William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth during the late 1590's to early 1600's. It is believed to be one of his most powerful works depicting the repercussions of using evil to gain power.
Like most of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth is set in Scotland. It portrays the story of a great general in the Scotland Military named Macbeth. During his travels Macbeth come across the path of a trio of witches, which tell him that he is to one day become the King. But not a King forever, for his comrade in arms Banquo will father a long line of kings. This part of the prophecy will haunt Macbeth forever.
Consumed by his new found ambition and driven by the greed of his wife, Macbeth plots and murders King Duncan. He proceeds to put himself on the throne .With the first part of the prophecy made true, Macbeth still fears the other part of the prophecy. He plots to kill his comrade Banquo and son while they ride one evening. The assassins managed to kill Banquo but his son is able to flee. Furious that his longevity as king is still not secure, Macbeth visits the three witches again. Within their den he is shown that while his position will not be taken by any son born of a woman, the witches also show him eight kings that all favor Banquo and the last one is holding a mirror reflecting a line that last forever.
Macbeth is also confronted with the fleeing of Lord Macduff who has always been the loudest voice of doubt concerning Macbeth rise to king. In a furious wrath of rage and paranoia, Macbeth orders the slaying of everyone in Lord Macduff's castle including Lady Macduff and their young son.
Lady Macbeth wracked with quilt over the crimes her and her husband have committed goes insane and kills herself. This news is followed by the return of Lord Macduff seeking revenge for his slain wife and child. Backed by an English army, Macduff takes over the castle. Macbeth reveals he does not fear a man born of a woman, Macduff replies he is not born of a woman because he was ripped from his mothers womb. Macbeth is slain by Macduff and Malcolm a descendant of Banquo is crowned King of England.
Macbeth is one of the shortest tragedies written by Shakespeare. This was also the first play Shakespeare wrote for a monarch other than Queen Elizabeth I.