The fourth scene begins with Duncan reporting that the Thane of Cawdor has been executed due to betraying his country. He goes on to thank Macbeth and Banquo for there heroism in the battle. King Duncan then announces that Malcolm shall be the The Prince of Cumberland for his nobleness and loyalty. Macbeth congratulates him however he is deeply upset as Malcolm now stands between him and the crown. Plans are then made for Duncan to dine at Macbeth’s castle.
Duncan’s virtuous behaviour towards Macbeth may be as they have fort along side each other in previous battles. It also says in the previous scene that Macbeth is a well respected man. It says O worthiest cousin! This also shows how highly Duncan thinks of Macbeth.
There are also many dramatic irony’s with in the play to intensify the drama and convey Macbeth. Firstly the audience is aware that Macbeth shall be king and will stop at nothing. However the characters are unaware and think he is generally happy for Malcolm. They have no idea he shall be king apart from Banquo, Angus and Ross as they were with him when the witches looked into his future. He is also said to be very loyal however the audience knows his loyalty shall be tested later on in the play. He has growing murderous intentions this may intrigue the audience as they know there shall be conflict in the later scenes of the play.
Within scene four, Shakespeare emphasizes the early threat made by the three weird sisters within the opening scene of the play that appearances can be deceptive.
Once Malcolm is announced to be heir to the throne, Macbeth has murderous plots to overtake King Duncan. Lady Macbeth was also heart set for Macbeth to be king therefore she tried to persuade him to act as soon as possible. He grabbed a dagger and marched to King Duncan’s chamber where he was asleep. He plunged the dagger through the king’s heart and then carried on to where the servants slept. He killed them both in an attempt to frame them, however meanwhile Malcolm and Donalbain ran away as they believed they would get the blame. This was handy for Macbeth as Malcolm is now out of the picture therefore Macbeth is announced king.
If Macbeth’s murder was not tragic enough, he decides to get Malcolm and his son knocked off as the witches told them Banquos son would be king. However Macbeth wanted his descendants to carry on the throne. This did not go to plan as Banquo’s son ran away from the hit man and ever since he had been murdered, Macbeth lost his mind and kept seeing visions of Banquos ghost.
He then decides to pay another visit to the witches. He is told that no one born from a woman can harm him and that he can’t be beaten until great Birnam wood comes to his castle. However he was also told to beware Macduff.
Thinking that Macduff is a threat he goes to have him killed. This was not possible though as he had ran off to England so he decides to have his wife and child killed instead. Meanwhile Macduff and Malcolm are conjuring up a plan to overtake Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth was having a guilty conscience and ended up committing suicide. Macbeth was obviously very upset about this but what he didn’t know is there was an army heading towards his castle. They all used a branch to camouflage themselves against Macbeth so he could not see there numbers. Hence Birnham wood was going to his castle. When they finally got there he had a big battle with young Siward. This time Macbeth defeated him however his next challenge was much greater as he had to fight Macduff. Macbeth however thought he would win it as he was told no one born from a woman could beat him. This was true as Macduff’s mother had a caesarean. Therefore Macbeth was very wrong. After the long battle Macduff won by beheading him with his sword. The play ends by Malcolm finally becoming the king of Scotland.