This article is about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see Macbeth (disambiguation).
Poster for a c. 1884 American production of Macbeth, starring Thomas W. Keene. Counter clockwise from top-left: Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches. Just after the murder of Duncan, Banquo's ghost, Macbeth duels Macduff, Macbeth.The Tragedy of Macbeth (commonly called Macbeth) is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. The earliest account of a performance of what was likely Shakespeare's play is April 1611, when Simon Forman recorded seeing such a play at the Globe Theatre. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book for a specific performance.
Shakespeare's sources for the tragedy are the accounts of King Macbeth of Scotland, Macduff, and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. However, the story of Macbeth as told by Shakespeare bears no relation to real events in Scottish history as Macbeth was an admired and able monarch.
In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead by such names as "the Scottish play". Over the centuries, the play has attracted some of the greatest actors in the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It has been adapted to film, television, opera, novels, comic books, and other media.
4 Date and text
5 Themes and motifs
5.1 As a tragedy of character
5.2 As a tragedy of moral order
5.3 As a... [continues]
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