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Can you provide a short summary of Macbeth?

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sts | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 11, 2007 at 7:59 PM via web

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Can you provide a short summary of Macbeth?

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janeyb | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 11, 2007 at 11:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Macbeth is a play of contradiction and ambition. Driven to becoming King, Macbeth will kill all and any that get in his way. He puts his faith in the words and prophesies of three witches, after their first one (that he will become Thane of Cawdor) comes through. Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, is instrumental is Macbeth's ambition, egging him on when he fears he has gone to far, and scheming of greatness. There is a great summary here:

Sources:

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not4long | Student , Grade 9 | Honors

Posted January 25, 2009 at 3:57 AM (Answer #3)

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Macbeth finds some witches who tell him that he will be king. Not stopping to think about how stupid it is to take advice from witches, he decides to make it happen and kills the current king. He then kills his best friend, since the witches told them the friend's children would be kings. At this point he has completely descended into the pit of darkness and ends up being taken down when he goes over the line and massacres a guy's family.

Well, Macbeth gets what he deserves. And yet you have to feel sorry for him. He lets his wife get him caught up in dreams of power and glory. Then, on the other hand, he starts being just plain evil. So who knows? Just work it out for yourself.

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bleepbleep | Honors

Posted April 4, 2010 at 12:27 AM (Answer #4)

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This drama is one of the great tragedy themed plays by William Shakespeare. The themes illustrated in the play include ambition, fate, deception and treachery. Three witches  decide to confront the great Scottish general Macbeth on his victorious return from a war between Scotland and Norway. The Scottish king, Duncan, decides that he will confer the title of the traitorous Cawdor on the heroic Macbeth. Macbeth, and another General called Banquo, happen upon the three witches. The witches predict that he will one day become king. He decides that he will murder Duncan. Macbeth's wife agrees to his plan. He then murders Duncan assisted by his wife who smears the blood of Duncan on the daggers of the sleeping guards. A nobleman called Macduff discovers the body. Macbeth kills the guards insisting that their daggers smeared with Duncan's blood are proof that they committed the murder. The crown passes to Macbeth. More murders ensue and the bloodied ghost of Banquo appears to Macbeth. Lady Macbeth's conscience now begins to torture her and she imagines that she can see her hands covered with blood. She commits suicide. Macduff kills Macbeth and malcolm becomes king

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suvodip89 | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 4, 2010 at 1:52 AM (Answer #5)

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Macbeth is Shakespeare's profound and mature vision of evil. It is a play depicting destruction, wrestling with creation. It is a study of the disintegration and damnation of a man. And yet Macbeth is a tragic hero. Therein lies Shakespeare's art, evolving from a deep understanding of the complexity of human nature.

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megypye | eNoter

Posted January 9, 2014 at 6:52 PM (Answer #7)

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Macbeth is a play about the perils of ambition. Macbeth, encouraged by his wife, attempts to remove the obstacles preventing him from being king. These obstacles happen to be other characters in the play. He accepts the prophecy of witches as a guide for what will be, and misjudges what they tell him. In the end his overconfidence leads to his own death, believing that he cannot be harmed when he really is just a mortal like everyone else.

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