In Act 5 how are the witches 3 prophecies revealed in Macbeth?

1 Answer | Add Yours

amarang9's profile pic

amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In Act IV, Scene 1, the witches summon three apparitions. The first apparition tells Macbeth to beware Macduff. The second apparition tells Macbeth that “none of woman born” shall harm him. The third apparition tells him:

Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until

Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill

Shall come against him (4.1.92-94).

In Act V, Scene 4, Malcolm orders every soldier to cut down a branch from Birnam Wood to act as camouflage. In Act V, Scene 5, a messenger reports to Macbeth that he thought he saw the Birnam wood begin to move. He saw the troops, draped in branches moving toward Dunsinane. The third prophecy is confirmed. In Scene 8, Macduff challenges Macbeth. The first prophecy is confirmed. Macduff then reveals that he was “untimely” ripped from his mother’s womb. He was born by Caesarean-section. Finally, on a verbal technicality, the second prophecy is confirmed when Macbeth is killed by Macduff.  

We’ve answered 318,983 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question