Macbeth and Banquo, two Scottish generals living under thereign of King Duncan, were returning home across the bleakheath. They had just bravely defeated an army of rebels much tothe delight of the king, who was Macbeth’s cousin.
Suddenly as they walked over the moor three witches appeared andgreeted Macbeth as Thane (Lord) of Glamis, which he was. Thesecond witch called him Thane of Cawdor, which he was not. The thirdcalled him King of Scotland. A title held by Duncan
Just before the witches disappear they turn to Banquo and tell him thathe will never be King but he would father Kings. The two generals werestunned but when they reached the palace they heard the news thatMacbeth had been made Thane of Cawdor. (Like the prophecy)
Macbeth told his wife, Lady Macbeth of the prophecy and she liked theidea of Macbeth being King. She was worried because King Duncanhad said his son would be King so she set about persuading Macbethto kill the King.
Eventually she persuaded him to do the deed. Although hewasn’t sure about it. To help him Lady Macbeth druggedKing Duncan’s guards,
Macbeth set of to kill the King but his conscience played tricks with himand a phantom dagger appeared before him. Eventually his wifepersuaded him so he took the drugged guards daggers and killedDuncan.
When the guards daggers were found they got the blame for the murder,however many people suspected the Macbeths. The kings two sons , Malcolm(remember him he’s important later) and Donalbain were worried that theywould be next for the chop so ran away to England.
Macbeth, as the next in line to the throne became King. He then remembered that thewitches had not only said he would be King but that Banquo’s children would becomeKing not his own. This worried him, so he plotted to kill Banquo and his son. He hiredkillers and threw a party for all the local lords. When Banquo was on his way to the partythe hired killers did their job, so Banquo was slain but his son Fleance escaped.
The killers told Macbeth That they had killed Banquo but his son hadescaped. Macbeth became worried and started to have nightmares.One night the ghost of Banquo visited Macbeth. This terrified him.
Soon after Macbeth became worried about losing the throne. He was driven byworry to seek out the witches on the heath. He found them in a cave chantinground a cauldron. From the smoke of the cauldron three visions appeared.
The first, dressed as a soldier, warned him tobeware of Macduff (The Thane of Fife)
The second, a child covered in blood, told him no man bornof a woman could harm him.The third was another child holding a crown and treebranch. He said that Macbeth would remain King untilBirnam wood came to his castle.
Macbeth asked the witches if Banquo’s sons would become King. The cauldron thensank into the ground and Banquo appeared followed by generations of his family, all wereKings.
Macbeth was now very worried and frightened. When he heard that the LordMacduff had joined forces with one of his enemies, Prince Malcolm, he orderedthat Macduffs wife and children were killed. This didn’t make Macbeth popular.To make things worse his wife who was still guilty about the murder of KingDuncan had killed herself. Macbeth was now totally alone.
Macbeth’s problems had only just begun. Prince Malcolm had gathered his men inBirnam wood. He cunningly disguised them in tree branches and began to attackMacbeth’s castle. From the walls it appeared as if the whole of Birnam would was comingto the castle.Just as the witches has said.
Macbeth still thought himself unbeatable and so went to battle. In the middle ofthe battle field he met Macduff. During their fight Macbeth said he couldnt bekilled by any man born of a woman. Macduff laughed saying he’d not be born inthe ordinary way but by caesarean. Macbeth knew his time was up.
Macduff killed Macbeth, and Prince Malcolm was returned to his father’s throneas the rightful heir, Macbeth ‘s evil rule over Scotland came to an end.