Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.
~ Macbeth

Macbeth is the titular main protagonist of William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, Macbeth. He was formerly a brave warrior, before becoming corrupted with ambition after hearing three witches' prophecies which state that he will become Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. He becomes so obsessed with becoming King that he loses his sanity and becomes a vile tyrant.


Macbeth was once the general of King Duncan, the King of Scotland. But after hearing a prophecy from three witches telling him that he would one day be king, his wife told him to accelerate his ascension to the throne by killing King Duncan. After this plan succeeded, Macbeth started a murderous rampage, killing anyone whom he deemed a threat to his kingship (including Banquo and Young Siward). After witnessing the death of his wife, he was eventually killed by Macduff as revenge for the death of his family.

In the opera adaptation, Macbeth is a baritone.


  • Macbeth has become such an iconic villain that he has inspired several other villains:
    • Saruman was inspired by Macbeth. Tolkien hated the original end of Macbeth, with the forest turning out to be a human army. He said he would do the story right and make living trees attack the king. One of the inspirations of Lord of the Rings is Macbeth.
    • Megatron may have been inspired by Macbeth, given that in the live action films he ruled Cybertron, but betrayed his post.
  • Macbeth is considered such an ill-reputed name that no one will ever speak his name aloud in a theater. Reasons for this are that when King James witnessed the play he was disgusted, and Shakespeare sank into a depression and regretted writing the play. This, coupled with the rumors Shakespeare angered real witches who cursed the play, gives the play the reputation of being cursed. It was highly controversial at the time because of its graphic depictions of regicide.
    • To this end, Lord Voldemort may also have been inspired by Macbeth, given that no one in modern times will speak his name aloud.
  • In reality, the real Macbeth was actually a good king. Shakespeare had a knack of twisting events to his own narration. (Much as what happens in cinema now.)