Macbeth, the play was one of Shakespeare’s bloody and goriest tragedies. It was based on a true story of the Celtic throne. It is a play about murder, power, ambition, greed and deception.
The play is set in bleak Scotland, where King Duncan rules over all. At the start of the play Scotland is at battle with Norway. Macbeth is Thane of Glamis and has emerged from battle as a brave and courageous solider. He is admired by all as a good man.
He along with Banquo, meets the Witches on a thunderous moor where he is told of a prophecy in which he will soon become Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland.
He writes to his wife and together they plot to murder Duncan. They kill Duncan while he is asleep in their house. Macbeth becomes king; the prophecies have come true. But he becomes extremely paranoid, Banquo was with him, when the prophecies were made and he surely must be suspicious.
The Witches also made the prediction that Banquo's son would be king. So Macbeth hires people to murder Banquo and his son Fleance. Banquo is killed but his son Fleance escapes. Macbeth also kills everyone who is at Macduff’s residence, after Macduff flees for England. For this he also hires people to carry out his killings.
Macbeth first meets the Witches (Act 1, Scene 3) on a deserted heath, where the setting is dark and stormy. This is to represent the dark and murderous deeds and thoughts that happen, and also shows that the theme of “evil” is central. He has just come out of battle and he is with Banquo, his best friend at the time. In Act 1, Scene 1, where we are first introduced to the Witches they state that “fair is foul and foul is fair”. The words contradict each other and they introduce an idea of conflicting illusion and reality. We then hear Macbeth echo these words in his first line in Act 1, Scene 3, “so fair and foul a day I have not seen”. Is Macbeth thinking as much ev...