Thursday, February 09, 2006

Y9: Summary of the plot of Macbeth


A Scottish captain reports to King Duncan that Macbeth beat the traitor Macdonald in battle. Ross adds that the Thane of Cawdor was traitorous to Scotland during the battle.

The three witches confront Macbeth and Banquo on their way home from their battle with Macdonald. They predict that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland, and Banquo, though never king himself, will have sons who are kings.

The witches leave and Ross informs Macbeth that he has been awarded the title Thane of Cawdor, now the old Thane is condemned as a traitor.

Macbeth contemplates the witches’ prediction of him being King, and wonders if he should help make it happen.

The King then warmly greets Macbeth and Banquo, and awards Macbeth the title Thane of Cawdor. King Duncan also declares his eldest son, Malcolm, will follow him as King.

After the King’s announcements, Macbeth's wife learns of Macbeth’s encounter with the witches and decides that she'll persuade Macbeth to become king through foul play. She then learns that King Duncan is coming to her castle to stay the night, strengthening her decision to murder Duncan.

King Duncan arrives and Macbeth tells his wife he doesn't want to murder him just to become King himself. She talks him into it, adding that they'll frame Duncan's own guards for the murder.

On the night of the planned murder, Macbeth meets his wife and tells her he murdered Duncan. Macbeth forgets to return the daggers to the king's guards, so his wife does it for him.
After the murder, the Macbeths return to their chambers. Later, Macduff and Macbeth "discover" the dead King.

Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee to England and Ireland, fearing that they’ll be killed. Subsequently, the Thanes decide that Malcolm and Donalbain bribed the guards to kill Duncan so they could inherit the throne. Consequently, Macbeth is declared king.

Newly crowned King, Macbeth fears Banquo will breed children who may overthrowhim, s the witches suggested. Macbeth convinces two men to murder Banquo and his son, Fleance.

The murderers successfully murder Banquo, but Fleance escapes. At dinner, Macbeth imagines he sees Banquo's ghost.

After killing Banquo, Macbeth finds the witches again and they make three further predictions: 1. Macbeth should beware of Macduff; 2. No-one born of woman can harm Macbeth; 3. Macbeth will rule until Birnam Wood gets up and moves to Dunsinane Hill, where Macbeth’s castle is.

After visiting the witches, Macbeth discovers that Macduff is raising an army against him. Macbeth sends soldiers to kill Macduff’s wife and children. In England, Macduff and Malcolm agree to fight together against Macbeth.

Forces gather against Macbeth. At Birnam Wood, Malcolm orders his soldiers to cut the trees and use them as disguises. In the castle, Macbeth learns that his wife has died by her own hand, then learns, to his dismay, that Birnam Wood is "moving" toward the castle.

The army arrives and Macbeth fights and kills young Siward. Next, Macduff and Macbeth fight. Macduff informs Macbeth that he was ripped from his mother's womb, and so was not born of woman. Soon after, Macduff kills Macbeth. Macduff then crowns Malcolm the new King of Scotland.

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