Macbeth Study Guide


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.

The porter of the castle allows the knocking to continue for some time longer, musing on how he would porter the gates of hell and who he would let in. He finally opens the door to let in Lennox and Macduff, having arrived to prepare the King for departure. Macbeth is one of the few people in the castle still awake and leads the two men to the king’s bed chambers where they discover that the King has been murdered and the news spreads quickly. Everyone arrives, including Lady Macbeth, Duncan’s sons, and the other nobles and chaos ensues. Finally Macbeth arrives again and declares that he has killed the two chamberlains who are responsiblein his rage. Macduff declares his own wariness of the two new deaths, while Macbeth professes his fury at the death of his king as motivation for their execution. Lady Macbeth faints suddenly and is rushed free of the stage. Malcolm and Donalbian whisper to each other that they must flee to stay safe from the murderer as who ever killed their father will likely desire their deaths as well. Banquo and Macbeth gather the nobles and prepare to meet and discuss the matter of Duncan’s death.

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