Macbeth, fully The Tragedy of Macbeth, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It was probably first performed in 1606. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy. Macbeth is a Scottish general who has been fighting for King Duncan. Three witches tell Macbeth that he will become king of Scotland. Macbeth is spurred by his ambition and his wife, and he murders Duncan and accedes to the throne. His reign is bloody and tyrannical and ended by the combined forces of Scotland and England.