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The Tragedy of Macbeth William Shakespeare. Menu. Introduction Background Discussion Starters. The Tragedy of Macbeth William Shakespeare. Be careful what you wish for. The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction. What would you do if you encountered three strange women who predicted your future.

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the tragedy of macbeth william shakespeare
The Tragedy of MacbethWilliam Shakespeare

Menu

Introduction

Background

Discussion Starters

the tragedy of macbeth william shakespeare1
The Tragedy of MacbethWilliam Shakespeare

Be careful what you wish for.

the tragedy of macbeth introduction
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

What would you do if you encountered three strange women who predicted your future

and then those predictions started coming true?

the tragedy of macbeth introduction1
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

Suppose the women predicted that you would become a powerful ruler someday.

Would you want to wait to see if this came true?

Or would you want to make it come true?

the tragedy of macbeth introduction2
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

As The Tragedy of Macbeth opens, the Scottish army is battling invading forces

Norwegian forces

Scotland

and King Duncan wants a victory.

the tragedy of macbeth introduction3
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

Macbeth fights ferociously

killing the traitor Macdonwald and planting Macdonwald’shead on the castle battlements.

King Duncan is impressed.

the tragedy of macbeth introduction4
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

While crossing the stormy countryside after the battle, Macbeth and Banquo encounter a trio of witches.

Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble

the tragedy of macbeth introduction5
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

The weird sisters make these predictions:

  • Macbeth will earn noble titles.
  • Banquo will produce a line of kings.
  • Macbeth will be King of Scotland.

Then, the witches vanish, and a messenger appears to tell Macbeth that King Duncan has just given him a noble title.

the tragedy of macbeth introduction6
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

All Macbeth can think about is the sisters’ final prophecy …

And the thought that he might become king.

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The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

His wife, the ambitiousLady Macbeth longs for

  • high position
  • wealth
  • power
  • prestige

She’ll do anything to make her husband king.

the tragedy of macbeth introduction8
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Introduction

She just may get her chance. King Duncan decides to visit Macbeth’s castle.

Will the king live to rule another day?

the tragedy of macbeth background
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Background

William Shakespeare wrote more than 36 plays and 150 poems in his lifetime. He is considered the most influential writer in English literature.

  • movies

More than four hundred years later, his works still influence

  • music
  • TV shows
  • video games
the tragedy of macbeth background1
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Background

In the tragedy Macbeth, Shakespeare explores the damaging nature of overwhelming ambition and greed.

It is the shortest of Shakespeare’s tragedies, and includes this simple message: “Thou shalt not kill.”

the tragedy of macbeth background2
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Background

Before Shakespeare’s time, troupes of actors traveled the countryside, to perform

in parks

halls

courts

courtyards

and in other open spaces they could find.

the tragedy of macbeth background3
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Background

In 1576, the first playhouse, called The Theater, was built outside London’s city walls.Soon other famous London theaters followed.

  • the Fortune
  • the Rose
  • the Red Bull
  • the Swan
  • the Globe Theater
the tragedy of macbeth background4
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Background

Now drama could be a permanent experience for theater crowds, rather than a traveling show.

covered seats

main stage

actors

cheap standing room

the tragedy of macbeth discussion starters
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Discussion Starters
  • Discuss (1)
  • Shakespeare’s works are just as popular today as they were in his lifetime. Why do you think these stories are still so admired and imitated 400 years later?
  • Shakespeare’s writing works as well on the stage as it does on the written page. Why? Do you think that acting out a story on stage adds to its emotional effect?
the tragedy of macbeth discussion starters1
The Tragedy of Macbeth: Discussion Starters
  • Discuss (2)
  • Macbeth and his wife are overwhelmed with ambition, so they plot to steal the throne of Scotland.
  • Which character is more willing to do evil? Why? Do you think they will suffer a price for their actions?
  • Do you think Shakespeare means for this story to be a cautionary tale, or warning? How?