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.

Macduff and Malcolm stand outside of Edward’s castle in England and Malcolm decides he must test Macduff to see if he is loyal to the crown and to him. He begins to declare how he is unfit for the crown, listing his vices and his issues with leadership. Macduff eventually breaks down and announces that Malcolm is indeed unfit to rule the country, proving that he is loyal. Malcolm then announces that he was lying to Macduff and that the latter has proven himself. Soon afterward, Ross arrives and tells the two that everything is well with Macduff’s family and that they should return to Scotland to see to the country since it has goneinto such disarray with Macbeth as the king. When Malcolm announces that he will only return with 10,000 English troops, Ross breaks down and admits that Macduff’s family has been murdered. Macduff, crushed with grief, is urged by Malcolm to turn his grief to anger and unleash it upon Macbeth.

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