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The Tragedy of Macbeth

William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Short Biography
● Born on 23rd of April 1564 in England

● Married Anne Hathaway and had 3 children, Susanna, Hamnet

and Juliet

● Wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets

● His well-known plays are Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Romeo

and Juliet, King Lear and A Mid Summer’s Night Dream.

● Died in 1616, aged 52.

● Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy,
and very likely, the most reworked of all
Shakespeare's plays.[Scottish Play]

● Some of the play was assumed to be

actually written by a contemporary of
Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton and edited
by some modern writers.
Historical Background It was written in 1605 or 1606
and performed at Hampton Court
in 16o6 for King James I and his
brother-in-law, King Christian
of Denmark.

Material for Macbeth was drawn

from Raphael Holinshed’s
Chronicles of England, Scotland
and Ireland.
Was there really a macbeth?

• Macbeth was a real king of eleventh-century Scotland,

whose history Shakespeare had read in several sources,
principally the Chronicles of Holinshed, to which he
referred for many of his other historical dramas.
The Setting
The general setting of Macbeth
is in Northern Scotland and

The only Shakespearean play

set in Scotland.

King James VI of Scotland was

crowned King James I of
England, just a few years
before the play was written.
The Rise and Fall of
a Great Man
The Summary
The play takes place in
Scotland. Duncan, the king of
Scotland, is at war with the
king of Norway. As the play
opens, he learns of Macbeth's
bravery in a victorious battle
against Macdonald—a Scot who
sided with the Norwegians. At
the same time, news arrives
concerning the arrest of the
treacherous Thane of Cawdor.
Duncan decides to give the
title of Thane of Cawdor to
• As Macbeth and Banquo return
home from battle, they meet
three witches.
• The 3 witched make these
- Macbeth will earn noble
titles.[ Thane of Cawdor]
- Banquo will produce a line of
kings. [father of kings]
- Macbeth will be King of
• Then, the witches vanish, and
a messenger appears to tell
Macbeth that King Duncan has
just given him a noble title.
• Upon hearing this, Macbeth
begins to contemplate the
murder of Duncan in order
to realize the witches’

• While Duncan is asleep,

Macbeth killed him. And
Lady Macbeth frames
Duncan's sleeping servants
for the murder by placing
bloody daggers on them.
• The next morning, the murder is
blamed on the guards.
• Macbeth kills them before they
can protest, explaining that he
killed them out of rage.
• The king’s sons, however, are
still fearful for their lives
and runaway.
• Macbeth is crowned king. Macbeth
knows that Banquo is suspicious
of him so he sends men out to
kill them, unfortunately
Banquo’s son escapes.
• Meanwhile, at Macbeth’s ball,
the seat for Banquo is empty
(because he’s dead). In the
empty seat, the ghost of Banquo
appears, frightening Macbeth to
Macbeth also learns that King Duncan’s son Malcolm and
Lord Macduff are attempting to kill him. Unsure of what to
do, Macbeth visits the three witches again. The witches,
along with the moon goddess Hecate, have planned what they
will tell Macbeth in order to destroy him. They prepare a
brew, singing "Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn
and cauldron bubble." When Macbeth arrives, they give him a
false hope, telling him three things. First, beware of
Macduff. Second, "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth."
Third, Macbeth will not be conquered until Birnam wood comes
to the hill of Dunsinane. They also tell Macbeth that
Banquo’s descendents will become kings.
Have you ever felt guilty over a
ACT 5 : scene 1
● At the Scottish royal home of Dunsinane, a gentlewoman has
summoned a doctor to observe Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking. The
doctor reports that he has watched her for two nights now and has
yet to see anything strange. The gentlewoman describes how she has
seen Lady Macbeth rise, dress, leave her room, write something on
a piece of paper, read it, seal it, and return to bed—all without
waking up. The gentlewoman dares not repeat what Lady Macbeth says
while thus sleepwalking.
● The two are interrupted by a sleepwalking Lady Macbeth, who enters
carrying a candle. The gentlewoman reports that Lady Macbeth asks
to have a light by her all night. The doctor and the gentlewoman
watch as Lady Macbeth rubs her hands as if washing them and says :
Lady Macbeth:

“Out, damned spot, out, I say. ... One, two — why,

then, 'tis time to do't. ... Hell is murky. ... Fie, my
lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard! What need we
fear who knows it, when none can call our power to
account? ... Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him? “
Lady Macbeth:

“The Thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? ...

What, will these hands ne'er be clean? ... No more o'
that, my lord, no more o' that; you mar all with
this starting.”
Foul whisperings are abroad. Unnatural deeds
Do breed unnatural troubles; infected minds,
To their deaf pillows, will discharge their secrets.
More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all. Look after her;
Remove from her the means of all annoyance,
And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night.
My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.
I think, but dare not speak.
ACT 5 : scene 2

● The thanes Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Lennox march

with a company of soldiers toward Birnam Wood, where they
will join Malcolm and the English army. They claim that
they will "purge" the country of Macbeth's sickening
ACT 5 : scene 3

● At Dunsinane, Macbeth tires of hearing reports of nobles

who have defected to join the English forces. He feels
consoled, however, by the witches' prophesy that he has
nothing to fear until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane, or
until he counters a man not born of woman. Since both of
the events seem impossible, Macbeth feels invincible.
Macbeth: Bring me no more reports; let them fly all.
Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane,
I cannot taint with fear. What's the boy Malcolm?
Was he not born of woman? The spirits, that know
All mortal consequences, have pronounced me thus.
'Fear not, Macbeth; no man that's born of woman
Shall e'er have power upon thee.' Then fly, false thanes,
And mingle with the English epicures.
The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear,
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
ACT 5 : scene 3 continuation…
● A servant enters with the news that the enemy has rallied a
thousand men but Macbeth sends him away, scolding him for
cowardice. After calling for his servant Seyton to help him put on
his armor, Macbeth demands the doctor’s prognosis about Lady
Macbeth. The doctor replies that she is “not so sick” but troubled
with visions (39). In some way or other, she must cure herself of
these visions—an answer that displeases Macbeth. As attendants put
on his armor, he declares that he would applaud the doctor if he
could analyze the country's urine and therein derive a medicine for
Lady Macbeth. Abruptly, Macbeth leaves the room, professing once
again that he will not fear “death and bane” until Birnam Wood
comes to Dunsinane (61). Aside, the doctor confesses that he would
like to be as far away from Dunsinane as possible.
ACT 5 : scene 4
● Malcolm, Siward, lennox, Macduff, Mentieth, Caithness,
and Angus march toward Birnam Wood. As they approach the
forest, Malcolm instructs the soldiers to cut off
branches and hold them up in order to disguise their
numbers. Siward informs Malcolm that Macbeth confidently
holds Dunsinane, waiting for their arrival. Malcolm
comments that almost all of Macbeth’s men have deserted
him. The army marches on.
ACT 5 : scene 5
● Macbeth orders his men to hang his banners on the outer
walls of the castle, claiming that it will hold until the
attackers die of famine. If only the other side were not
reinforced with men who deserted him, he claims, he would
not think twice about rushing out to meet the English
army head-on. Upon hearing the cry of a woman within,
Macbeth comments that he has almost forgotten the taste
of fears. Seyton returns and announces the death of Lady
Macbeth. Seemingly unfazed, Macbeth comments that she
should have died later, at a more appropriate time. He
stops to muse on the meaning of life:
Macbeth: She should have died hereafter —
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
ACT 5 : scene 5 continuation…

● A messenger enters and reports that he has seen something

unbelievable: as he looked out toward Birnam Wood, it
appeared that the forest began to move toward the castle.
Macbeth is stunned and begins to fear that the witch's
words may come true after all. He instructs his men to
ring the alarm.
ACT 5 : scene 6
● Malcolm’s army arrives at Macbeth’s castle. The soldiers
are told to throw down their camouflage (the branches)
and show their strength. Malcolm then orders Siward and
his son to lead the attack, with Malcolm and Macduff
directing the forces in the rear.
ACT 5 : scene 7
● Macbeth feels concerned. He cannot escape, but he
remains confident because of the second prophecy—no one
born of a woman can harm him. Young Siward challenges
him and is killed. Macbeth takes this as a confirmation
of the prophecy.

● Macduff appears, frantically searching for Macbeth.

Macduff shouts a challenge to Macbeth, swearing to avenge
the death of his wife and children. As he exist, he asks
Fortune to help him find Macbeth.

Thou losest labour.

As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.

Despair thy charm,

And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee — Macduff was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripped.
Macbeth: Macduff:
Accursed be that tongue that tells me so, Then yield thee, coward,
For it hath cowed my better part of man. And live to be the show and gaze o' the
And be these juggling fiends no more time.
believed, We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters
That palter with us in a double sense — are,
That keep the word of promise to our ear, Painted on a pole, and underwrit,
And break it to our hope. I'll not fight 'Here may you see the tyrant.'
with thee.
ACT 5 : scene 8
● Macbeth, refusing to give up while other believes that he
can take, finally faces Macduff. They fight and Macduff
appears to be losing. Macbeth brags that he cannot be
vanquished by one of woman born and offers to let Macduff
go unharmed. It is at this point that Macduff announces
that he was “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb. A
caesarian birth was not considered natural, and therefore
Macduff technically was not born of a woman.
ACT 5 : scene 8 continuation…
● When Macbeth hears this, he refuses to resume the fight
with Macduff. He soon changes his mind when he realizes
what his fate will be if he were to be taken alive.
Macduff kills Macbeth and drags his body off stage.

● Malcolm and Siward appear and the latter learns that his
son has been killed. Macduff then enters with Macbeth’s
severed head. Malcolm is declared the new King of
Scotland. He quickly deals with the matters at hand and
the play ends with the natural order of the universe
being restored.
The Main Characters
Macbeth: brave general under
Duncan who becomes too
ambitious after three witches
prophesy that he will be King
of Scotland. He turns to evil,
killing the King, the guards,
Banquo, and others. Macbeth
dies at the hands of Macduff.
The Main Characters
Lady Macbeth: vicious wife of
Macbeth, even more ambitious
than Macbeth. She convinces
Macbeth to murder the King.
Later, she becomes insane from
her wrongdoings and sleepwalks.
She dies.
The Main Characters
Macduff: general, believes that
Macbeth killed the King. His
family is murdered by Macbeth;
he later kills Macbeth.

Banquo: Macbeth’s friend and

general, suspected Macbeth of
killing the King. He is killed
by murderers sent by Macbeth,
though his son escapes.
The Main Characters
King Duncan: King of Scotland,
murdered by Macbeth who was one
of his generals whom he had
just promoted.

Malcolm: Duncan’s eldest son,

runs away to England after he
learns of his father’s murder
in order to escape the same
fate. Becomes King of Scotland
at the end of the play.
The Main Characters
The three witches: They tell
Macbeth that he is to become
King, leading him to evil. They
also tell him that he will be
defeated, but they disguise it
in a way as to give him false
Greediness of Macbeth and his wife
over the throne, to be King of the

The betrayal of Macbeth to his
king, King Duncan, and his friend,
● The words blood and night (or
forms of them, such as bloody
and tonight) occur more than

Fascinating 40 times each in Macbeth.

● Other commonly occurring

Facts words that help maintain the

mood of the play are
terrible, horrible, black,
devil, and evil.
“the course of
Moral of
fate cannot
the story
be changed”
● This drama can be a good reflection for nowadays
situation. Many people are blinded by wealth and position
which lead them to the greediness. They do everything to
get what they want and they do not bother to think
whether it is right or wrong.

● This drama tells us many things to be learned. We can

have an ambition but don’t let the ambition blind you. An
ambition can makes you stronger but if you let the
ambition overwhelms it can destroy you without mercy and
drive you crazy.
Presented by:
Garcia, Ma. Gelene U.


Miss Evangeline Moog