‘Macbeth – The Fairy Tale’
Macbeth and the Three Witches
Once upon a time in the ancient kingdom of Scotland there lived a noble and just king called Duncan. He was a generous and kind king, whose only wish was to bring peace and happiness to his people, and to keep them pain and suffering from their lives. However, many people were jealous of the power and glory that came with being king and swore to take poor Duncan’s crown. Armies from faraway places like Ireland and Norway came to Scotland to try and kill the goodly Duncan and steal his crown by force. Even one of his good friends, who Duncan had given the important job of Thane of Cawdor, turned against him and tried to destroy him. This greatly saddened Duncan and he felt worried that he could not even trust his own friends. Luckily though he also had many loyal people around him; people who were happy to bravely defend both Duncan and Scotland from foreign armies and deceiving traitors.
The bravest and most loyal of these were two Thanes called Macbeth and Banquo. These men were fearsome warriors, able to defeat any man in battle. Once Scotland was threatened, these heroic figures would bravely leap to its defence and brutally punish any men who crossed their paths. Banquo was very courageous and strong, but even he did not compare to the valiant Macbeth, who fought heroically alongside him in defending Scotland from a treacherous army of invaders and traitors. The king was so pleased with Macbeth after this particular battle that he decided to reward him a big promotion: he was to become Thane of Cawdor – a title to be taken from the previous Thane, who betrayed the noble Duncan by organising a bloody rebellion.
On the way home from the terrible battle in which they had almost single-handedly saved Duncan and Scotland, Banquo and Macbeth ran into three very strange women who seemed to appear almost from nowhere. These creatures talked in riddles and spells and shocked Macbeth and Banquo with their bizarre appearance – they were dressed in dark clothing and their faces were covered in beards! What Macbeth and Banquo didn’t realise was that these unusual women were actually magical creatures who could tell the future; and look into any man’s heart to see his deepest desires.
The three creatures dance around and prophesied the future. Questions and confusion arose from Macbeth but they declined to clarify any more. Before long the witches had said their piece and had disappeared into the distant air. Macbeth and Banquo were left looking at each other with blank faces until the theories had sunk in. before long they began to confine in each other about what had just happened before their eyes, and their questions were shortly answered when two lords walk in with such new. Macbeth is now Thane of Cawdor just like what the three witches had announced with such joy. Macbeth is pleases and satisfied with his new proclaimed title the witches had proclaimed to him, but is it enough? Before long he is already thinking about how he can achieve the next title the witches had proclaimed to him. But there is someone very valid and important in his way; the actual king is still alive. Will Macbeth wait and let the future take its course and be patient or will he take meters into his own hands?
Well his wife certainly hopes he will take the second option. But she knows him better than anyone else. Although his greatest desire is to be king, he is also the kindest person in Scotland and she does not think he has the courage to become king the quickest way possible – to kill Duncan. As she is not a bad person herself, she asks for help from some bad spirits. When Macbeth arrives home from the king’s castle, Lady Macbeth reveals her evil plan… Macbeth is shocked to discover his wife wishes him to kill the good king Duncan. Her dream to be queen is far greater than he once believed. Luckily for Lady Macbeth, Duncan and his lords are already on their way to Macbeth’s castle. Macbeth will have to make a quick decision which will change his life forever. Will Macbeth let his ambition take over him and fulfil her wish? After a night full of lies and deception entertaining the kind Duncan, Macbeth makes his choice.
That night, Macbeth had to kill the great King. He met with Banquo, who made his loyally to King Duncan clear Before the clock struck midnight and the bell sounded, calling Macbeth to carry out the brutal murder, he had terrifying visions of bloody daggers and gore, but his mind was made up, Duncan fate was sealed.
Lady Macbeth was waiting outside the King’s chamber. She had drunk some of the potion which she had given to the guards to relax them and send them into a deep sleep.
Macbeth emerged, his hands crimson with the stain of blood, his face ghostly pale. Shadows danced on the walls and noises echoed around them, making them jump with fear.
Suddenly, he realised he had foolishly forgotten to plant the daggers on the poor guards, who were oblivious to the horror which surrounded them. Macbeth became hysterical. Downstairs, someone began thumping loudly on the door.
“Stop this nonsense and pull yourself together, you cowardly creature!” snapped Lady Macbeth, grabbing the daggers from him and running inside, returning seconds later. “Hurry, we shall clean the blood from our hands and after tonight, my love, all of our dreams will start to come true.”
Early the next morning, down in the courtyard, the doorman opens the gate for Macduff and Lennox, two brave soldiers, and they start joking and laughing about the great night they had before.
Macbeth comes in to join in all the fun, and Macduff asks him if Duncan is awake yet, and Macbeth says no, but little does Macduff know that he will never wake from his deep slumber. Macduff is brought with Lennox by Macduff up to the king’s floor and as Macduff went to wake the King, Lennox and Macbeth chatted about last night’s storm.
Suddenly, Macduff comes running in from the king’s chamber, screaming that he is dead, and to wake everyone up to find out if they know anything.
Macbeth pretends to be upset and he says he wishes he could have died to save him. He runs into the chamber and, in a ‘rage’, he kills the grooms so that they couldn’t possibly tell anything to anyone
Macduff is shocked, and so is Lady Macbeth, who faints with surprise.
Duncan’s sons decide to run away, because they know that will get the blame.
Soon after, Banquo comes into the palace. He talks to himself because he is worried that Macbeth has killed Duncan, but he does not tell anyone about his fears. When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth come in, they are now King and Queen.
Macbeth politely asks Banquo if he will be with him or against him, so he can kill him, but he doesn’t tell Banquo that part.
Macbeth, after Banquo leaves, starts talking to himself, he is still green with envy because Banquo has a son and Macbeth doesn’t.
Macbeth stops talking when three murderers come and he sneakily arranges to have Macbeth murdered and Fleance too.
In the palace, Lady Macbeth is feeling down. She feels Macbeth is never happy, and she wonders if he will be.
Macbeth enters and tells her to relax, but says how jealous he is still of Duncan because he is in an eternal slumber, when the Macbeth’s are sleep-deprived. They try to cheer each other up and decide to distract themselves by throwing a party to celebrate their being King and Queen.
The night is dark and full of shadows. Banquo and Fleance are on their horses when the murderers jump out and startle them, and they kill Banquo. Fleance runs off into the night, guided only by the moonlight.
Later they night, the celebratory banquet, everyone’s faces are aglow with candlelight, except Macbeth, who is nowhere to be seen.
He was away, checking that the murderers had done their job. They had, but Fleance got away.
Macbeth goes back to sit at the head of the table, but he stops dead in his tracks when he see Banquo’s ghost sitting in his seat.
Macbeth asks where he shall sit down. But everyone doesn’t know that Banquo is there. Lennox says “here is a seat reserved for you.” He begins to enter his own world and go crazy; everyone is amazed by Macbeth’s reaction. Macbeth tells his wife Lady Macbeth that ‘if I stand there, I saw him.’ Macbeth’s friends wondering where you are. Macbeth does forget. Ghost re-enters. Macbeth loses his head altogether and starts shouting and roaring ‘get away from me.’ Lady Macbeth has to do something again to save Macbeth because his friends knows that there is something wrong with him, so Lady Macbeth has to rescue him by saying that he is not well and brings him some rest.
Meanwhile, crowded around a heath, shrouded by darkness, the three foul witches cower before the most evil creature in all the land, the cruel Hecate, who roars at them in a fury. “How dare you! How dare you toy with pitiful Macbeth without me!” she cried, “Fine! Meet me tomorrow in the Pits of Pain, it’s time that I show you pathetic witches how to really destroy such a weak mortal!” She turns disappearing into the black fog that clouded them, as the witches look at each other, terrified. “Quickly,” one hissed “Let’s get out of here before she gets back!”
Back in the palace in Forres, Lennox was speaking in hushed tones with one of the other lord regarding the recent murders, “I hear that Banquo was killed, in cold blood they say, by his own son!” Lennox whispered, checking over his shoulder to makes sure no one heard, “Just like how the Great King Duncan was killed by his own sons and Fleance ran away too, just like they did! Isn’t that very… suspicious?” “Yes,” muttered the lord, “And I hear that Malcolm is being cared for by the King of England himself! Now why would royalty choose to hide an evil criminal? I also hear that Macduff is looking for warriors brave, to bring peace back to Scotland, or so he says.” At this, Lennox nods his head, and then asks slowly, looking the lord in the eyes, “Does he do so with permission from the King?” The lord sighs lightly, and then replies, “No… I don’t think such an action will end well for poor Macduff”
In a dark eerie cave, the witches prepare their spells over a bubbling cauldron. They murmur incantations and throw hellish ingredients into the broth such as “poisoned entails” and “baboon’s blood”. Hecate enters and tells the witches that their guest (Macbeth) is approaching. Macbeth who is now evil enters and demands that they show him the truth of their prophecies. The witches reply by conjuring up three apparitions from their cauldron, each with a message for Macbeth. The first apparition to rise from the cauldron was a floating helmeted head which warns Macbeth to “Beware Macduff”. Then a bloody child appears and assures Macbeth that “none of woman born” will harm him. Next a crowned child carrying a tree tells him that he will be safe until Birnham Wood moves to Dunsinane Hill. After these three apparitions Macbeth is still not satisfied and demands to know if the prophecy about Banquo’s heirs will come true. The witches urge Macbeth to be content but he remains stubborn, so they conjure up one final apparition, a line of eight kings with Banquo sitting at the end. Macbeth is confused and shouts at the witches to explain themselves but they do a crazed dance and vanish.
In Fife Lady Macduff is left flustered and angry by her husband, Macduff. He has abandoned his family and has fled to England. Ross has come to inform Lady Macduff of the situation. He tries to persuade her that he had no choice and that he was needed to return Malcolm to Scotland. Lady Macduff does not care and only sees a man who has left his family in such hard and dangerous times. Ross doesn’t feel safe speaking any further as he suspects that Macbeth has spies ready to pounce on any information which would get them on the good side of the king. He warns Lady Macduff and leaves to follow Macduff to England. Lady Macduff continues to complain about her husband to her son. Suddenly a messenger appears and warns her that danger approaches. The messenger leaves as quickly as they appeared, leaving Lady Macduff confused. However, the warning came too late, a murder has arrived, ‘Where is your husband?’, Lady Macduff’s son steps up to protect his mother, the murderer stabs the son and he is left to die. Lady Macduff runs from the room screaming, ‘Murder!’ She is followed by the murderer and he kills her and her family.
Macduff is told the news about his wife and children’s fate. He feels a sorrow which should be felt be no man and a sorrow which he has never felt before. His dearest friend had gone against him, he is left with nothing other than an increase to his desire for Macbeth’s head. The heat of an impending attack has reached solar proportions. Macbeth must fight to keep his crown and his life.
Too caught up in his own mind Macbeth is unaware of the state of his wife. Poor Lady Macbeth feels rather unwell. She feels the guilt of what she has done, as she knows it is bad to kill another person. The doctor fears the worst. He thinks that if Lady Macbeth does not get the right medicine, she will fall into a never ending sleep that even the kiss of a prince would not wake her from. She spends her night stumbling around in the dark clutching her last comfort. A barely lit a candle, shaking with the movement of her hand.
Lady Macbeth was getting more ill and her husband Macbeth was worried for his crown but far away in a more powerful land called England, Malcolm went to see King Edward who had a magical power to heal the sick and ruled the land of England. The brave Macduff soon followed Malcolm to try to get help to save Scotland from Macbeth. King Edward liked Malcolm and Macduff so he gave them 10,000 of his finest warriors to help take back the land and save the people of Scotland in exchange for eternal peace between their lands. So Malcolm and Macduff gather the 10,000 English soldiers and marched towards Scotland to save their home land from the evil Macbeth.
When Macbeth finds out that the soldiers are coming to get him he gathers all his army and gets him and his army ready for war. While they are getting ready his servant comes to tell him that his wife has died. Macbeth thinks for a moment about his life with his wife and how he should have been a better husband and how he should have treated her better. While he is still thinking he is interrupted by one of his warriors who tells him that he English soldiers are getting close and that he should be ready for them any hour. Macbeth is so wrapped up in his wives death he forgot about the warriors coming and isn’t ready.
Before the English warriors arrive he suddenly snaps out of his memories and gets ready for the battle. When he looks out and sees the English he hurries all his soldiers out and charges towards the English. Macbeth enters the battle and starts to kill the opposition.
As all of this was happening in Macbeth’s castle, Macduff was also preparing for the battle ahead. Many of the men who had been fighting for Macbeth realised that the king was evil, and that if he was defeated, Scotland would be a much happier place with the good Malcolm as king, and so they joined forces with the soldiers sent from England, to try to defeat Macbeth. Finally, the battle comes down two just two men: the villainous Macbeth, and the brave Macduff. Macbeth taunts Macduff, speaking about how he had killed Macduff’s family. This only made Macduff more determined to defeat Macbeth, to avenge his family and to save Scotland. Macbeth is labouring under the delusion that Macduff cannot harm him, as no man of woman born can. However, he is in for a great shock, as Macduff was not born by the usual means, and so is free to defeat the tyrant. Macbeth curses the witches for deceiving him so, but still refuses to surrender, and so the two leave to fight to the end. After the battle, the remaining Thanes are celebrating Macduff’s great victory over Macbeth. They praised all those whose lives had been sacrificed, and Malcolm, the rightful heir to the throne, was crowned on the spot, and all throughout the land people rejoiced, as Scotland was returned once again to the joyous, prosperous land it had been in the time of the good king Duncan.