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Macbeth

By William Shakespeare (9)

Shakespeare’s chilling drama, Macbeth, is the richly detailed tale of Macbeth and his inevitable, tragic fall from glory. Returning from battle, Generals Macbeth and Banquo meet three witches who predict that Macbeth will become king of Scotland, while Banquo’s heirs will rule thereafter. Macbeth, who is already a lord, becomes power hungry with this new knowledge, and aches to be king. Lady Macbeth convinces him that he cannot wear the crown until he kills King Duncan, and she harangues her husband into committing the crime. The king’s sons flee in terror, and Macbeth triumphantly takes the throne. Recalling the witches’ prophecy, Macbeth has Banquo killed, but in the flurry of terror, Banquo’s son Fleance escapes. A visit from Banquo’s ghost causes Macbeth to consult the witches, who reassure him that he cannot be hurt by any man born, but that he must beware Lord Macduff, who has gone to England to join an army against Macbeth. In a characteristically preemptive, cruel measure, Macbeth orders Macduff’s family slaughtered. A wealth of blood now on his hands, Macbeth faces the final invasion alone, and Shakespeare’s final, climatic scene is the man’s predestined downfall. Macbeth is singular for its suspenseful tale, layered with a complex thematic depth, and remains one of Shakespeare’s finest dramas.

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Study Guide: Macbeth (Illustrated Classics for Reluctant Readers) (eBook) cover

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Students' Guide: Macbeth - Shakespeare Made Easy (eBook) cover

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Macbeth Lesson Plans cover

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