Macbeth Essay, Research Paper
Chanan Davis Extra Credit
The play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragedy. It takes place in Scotland in Medieval times during the feudal system. This play shows how the evil of a person can overpower his good inclination and commit murder. In the play, Macbeth, a nobleman and general in the king’s army, slays the king and other noblemen’s families.
Macbeth and Banquo, brave and noble generals in the army of the gracious King Duncan of Scotland, have been successful in putting down a rebellion led by Macdonwald and the thane of Cawdor. While crossing a heath, they are met by three witches, who hail Macbeth as thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and king in the future. When Banquo also demands a prophecy, the witches tell him that he will bring about kings even though he won’t be one. The mysterious creatures vanish, but part of their prophecy is immediately acknowledged when two noblemen coming from the King greet Macbeth with the title of the rebel thane of Cawdor, who has been destined to die. This partial fulfillment of the witches’ prophecy, and the advancement of King Duncan’s son Malcolm to the title of Prince of Cumberland, combine to prepare Macbeth’s plot to murder the King. In Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife, he finds an equal plotter more determined than he is. When Duncan and his sons come as guests to Macbeth’s castle, luck seems to have played a role in the hands of the determined nobleman and his wife.
Banquo, inspired by the witches’ prophecy that his descendants will be monarchs; he tries to resist the temptation to hurry the event. Macbeth, does quite the opposite, he takes advantage of the opportunity of the King’s visit to his castle. With the help of his wife, they poison the grooms of the King’s bedchamber, and stab the sleeping king, to death. When the murder is discovered on the following day, Macbeth shows great grief and anger. To distract suspicion from himself, he kills the grooms as though furious by their denial of the deed. Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s sons, fear and flee the country; and Macbeth, as next in power, is crowned King.
Knowing that the noble Banquo suspects him of the murder of the King, and because he is also jealous of General Macbeth, because of the witches’ prophecy. Macbeth invites him to a banquet as though he is honoring Banquo, but has him and his son assassinated by murderers. Banquo is slain, but his son Fleance escapes. At the banquet, Macbeth while surrounded by his noblemen, the tyrant King praises the absent Banquo. The ghost of the murdered Banquo enters and is only seen by Macbeth. Banquo’s ghost takes a seat at the panel. In his terror at the spirit, the King utters words that lead the noblemen to suspect that he is guilty of the murder. To cover up for her husband’s actions, the Queen, Lady Macbeth dismisses the assembly in bewilderment. Word comes to the nobles that Macduff, one of the most powerful of the Scottish lords, has joined Malcolm in England. Macbeth has come to be regarded as a cruel dictator. On the barren field, where Macbeth was met by the witches’, the Queen of Evil comes to meet with the three witches to plot the King’s downfall.
When Macbeth visits the witches in their cavern and begs them to predict his destiny, they answer his demands by a show of vision. The first is of an armed head, which warns him to beware of Macduff. The second is of a bloody child, which promises that “none of woman born” shall harm Macbeth. The third vision is of a child with a tree in his hand, which promises him safety until Birnam Wood shall move against him. By these visions his fears are relieved, but a show of eight kings and the smiling ghost of Banquo, who points to the kings as his descendants irritates Macbeth’s eyes. As he leaves the witches’ cavern, the news comes to him of Macduff’s journey to England, and in revenge has the nobleman’s wife and children murdered. In England, after Malcolm has tested Macduff’s loyalty, welcomes his aid in recovering the throne of Scotland. This motion is toughened by the terrible news that the tyrant, Macbeth, has slain the Lady Macduff and her children.
In Macbeth’s castle of Dunsinane, Lady Macbeth has her mind soaring emotionally with her transgressions; she starts walking and talking in her sleep. She tells her doctor about the crimes in which she and her husband have committed. Macbeth is torn between caring for his wife and preparing to drive off the English invaders, which he was informed were approaching rapidly. The English forces under the leadership of Malcolm and Siward, Earl of Northumberland, combined with the Scottish forces near Birnam Wood. To cover up their numbers and their movements Malcolm orders each soldier to cut and carry a branch. Macbeth is told that Birnam Wood is moving against him. With this message, also comes the report that the Queen has died. Hopeless, the King rushes to battle, determined to die with harness on his back. He kills young Siward, son of the English general, and then comes face to face with Macduff, the man whom he has avoided the most. Macbeth’s last confidence upon the witches’ charms disappears when his opponent tells him that he is not of woman born but was “from his mother’s womb untimely ripp’d.” Fighting hopelessly but to a great extent, the tyrant Macbeth falls before his avenger’s sword. At the feet of Malcolm and Macduff lays Macbeth’s head. Macduff is the first to hail Malcolm, as the young monarch as King of Scotland.
Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare. It is a tragic play written about a general in the King’s army who wants to be in power. The tragedy is a backstabbing, concentrated, and distressing study of desire. The characters of Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, provide the play with two strong roles long regarded as attractive vehicles for the leading actors of the world. Personally, I liked reading this story to some extent. It is written in a very well written fashion, and it was interesting at some points. At other points, it became distressing hearing about a well to do man, murdering monarchs for their power. I don’t strongly recommend the play, but if an avid reader wants to read it, it is OK with me.