Macbeth study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Ophelia, who is Laertes's sister, Polonius's daughter, and Hamlet's lover, is seen as submissive and innocent while Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, is displayed as ruthless and corrupting.
First I will be giving a quick summary of Macbeth, discuss the main themes and issues, analyse the text, analyse the character of Lady Macbeth, discuss the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, write about the strengths and weaknesses of Lady Macbeth, I am going to debate if Lady Macbeth is evil or good, talk about the reason why Shakespeare created the character Lady Macbeth, discuss the misogynistic views in the play, discuss demonology written by king James and finally talk about the adoptions of the directors....
Clark and Wright in their Introduction to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare interpret the main theme of the play as intertwining with evil: The theme of the drama is the gradual ruin through yielding to evil within and evil without, of a man, who, though from the first tainted by base and ambitious thoughts, yet possessed elements in his nature of possible honor and loyalty....
Roger Warren states in Shakespeare Survey 30 , regarding Trervor Nunn's direction of Macbeth at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1974-75, how the witches represented the darkness of black magic: Much of the approach and detail was carried over, particularly the clash between religious purity and black magic....
Now it's time to meet Macbeth. He's prancing home on a dark and stormy night after defending King Duncan in battle with some skilled enemy-disemboweling. Understandably, he's feeling pretty good about himself. Just then, he and his good pal Banquo run into three bearded witches (the "weird sisters"), who rhymingly prophesy that Macbeth will be named (guess what?) Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. Just as Banquo is pouting about being left out, the witches tell him that he'll be father to a long line of future kings of Scotland.
...eclaims the power that Macbeth has usurped. Each force that played a part in his accession played an equal part in his downfall. Self, wife, and witch together toppled Macbeth as they proved poor opponents for the force of Nature. The offensive tyrant is banished, and Nature returns what is rightfully his to Malcom.
Left alone, Macbeth summons the two murderers he has hired. While he waits for them, he voices his greatest worry of the moment—that the witches' prophecy will also come true for Banquo, making his children kings. He will put an end to such worries by hiring two men to kill Banquo and Fleance. The men are not professional assassins, but rather poor men who are willing to work as mercenaries. Macbeth has already blamed their current state of poverty on Banquo. He now tells them that while Banquo is his own enemy as much as theirs, loyal friends of Banquo's prevent him from killing Banquo himself. Macbeth proceeds to detail the particulars of the murder: they must attack him as he returns from his ride—at a certain distance from the palace—and they must also kill Fleance at the same time.
While Macbeth is waiting around for "chance" to come along and make him king, he starts getting restless. His ambitious wife, Lady Macbeth, prods him into acting like a "man" and killing King Duncan when the poor guy comes to Macbeth's castle for a friendly visit.
Alone on stage, Lady Macbeth expresses her unhappiness: there seems to be no end to her desire for power and she feels insecure and anxious. Macbeth enters looking upset and she counsels him to stop mulling over the crimes they have committed. But Macbeth declares that their job is not done: he still spends every waking moment in fear and every night embroiled in nightmares. He even envies Duncan, who now sleeps peacefully in his grave. Lady Macbeth warns him to act cheerful in front of their dinner guests. She also tries to comfort him by reminding him that Banquo and Fleance are by no means immortal. Macbeth responds by telling her that "a deed of dreadful note" will be done in the night, though he will not divulge the details (33).
Looking over the table, Macbeth declares that the banquet would be perfect if only Banquo were present. At this point Banquo's ghost appears unobserved and takes Macbeth's seat. The guests urge Macbeth to sit and eat with them but Macbeth says that the table is full. When Lennox points to Macbeth's empty seat, Macbeth is shocked to see Banquo’s ghost. He addresses the ghost, saying, "Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake / Thy gory locks at me" (49-50). The guests, confused by his behavior, think that he is ill. Lady Macbeth reassures them, however, by saying that he has had similar fits since youth and that he will soon be well. She draws Macbeth aside and attempts to calm him by asserting that the vision is merely a “painting of [his] fear”—just like the dagger he saw earlier (60). Ignoring her, Macbeth charges the ghost to speak but it disappears. After Lady Macbeth scolds him for being "unmanned in folly" (73), Macbeth returns to his guests and claims that he has "a strange infirmity," which they should ignore (85).
Just as the party resumes and Macbeth is offering a toast to Banquo, the ghost reappears. As Macbeth once again bursts out in a speech directed at the ghost, Lady Macbeth tries to smooth things over with the guests. In response to Macbeth’s exclamation that he sees sights that make his cheeks “blanched with fear,” Ross asks what sights Macbeth means (114). Lady Macbeth asks the guests to leave, since Macbeth's "illness" seems to be deteriorating. Alone with Lady Macbeth, Macbeth expresses his deep anxieties and vows to return to the Weird Sisters.