Plot Summary

The tragedy Macbeth opens with the infamous trio of witches who provide multiple prophecies throughout the play. In the beginning of the play, King Duncan of Scotland learns that Macbeth and Banquo have slain an Irish army (led by Macdonwald) and a Nordic army. This impresses King Duncan.

After defeating the armies, Macbeth and Banquo come across the witches, and the prophecies begin. The witches begin by informing Macbeth that he will be named the thane of Cawdor and after that, he will become King of Scotland. The witches tell Banquo that his offspring will also become Scottish kings; however, Banquo himself will never be a king. Macbeth and Banquo have a difficult time believing the prophesies of the three witches.

One of King Duncan’s messengers then arrives to tell the two men that the king is grateful for the victories. He tells Macbeth that he is now the thane of Cawdor. The truth of the prophecy causes Macbeth to consider that perhaps everything that the witches told him may come true. Macbeth plans to return to Inverness (his castle) and dine with King Duncan. He writes to Lady Macbeth to tell her about the series of fortunate events.

Upon hearing of the prophecies and the chance that Macbeth may become king, Lady Macbeth has no fear that it will, indeed, happen. Lady Macbeth has the gumption to plan the king’s murder so that Macbeth can become the king of Scotland. Macbeth arrives at Inverness, and Lady Macbeth tells her husband of her plan. Macbeth does not find himself easily persuaded, but he eventually gives into his wife’s plan. They decide to provide alcohol to Duncan’s chamberlains so that they will get drunk and pass out; then, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth can blame the murder on the chamberlains, who will remember nothing. As King Duncan sleeps, Macbeth stabs him. During the murder, Macbeth sees a vision of a bloody dagger; though the vision frightens him, he carries on with the murder.

The next morning, Duncan’s death is discovered. Macbeth feigns rage at the chamberlains for...

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Essays About Macbeth