Duncan, King of Scotland, has won mighty battles with the help of his warriors Macbeth and Banquo. Spurred by his ambitious wife and the blandishments of three witches, Macbeth murders Duncan to become the new king. But each step entails more -- Macbeth fears the goodness and strength of his old buddy Banquo, the armies of England gather against him -- and he pushes on through a downward, bloody spiral. Shakespeare presents a gripping, chilling tale with rich, allusive language.
This report prepared by David Loftus
"Macbeth" (or the "dread Scott decision") is certainly known to just about any American who has graduated from high school. In William Shakespeare's dark tragedgy, Macbeth yields to his own "vaulting ambition." In so doing, he commits regicide, among other sins, only to be toppled himself (As King Henry said, "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown"!). In this five-act drama, we find superstition playing an important role (the witches play major influences in Macbeth and his wife's ambitions). Shakespeare also spends time courting his Elizabethan audiences with the ghost lore of the day. Ultimately, "Birnam Wood marches to High Dunsinane" and Macbeth realizes he has lost it all, and "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" does creep in on its petty pace and justice is done.
This report prepared by Bill Hobbs