Macbeth Study Guide CD-ROM

Macbeth Study Guide CD-ROM

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A day of storm and battle is coming to a close, and Duncan, king of Scotland awaits news of the conflict. A bloody man appears and tells him that against all odds, the rebel Macdonwald, the traitor Thane of Cawdor, and the king of Norway have been defeated by Duncan's captains, Macbeth and Banquo. Duncan orders the Thane of Cawdor executed and tells his men to go bestow the title on Macbeth.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />Macbeth and Banquo, returning from the battle, come upon three witches who greet Macbeth as thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and king to be. Banquo asks whether they have such complimentary greetings for him. They call him &quot;Lesser than Macbeth and greater,&quot; and tell him that he will father kings. Then the witches vanish. Not certain what to make of this, Macbeth and Banquo are soon joined by Ross, who greets them in the king's name and names Macbeth Thane of Cawdor. This news, in fulfillment of the witches' statement seems to awaken within Macbeth a long-dead desire for the throne. Hardly daring to admit his own thoughts to himself, he writes to tell his wife of these events.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />Lady Macbeth has fewer qualms than her husband and goes into near-ecstasy at the thought of taking the throne. When she learns the king is coming to their castle for a night, she and Macbeth plot Duncan's death. In the dead of night Macbeth and his wife stab the king and leave the bloody daggers with his attendants. When the king is discovered the next morning, Macbeth kills the attendants in a &quot;fit of rage.&quot; Realizing that they no longer know who to trust, and that whoever killed their father may well be after them next, Duncan's sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland. Immediately, the lords assume they were behind the king's death and name Macbeth king.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />Not all are convinced of the wisdom of this, however. Banquo is keenly aware that the king has died in Macbeth's home shortly after Macbeth heard a prediction that he will be king. Macduff also doubts the innocence of Macbeth and, though he does not voice his thoughts, he refuses to attend Macbeth's coronation.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />Now that Macbeth is king, however, he remembers the prediction of the witches: Banquo's son will reign, not his. He hires men to kill Banquo and his son Fleance, but they acheive only partial success - Fleance escapes. At the banquet held in his honor that evening, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo, and in shouting at it perhaps reveals more than he intends to the gathered lords. He also begins to fear Macduff and determines to visit the witches again.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />The witches call forth three apparitions, who tell Macbeth that he must beware Macduff, that &quot;no one of woman born&quot; can harm him, and he will never be defeated until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. Heartened by these predictions, Macbeth demands to know whether Banquo's descendents will, indeed, rule after him. The witches show him a seemingly endless line of kings descending from Banquo. Angry, Macbeth decides to remove his last available irritant by killing Macduff. As he departs, however, he is told Macduff has fled to Malcolm in England. Now enraged, Macbeth vows from this point forward to immediately follow his first impulses, and he vents his fury by slaughtering everyone he can find in Macduff's castle - Macduff's wife, children, and servants. In England, Macduff has found Malcolm, but Malcolm is distrustful of him. As they form a tentative alliance, word arrives of the slaughter of Macduff's family. Macduff vows vengeance on Macbeth. Heartened by reports of rebellion against Macbeth and the offer of support and troops from England, Malcolm and Macduff make plans to return to Scotland and reclaim the throne.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />Things have not been going well for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The rebellions are taking their toll, and Lady Macbeth is restless in her mind. Her gentlewoman and a doctor observe her sleepwalking, speaking of the murders and clearly disturbed. Macbeth appears manic, thrown this way and that by his whims, alternating between supreme self-confidence in the predictions of the witches and fury that things are not as he wishes them. The death of Lady Macbeth seems to affect him little beyond a morose discussion about the meaning of life.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />Things really begin to fall apart as Malcolm's troops advance to Dunsinane and are joined by the lords of Scotland. When the troops pause at Birnam Wood, Malcolm orders his men to cut down and carry branches of the wood to confuse reports of their numbers. As this movement of the Wood pours toward Dunsinane, Macbeth realizes that the predictions he relied on have become a two-edged sword. Maddened by the desertion of his subjects and faced with an apparent trap, he clings to, almost revels in, the prediction that no one born of woman can harm him. But in the end, even this fails Macbeth.&lt;br /&gt;<br />&lt;br /&gt;<br />Interactive more

Product details

  • Hardback
  • 124.46 x 142.24 x 10.16mm | 68.04g
  • Progeny Press
  • United States
  • English
  • 1586096095
  • 9781586096090