The story of Macbeth is a classic of Shakespeare, and a classic within Scottish culture. It is a tale of bloodshed, rivalry, and dark magics - perfect for the season of Halloween. The story. The tale begins with Duncan, King of Scotland, surrounded by his allies and subjects, including Malcolm (his son), Banquo, and Macduff. Trough the prophecy of the three witches, the tragedy begins; this kingdom comes crashing down, as the titular character and his iconic wife, Lady Macbeth, give in to ambition.
With the murder of Duncan, the true tragedy begins. The story weaves into it madness and darkness, and any reader would feel the paranoia of Macbeth, the horror he faces in becoming King and fulfilling his prophecy. This story goes throughout the motions of death, and witchy words, and find its' characters shattered by blood. If you are hoping to get into Shakespeare, this play is a great beginning; especially towards All Hallows' Eve, thinning the line between the dead and the living (just as Macbeth's tragedy does).
Macbeth: the title character, and the Thame of Glamis. The witches speak their prophecy to him, setting the events of the story. He later becomes Thame of Cawdor, and the King of Scotland.
Lady Macbeth: the wife of Macbeth, whose role in the play is worth great comment and analysis. She assists in the murder of Duncan, and her ambition and brutality are renowned.
Duncan: King of Scotland, later murdered and usurped by Macbeth.
Malcolm: the son of Duncan, who later becomes King of Scotland at the finale of the play.
Donalbain: the son of Duncan
Banquo: the friend of Macbeth, whose blood is prophesied to rule Scotland. Later betrayed by Macbeth and killed.
Fleance: the son of Banquo, who escapes murder by those who killed his father..
Macduff: a Thane of Scotland, whose family are murdered by Macbeth after accusations of betrayal. He is the one who shall kill Macbeth and finish his tragedy.
Lennox: a Thane of Scotland.
Ross: a Thane of Scotland.
Angus: a Thane of Scotland.
Hecate: the Queen of the Witches and their commander, the goddess of magic.
Witches: the prophecy and work of the witches shadows the story, allowing the play to attend to itself. They push Macbeth to give in to his ambitions.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
(Witches, Act 1 Scene 1)
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
(Macbeth, Act 2 Scene 1)
It will have blood, they say: blood will have blood.
(Macbeth, Act 3 Scene 4)
What's done cannot be undone.
(Lady Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1)
The Tragedy of Macbeth dir. Yaël Farber (Almeida Theatre, 2021)
Starring: James McArdle and Saoirse Ronan
Dates: 2/10/2021 - 20/11/2021
Macbeth dir. Dale Neill (Globe Theatre, 2013)
Starring: Miguel Nitis and Helen Fearnley
Dates: 17/10/2013 – 26/10/2013
Cover image @ Royal Shakespeare Company (https://www.theedgesusu.co.uk/culture/2018/04/10/review-macbeth-at-the-royal-shakespeare-theatre/)
Macbeth @ Glasgow University Shakespeare Society