MACBETH   - Plot

·         Three witches predict MacBeth, a cousin and brave general of Duncan, King of Scotland,  that he will become king of Scotland himself.

·         He is driven by his ambitious wife, Lady MacBeth, to kill the monarch and take his place.
The murder is facilitated by
Duncan’s decision to spend a night at MacBeth’s castle.

·         Lady M.  manages to put the blame for the murder on the king’s two guards, whom MacBeth kills pretending to avenge Duncan, and on his two sons Malcom and Donalbain, who escape.
Macbeth is crowned.

·         As the witches had prophesied that his friend Banquo’s descendants, rather than his own, would succeed him,  MacBeth kills his friend.
Haunted by Banquo’s ghost and suspected by the nobles, he also kills the family of Macduff, his rival.

·         He is deserted by his friends and even by his wife: she goes mad with regret and commits suicide.

·         MacBeth is attacked by MacDuff and a coalition of Scottish and English nobles, whose soldiers are hidden behind a tree,  giving the idea of a walking wood.
MacBeth believes he is invincible: according to the witches’ prophecy he has to “fear nothing until Birnam wood come to Dunsinane”, but still to fear "none of woman born".

·         He faces MacDuff and boasts that he cannot be harmed by "one of woman born," but Macduff replies that he was "from his mother's womb / Untimely ripp'd":  MacBeth realises that fate has cruelly mocked him through the prophecies.

·         Macduff kills MacBeth and  Malcolm, Banquo’s son,  is hailed king of Scotland.