It is one of several Shakespeare plays in which the protagonist commits murder.
Act I[ edit ] The play opens amidst thunder and lightning, and the Three Witches decide that their next meeting shall be with Macbeth. In the following scene, a wounded sergeant reports to King Duncan of Scotland that his generals Macbeth, who is the Thane of Glamis, and Banquo have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were led by the traitorous Macdonwald, and the Thane of Cawdor.
Macbeth, the King's kinsman, is praised for his bravery and fighting prowess.
In the following scene, Macbeth and Banquo discuss the weather and their victory. As they wander onto a heath, the Three Witches enter and greet them with prophecies.
Though Banquo challenges them first, they address Macbeth, hailing him as "Thane of Glamis," "Thane of Cawdor," and that he shall "be King hereafter. When Banquo asks of his own fortunes, the witches respond paradoxically, saying that he will be less than Macbeth, yet happier, less successful, yet more.
He will father a line of kings though he himself will not be one. While the two men wonder at these pronouncements, the witches vanish, and another thane, Ross, arrives and informs Macbeth of his newly bestowed title: The first prophecy is thus fulfilled, and Macbeth, previously sceptical, immediately begins to harbour ambitions of becoming king.
King Duncan welcomes and praises Macbeth and Banquo, and declares that he will spend the night at Macbeth's castle at Inverness ; he also names his son Malcolm as his heir. Macbeth sends a message ahead to his wife, Lady Macbeth, telling her about the witches' prophecies.
Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty and wishes him to murder Duncan in order to obtain kingship. When Macbeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband's objections by challenging his manhood and successfully persuades him to kill the king that very night.
He and Lady Macbeth plan to get Duncan's two chamberlains drunk so that they will black out; the next morning they will blame the chamberlains for the murder.
They will be defenceless as they will remember nothing. Act II[ edit ] While Duncan is asleep, Macbeth stabs him, despite his doubts and a number of supernatural portents, including a hallucination of a bloody dagger.
He is so shaken that Lady Macbeth has to take charge. In accordance with her plan, she frames Duncan's sleeping servants for the murder by placing bloody daggers on them.
A porter opens the gate and Macbeth leads them to the king's chamber, where Macduff discovers Duncan's body. Macbeth murders the guards to prevent them from professing their innocence, but claims he did so in a fit of anger over their misdeeds. Duncan's sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland, respectively, fearing that whoever killed Duncan desires their demise as well.
The rightful heirs' flight makes them suspects and Macbeth assumes the throne as the new King of Scotland as a kinsman of the dead king. Banquo reveals this to the audience, and while sceptical of the new King Macbeth, he remembers the witches' prophecy about how his own descendants would inherit the throne; this makes him suspicious of Macbeth.
Act III[ edit ] Despite his success, Macbeth, also aware of this part of the prophecy, remains uneasy. Macbeth invites Banquo to a royal banquetwhere he discovers that Banquo and his young son, Fleance, will be riding out that night.
Fearing Banquo's suspicions, Macbeth arranges to have him murdered, by hiring two men to kill them, later sending a Third Murderer.
The assassins succeed in killing Banquo, but Fleance escapes. At a banquet, Macbeth invites his lords and Lady Macbeth to a night of drinking and merriment.In Macbeth, light is a symbol of harmony and order, but darkness is just the opposite.
Darkness is the chaos and evil that results from a broken Great Chain of Being. Macbeth sent Scotland into turmoil and dark night when he murdered King Duncan.
Light/ Life Macbeth responds to the news of Lady Macbeth's presumed suicide by proclaiming "out, out brief candle" (), turning the candle's flame has become a metaphor for .
Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for Macbeth by William Shakespeare that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in Macbeth and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement.
Symbolism in Macbeth: Blood, Weather, Light and Darkness, - There are many symbols used in Macbeth that help us to better understand the play.
Ellie Macbeth is good, if you can understand it. It is written by Shakespeare, so the writing is a little hard to comprehend normally. And if you can't more Macbeth is good, if you can understand it.
It is written by Shakespeare, so the writing is a little hard to comprehend normally. At the end of a soliloquy in which Lady Macbeth talks herself into a murderous state of mind, she calls upon night to hide her deed from heaven and from herself: Come, thick night, / And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, / That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, / Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, / To cry "Hold, hold!".