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E Hancock

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of Macbeth

Character map
At the start of the play Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, sees three witches who prophesise that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, then King of Scotland and that Banquo's sons will become Kings. The rest of play sees the great lengths he will go to gain and keep the throne resulting in his eventual madness and death.
Lady Macbeth
Macbeth immediately writes to his wife, Lady Macbeth, who decides that to make the prophecies come true Duncan must be murdered.
She convinces Macbeth to murder Duncan and questions his courage when he almost backs out.
However, as the play goes on her cold, hard exterior cracks and she falls into a guilt ridden madness in which she sleep walks and imagines her hands drenched in blood. This results in her suicide at the end of the play.
Duncan is the King of Scotland. He promotes Macbeth to Thane of Cawdor at the start of the play and stays as a guest in his home where he is brutally murdered by Macbeth.
He leaves behind two heirs to the throne: Malcolm and Donalbain.
Is the son and heir of King Duncan. After his father's murder, he and his brother Donalbain flee to England in fear of their own safety and under suspicion themselves.
He later joins forces with the Scottish lord, Macduff, to reclaim his rightful place as King of Scotland.
Is the younger son of Donalbain and flees to England after his father's murder, fearing his own life may be in danger. The fact that he and Malcolm run away after the murder is used by Macbeth to suggest their guilt.
Loyal friend of Macbeth who was present during the witches prophecies. He does eventually begin to suspect Macbeth of murder. Macbeth orders that Banquo and his son are murdered so that the third prophecy (Banquo's sons will be kings) cannot come true. Banquo's ghost later visits Macbeth and adds to his spiraling depression and guilt which drive him to insanity.
Son of Banquo. Macbeth hires men to murder Banquo and Fleance. Fleance escapes leaving the third part of the prophecy still possible and adding to Macbeth's paranoia and despair.
A Scottish lord and friend to both King Duncan and Malcolm. He flees to England to escape Macbeth's cruel and tyrannical rule.
After the second witches prophecy, Macbeth orders Macduff's family to be killed. Macduff vows revenge and joins forces with Malcolm to reinstate the rightful heir to the throne.
He later kills Macbeth, fulfilling the second prophecies as he was not 'of woman born' but born by cesarean section.
The Witches
At the start of the play the witches make three prophecies to Macbeth and Banquo: Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor, he will then be King of Scotland and Banquo's sons will become Kings.
Once Macbeth has removed Duncan and Banquo as threats to his throne he returns to the witches for reassurance he's done enough. They give him three more prophecies: No man of woman born can kill Macbeth, Beware Macduff and that he is safe until Birnam wood moves towards Dunsinane.
This makes Macbeth feel invincible.
Full transcript