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.

Macbeth fights vigorously, pompous in that he knows no man born of woman can kill him. He slays a lord’s son and disappears into the fray. Macduff appears from the battle, searching frantically for Macbeth, wanting to personally see to his death. He then disappears back into the battle. Malcolm and Siward arrive again and enter the castle. Macbeth and Macduff finally confront each other and fight.Macbeth announces that no man can kill him of a woman’s womb. However, Macduff announces that he was torn from his mother’s womb (through surgery) and Macbeth immediately fears for his life, but will not surrender to Macduff. The two exit the stage fighting. Malcolm and Siward enter the castleafter conquering it and confront Ross with the news that Macbeth has killed Siward’s son. Macduff soon after arrives with Macbeth’s head on a pole and declares Malcolm King of Scotland. Honoring the English system of nobility, Malcolm names all of his Thanes as Earls and curses Macbeth and his queen. He then calls for all of his subjects to attend him at the coronation at Scone and the plays ends.

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