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An analysis of the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare

“Macbeth”

Macbeth and Banquo, Scottish generals, are returning after crushing a rebellion against Duncan ( King of Scotland ), when they are met by three witches. The witches prophesy that Macbeth will become thane of Cawdor , then later on he will become King. Banquo is told that he will never become King, but will be the father of Kings. Macbeth is horrified, for shortly afterwards a messenger arrives to tell him that Duncan has created him Thane of Cawdor as a reward for his services. Macbeth writes the news to his wife. Lady Macbeth reads the letter from Macbeth, telling her of the prophecies. With reading this she chooses to invite evil spirits into her to take away her womanhood, she wants to lose her tenderness that is normally associated with womanhood so that she can help her husband to get the crown. Duncan and his followers then arrive at the Castle for a Banquet, to honour Macbeth further, they remark on how peaceful it looks. After the Banquet when everyone goes off to bed, Macbeth murders Duncan.

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When finding out of the death, Duncan’s two sons fled fearing for their lives, Malcolm headed towards England and Donabain to Ireland. Macbeth sends two murderers to kill Banquo, for he fears that the witches prophecies about Banquo will come true too. Macbeth is scared and confused at the second Banquet celebrating the coronation, for he sees the ghost of Banquo sitting in his seat, everyone thinks he is mad, though Lady Macbeth saves her husband from revealing her guilt to the guests. Macbeth goes and visits the witches again asking for another prophecy and they tell him three things. (1) to beware Macduff, (2) not to fear any man born of women, (3) that he will not die unless Birnam Wood moves towards Dunsaine Castle.

Macbeth is later informed that Macduff has gone to England, so he then plans to kill all of Macduff’s family. Macduffs family are murdered, Macduff hears of the terrible news and plans revenge against Macbeth. The Scottish contingent are marching to meet the English forces led by Malcolm and Macduff, to make their attack on Macbeth. Macbeth learns that there are ten thousand soldiers after him and that his wife had died ( or killed herself ).

The English army arrives at Birnam Wood and Malcolm instructs each solider to cut down a branch and carry it in front of them to disguise their approach. A servant tells Macbeth that he had seen the wood move, he goes and looks for himself and realises that one of the prophecies has come true. The army throw down their branches and prepare for battle. Macbeth kills Siward. Macduff faces Macbeth and reveals to him that he was born by Caesarean section. The prophecies of the witches are fulfilled, Macduff arrives with the head of Macbeth. Malcolm is proclaimed King.

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