Macbeth: by Shakespeare - Summary

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      Macbeth is a by William Shakespeare, published, in an imperfect text, in the First Folio of 1623. The main source is Holinshed’s Chronicles. In turning to Scottish history and particularly in presenting a sympathetic portrait of Banquo, legendary ancestor of the Stuart kings, Shakespeare clearly intended some flattery to James I; the play also appealed to the king’s well-known interest in witchcraft.

      Macbeth begins with Scotland tom by rebellion. King Duncan’s threatened army is rescued by the gallantry of his two generals, Macbeth and Banquo. On their way back to the king, they are confronted by three witches, who prophesy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland and that Banquo’s sons will be kings. Almost at once Macbeth learns that his bravery has been rewarded by his proclamation as Thane of Cawdor. His thoughts are conveyed to his wife in a letter, which also reports Duncan’s intention to visit Macbeth in his castle at Inverness. Lady Macbeth immediately resolves to have him killed. She overrides Macbeth’s hesitation and has the presence of mind to prepare an alibi after Macbeth has killed the king. Suspicion falls immediately on Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, and grows stronger when they flee from Scotland.

      Having—become king, Macbeth feels no safety. Remembering the witches’ prophecy, he resolves to kill Banquo and his son, but the murderers botch their task and the son escapes. Weighed down by guilt and sleeplessness, Macbeth seeks out the witches and takes comfort from their assurance that he will not be defeated until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Castle and that no man born of woman can harm him. But Scotland is suffering under his guilty reign and Macduff, the powerful Thane of Fife, seeks out Malcolm in England. The angry Macbeth orders the slaughter of Macduff's family.

      The play’s last movement begins as Malcolm’s army advances on Macbeth’s castle. Distraught with guilt. Lady Macbeth walks and talks in her sleep, betraying the secret of Duncan’s murder. But Macbeth is now isolated even from her. He has only the assurance of the witches to protect him from despair. When Malcolm instructs his army to cut branches from Birnam Wood to camouflage their attack on Dunsinane, Macbeth leams that the wood is, indeed, coming to the castle. He is killed by Macduff, having discovered that Macduff was not ‘born’ but ‘untimely ripped’ from his mother’s womb. Macduff establishes Malcolm on the Scottish throne.

     Only at the very end of the play does Macbeth’s behavior recall the heroism of his defense of Duncan. Attaining of the throne brings him no joy, nor even contentment. For the original audience, his passage towards damnation would have been clear, and there is contemporary evidence that the appearance of the witches and of Banquo’s ghost was theatrically impressive the playing certainly provides scope for speculator saying and is outstanding amount the great tragedies for the vigor of its storytelling and splendor of its famous so lilocuis.

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