William Shakespeare's Macbeth, his famous "Scottish play" is the story of a good man turned evil by a dark ambition he cannot control.
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Macbeth

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Macbeth Play

Macbeth begins with Three Witches deciding to meet again after a battle being fought nearby. Macbeth is introduced as the brave man who led King Duncan's forces to victory against the traitorous Thane of Cawdor, Macdonwald and The King of Norway, in a battle that could have gone either way were it not for his actions. King Duncan decides to make Macbeth his new Thane of Cawdor. The previous Thane of Cawdor will be executed. Meeting Macbeth and friend Banquo, The Three Witches tell Macbeth that he will be "Thane of Glamis!", "Thane of Cawdor!" and "king hereafter" or become King of Scotland. Banquo learns his descendants shall be kings. Banquo fears the Three Witches. Macbeth privately reveals his belief in them, later questioning Banquo's feelings about his descendants becoming kings and starting to think of killing King Duncan...

King Duncan announces that his son Malcolm will be the new Prince of Cumberland. Macbeth sees Malcolm as a threat to his destiny to be king... Lady Macbeth eagerly embraces the prophecies. Fearing her husband is too weak-willed to do what needs to be done (killing King Duncan), she famously asks the gods to remove from her all signs of compassion, replacing these with ruthlessness. Learning King Duncan will stay at their castle, Lady Macbeth plans to kill him... Macbeth wrestles with his conscience, deciding against murder but his wife belittles him, threatening her love for him if he cannot kill. This wins him over, the two planning to kill Duncan in his sleep. Macbeth kills the King, his wife telling him that a little water will wash away their guilt...

News of Duncan's death reaches all at the castle. Lady Macbeth faints and Macbeth kills Duncan's two guards for his murder, largely freeing him from suspicion. Duncan's two sons flee, leaving Macbeth to be crowned the new King of Scotland, his wife, the new Queen. Banquo wonders whether his friend killed the King. Fearful that his children will not be kings, the new King arranges for Banquo and Fleance to be murdered. Banquo is killed but Fleance survives. The King later sees Banquo's Ghost at his party, causing the Queen to finish their party early such is her husband's strange behavior. Hecate scolds the Three Witches for helping an ungrateful Macbeth, telling them to use illusion and prophecy against him. The King meets the Witches, learning that he should fear Macduff, that none naturally born can harm him and that he has nothing to fear until "Great Birnam wood" moves to "high Dunsinane hill" near his castle. Learning this, he decides to kill Macduff and decides he is safe from all men and that only the impossible moving of a nearby forest to his castle can spell his doom.

Unable to kill Macduff, the King has his family murdered instead... We learn that Scotland under the tyrant's rule has been plunged into despair and that a large army is gathering against him. The Queen goes insane, making her famous speech that she cannot wipe away the blood on her hands. Meanwhile, the Tyrant's enemies led by Malcolm, gather near Dunsinane. Malcolm now orders each man to cut down a branch from the nearby Birnam Wood as his army, now camouflaged, heads towards Macbeth's castle... The Tyrant laughs off his enemies' numbers, certain of the Birnam Wood prophecy, learning that his wife has died. The King, seeing Birnam Wood moving on his castle, defiantly sets off to meet his destiny... Confronted by Macduff, the King learns that he has born by Caesarian section, the hated tyrant being slain and order being restored when Malcolm is hailed the new King of Scotland...

Contents

Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V, Scene VI, Scene VII

Act II
Scene I,
Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Act III
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V, Scene VI

Act IV
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act V
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V, Scene VI, Scene VII

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