Macbeth, also known as The Tragedie of Macbeth, is a famous tragedy by William Shakespeare. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, conceivably from a prompt book. It dramatises political ambition’s damaging physical and psychological impacts on those who desire power for serving self-interest. 

Shakespeare wrote most of his plays during the reign of James I; Macbeth most distinctly reflects his relationship with King James, sponsor of Shakespeare’s acting company. 

It is considered Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy.


Macbeth Overview

A courageous Scottish general named Macbeth learns about a prophecy from three witches that he will become King of Scotland one day. 

Swallowed by ambition and urged to action by his wife, Macbeth kills King Duncan and seizes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with regret and paranoia. Which ultimately forced him to commit more murders to save himself from hostility and suspicion; he soon became a tyrannical ruler. 

The massacre and consequent civil war swiftly bring Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of turmoil and death.

Macbeth Pdf

Shakespeare’s origin for the story is the account of Macbeth, Macduff, Duncan in Holinshed’s Chronicles, King of Scotland, a history of England, Ireland and Scotland acquainted to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. However, the events in the play differ considerably from the real history of Macbeth. 

The events of this tragedy are usually related to the execution of Henry Garnet for conspiracy in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

Macbeth is an oddity among Shakespeare’s tragedies in particular critical ways. It is brief, a thousand lines shorter than King Lear and Othello, and only little more than half as long as Hamlet.

This briefness has suggested to numerous critics that the received version is established on a heavily cut origin, perhaps a prompt book for a special performance.