Macbeth assumes the
Hi! I'm Becky Beth Benedict and I'm here for About.com. Today, we're going to talk about an overview of Macbeth by William Shakespeare.News of Macbeth's battlefield successes reaches Duncan, King of Scotland, who in turn pronounces Macbeth Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches on their way home from the battle, who predict that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and in turn King of Scotland, and Banquo will father a line of kings. The men are doubtful of these prophecies until they are informed of the King's appointment, which confirms the witches' words.Lady Macbeth is thrilled by the news and with Macbeth hastens the timing of the prediction by serving King Duncan and his heirs at a feast, where the ambitious couple kill the sleeping King. Lady Macbeth spurs Macbeth on in the deed and even returns to the scene of the crime to place a knife that her husband neglected. The chamberlains are blamed for the murder. Duncan's sons escape to safe haven. Macbeth assumes the throne.To prevent the witches's visions of Banquo's future from coming to fruition, Macbeth hires assassins to kill Banquo and his son, but the son flees and is framed for the murder of his father. Banquo's ghost visits a feast at Macbeth's castle, visible only to Macbeth, who is so shaken that his guests become quite nervous about their new king. To ally his own fears, Macbeth revisits the witches, who tell him to fear Macduff, but "none of woman born shall harm MacBeth," and that he will rule until Great Birnam Wood comes to Dunsainne.Meanwhile Macduff joins forces with Malcolm, the rightful heir. Lady Macbeth quickly begins to lose her wits and sleepwalks as if washing blood off her hands. Soon she is found dead. Macduff and Malcolm hide their armies with branches from Birnam Wood trees as they march toward Dunsainne. Despite this omen, Macbeth still believes no one can kill him, as every man is "from woman born." Macduff comes face to face with MacBeth in battle and proclaims that Macduff was taken early from his mother's womb by surgery and not "born." Macduff slays MacBeth and Malcolm assumes the Scottish throne.Thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.