Title & Author: Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Publication Date: 1606
Genre: text adaptation of play
Writing Style/Point of View: 3rd person objective, dialog/stage directions, old, “Shakespeare” language
Setting/Atmosphere: Various part of Scotland
Characters: Macbeth: Scottish General, main character, ambitious, paranoid Lady Macbeth: Ambitious woman, doesn’t want to get hands dirty, falls apart faster than Macbeth Banquo: Friend to Macbeth, stands in way of Macbeth. Ghost appears later. 3 Witches: Make prophecies and be evil. Duncan: Good king that Macbeth murders. Macduff: Thane of Scotland , hostile to Macbeth. Kills Macbeth. Malcolm: Son of Duncan, nice guy. Murderers: Group Macbeth hires to kill opposition.
Plot: Macbeth gets prophesy from witches that he will be king + thane of Cawdor. They also say Banquo’s heirs will be king. He becomes thane of Cawdor, believes in prophesy. Lady Macbeth spurs him to kill king. Macbeth kills Duncan, Malcom runs away. Macbeth becomes king. Has murderers kill Banquo and his son. Son escapes, Banquo dies. Macduff goes to Malcolm in England. Macbeth sees ghost of Banquo, gets disturbed. Macbeth visits witches, they give further visions. Say he’ll be fine unless some forest comes to his castle, and can only be killed by a man not born by a woman. Macbeth has Macduff’s family killed. Macduff + Malcolm return to Scotland with army. Lady Macbeth kills herself. Macbeth sees soldiers carrying parts of forest to his castle. Goes out to fight. Fights Macduff, turns out Macduff was born by C section. Macduff beheads Macbeth. Malcolm crowned king.
Themes: Light vs Dark: Murders (Duncan, Banquo) happen at night. Good forces happen during day. Ambition: Drives Macbeth, eventually consumes him.
Symbols: Blood: Symbolic of guilt, characters cannot cleanse themselves. Storms: Rainfall/bad weather preclude murders, so are symbolic of evil.
Holistic Interpretation: Ambition is a powerful force that, when...