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After a battle, three witches tell General Macbeth he'll soon be king, but then so will his best mate Banquo's descendants. Macbeth gets obsessed with the thought of being king, which develops one of the plays main themes: the corrupting influence of ambition. Lady Macbeth decides they should whack King Duncan to get the throne. Macbeth is iffy about the murder, does it anyway, but then freaks out. Lady M takes over and frames some servants. Before they can spill the beans Macbeth kills them.Macbeth's rival, General Macduff, is well sus. Maccy B becomes king, but mindful of the other part of the witches prediction, plots to have Banquo and his son, Fleance, murdered. Fleance escapes. Banquo is killed. Later, Banquo's ghost turns up, causing Macbeth to have a massive breakdown.But he recovers. The witches say Macbeth can't be killed by anyone of woman born, and he'll be king until "a forest marches up a hill." Yeh, like that's going to happen. Confident, while MacDuff is away in England, Macbeth kills Macduff's family. Then Lady M goes mad, sleepwalking and confessing to all their sins- and then kills herself, or dies, or disappears- it's not clear.Disguised with leaves and branches, Macduff's army attacks. At the big showdown Macduff reveals he was…DUN DUN DAA…born by Caesarean- so is not actually of woman born- in the technical sense. Macduff chops off Macbeth's head and King Duncan's son Malcolm takes over the throne of Scotland.Want to sound clever? Compare all this backstabbing with what goes on in Washington and Westminster today. Or mention that the play was orignally performed for King James I, who was supposedly descended from Banquo- making the witches first prediction the biggest theatrical in-joke of all time.There we are, Macbeth in 96 seconds
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