Macbeth Summaries

Summaries on Macbeth for English GCSE.

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English : Shakespeare : Summaries & Themes
Macbeth : Summary
In the Test you will be asked to write a short text about the Shakespeare play you have studied.
You will be given the audience and purpose for which you are writing, and some ideas to help
get you started.
To do this well, you'll need to know the plot of the play, and some of the main themes it deals
with. This Revision Bite summarises the plot of Macbeth.
Macbeth : Summary 1
The play opens in a wild, dark lonely place. Two warlords, Macbeth and his friend Banquo,
are alone, at the end of a savage battle against the Norwegian army and rebel Scottish lords.
The two have fought bravely especially Macbeth and have led the Scottish army to a famous
victory. Macbeth is a hero.
Out of nowhere, three witches appear. The men are curious, and want to know what they have
to say. They tell Macbeth that he will be King, and that Banquo's sons or grandsons will
one day be kings as well.
Banquo laughs at what the witches say, but Macbeth is stunned and excited. Even though there
already is a king, and Macbeth is not in line for the throne, he cannot think of anything else. He
sends a letter to his wife, Lady Macbeth, to tell her what the witches have said, then sets off for
his castle.
When she receives the letter, Lady Macbeth is as excited as Macbeth was, and makes up her
mind that come what may her husband will become king. She invites evil spirits into her so that
she can be ruthless when the chance comes. A messenger arrives, to bring news that King
Duncan is on his way to her castle. In Lady Macbeth's mind, here is the chance he will be
murdered that very night.
However, Macbeth cannot make up his mind. He desperately wants to be king, but to
murder Duncan in his own home seems too cruel. Lady Macbeth convinces him though, and the
dark deed is done.

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Macbeth : Summary 2
The murder of Duncan throws Scotland into fear and tension. Duncan's sons fear the worst and
flee Scotland, making people suspect that they killed their own father. Other people suspect
Macbeth, but there isn't any proof to this allegation. When Macbeth is crowned, other warlords
follow Duncan's sons into exile. No one feels safe any more in Scotland.
The Macbeths are now king and queen.…read more

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The witches are waiting for him. They show him a series of strange images and make another
three prophecies:
He should beware of Macduff
No one born from a woman will ever harm him
He will never be never be defeated until Birnam Wood comes to Macbeth's castle at
Surely this means he is safe! Woods can't move from one place to another, and if noone born
from a woman can defeat him, Macbeth need not fear.…read more

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Then, one by one, the prophecies come true. The army from England is preparing to attack
Macbeth's castle. The soldiers are ordered to cut down branches of the trees in Birnham wood
to use as camouflage. Macbeth hears to his terror that a forest is moving towards him. As he is
getting ready to fight, he hears a scream, and is told that his wife has committed suicide. The
battle begins. Macduff forces his way into the castle and confronts Macbeth.…read more


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