Shakespeare’s handling of the three witches or “weird sisters” of Macbeth is in itself equivocal. He assigns them the first dozen lines of the play their proclamation that “fair is foul, and foul is fair” (I, i., .11) setting the tone for the horrid events ahead. When their prediction of Act I, scene iii that Read More

William Shakespeare | Macbeth | Character of Malcolm.

Malcolm is one of King Duncan’s sons, the other being Donalbain. In the early part of the play, he is scarcely present, but overall he has one of the three main speaking parts, the other two being Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Early in the play, Malcolm introduces to King Duncan the sergeant who saved Malcolm Read More

William Shakespeare | Macbeth | Character of Macduff.

Macduff, the thane of Fife, is a Scottish nobleman. He travels with Duncan to Macbeth’s castle, and with Lennox, arrives the morning after the king has been murdered to awaken Duncan, but instead finds him dead. Macduff announces to the gathered nobleman, including the king’s sons, that Duncan has been killed. Macduff’s words in the Read More

William Shakespeare | Macbeth | Character of Lady Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s wife. When the audience first sees her in I.v, she is reading a letter from Macbeth about his encounter with the weird sisters and about his new title. Lady Macbeth promises to provide Macbeth with the courage he needs to make the prophecy come true, fearing that his nature is too Read More

William Shakespeare | Macbeth | Character of Macbeth.

Macbeth is nobleman and a Scottish general in the king’s army. At the beginning of the play, he has gained recognition for himself through his defeat of the king of Norway and the rebellious Macdonwald. Shortly after the battle, Macbeth and another of the king’s general’s, Banquo, encounter three witches (or weird sisters) who greet Read More

William Shakespeare | Macbeth | Character of Banquo.

Banquo is a Scottish general in the king’s army and Macbeth’s friend. With Macbeth, Banquo helps Duncan’s forces claim victory over the king of Norway and the thane of Cawdor. Following the battle, Banquo and Macbeth encounter the witches, who make several prophesies about Macbeth. They then speak to Banquo about his own future, saying Read More

William Shakespeare | Themes of Macbeth.

Themes of Macbeth: In Macbeth, ambition conspires with unholy forces to commit evil deeds which, in their turn, generate fear, guilt and still more horrible crimes. Above all, Macbeth is a character study in which not one, but two protagonists (the title character and Lady Macbeth) respond individually and jointly to the psychological burden of Read More

William Shakespeare | Analysis of Macbeth: Act V.

Lady Macbeth’s behavior has been very peculiar, according to the Gentle woman, and the Doctor is summoned to witness the behavior for himself. Lady Macbeth is responding to her guilty feelings. She is trying to rid herself of her guilt, which takes the form of the blood she is unable to wash from her hands. Read More

William Shakespeare | Summary of Macbeth: Act V, Scene 1-8.

Scene 1 The Gentlewoman reports to the Doctor that Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and her behavior is very strange. The Gentlewoman says that Lady Macbeth gets out of bed, puts on a nightgown, unlocks her closet, writes on a piece of paper, seals the letter and returns to bed. Lady Macbeth says things that the Read More