Literature Study GuidesMacbethAct 3 Scene 5 Summary

Macbeth | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Act 3, Scene 5

Professor Regina Buccola of Roosevelt University provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Act 3, Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's play Macbeth.

Macbeth | Act 3, Scene 5 | Summary



The witches convene with their goddess Hecate, who is angry that they have been dealing with Macbeth without her advice. She thinks he is a bad man, but she agrees to meet with the witches and Macbeth the next day at the pit of Acheron. She plans to show him visions that will lead him to his undoing.


Hecate thinks Macbeth is unworthy of the attentions the witches have shown him. They have helped him become king, even though she thinks he is undeserving of their help and only interested in himself. She says she plans to create havoc for Macbeth by further playing on his ambition in additional visions. As in most good dramas in which the plot is sparked by a prophecy, Macbeth will attempt to flout or evade the prophecy, and Hecate knows this. Because Hecate seems unnecessary to the plot, many critics have argued that her scenes were not written by Shakespeare.

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