Year of first publication
Macbeth is a general of King Duncan's army. Duncan is the King of Scotland. At the beginning of the story, three witches tell him, he will be the 'thane of Cawdor', and even the King of Scotland. They say that one of the sons of Banquo (another General of the Army) will become King too.
Macbeth becomes the 'thane of Cawdor', and he tells his wife his story. Lady Macbeth has no conscience, and she only thinks of being the Queen.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth kill Duncan. Macbeth says that all the water of the ocean would not be enough to clean his hands of blood. Because he says that, lady Macbeth says to him that he has to stop with making a fool of himself. By the way, they become King and Queen of Scotland.
Macbeth knows that Banquo suspects him as the murderer. He knows also that the witches predict that the son's of Banquo will be King. Because of that, he sends three murderers to Banquo and his sons. Only Banquo dies and his sons escape.
When there is a dinner with some noblemen and the King, the spirit of Banquo appears. Only Macbeth can see it, and the spirit is sitting the place of him. Macbeth becomes crazy, and says things, that the others do not understand. Lady Macbeth says that he has had the same a few times before, and the dinner is cancelled.
Macbeth wants to be sure, and so he goes to the witches again. They say that Macbeth has to beware of Macduff (a nobleman). He only is in trouble when Great Birnam wood (near to Macduff his domain) comes to High Dunsinane Hill (his castle). He is only vulnerable for people, who are not born of a woman. When Macbeth hears this, he thinks: "I'm immortal".
Because of the new prediction, he decides to kill Macduff. However, when the murderers come to his house, Macduff is escaped. Because of the fear of the murderers, they kill the rest of the family. When Macduff hears of this fact, he decides to kill Macbeth. Together with Siward (general of the English forces), the son of Siward, the son of Duncan, and other noblemen, they go to High Dunsinane Hill.
Lady Macbeth is ill, and a doctor is watching her. In her dreams, she says things about the murder, and she is becoming crazy.
When a messenger says to Macbeth that Great Birnam wood is moving to them, he becomes a little bit angry. In addition, when Macduff comes to him, and tells him that he is not born of a woman but with a caesarean operation, Macbeth is really angry. Finally, Macduff beheads Macbeth.
Macbeth is a general of the King's army. He has sunk so deeply, that it is much easier to sink more, than to come up. For his safety, he kills all the people who stand in his way. He says that on earth, there is not enough water to clean his hands.
At the beginning, Macbeth is 'clean' and good of mind, but later, he comes more and more in the power of the Devil. The only thing he takes care of, is his own safety (the safety of being immortal and of being the King).
Lady Macbeth has no conscience, and she only thinks of being the Queen. She is the husband of Macbeth, and later the Queen. She complies with the pronunciation of the witches *. At the beginning, she is stable and not afraid of anything, but later, she is afraid of the truth (even as Macbeth is).
They symbolise the bad side of Macbeth. They say: * "fair is foul, and foul is fair". It is very alluring to comply with the predictions of these witches, but when you comply with them, the Devil has got you in his power.
At the beginning, Macbeth is 'clean' and good of mind, but later, he comes more and more in the power of the Devil. The prediction of the witches was correct, and after he murders Duncan, he became King. When he was afraid to loose his power, he murders Banquo too. The devil has taken place in his mind. Increasingly, he wants to be safe and murder became normal for him. There was no way back, and the way to hell was very easy and inviting. The only thing he takes care of, is his own safety (the safety of being immortal and of being the King).
Lady Macbeth is fundamentally a bad person. She was very stable and self-assured. Later when she was Queen and Macbeth King, she was 'happy', but when all the people hated them, she becomes totally crazy. All the bad things she has done came up in her (bad-) dreams.
Shakespeare let me think about how easy it is, to choose the bad side, but how difficult it is to come back. Macbeth is not strong enough to come back, and so he stays on the side of the Devil. At the beginning, the side of the Devil is very beautiful and hopeful. However, at the end, everyone wants to come back to the good side.
The theme is "Good against Evil, and the difficulty of coming back". Macbeth says that he cannot clean his hands after the murder of Duncan (he cannot go back). The three witches symbolise the bad side.
(Also, the Good conquers the Bad. That is a moral and it is also the opinion of Shakespeare.)
The story is very good, and it is written very clever. There is happening very much, and there is no 'happy end' as normal. 'Happy ends' are not good, because they are so standard.
The book is also very exiting and fascinating. The only problem is the Middle English language. You cannot just read the book, but you have to read the notes too.
After all, everyone has to read this book.
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