Facts About Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Here are some Macbeth facts.

  • Macbeth is one of the most well-known of William Shakespeare‘s plays. It is also one of his shortest and darkest plays.
  • It was written in about 1606.

  • It is about a brave Scottish general who learns from three witches that he will become King of Scotland. He murders several times to achieve his goal, feeling guilty at the same time.
  • The play was performed at London’s Globe Theatre in 1606. Richard Burbage, a well-known popular actor of the day was probably the first person to play Macbeth on stage.
  • Women were not allowed to act then, and all female parts were played by men. One story says that Shakespeare took the part of Lady Macbeth at the last minute when the main actor was ill.
  • The earliest film version of Macbeth was a black and white silent film made in 1908. Since then there have been over a dozen film and television productions of the play.
  • Orson Welles’ 1948 film, Macbeth, is perhaps the most famous big screen version. It was filmed in just 23 days and used sets and scenery left over from western films.
  • There have been many books and comics featuring Macbeth since the play was written. One comic even describes how Superman actually wrote the play, instead of Shakespeare!
  • The play is sometimes called The Scottish King or The Scottish Play.
  • There really was an 11th century King of Scotland named Macbeth, and several other characters are based on real people.
  • The plot of Macbeth is similar to that of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. There are also similarities with events in Scottish history.
  • Macbeth contains many jokes, and references about the King at the time, James I. He was fascinated by witches, which may have been why Shakespeare included the three witch characters.