A line-by-line translation

Macbeth

Macbeth Translation Table of Contents

Now you can read Macbeth alongside a modern translation that anyone can understand. Use the translation to enrich your understanding of Shakespeare's original and avoid getting bogged down in archaic language.

Act 1, Scene 1

The three witches gather and make plans to meet with Macbeth.

Act 1, Scene 2

Norway has invaded Scotland. Macbeth and Banquo have skillfully won a battle. The Thane of Cawdor has been shamed.

Act 1, Scene 3

The witches surprise Macbeth and Banquo and deliver their prophecy--part of which is immediately proven true.

Act 1, Scene 4

Duncan thanks Macbeth and Banquo, declares Malcolm as his heir, and says that he will visit Macbeth's castle.

Act 1, Scene 5

Lady Macbeth hears about Macbeth's victories, the witches' prophecies, and Duncan's visit. She plots Duncan's death.

Act 1, Scene 6

Lady Macbeth welcomes Duncan to her and Macbeth's castle.

Act 1, Scene 7

Macbeth feels unsure about murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth urges him on, saying they should blame it on the guards.

Act 2, Scene 1

Macbeth meets Banquo, who says how pleased Duncan has been with Macbeth's hospitality.

Act 2, Scene 2

Macbeth has killed Duncan. Lady Macbeth takes the murder weapons from him and places them in Duncan's room.

Act 2, Scene 3

Macduff comes to escort the king, but discovers his murder. Macbeth kills the framed guards. Donalbain and Malcolm flee.

Act 2, Scene 4

Macduff tells Ross that Duncan's sons seem guilty of his murder because they have fled. Macbeth will take the throne.

Act 3, Scene 1

Macbeth is king, but fears the witches' prophecy about Banquo. Macbeth hires assassins to kill Banquo and Fleance.

Act 3, Scene 2

Banquo and Fleance unwittingly head into Macbeth's trap. Macbeth worries, but becomes assured that Banquo can be killed.

Act 3, Scene 3

The murderers ambush Banquo and Fleance, but only manage to kill Banquo. Fleance survives, fleeing in the darkness.

Act 3, Scene 4

The Scottish nobles have a feast. One of the murderers informs Macbeth of Banquo's fate. Banquo's ghost haunts Macbeth.

Act 3, Scene 5

Hecate scolds the witches for not involving her in their trickery. She plans to lead Macbeth to his destruction.

Act 3, Scene 6

Lennox and a lord discuss how Malcolm has fled to the English court. Macduff refuses to respond to Macbeth.

Act 4, Scene 1

Macbeth visits the witches again and hears prophecies from three apparitions. Macbeth learns that Macduff has fled.

Act 4, Scene 2

Lady Macduff learns that her husband has fled. Murderers come and kill her child in front of her. They chase her.

Act 4, Scene 3

Macduff tries to bring Malcolm back to Scotland. Ross tells Macduff that every member of his household has been killed.

Act 5, Scene 1

A doctor has been sent for to see Lady Macbeth. Her guilty conscience causes her to sleepwalk and talk in her sleep.

Act 5, Scene 2

The exiled Scottish lords march toward Macbeth's castle, which he is fortifying, and prepare for war.

Act 5, Scene 3

Macbeth hears that the English army is approaching, and prepares for war. He asks the doctor how Lady Macbeth is doing.

Act 5, Scene 4

Malcolm's faction approaches Macbeth's castle. Malcolm tells his soldiers to carry branches, fulfilling the prophecy.

Act 5, Scene 5

Macbeth prepares for the siege. He learns that Lady Macbeth has died, and hears that the forest seems to be moving.

Act 5, Scene 6

Malcolm commands his soldiers to attack.

Act 5, Scene 7

Macbeth cannot escape the castle. Macbeth fights and kills Young Siward. Macduff chases after Macbeth.

Act 5, Scene 8

Macbeth fights Macduff. Macbeth is killed and beheaded. Malcolm is proclaimed King of Scotland.
Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.