Setting in Macbeth

How the setting affects the story throughout the acts.

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Act 1

  • The settings in act one change drastically after every scene, we start at a heath, then go to a palace, then back to the heath, and it finishes in Macbeth's castle
  • It is a dark, violent and a bloody environment in this act.

Scene 1

The setting in the first scene of Act 1 is a dark place with thunder and lighting.


  • “A camp near forres” is the title of scene two, The setting in the scene is slightly different from the one in scene one

  • Duncan is the king of Scotland and his army is in war with the Norwegian army, so we know that the atmosphere is violent

  • The war is taking place in a camp near the King’s palace, there is a sound of trumpets and soldiers fighting

  • It is a good moment for the Scottish since they just won the war, and they are ready to celebrate because they just killed the thane of Cawdor who is described as a traitor. Duncan himself describes this moment as a happy one “great happiness” in line 66, so we can assume that the atmosphere is better

Scene 3

  • Just like in the first scene, the setting and the atmosphere is similar, there is thunder and it is in a dark place

  • The witches meet again on the heath and they discuss what they have been up to

  • At this exact same place they meet with Macbeth and Banquo and gives them the prophecies

Scene 4

  • This scene takes place in Forres, in the Kings palace after the war, where Duncan is awaiting for Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus, and where he decides to make his son heir to throne.

  • The atmosphere is good since that Macbeth and Banquo are being rewarded for their bravery.

Scene 5

  • This scene takes place at Iverness where Macbeth’s castle is located, and starts with Lady Macbeth reading a letter from her husband that talks about his encounter with the three weird sisters.

  • In their room they come up with the plan to kill Duncan

Scene 6

  • This scene takes place somewhere near Iverness, where Macbeth and his wife are awaiting the arrival of The king, his sons Malcolm and Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox and the thanes Ross, Macduff, and Angus.

  • They walk with hautboys and torches

  • The castle is visible, and as soon as they walk in they are greeted by the Lady Macbeth.

Scene 7

  • This scene takes place in the dinning room where everyone is eating, and Macbeth had left because he needed to get his thoughts straight, he has a soliloquy where he expresses how he really feels about murdering the King.

  • In Macbeth's room Lady Macbeth interrupts and questions his husbands manhood for the first time and calls him a coward.

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Act 2

-Act 2 has a setting that is dark, bloody, intense and very mysterious.

-Due to the fact that it takes place in Scotland, which is a very gloomy country.

-The main setting is in the castle which is very dark and old.

Scene 1

-This scene takes place in the castle hall way, Macbeth is on his way to kill King Duncan.

-Also in the room of King Duncan.

Scene 2

-This scene takes place in the room of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth.

-The two are trying to clean up the blood and the daggers and they're running back and forth from room to bathroom.

Scene 3

-This scene takes place at the gates of the castle with the guards encountering Banquo.

Scene 4

-The last scene takes place at the castle where the crowning of new King Macbeth is happening.

-This scene has a lot of fear and suspicion running through the characters.

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Act 3

Act 3 displays deception throughout the scenes.

Scene 1

- Macbeth speaks to Banquo on a friendly basis in the beginning of the scene

- Later on in the scene Macbeth makes a deal with murderers to kill Banquo and his son

Scene 2

- Macbeth usually cooperates with Lady Macbeth in his plans

- Instead Macbeth keeps his plan to himself and doesn't tell Lady Macbeth about it

Scene 4

- Macbeth is completely freaking out because he "see's" Banquo's ghost in the dinning room of the feast

- Lady Macbeth tells the guest that Macbeth simply is not feeling well

- But really Macbeth illusions are due to his guilt on the death of Banquo

Scene 5

- The Three witches meet along with Hecate

- The witches have been helping Macbeth until this point

- Hecate is frustrated and decides that Macbeth does not deserve there help

- Hecate now seeks to deceit Macbeth by ordering the three witches to tell him a false prophecy

Act 4

Act 4 shows us how much Scotland has changed and the characters in it have changed since act 1.

Scene 1

- Takes place in a Cavern, which represents dark magic that surrounds the witches.

-Scene 1 shows us much Macbeth has changed.

-Macbeth receives a promise from the apparitions.

Scene 2

-Takes place in fife.

-Atmosphere of the Macbeth household vs Macduff's.

-How dangerous Scotland is under Macbeth's rule.

Scene 3

-Takes place in England, which has much better leadership than Scotland.

-Malcom and Macduff plot out how they are going to reclaim Scotland.

-Appearance vs reality "But Macbeth is. A good virtuous nature shall recoil. In an Imperial charge" ( 84; par. 21).

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Act 5

Act 5 in Macbeth has a lot of crucial changes to the setting that affect characters and their roles.

Scene 1

-Scene takes place in Dunsinane.

- Biggest character change of the story takes place.

-Lady Macbeth change in demeanour creates a creepy atmosphere feeling.

Scene 2

-A Scottish army joins up with the large English army.

-Creates a feeling of hope and worry at the same time.

Scene 3

-Soldiers deserting Macbeth seems to have no effect on him.

-Macbeth doesn't care about what's happening to his wife. This shows he doesn't care about what happens to the people of Scotland.

Scene 4

-Uprising gives the setting a feeling a hope.

-The setting of Scotland during the ruling of Macbeth has forced Malcom to take a leadership role.

Scene 5

-Macbeth doesn't care that his wife has died which shows he doesn't care about anyone but himself. The castle of Dunsinane has turned into a place of emptiness.

Scene 6

-Malcom and the English army enter the castle. The castle will now be filled with hope and justice.

Scene 7

- Macbeth kills young Siward and feels no guilt.

Scene 8

-Macbeth is defeated and the dark emptiness of Scotland ends.

-Malcom takes over and can now restore the country to the way it was when his dad ruled.

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Scotland wast an hounarable country. landeth of peace and prosperity. I hath used to loveth our state. Until the Tyrant tooketh over. He did turn our land hostile. People were murdered to satisfyeth his broken ambition and blood lust. Scotland was't a poisoned and corrupt land. That was until Malcolm and Macduff slayed the beast. Now all of Scotland couldst rest and hast a feast.
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MACBETH at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre