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However, fearing for their own lives, they flee Scotland—Malcolm for England and Donalbain for Ireland. In that play, characters attribute confusing mix-ups to the work of magicians and sorcerers. Because their hasty departure makes them appear guilty—Macduff speculates that they may have bribed the guards to kill Duncan—the crown passes to the nearest eligible kin, Macbeth. For ignoring this ancient rule of living, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth pay with their lives. She confesses to what has happened and a doctor and Gentlewoman hear her, character of lady macbeth essay. The following boldfaced words are examples of synecdoche. Climax and Denouement The climax of a play or another literary work, such as a short story or a novel, can be defined as 1 the turning point at which the character of lady macbeth essay begins to resolve itself for better or worse, or as 2 the final and most exciting event in a series of events.



It is one of several Shakespeare plays in which the protagonist commits murder. It has no subplots. The shortest of all Shakespeare plays is The Comedy of Errors. Dates of Composition, Performance, and Publication Shakespeare completed the play probably by but no later than The first performance probably took place at the Globe Theatre in London between and The play was published in as part of the First Folio , the first authorized collection of Shakespeare plays. Holinshed began work on this history under the royal printer Reginald Wolfe.

The first edition of the book was published in in two volumes. Shakespeare may also have used information from the Declaration of Egregious Popishe Impostures , by Samuel Harsnett; Rerum Scoticarum Historia , by George Buchanan; and published reports of witch trials in Scotland. He also may have taken into account the Gunpowder Plot of as explained under Themes: Settings Macbeth takes place in northern Scotland and in England.

A scene is also set at a castle in England. Tone The tone of the play is dark and foreboding from the very beginning, when the three witches meet on a heath during a thunderstorm. The Globe was a wood-framed building with plastered outside walls joining at angles to form a circle or an oval. The interior resembled that of a modern opera house, with three galleries protected from rain and sunlight by a roof. The stage was raised four to six feet from ground level and had a roof supported by pillars.

In front of the stage was a roofless yard for up to one thousand "groundlings" or "stinklings," who paid a "gatherer" a penny to stand through a performance under a hot sun or threatening clouds. Playgoers could also sit on the stage if their wallets were fat enough to pay the exorbitant price. Shakespeare himself belittled them in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, calling them through lines spoken by Hamlet incapable of comprehending anything more than dumbshows.

But because the groundlings liked the glamor and glitter of a play, they regularly attended performances at the Globe. When bored, they could buy food and drink from roving peddlers, exchange the news of the day, and boo and hiss the actors. There was no curtain that opened or closed at the beginning or end of plays. At the back of the stage, there was probably a wall with two or three doors leading to the dressing rooms of the actors.

These rooms collectively were known as the "tiring house. Sometimes, the wall of the tiring house could stand as the wall of a fortress under siege. Props and backdrops were few. Sometimes a prop used for only one scene remained onstage for other scenes because it was too heavy or too awkward to remove. Actors playing gods, ghosts, demons, and other supernatural characters could pop up from the underworld through a trap door on the stage or descend to earth from heaven on a winch line from the ceiling.

Off the stage, the ripple of a sheet of metal could create thunder. Stagehands set off fireworks to create omens, meteors, comets, or the wrath of the Almighty. Instruments such as oboes and cornets sometimes provided music. The gallery had a thatched roof. Thatch consists of straw or dried stalks of plants such as reeds. The Globe was rebuilt. Characters Please note that the character list dramatis personae below includes supplemental descriptions and comments that did not appear in the original manuscript of the play.

Ambitious army general in Scotland. His hunger for kingly power, fed by a prophecy of three witches, causes him to murder the rightful king, Duncan I of Scotland, and take his place. Macbeth presents a problem for the audience in that he evokes both sympathy and condemnation; he is both hero, in a manner of speaking, and villain. The real-life Macbeth was an eleventh-century Scot who took the throne in after killing King Duncan I, his cousin, in a battle near Elgin in the Moray district of Scotland.

Of his reign, Fitzroy MacLean has written the following: In we hear that he went on a pilgrimage to Rome and there [lavished money to the poor]. A Concise History of Scotland. Beekman House, , page Wife of Macbeth, who abets his murder. Her grandfather was a Scottish king who was killed in defense of his throne against the king who immediately preceded King Duncan I. On the surface, she appears ruthless and hardened, but her participation in the murder of Duncan gnaws at her conscience and she goes insane, imagining that she sees the blood of Duncan on her hands.

Sons of King Duncan. Malcolm, the older son, is the Prince of Cumberland. Hags who predict Macbeth will become king. Shakespeare refers to the three witches as the weird sisters. Weird is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word wyrd, meaning fate. Thus, the witches appear to represent fate, a force that predetermines destiny. The Greek poet Hesiod eighth century BC was the first writer to represent fate as three old women.

But he refers to them as goddesses: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Atropos cut the threads of the fabric of life when it was time for a person to die.

No one—not even the mightiest god—could change the decisions of the Fates. Collectively, the Greeks called them Moirae.

Latin speakers referred to them as Parcae. The given name Moira means fate. Hecate HEK uh te: She is the fourth witch in the play. Scottish nobleman and lord of Fife who is known for his wisdom and integrity.

He and Macbeth cross swords at the end of the play. Lennox, Ross, Menteith, Angus, Caithness: Earl of Northumberland, general of the English forces. King of Norway during the war against Scotland. Later he also ruled England, Norway, and parts of Sweden.

Doctor who attends Lady Macbeth during her descent into madness. Soldier Old Man Gentle-woman: A head with arms. This apparition, conjured by the witches, warns Macbeth to beware of Macduff. This apparition, conjured by the witches, tells Macbeth that no one born of woman can kill him.

A crowned child holding a tree. This apparition, conjured by the witches, tells Macbeth that no one can defeat him until a forest, Birnam Wood, marches against him. Macbeth is heartened, believing it is impossible for a forest to march. Glamis was a village in the Tayside region of Scotland. Lords, gentlemen, officers, soldiers, murderers, attendants, and messengers. Protagonist The protagonist main character is Macbeth.

In the tragedies of Shakespeare and the playwrights of ancient Greece, the protagonist is usually a royal or a noble who falls to ruin because of a personal flaw such as pride, ambition, or greed. Antagonist An antagonist is a person, a force, an emotion, an idea, or another thing that acts in opposition to the protagonist. Sometimes a play has several antagonists. Macduff is the obvious antagonist in Macbeth. Plot Summary In a desert place during a thunderstorm, three witches conclude a meeting.

They decide to convene next on a heath to confront the great Scottish general Macbeth on his return from a war between Scotland and Norway. As they depart, they recite a paradox that foreshadows events in the play: In other words, what is perceived as good is actually bad; what is perceived as bad is good.

While camped near his castle at Forres in the Moray province of northeastern Scotland, the Scottish king, Duncan, receives news of the fighting from a wounded sergeant: When the Norwegians launched a new assault, the sergeant says, Macbeth and another general, Banquo, set upon their foes like lions upon hares.

Cawdor is a village in the Highlands of Scotland, near Inverness. The Scots extracted a tribute of ten thousand dollars from the Norwegian king, Sweno, who was begging terms of peace.

Glamis is a village in the Tayside region of Scotland. He has not yet received news that the king has bestowed on him the title of the traitorous Cawdor. The Third Witch then predicts that Macbeth will one day become king and that Banquo will beget a line of kings, although he himself will not ascend the throne.

Macbeth commands the witches to explain their prophecies, but they vanish. Shortly thereafter, other Scottish soldiers—Ross and Angus—catch up with Macbeth and Banquo to deliver a message from the king: After Macbeth presents himself before Duncan, the king heaps praises on the general for his battlefield prowess and announces that he will visit Macbeth at his castle at Inverness. In a whisper, he says to himself: The Prince of Cumberland!



Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. When we first see her, she is already plotting Duncan’s murder, and she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. In the gorgeously harsh Lady Macbeth, the thenyear-old actress Florence Pugh plays young Katherine, who is essentially purchased by .

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