Macbeth was a tragedy, dealing with the title character, a nobleman of Scotland. Acting on the prophecies of three witches (and spurred on by his ambitious wife, Lady Macbeth), Macbeth assassinated King Duncan to ascend to the throne of Scotland. However, his guilt over committing murder to advance his position led to madness and his own destruction. Like all of Shakespeare's works, Macbeth was performed throughout modern Earth history and well into the Federation era.
A version of Macbeth was created by the Arcturians in 2266. Sponsored by the Galactic Cultural Exchange Project this rendition was notably performed by the Karidian Company of Players, a touring theatrical troupe headed by Anton Karidian. (TOS: "The Conscience of the King")
In 2267, on the planet Pyris VII, James T. Kirk and his landing party encounter three witches who recite warnings in verse encouraging them to turn back. Conjured by Korob from the landing party's minds and memories, these witches' appearance and manner of speech are reminiscent of (though not necessarily directly referential to) characters in Macbeth. (TOS: "Catspaw")
In 2364, Q quotes from the play in conversation with Picard: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hours upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (TNG: "Hide and Q")
Memorable quotes Edit
"When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?"
"When the hurlyburly's done, when the battle's lost and won."
"That will be ere the set of sun."
- - The Witches
"Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood; stop up the access and passage to remorse that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts and take my milk for gall..."
- - Lady Macbeth
"Whence is that knocking? How is't with me, when every noise appalls me? What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red."
- - Macbeth
"Round about the cauldron go; in the poisoned entrails throw. Toad, under that cold stone days and nights has thirty-one. Swelter'd venom sleeping got, boil thou first i' the charmed pot."
"Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble."
- - The Witches
"Methought I heard a voice cry, 'Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep!'"
- - Macbeth