Williams Shakespeare Macbeth Summary

William Shakespeare, the renowned Elizabethan dramatist, and all-time great playwright of the world wrote four great tragedies among his many outstanding (dramatic and poetic) works. They are (I) Hamlet (II) Othello (III) King Lear, as well as (IV) Macbeth.

Drama Macbeth
Writer William Shakespeare
Theme (1) Ambition (2) Violence (3) Internal conflict
PublishedNovember 8, 1623

And, here we are mainly concerned with the last one from the aforementioned group –  Macbeth which was (first) published on November 8, 1623. The play is said to belong to his middle period. 

As far as the sources of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth are concerned; Holinshed’s Chronicle, Scott’s Discovery of Witchcraft, etc. are the sources of this play.

The drama is mainly a story of a valiant/courageous Scottish general Macbeth. He becomes obsessed with the power of kinghood when three witches foretell him that one day he will be(come) the king of the country (Scotland).

 Macbeth’s overambitious wife Lady Macbeth incites/instigates him to murder the present king of Scotland named Duncan. But, he thinks morally and there is a dilemma or confusion in his mind.  However, his wife is not only firm but also blames/criticizes him for his fearful as well as weak temperament.

Consequently, (as per their plan) he kills the king with his dagger when he (king Duncan) was sleeping.  At last,  the wife Lady Macbeth commits suicide. It causes her husband to sink into deep as well as pessimistic hopelessness. On the other hand, a general of the king’s army named Macduff kills as well as beheads Macduff.

In this way, William Shakespeare’ Macbeth is not only a tragedy of ambition but also a revenge tragedy in which a brave Scottish general, both a hero and villain of the play, is finally murdered.

Macbeth Plot Structure 

William Shakespeare organized his play, Macbeth, into five acts. Each of them includes several scenes. So far the opening of this play is concerned; it opens with a discussion among the 3 witches.

The aforementioned witches appear many times between significant/important (major) scenes in order to comment on events. The plot features a quite simple plot. It mainly focuses on Macbeth’s actions. In terms of events, they happen one after another.

Whether it is a major or minor character, William Shakespeare introduces almost everyone in the first part of this play. It is noteworthy that the witches’ foretelling (prophecy) is the major force for/plays a vital role in the development of action.

The major character Macbeth comes under the impact of the three witches’ prophecy. So, he is driven to commit the heinous crime of murdering the innocent king Duncan. Macbeth not only murders the Scottish king but tries also to hide his crime.

Consequently, he murders some other persons as well. (After these murders) it happens that Macbeth’s conscience tortures/torments him and his soul becomes restless. Even this is the case with his wife (who earlier urged him to commit the above-mentioned crime) as well. Finally, both of them (the husband and wife) meet a tragic end.

Ques: Who are Donalbain and Malcolm in Shakespeare’s Macbeth?

Ans: Malcolm, as well as Donalbain, are the sons of king Duncan.

Ques: What are the themes of Macbeth?

Ans: (a) Ambition (b) Violence (c) Internal conflict, and (d) Difference between conflict as well as tyranny are the themes in the play, Macbeth.

Ques: What are the two most important/significant scenes in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth?

Ans: Porter scene and Sleep Walking scene are the two most significant scenes in the play entitled Macbeth.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.