Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1607.
It tells the story of Macbeth, who after receiving a prophecy from three witches, is fuelled by dark ambition to become the next King of Scotland. Consequently, he murders King Duncan, takes the throne for himself, but is soon maddened by grief and forced to commit murder after murder. The play ends with madness and death for the King, and his equally ambitious wife.
A curious superstition amongst actors requires that they never speak the name of the play, calling it instead "the Scottish play".