Three witches predict MacBeth,
a cousin and brave general of Duncan, King of Scotland, that he will become king of
He is driven by his ambitious wife, Lady MacBeth, to kill the monarch and take his place.
The murder is facilitated by
Lady M. manages to put the blame for the murder on the king’s two
guards, whom MacBeth kills pretending to avenge
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.
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