Act 3, scene i Summary:
At Forres, Banquo think about the three witches' prophecy and suspects Macbeth helped himself achieve his new crown and wonders about his own fate that the witches predicted. If Macbeth's prophecy came true why wouldn't his. Macbeth enters as king alongside Lady Macbeth and his court.Macbeth asks Banquo to attend the cermonial banquet they are having that night; Banquo accepts but says he will be going for a ride in the afternoon first. Macbeth stresses Banquo is needed in order to discuss the murderers, Duncan's sons who have fled. He is worried they will plot against him to steal his crown. Banquo leaves and Macbeth dismisses the others until dinner that evening. Macbeth is left alone with his servant and questions if the men are still waiting for him. The servant responds yes and he Macbeth demands he bring the men to him. The servant leaves and Macbeth and thinks to himself that even though he's king, it doesn't matter unless he's safe. He fears Banquo and remembers the witches' prophecy that Banquo's children will become kings but not his own. He thinks his sins will be a waste if he is unable to pass his crown down. The servant returns with the two men who are murderers whom Macbeth has hired to kill Banquo and his son. He reminds them that Banquo has made their life hell and asks if they are angry enough to take revenge on him. Both men agree they are. Macbeth explains Banquo is his enemy too but he can't since they have similar friends and he needs to keep his real plans from the public. He tells them he provide details within the hour but they must remember to kill Fleance, his son, as well.
Act 3, scene ii Summary:
Somewhere else in the castle Lady Macbeth says it's no good getting what you want if you're not happy. She sends a servant to fetch Macbeth. He enters and explains that even though they killed Duncan it's not over; there will be new threats to deal with and he keeps having nightmares about everything. He claims he'd rather be dead because then at least he would be at peace and not feel so tormented. Macbeth tells his wife to be extra nice to Banquo this evening at the ceremony because he has something planned and they need to maintain Banquo's trust and friendship. She asks what his plans are but Macbeth responds saying it's better she doesn't know just yet.
Act 3, scene iii Summary:
The two murderers are joined with a third in a wooded park outside the palace. The three wait for the Banquo and Fleance to appear. Father and son approach and the murderers attack them. Banquo dies ordering Fleance to someday get revenge. Fleance escapes.The murderers leave to go tell Macbeth what has happened.
Act 3, scene iv Summary:
The stage is set for a banquet. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth enter, along with their court. As Macbeth is mingling with his guests the first murderer appears at the doorway. Macbeth approaches him and notes there is blood on his face. The murderer tells him Banquo is killed but Fleance got away. Macbeth once again is nervous about losing his throne. Upon returning to his guests, Macbeth finds Banquo's ghost sitting in his chair. He's terrified and speaks aloud to the ghost. No one else can see him. Lady Macbeth makes excuses for her husband saying he has sometimes has "visions" ever since he was a child and everyone should just ignore him. Quietly she asks Macbeth if he's a man and tells him to get his act together. The ghost disappears and Macbeth comes back to reality, telling his guests that he has a strange disorder but don't be alarmed. As Macbeth is making a toast to the missing Banquo, the ghost reappears once again in Macbeth's seat. Macbeth demands the ghost leaves and Lady Macbeth is forced again to make excuses for her husband's strange behaviour. She requests everyone leaves and the ghost vanishes. Macbeth is left alone with his wife and he questions Macduff's intentions for never coming when Macbeth calls on him. He worries about treason and decides to visit the witches again tomorrow to hopefully learn about his future. He vowes to do whatever it takes to keep his throne.
Act 3, scene v Summary:
The three witches are seen meeting with Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. Hecate is upset with them for messing with Macbeth without consulting her first and decides she will take over as supervisor of the mischief. She tells them to meet her in the morning. They know Macbeth will be coming to learn his future and they are to summon visions and spirits that will give Macbeth a false sense of security about keeping his crown. He will be fooled into thinking he is greater than fate and overconfidence is man's greatest enemy. Hecate vanishes and the witches leave to prepare their spells.
Act 3, scene vi Summary:
Lennox and another lord walk together, discussing all the strange happenings lately to the kingdom. Lennox sarcastically comments on Macbeth's "sadness" to all the horrific crimes. They both suspect Macbeth is the true villian. The lord explains Malcolm is living in the English court and Macduff went there to ask King Edward for help. He wants to form an alliance with the people of Northumberland and with the help of Lord Siward hopefully they can defeat Macbeth and take back his crown that he wrongfully stole.