Originally performed before King James I of England and King Christian IV of Denmark in 1606, Macbeth tells the tale of a villain-hero who stops at nothing to achieve his end. The play becomes lively with witches and ghosts, deaths, prophecies, regicide, banquets, hallucinations all neatly woven into a conflicting pattern of good and evil. The ''barren sceptre" creates a pathetic nightmare for the king who has to "dwell in doubtful joy". He has been immortalized by Shakespeare as a man of the Renaissance- one who believes that he has "supped full with horrors" assisted by the ministers of darkness and dies fighting a brave battle. Accompanied by a wife who is often identified as the Clytemnestra of Elizabethan tragedy; Macbeth acquires a grandeur (inspite of all evil) denied to other contemporary protagonists of English tragedy.