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William Shakespeare

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (getauft am 26. April  1564 jul. in Stratford-upon-Avon; † 23. April jul./ 3. Mai 1616 greg. [1] ebenda) war ein englischer Dramatiker, Lyriker und Schauspieler. Seine Komödien und Tragödien gehören zu den bedeutendsten und am meisten aufgeführten und verfilmten Bühnenstücken der Weltliteratur. Sein überliefertes Gesamtwerk umfasst 38 Dramen, außerdem Versdichtungen, darunter einen Zyklus von 154 Sonetten.

Famous Quotations from William Shakespeare's Macbeth:

  1. Witch. When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain" Second Witch. When the hurlyburly ’s done, When the battle ’s lost and won. (1.1.1)
  2. Fair is foul, and foul is fair. (1.1.13)
  3. For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name - Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements. (1.2.19)
  4. They doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe: Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds, Or memorize another Golgotha, I cannot tell. (1.2.40)
  5. So foul and fair a day I have not seen. (1.3.38)

Macbeth: Plot Summary (Act 1: Scene 1 to 3)

Act 1, Scene 1 Amidst thunder and lightening, three witches meet to plan their encounter with Macbeth, a Scottish general and the Thane of Glamis. They agree to gather again at twilight upon a heath that Macbeth will cross on his way home from battle.

Act 1, Scene 2 King Duncan of the Scots awaits news of the battle between his men and the rebels led by the Thane of Cawdor. The King and his sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, meet a soldier who is weak and bleeding. He reports that Macbeth and Banquo have performed valiantly in the fight. His admiration of the noble yet brutal Macbeth is deep indeed:

For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name-- Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carved out his passage... Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements. (1.2.15-20)

King Duncan is delighted at his captains' bravery, and, when Angus and Ross arrive to tell him that the Thane of Cawdor has surrendered, Duncan gladly hands over the Thane's title and all his land to Macbeth.

Act 1, Scene 3 The Witches meet on the dark and lonely heath to await Macbeth. To pass the time they exchange boasts about their evil deeds. Macbeth and Banquo come across the Weird Sisters and we see immediately that Macbeth has a strange connection to the Witches, mimicking their famous words spoken earlier in the drama: "So foul and fair a day I have not seen"(1.3.38) . The Witches address Macbeth as Glamis, Cawdor, and King of the Scots. Macbeth is startled by what he sees clearly as a prophecy that he will be Scotland's next ruler. He is too stunned to speak and thus Banquo asks the Witches if there is any more to their premonition. They do have something to add, not about Macbeth, but about Banquo. They talk in riddles, telling him he will be "Lesser than Macbeth, and greater" and "Not so happy, yet much happier" (1.3.65-6). They also tell Banquo that even though he will never himself be king, he will beget future kings of Scotland. Then the Witches disappear into the darkness, despite the pleadings of Macbeth, whose shock has turned to the lust for more information. Once alone, Macbeth and Banquo pretend not to believe anything the Weird Sisters have said, but in secret they cannot help thinking that there is a little truth to the Hags' words. Ross and Angus arrive and inform Macbeth that Duncan has appointed him Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth and Banquo are stunned by the turn of events, realizing that the Witches are right about one facet of the prophecy, and Macbeth cannot help but focus on their other, greater prediction that he will be king.

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  1. Todesdatum nach dem während der gesamten Lebenszeit Shakespeares in England geltenden julianischen Kalender (23. April 1616); nach dem in den katholischen Ländern 1584, in England aber erst 1752 eingeführten gregorianischen Kalender ist der Dichter am 3. Mai 1616 gestorben. Dadurch hat er das gleiche Todesdatum wie der spanische Nationaldichter Cervantes, obwohl er ihn um zehn Tage überlebt hat.

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