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Macbeth and the Witches (Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 1) by William Woollett is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

When asked to relate the narrative of Macbeth, a person has two options. One is of a guy named Macbeth who ascended the throne of Scotland by committing a crime in the year 1039 and ruled justly and well for at least fifteen years. This tale is part of Scottish history. The second tale emanates from a location known as Imagination; it is dismal and fantastic, and you will hear it.

Two years before Edward the Confessor became king of England, two generals named Macbeth and Banquo defeated a Norwegian king in Scotland. After the battle, the generals went to Forres, Elginshire, where King Duncan of Scotland was waiting for them.

As they walked through a barren wasteland, they saw three sisters with beards walking hand in hand. They looked old and were wearing strange clothes.

“Explain yourself, who are you?” requested Macbeth

“Hail, Macbeth, Glamis’s chieftain!” shouted the first lady.

“Hail, Macbeth, lord of Cawdor!” the second lady responded.

“Hail, future King Macbeth,” murmured the third lady.

Banquo then inquired, “What of me?” And the third lady responded, “You will be the father of kings.”

“Tell me more,” Macbeth urged. “Because of the death of my father, I am the chieftain of Glamis, yet the chieftain of Cawdor, the king, and his children continue to live. “Speak; I command!”

The ladies responded by instantly vanishing, as if they had dissolved into the air.

Banquo and Macbeth then realized that they had spoken to the witches and were debating their forecasts when two lords came. One thanked Macbeth for his service in the army on behalf of the King, and the other said, “He told me to call you the chieftain of Cawdor.”

Macbeth later found out that the man who had held that title the day before was going to be killed for treason, and he couldn’t help but think, “The third witch called me “King to be.”

“You see, Banquo,” he added, “the witches told the truth about me.” “Therefore, do you not trust that your children and grandchildren will become kings?”

Banquo frowned. Duncan had two sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, and he considered it disrespectful for Fleance to desire to rule Scotland. He warned Macbeth that the witches’ prophesies about the throne may have been designed to entice them both into wickedness. However, Macbeth believed the prophecy that he would become king was too good to keep to himself alone, so he told his wife about it in a letter.

Lady Macbeth was the granddaughter of a Scottish king who died defending his throne against the king who preceded Duncan and by whose orders her only brother was murdered. Duncan stood in for painful injustices for her. Her husband had royal blood in his veins, and after reading his letter, she was certain that he would become king.

When a messenger told her that Duncan was going to spend the night at Macbeth’s castle, she got the courage to do something terrible.

As soon as she spotted Macbeth, she informed him that Duncan must have had a dark day. She meant that Duncan must die, since the dead are blind. Macbeth answered uncomfortably, “We shall discuss further,” and by night, with his mind filled with Duncan’s good words, he would have spared his visitor if he could.

Lady Macbeth asked, “Would you live like a coward?” She seemed to believe that morality and cowardice were synonymous.

Macbeth said, “I dare to accomplish everything that is worthy of a man; there is no one else who dares to do more.”

“Why did you send me that letter?” She asked angrily, and with angry words she encouraged him to commit the murder, and with crafty words she instructed him on how to carry it out.

After dinner, Duncan retired to bed, and two soldiers were stationed at the entrance of his chamber. Lady Macbeth had them drink till they were intoxicated. She then snatched their daggers and would have personally assassinated the king if his sleeping countenance had not resembled that of her father.

Macbeth arrived later and saw the daggers lying by the grooms. After a few moments, he stood before his wife with bleeding hands and said, “I thought I heard a voice exclaim, ‘Sleep no more!” Macbeth killed the sleeping

“Wash your hands,” she instructed. “Why didn’t you leave the knives with the grooms?” “Bring them back and smear blood on the grooms.”

“I dare not,” muttered Macbeth.

She returned to him with hands as red as his but with a less white heart, she boasted, since she despised his fear.

The assassins heard a knock, and Macbeth hoped it was one that could revive the dead. Macduff, the chieftain of Fife, had been instructed by Duncan to pay him an early visit. Macbeth approached him and showed him the entrance to the king’s chamber.

Macduff entered and exited screaming, “Oh horror, oh horror, oh horror!”

Macbeth seemed just as horrified as Macduff, and he killed the two grooms with their own daggers before they could say they were innocent. He said he couldn’t stand to see Duncan’s killers still alive.

Because these murders were carried out in secret, Macbeth was crowned on Scone. One of Duncan’s sons went to Ireland, while the other moved to England. King Macbeth reigned over the land. However, he was dissatisfied. The prophecy about Banquo weighed heavily on his thoughts. The son of Macbeth would not govern if Fleance were to rule. Therefore, Macbeth decided to murder Banquo and his son. Macbeth hired two ruffians for the purpose. Banquo was assassinated one night while on his way with Fleance to a dinner that Macbeth was hosting for his nobles. Fleance escaped.

Macbeth and his queen met their visitors with great hospitality, and he wished for them a phrase that has been said thousands of times since his time: “Now good digestion waits on appetite, and health on both.”
“We pray for your Majesty to sit with us,” said Lennox, a Scottish noble. But before Macbeth could respond, Banquo’s ghost entered the banquet hall and sat in Macbeth’s place.

Macbeth, oblivious to the ghost, said that if Banquo were there, he might boast that he had gathered the finest Scottish knights beneath his roof. However, Macduff politely refused his invitation.

The King was urged once again to take a seat, and Lennox, to whom Banquo’s spirit was invisible, pointed out the chair where it was seated.

But Macbeth spotted the ghost with his brilliant eyes. He perceived it as a kind of mist and blood, and he shouted vehemently, “Which of you has done this?”

Still, no one except Macbeth saw the ghost, and he told it, “You cannot claim I did it.”

Macbeth was impudent enough to raise a glass of wine “to the general delight of the whole table and to our beloved friend Banquo, whom we miss,” as the ghost glided out.

Even as the toast was drunk, the spirit of Banquo came for the second occasion.

“Depart!” said Macbeth. “You are stupid and insane!” “Hide under the earth, you horrible shadow!”

Again, no one but him saw the ghost.

“What is it your Majesty sees?” one of the nobility inquired.

The Queen was unwilling to grant a response to this inquiry. She urgently pleaded with her visitors to leave a sick man alone, whose condition would surely worsen if forced to speak.

The next day, however, Macbeth was healthy enough to talk with the witches whose forecasts had so corrupted him.

He discovered them in a cavern on a stormy day. They were circling a cauldron in which were boiling particles of numerous unusual and horrific animals, and they knew he was coming before he came.

“Answer my questions,” said the king.

The first witch inquired, “Would you rather hear it from us or from our masters?”

“Call them,” Macbeth responded.

The witches then poured blood into the cauldron and grease into the flame that licked it, and Macbeth could only see the eyes of a helmeted head with the visor down.

He was speaking to the head when the first witch remarked seriously, “He understands your mind,” followed by a voice in the head saying, “Macbeth, fear Macduff, the chieftain of Fife.” The head then descended until it vanished into the pot.

“Just one more word,” Macbeth urged.

“He will not be ordered,” muttered the first witch, and suddenly a crowned kid carrying a tree emerged from the cauldron. The youngster said:

“Macbeth will remain unconquerable until…”
“The Wood of Birnam climbs Dunsinane Hill.”

Macbeth replied, “That will never happen,” and then inquired if Banquo’s descendants would ever control Scotland.

The cauldron sank into the ground, music was heard, and a parade of ghost monarchs marched past Macbeth; behind them came Banquo’s ghost. Macbeth noticed a resemblance to Banquo in each of the eight monarchs he numbered.

Suddenly, he was left alone.

His next step was to dispatch assassins to Macduff’s castle. They were unable to locate Macduff, so they asked Lady Macduff where he was. Her interrogator called Macduff a traitor after her harsh reply. Macduff’s little son said, “Thou liest!” before being stabbed and pleading with his last breath for his mother to flee. Every living being in the castle was slaughtered by the assassins.

Macduff was in England with Malcolm, listening to a doctor’s account of Edward the Confessor’s miraculous cures, when his friend Ross arrived to inform him that his wife and children had died. Ross first lacked the courage to declare the truth and change Macduff’s compassion for those whose suffering was alleviated by royal virtue into grief and resentment. But when Malcolm declared that England was sending an army against Macbeth into Scotland, Ross blurted out his news, and Macduff exclaimed, “All dead? All my beautiful children and their mother? “Did you say all?”

If he had been able to see inside Macbeth’s stronghold on Dunsinane Hill, he would have seen a more grave force at work than revenge. Lady Macbeth became insane as punishment for her crimes. She walked in her dreams while asleep. She was used to washing her hands for a quarter of an hour at a time, but despite her efforts, a crimson patch of blood remained on her skin. It was heartbreaking to hear her lament that all of Arabia’s perfumes could not sweeten her little hand.

Macbeth asked the physician, “Could you not minister to a diseased mind?” The physician answered that his patient must minister to her own mind. This response made Macbeth disdain medication. He said, “Throw physic to the dogs.” “I’ll have none of it.”

One day, he heard the sound of weeping women. An officer approached him and informed him, “Your Majesty, the Queen, has passed away.” “Out, brief candle,” Macbeth murmured, implying that life was like a candle, dependent on a gust of wind. He did not cry because he was too used to death.

A messenger soon informed him that he had seen Birnam Wood on the march. Macbeth referred to him as a liar and a slave and threatened to hang him if he had made a mistake. “If you’re right, you can hang me,” he said.

Indeed, Birnam Wood seemed to be marching towards Dunsinane Castle when viewed from the tower windows of Dunsinane Castle. Every soldier in the English army carried a branch he had cut from a tree in the forest as camouflage as they ascended Dunsinane Hill like human trees.

Macbeth maintained his bravery. He went into battle to win or die, and his first act was to murder the son of the English commander in single combat. Macbeth believed that no one could fight him and survive, and when Macduff came to him enraged for vengeance, he told him, “Retreat; I have already shed too much of your blood.”

“My speech is in my sword,” Macduff said, slashing at him and ordering him to surrender.

Macbeth said, “I will not yield,” but his last hour had arrived. He fell.

Macbeth’s troops were running away when Macduff came up to Malcolm, holding a king’s head by the hair.

“Hail, King!” he said, and the new king gazed at the previous monarch.

So, Malcolm ruled after Macbeth, but Banquo’s descendants ruled in the years that followed.

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