me because you're of woman born."
  • Macduff runs on stage looking for Macbeth and screams for the evil tyrant Macbeth to come out and show his ugly face.
  • Macduff is hot to kill Macbeth with his own sword because he'll likely be haunted by the ghosts of his wife and kids if he doesn't.
  • He begs "fortune" to let him find Macbeth so he can stab him in the guts.
  • Siward and Malcolm note that Macbeth's castle has basically been surrendered without a fight. They're winning battles with little effort, mainly because the people they're fighting aren't really trying. Even Macbeth's soldiers hate him. So. Many. Enemies.