The moment of highest tension or suspense in a play, novel, short story, or narrative poem at which the crisis comes to its point of greatest intensity and is resolved; thus, the point after which all action moves to a resolution. It is usually the crux of a work, when the major conflict can proceed no further without beginning the process of resolution.
Because action and intensity necessarily decline after the climax, as does the emotional response from a reader or spectator, it usually represents the turning point in the action.
Readers and critics have differed dramatically over the years as they have tried to identify the turning point of the play–i.e., the climax. There are many points when Macbeth appears to have reached the point of no return but when is his primary conflict resolved?
Some moments that have been considered to be the climax of Macbeth:
Macbeth’s murder of Duncan in Act II represents the point of no return, after which Macbeth is forced to continue butchering his subjects to avoid the consequences of his crime.
At the end of III, iv, Macbeth’s guilt is brought upon him by Banquo’s ghost, and he declares that he is “in blood stepped in so far” that, even if he killed no one else, “returning were as tedious as go over”—i.e., he is too deep into his bad deeds to turn back.
The climax is when Fleance runs away. That’s when Macbeth's loses the chance to "defeat" the predictions of the "weird" sisters.
It is not Fleance running away that marks the climax, but the murderer informing Macbeth that Banquo is dead but Fleance escaped, which causes Macbeth to fall back into disorder (“Then comes my fit again.”)
The climax occurs during Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, when she tries to wash the blood from her hands.
The climax is Macbeth's fight with Macduff when he realizes he can in fact die and all his treachery and destruction have been for nothing –Act V, scene viii. (Of course the climax is at the end; Shakespeare...