Three "Weird Sisters" await Macbeth and Banquo as the two warriors return
home, victorious from battle. The Witches greet them with strange prophecies:
Macbeth will be named Thane of Cawdor and king, though it will be Banquo
who fathers Scotland's future kings. The two friends soon discover that the first part
of the prophecy is, indeed, true: the treasonous Cawdor is executed, and Macbeth's
bravery earns him the new title from the grateful King Duncan.
Macbeth returns home, where Lady Macbeth presses him to take
destiny into his own hands by murdering the sleeping king, a guest in
their home that very night. In the morning, the king's body is found;
his sons flee and Macbeth is crowned king. Still, Macbeth cannot stop
thinking about the Weird Sisters' prophecy: it will be Banquo who
will father Scotland's royal line. Macbeth hires henchmen to slaughter
Banquo and his son Fleance, but the boy narrowly escapes. That
evening, the ghost of Banquo appears before the guilty king.
Tortured by his fears, Macbeth seeks out the Weird Sisters, and again
mistakes their cryptic prophecies as assurance of his success. Their
paths covered in blood, Lady Macbeth is tormented into madness as
Macbeth leads his country toward the abyss of civil war.
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Explore Short Shakespeare! Macbeth and learn more about the production.