Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Macbeth: Plot Summary
Macbeth: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Macbeth: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of William Shakespeare
Historical Context of Macbeth
Other Books Related to Macbeth
- Full Title: The Tragedy of Macbeth
- When Written: 1606
- Where Written: England
- When Published: 1623
- Literary Period: The Renaissance (1500 - 1660)
- Genre: Tragic drama
- Setting: Scotland and, briefly, England during the eleventh century
- Climax: Some argue that the murder of Banquo is the play's climax, based on the logic that it is at this point that Macbeth reaches the height of his power and things begin to fall apart from there. However, it is probably more accurate to say that the climax of the play is Macbeth's fight with Macduff, as it is at this moment that the threads of the play come together, the secret behind the prophecy becomes evident, and Macbeth's doom is sealed.
Extra Credit for Macbeth
Shakespeare or Not? There are some who believe Shakespeare wasn't educated enough to write the plays attributed to him. The most common anti-Shakespeare theory is that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, wrote the plays and used Shakespeare as a front man because aristocrats were not supposed to write plays. Yet the evidence supporting Shakespeare's authorship far outweighs any evidence against. So until further notice, Shakespeare is still the most influential writer in the English language.