Macbeth Study Guide

Macbeth

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth is a Shakespearian tragedy about Macbeth, a nobleman and renowned warrior. After witches inform him that he will be king, he travels with his companion Banquo to King Duncan's castle. Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, convinces him to kill Duncan and he obeys. After killing Banquo and others, Banquo's ghost returns to the castle, haunting Macbeth. Macbeth receives a tragic prophesy from the witches, Lady Macbeth kills herself out of guilt and King Duncan's son, Prince Malcom, invades the kingdom and kills Macbeth.

Macbeth is on his way to the King’s chambers and along the way is confronted by Banquo and his son Fleance. The two are up late, unable to sleep and Banquo explains to Macbeth that his dreams are plagued by the witches and their prophecies. The two discuss the sisters and when Banquo asks if they have revealed some “truth” toMacbeth, he replies that he has not thought on their words at all. They once again agree to talk on the matter later and they part ways. Macbeth proceeds carefully and immediately sees a dagger floating in the air pointing towards Duncan’s bed chambers. The dagger appears to have blood on it andwhen Macbeth grasps at it, he cannot take hold. He decides that it must be a manifestation of his unease over killing the King and realizes how dark and foreboding the night around him is. Finally, he hears the bell rung by Lady Macbeth signaling that the Chamberlains are sufficiently drunk.

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