TL;DR: Macbeth hears that he is going to be king; he and also Lady Macbeth kill civilization so that can come to be king; both of castle die.

Macbeth Summary

Three witches phone call the Scottish general Macbeth the he will certainly be King of Scotland. Motivated by his wife, Macbeth death the king, becomes the brand-new king, and kills an ext people out of paranoia. Civil war erupts to fall Macbeth, resulting in more death.

More detail: 2 minute read

Act I

On a bleak Scottish moorland, Macbeth and Banquo, two of King Duncan"s generals, find three strange ladies (witches). The witches prophesy the Macbeth will be advocated twice: come Thane the Cawdor (a rank of the aristocracy bestowed by thankful kings) and King that Scotland. Banquo"s descendants will be kings, yet Banquo isn"t promised any kingdom himself. The generals desire to listen more, but the "weird sisters" disappear. 

Soon afterwards, King Duncan surname Macbeth Thane of Cawdor as a reward for his success in the current battles. The promotion seems to support the prophecy. The King then proposes to do a quick visit the night to Macbeth"s castle at Inverness. Lady Macbeth obtain news from she husband about the prophecy and also his new title. She vows to aid him end up being king by whatever means are important (*ominous music*). 

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Is this a dagger which ns see before me?

— Macbeth, plot 2 step 1
Macbeth through Henry Irving Programme, 1889

Act II

Macbeth returns to his castle, followed practically immediately by King Duncan. The Macbeths plot together to death Duncan and wait till everyone is asleep. At the appointed time, Lady Macbeth offers the guards drugged wine so Macbeth have the right to enter and kill the King. The regrets this almost immediately, yet his wife reassures him. She leaves the bloody daggers by the dead king just before Macduff, a nobleman, arrives. Once Macduff discovers the murder, Macbeth death the drunken security in a show of rage and retribution. Duncan"s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee, fearing because that their own lives; however they are, nevertheless, blamed because that the murder. 


Macbeth i do not care King of Scotland however is plagued by feel of insecurity. The remembers the prophecy that Banquo"s descendants will certainly inherit the throne and also arranges for Banquo and his boy Fleance to be killed. In the darkness, Banquo is murdered, however his boy escapes the assassins. At his state banquet the night, Macbeth sees the ghost that Banquo and also worries the courtiers with his mad response. Lady Macbeth dismisses the court and also unsuccessfully tries to calm her husband. 

Costume because that Vivien Leigh together Lady Macbeth, 1955

Act IV

Macbeth looks for out the witches who say the he will certainly be safe till a neighborhood wood, Birnam Wood, marches right into battle versus him. He additionally need not fear anyone born of mrs (that sounds secure, no loop-holes here). They additionally prophesy the the Scottish sequence will quiet come native Banquo"s son. Macbeth embarks top top a regime of terror, slaughtering many, including Macduff"s family. Macduff had gone to look for Malcolm (one that Duncan"s sons that fled) in ~ the court the the English king. Malcolm is young and also unsure of himself, however Macduff, pained with grief, persuades that to command an army against Macbeth. 

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this means comes

— Macbeth, act 4 scene 1
royal Company, 1967

Act V

Macbeth feels safe in his remote lock at Dunsinane until he is told that Birnam lumber is moving towards him. Malcolm"s military is transferring branches indigenous the woodland as camouflage because that their attack on Macbeth"s stronghold. Meanwhile, an overwrought and conscience-ridden Lady Macbeth go in her sleep and also tells her tricks to she doctor. She commits suicide. Together the final battle commences, Macbeth hears that Lady Macbeth"s suicide and also mourns. 

Out, damned spot!

— Macbeth, plot 5 scene 1
Geubraintv-jp.come Skillan together Macbeth, 1920

In the midst of a losing battle, Macduff difficulties Macbeth. Macbeth learn Macduff is the son of a caesarean birth (loophole!), realises he is doomed, and also submits to his enemy. Macduff triumphs and brings the head of the traitor Macbeth come Malcolm. Malcolm declares peace and also goes to Scone to it is in crowned king.

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Tomorrow, and also tomorrow, and tomorrow

— Macbeth, action 5 scene 5

For added reading, view our blog on Macbeth

Find more Shakespearian insults native Macbeth and other plays: Funny Quotes