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Describe the four apparitions in Macbeth Act IV.

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pinkcats411 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 6, 2011 at 7:17 AM via web

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Describe the four apparitions in Macbeth Act IV.

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sarahc418 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:12 AM (Answer #1)

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The four apparitions occur in Act 4 when Macbeth seeks out the advice of the witches.

The first apparition is a vision of an armed head that says "Beware Macduff."

The second apparition is a vision of a small child, bloodied that declares that Macbeth cannot be harmed by a man born of woman.

The third apparition reveals itself to be a crowned child holding a tree and says that Macbeth can't come to harm until Birnham Wood reach Dunsinane Hill (where Macbeth lives).

Finally, the fourth apparition indicates that Banquo's descendents will be king afterall. It is a line of eight kings all with the likeness of Banquo and finally Banquo himself leering at Macbeth.

Needless to say the second and third apparitions leave Macbeth feeling pretty confident, and since Macbeth already knew Macduff was a threat, he just dispatches a murderer to Macduff's castle to kill his entire family.


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