To do an abstract on the 'Scottish Play' as actors superstitiously call Macbeth is a difficult mission but I'll have a try. Macbeth is my personal favourite of all Shakespeare's plays - it has lots of action, psychological dramas, a bit of the supernatural and a moral. The play is about a guy called Macbeth, who is persuaded and encouraged by three witches and his wife to kill, Duncan, the king. Macbeth murders the king, becomes king himself, but alas, is still not happy. He enters a period of intense paranoia, consults with the witches again, his wife goes mad and eventually he is overthrown and killed.
The main theme of the play is a simple one: do something bad and you'll pay for it - maybe not immediately, it'll take time while you slowly go mad, but in the end you'll get your comeupance.
There are a number of great characters in the play but in my opinion the females are far more interesting than the males. The 3 witches are amazing.....they open the play planning when to meet again, and just for the invention of the word "hurlyburly" I take off my hat to Mr Shakespeare. Later they have another scene with similarly great lines: "Double double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble" among them. Lady Macbeth, the semi witch (of maybe more bitch) is a wonderful character too. She's the perfect manipulative female. Unfortunately in the end she goes loopy and kills herself, but the way she loses her sanity is perfect too.
...the "out damned spot" scene.
Macbeth's plot is cleverly woven, and the final twists can easily compete with the best Agatha Christie (sorry Willie, but Agatha is considered a classic of our time too). Macbeth goes to the witches scared he'll be discovered and they tell him 3 things: beware of Macduff; no-one borne of a woman will harm you; and you'll be safe until Birnam Wood comes to your castle. Birnam Wood is far from his castle so an impossible concept. Macbeth goes away satisfied, only to get overthrown by Macduff a few days later. 'How can this be?' he wonders. Well, it turns out that Macduff was "ripped" from his mother's womb (a caesarian we presume) so technically wasn't 'born'; and when Macduff and his army attack Macbeth's castle, they wear branches and leaves as camouflage, and guess where from, Birnam Wood! Nice one Will!
To conclude this amateur review, Macbeth is a great play. If you're studying it, make sure you listen to all those explanations behind the text, because it will help you enjoy it more, and make sure you see the play, preferably at the theatre. Read, watch and enjoy.