Macbeth Timeline

  • Three witches plan to meet.

    Three witches plan to meet.
    The three weird sisters open the play by meeting in a scene with thunder and lightning. They promise to meet again before sunset upon the heath with Macbeth. The witches mention that "Fair is foul and foul is fair."
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    Macbeth Timeline

    This timeline goes through the major events within the play. The month represents the act, and the day represents the scene. For example, February is Act 2, and 3 would mean Scene 3.
  • Macbeth's bravery in battle

    Macbeth's bravery in battle
    King Duncan learns from a wounded Captain of Macbeth's bravery in battle over the treacherous Thane of Cawdor and his Norwegian forces. King Duncan is impressed with Macbeth's accomplishment in battle, and decides to name him the new Thane of Cawdor.
  • Macbeth and Banquo hear of their prophecies

    Macbeth and Banquo hear of their prophecies
    The witches meet Banquo and Macbeth after the battle. The two are confused at the appearance of the witches, as they look inhuman. The witches tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and future king, and they tell Banquo that his sons will be king. Macbeth later learns from Ross that he is the new Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth hopes that chance may make him king as well.
  • Prince of Cumberland named.

    Prince of Cumberland named.
    Malcolm, the king's son, is named the Prince of Cumberland. Malcolm will inherit the throne after the king's death. Macbeth feels that Malcolm is in the way of his kingship and begins plotting against him.
  • Lady Macbeth plans murder

    Lady Macbeth plans murder
    Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth telling her about the prophecies. Lady Macbeth is thrilled, but she is worried that her husband does not have enough ambition to become a king. A messenger enters and tells Lady Macbeth that King Duncan is coming over for the night. Lady Macbeth plans to have King Duncan killed that night.
  • Duncan arrives at castle

    Duncan arrives at castle
    King Duncan, Banquo and noblemen arrive at Inverness, Macbeth's castle. They compliment Lady Macbeth on her hospitality towards them. The king suspects nothing.
  • Macbeth decides not to kill the King.. momentarily

    Macbeth decides not to kill the King.. momentarily
    After pondering over the reasons he has to kill the king, Macbeth realizes that all he has is ambition. The king is noble with many good qualities, and Macbeth has no justifiable reason of killing him. After stating his decision to his wife, Lady Macbeth becomes angry and insists that Macbeth kill the king, laying out a plan. His wife convinces Macbeth to go on with the plan to kill the King.
  • Bloody Dagger Vision

    Bloody Dagger Vision
    While Macbeth prepares himself to kill the king, he sees a vision of a dagger that points him towards King Duncan's room. The bloody dagger is the result of Macbeth's thoughts of murder.
  • Macbeth murders King Duncan

    Macbeth murders King Duncan
    Lady Macbeth drugs the king's guards, but she cannot make herself kill the king because he looks too much like her father. Macbeth kills the king, but immediately regrets it afterwards. He cannot bring himself to say "Amen" when he heard another man say "God bless us." Macbeth is in a frantic state of mind, so Lady Macbeth ends up framing the guards by putting the king's blood on them. The two of them rush to bed when they hear a knocking at the gate.
  • Malcolm and Donalbain flee

    Malcolm and Donalbain flee
    A porter opens the gate and makes jokes regarding the consumption of alcohol. Lennox mentions supernatural events occurring the night before, such as an earthquake. Macduff discovers that the king is dead and wakes everyone up in order to arrange to find the murderer. Malcolm and Donalbain do not trust the others, so Malcolm flees to England and Donalbain heads towards Ireland.
  • Macbeth goes to Scone to be crowned King

    Macbeth goes to Scone to be crowned King
    Ross and an old man discuss some of the supernatural events that have been occurring in the past few days. The old man mentions that an owl murdered a hawk, and Ross states that he saw King Duncan's horses eat each other. Macduff states that the dead guards were bribed to kill the king, and Malcolm and Donalbain are being accused of the deed since they have fled. King Duncan is sent to be buried, and Macbeth will be crowned king at Scone. Macduff does not attend Macbeth's coronation as king.
  • Macbeth plans to kill Banquo and Fleance

    Macbeth plans to kill Banquo and Fleance
    Now that Macbeth has become king, his new goal is to be safely king. He knows the prophecy also mentioned that Banquo's sons will be king. In order to stop this part of the prophecy from becoming true, Macbeth hires assassins to kill Banquo and Fleance at the same time. Macbeth discovers the whereabouts of Banquo and Fleance for one night, and orders the murderers to set a trap and to kill them.
  • Scorpions plague Macbeth

    Scorpions plague Macbeth
    Macbeth is still haunted by the death of the king. He mentions that scorpions constantly plague his mind, and he wishes that he was dead like Duncan so that these constant worries would no longer bother him. Macbeth tells his wife to compliment Banquo at the dinner, and he silently waits for nightfall so that Banquo can be murdered in due time.
  • Banquo dies and Fleance escapes

    Banquo dies and Fleance escapes
    The murderers succeed in killing Banquo, but Banquo warns his son of treachery and orders him to flee from the place. Fleance is able to escape, and so the murderers have only fulfilled half of the job.
  • Ghost of Banquo haunts

    Ghost of Banquo haunts
    At the dinner table, the ghost of Banquo appears. Macbeth becomes pale and scared at the presence of the ghost. The noblemen believe that Macbeth is not well, but Lady Macbeth assures them that such incidents have occurred with Macbeth since childhood. The noblemen leave the dinner after the incident, and Macbeth plans to visit the weird sisters once again to determine his future.
  • Hecate is angry

    Hecate is angry
    Hecate, goddess of the witches, is angry at the weird sisters for consorting with Macbeth without telling her. She swears vengeance against Macbeth for this act. Hecate mentions that she will put false hopes into Macbeth in order to bring him further into confusion.
  • Suspicions against the tyrant

    Suspicions against the tyrant
    Lennox and the other noblemen are becoming increasingly against Macbeth's rule with each passing day. They label Macbeth as a tyrant and are angry at the murders that have occurred, noting that the murders are too convenient for Macbeth. The noblemen mention that Macduff has fled to England to meet up with Malcolm.
  • Macbeth's New Prophecies

    Macbeth's New Prophecies
    Macbeth meets the three witches once again, except this time they are creating a strange potion. Macbeth demands to learn of his future from their masters. His first apparition is of an armored head, telling him to beware of Macduff. The second apparition, of a bloody child, tells him that none of woman born shall harm Macbeth. The third apparition, a child with a crown on his head, promises Macbeth that he will never fall until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. Macbeth attacks Macduff's castle.
  • Macduff's Castle is Ambushed

    Macduff's Castle is Ambushed
    Lady Macduff is greatly saddened by the flight of her husband. She is sad that her husband would abandon his family and leave, stating that "he lacks the common touch." Lady Macduff tells her son that Macduff is dead, but the son does not believe it. Soldiers come and attack the castle afterwards. Everyone in the castle dies in the assault.
  • Macduff swears vengeance on Macbeth

    Macduff swears vengeance on Macbeth
    Macduff approaches Malcolm, who is at first unwilling to accept Macduff's aid. After testing his loyalty, however, Malcolm notifies Macduff that an army has been gathered under Siward to take back Scotland. Macduff is thrilled. At this point, Ross arrives at England and tells Macduff that his family and servants have been brutally murdered. Macduff swears vengeance against Macbeth and is more determined than ever to slay him in battle.
  • Lady Macbeth sleepwalks

    Lady Macbeth sleepwalks
    A doctor is assigned to Lady Macbeth's bedside due to a strange malady that has come upon her. During the night, she sleepwalks and mutters strange statements. Her sleepwalking is due to her guilt from killing the king. The doctor mentions that he cannot cure the illness.
  • English Army Advances

    English Army Advances
    The Scottish noblemen that have fled from Macbeth meet up with the English army at Birnam Wood. Macbeth is hell-bent on protecting the castle and his title as king. Those who fight under him do it because they have to, not out of any loyalty.
  • Confident Macbeth

    Confident Macbeth
    Macbeth sits at his castle, confident from the prophecies that no harm can come to him. A messenger notifies him that ten thousand English soldiers are headed towards the castle. Macbeth puts on his armor and asks the doctor to make sure that Lady Macbeth is cured. The doctor states that the lady must find a cure herself, and then promptly leaves the castle.
  • Branches of Birnam Wood

    Branches of Birnam Wood
    The English troops are ordered to cut down part of Birnam Wood, and to use the branches as cover in order to disguise the troops from the enemy. In this way, the forest is moving to Dunsinane. It is clear that Macbeth's forces are not enough to win the battle.
  • Death of Lady Macbeth

    Death of Lady Macbeth
    Macbeth does not have enough troops to meet the opponent in battle, so he decides to stay in the castle. He doubts that the English force will be able to lay seige to the castle. Macbeth discovers that his wife has killed herself. His wife's death reminds him of fear for the first time. Macbeth finds out that Birnam Wood is coming to Dunsinane and realizes that the end is near, so he approaches the forces on horseback.
  • The Battle Begins

    The Battle Begins
    Siward and his son will lead the battle against the castle, and Malcolm and Macduff will attack from the rear. They sound the alarum and start the battle.
  • Death of Siward's Son

    Death of Siward's Son
    Macbeth admits that his situation is similar to that of a bear in a bear-baiting contest, as he is forced to fight alone. Siward's son approaches Macbeth in battle, but Macbeth has no fear since he cannot die to one of woman born. Macbeth kills Siward's son.
  • Macduff searches for Macbeth

    Macduff searches for Macbeth
    The scene shifts to Macduff in battle, and he is eager to find Macbeth and fight. Macduff wants to find Macbeth and kill him to avenge the death of his family, and he calls on fortune to let him find Macbeth.
  • Fighting Almost Over

    Fighting Almost Over
    In this scene, Malcolm and Siward are searching for Macbeth. Malcolm mentions that the thanes are fighting exceptionally well, and that the battle is almost over. All that is left is to slay Macbeth.
  • Macbeth is Slain

    Macbeth is Slain
    Macduff faces Macbeth in battle. Macbeth mocks his adversary, mentioning that he already has too much of his opponent's blood on his hands, so he will not fight him. Macduff insists on continuing the fight. Macbeth tells Macduff that he will not die to one of woman born, and Macduff reveals that he was untimely ripped from his mother's womb. Macduff slays Macbeth in the battle.
  • Hail Malcolm, King of Scotland

    Hail Malcolm, King of Scotland
    Ross tells Siward that his son was slain by Macbeth in battle. Siward is not sad; on the contrary, he is proud that his son died a soldier's death. Macduff appears with Macbeth's severed head, and Malcolm is hailed as the new king. Malcolm mentions that all the thanes will now become earls, and that Scotland will now be healed of its wounds.