Macbeth | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Macbeth | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

macbeth-william-shakespeareWilliam Shakespearec. 1606EnglishMacbeth, Act V, Scene Vife's but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more.Curses placed on the play by witches1Antidotes to the curse if the title Macbeth is spoken aloud3Year James I published a treatise on witchcraft called Daemonologie1597Year actor Laurence Olivier was nearly crushed by a stage weight while playing Macbeth in London1937A London theater fixture during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Shakespeare wrote 38 plays. He penned Macbeth after James I, formerly James VI of Scotland, ascended the English throne, and the emphasis on Scottish history was likely meant to impress the new sovereign.WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE1564–1616OVERVIEWThunderThe witches' ill intentions and their desire to create torment and trouble are symbolized by bad weather.BloodMacbeth and Lady Macbeth share guilt, represented by blood.SymbolsMacbethby the NumbersGhostsPast actions come back to haunt the present and future in the form of ghosts.MacbethThane of Glamis; kills the king for his crownDuncanMurdered King of ScotlandBanquoMacbeth's friend; killed in cover-upMalcolmDuncan's rightful heirWeird SistersThree witches; predict Macbeth's rise and downfallMain CharactersHusband/WifeGender RolesLady Macbeth's ambition for power disrupts traditional male/female roles.Destiny vs. Free WillMacbeth's actions are driven by his belief in prophecies, but he might have done better to ignore them.AmbitionAmbitionUnbridled ambition is the source of Macbeth's success and downfall.MurdersPlayAuthorYear WrittenOriginal LanguageMacbethLady MacbethMacbeth's wife and accompliceMacduffThane of Fife; defeats MacbethSources: The British Library, Encyclopaedia Britannica, The New York Times, TDF Theatre Dictionary, The TelegraphCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Lies, Murder Win Scotland's ThroneAct IVThe ApparitionsMacbeth scrambles to hold power and asks the witches to reveal his future.Act VFate VictoriousMacbeth loses his life in battle with Macduff and Malcolm, Duncan's rightful heir.Act IIIProphecy FulfilledKing of Scotland, Macbeth has Banquo killed to cover his crimes and defeat the prophecy.Act IIThe Floating DaggerMacbeth, now Thane of Cawdor, and his wife murder Duncan for the crown.ThemesAuthorMacbeth, guided by a strange prophecy and driven by lust for power, uses deceit and murder to make himself King of Scotland. When the other lords and rightful heir become suspicious, Macbeth's days on the throne are numbered. His downfall becomes a cautionary tale of the dangers of unchecked ambition.Macbeth and Banquo hear that Macbeth will be King of Scotland.Act IThe Witches’ ProphecyTragedy

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