What Happens at the End of Macbeth?
At the end of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth commits suicide, Macduff kills Macbeth and Malcolm is hailed King of Scotland. Throughout the 11 scenes in Act V, Macbeth and his wife show that their sanity has been compromised while Macduff, Malcolm and an English-Scottish coalition prepare to war against the castle. Macbeth exceedingly relies on the Weird Sisters’ predictions regarding his future, and Lady Macbeth begins sleepwalking as guilt torments her.
The fifth act opens with Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking and attempting to scrub her hands clean of the blood she envisions there. The next scene shows the Scottish lords strategizing war against Macbeth. Scene three has Macbeth preparing for battle, declaring he is unafraid of the approaching army because of the weird sisters’ predictions that “no man of woman born” shall harm him and that he will not fall until “Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane.” He becomes enraged with news of the army. He puts on, then takes off his armor again and insists that the doctor cure his wife of her ill mind.
Scene four has the lords carrying boughs from Birnam Wood to Dunsinane, fulfilling one of the prophecies for Macbeth’s downfall. Lady Macbeth kills herself in scene five, to which Macbeth has little response. He also hears of Birnam Wood’s movement, but clings to the “no man of woman born” prediction. Scenes 6, 7 and 8 are battle scenes in which Macbeth kills many around himself before disappearing. Macduff and Macbeth meet in scene 10, where Macbeth learns that Macduff was “from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped” while they battle. In scene 11, Macduff emerges with Macbeth’s head; Malcolm curses Macbeth and his queen, makes all the thanes earls and invites them all to see him crowned at Scone.