MacBeth summary

Essay by StarGamerUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2014

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MacBeth[Scottish Play] by William Shakespeare

Act 1

The setting of the play is in Scotland. Duncan, king of Scotland, is at war with the king of Norway and his own rebellious kinsmen. MacBeth and his fellow caption, Banquo, are unafraid of the timid Norwegians. Duncan learns of Macbeth's bravery against the rebel MacDonald: A man from Scotland who sided with the Norwegians. As the same time, news arrived concerning the arrest of Thane of Cawdor, who had also sided with the enemy. Duncan orders Cawdor's execution and arranges the title of Thane of Cawdor to Macbeth. As Macbeth and Banquo return home from battle, they meet three witches- which are seen as the play opens to predict a future prophecy in a desert. The witches predict that Macbeth will be thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland, while Banquo will be the father of kings. After the witches disappear, Ross and Angus, two noblemen, arrive on the scene and announce Macbeth's new title as Thane of Cawdor.

After hearing this, Macbeth begins to plan the murder of Duncan in order to realize the witches' second prophecy.

King Duncan delivers formal thanks to Macbeth and Banquo for their part in battle. At Macbeth's home, the castle of Inverness, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband informing her of the witches' prophecy to him, but not Banquo's, and its realization. King Duncan will be paying a visit to Inverness. She makes up her mind to carry out the murder of the king. Lady Macbeth has virtually become an agent of Fate, much like the witches. Her thoughts immediately turn to possible failings of her husband, that he is too soft for murder. Macbeth arrives bearing the news of the king's visit, Lady Macbeth tells him that she will plot...