Explanatory notes below for Act 1, Scene 1 From Macbeth. Line numbers have been altered. The first scene of Macbeth strikes the keynote of the play. The desert place, the wild storm, the appearance of the witches, "the wayward rhythm" of their songs, all help to prepare us for a drama in which a human soul succumbs to the supernatural suggestions of evil and ranges itself along with the witches on the devil's side.
Act I[ edit ] The play opens amid thunder and lightning, and the Three Witches decide that their next meeting will be with Macbeth. In the following scene, a wounded sergeant reports to King Duncan of Scotland that his generals Macbeth, who is the Thane of Glamis, and Banquo have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were led by the traitorous Macdonwald, and the Thane of Cawdor.
Macbeth, the King's kinsman, is praised for his bravery and fighting prowess. In the following scene, Macbeth and Banquo discuss the weather and their victory. As they wander onto a heath, the Three Witches enter and greet them with prophecies. Though Banquo challenges them first, they address Macbeth, hailing him as "Thane of Glamis," "Thane of Cawdor," and that he will "be King hereafter.
When Banquo asks of his own fortunes, the witches respond paradoxically, saying that he will be less than Macbeth, yet happier, less successful, yet more.
He will father a line of kings, though he himself will not be one. While the two men wonder at these pronouncements, the witches vanish, and another thane, Ross, arrives and informs Macbeth of his newly bestowed title: The first prophecy is thus fulfilled, and Macbeth, previously sceptical, immediately begins to harbour ambitions of becoming king.
King Duncan welcomes and praises Macbeth and Banquo, and declares that he will spend the night at Macbeth's castle at Inverness ; he also names his son Malcolm as his heir. Macbeth sends a message ahead to his wife, Lady Macbeth, telling her about the witches' prophecies. Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty and wishes him to murder Duncan in order to obtain kingship.
When Macbeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband's objections by challenging his manhood and successfully persuades him to kill the king that very night. He and Lady Macbeth plan to get Duncan's two chamberlains drunk so that they will black out; the next morning they will blame the chamberlains for the murder.
They will be defenceless as they will remember nothing. Act II[ edit ] While Duncan is asleep, Macbeth stabs him, despite his doubts and a number of supernatural portents, including a hallucination of a bloody dagger. He is so shaken that Lady Macbeth has to take charge.
In accordance with her plan, she frames Duncan's sleeping servants for the murder by placing bloody daggers on them. A porter opens the gate and Macbeth leads them to the king's chamber, where Macduff discovers Duncan's body.
Macbeth murders the guards to prevent them from professing their innocence, but claims he did so in a fit of anger over their misdeeds. Duncan's sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland, respectively, fearing that whoever killed Duncan desires their demise as well.
The rightful heirs' flight makes them suspects and Macbeth assumes the throne as the new King of Scotland as a kinsman of the dead king. Banquo reveals this to the audience, and while sceptical of the new King Macbeth, he remembers the witches' prophecy about how his own descendants would inherit the throne; this makes him suspicious of Macbeth.
Act III[ edit ] Despite his success, Macbeth, also aware of this part of the prophecy, remains uneasy. Macbeth invites Banquo to a royal banquetwhere he discovers that Banquo and his young son, Fleance, will be riding out that night.
Fearing Banquo's suspicions, Macbeth arranges to have him murdered, by hiring two men to kill them, later sending a Third Murderer. The assassins succeed in killing Banquo, but Fleance escapes.
At a banquet, Macbeth invites his lords and Lady Macbeth to a night of drinking and merriment. Banquo's ghost enters and sits in Macbeth's place. Macbeth raves fearfully, startling his guests, as the ghost is only visible to him.A summary of Act 1, scenes 1–4 in William Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Macbeth and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Next: Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1 _____ Explanatory notes below for Act 1, Scene 7 From Macbeth. Ed. Thomas Marc Parrott. New York: American Book Co. (Line numbers have been altered.) _____ This is perhaps the most important single scene of the play.
Here for the last time we see Macbeth a free man, still capable of choice between good and evil. Act 1, Scene 7.
Alone on stage, Macbeth agonizes over whether to kill Duncan, recognizing the act of murdering the king as a terrible sin. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Macbeth by William Shakespeare.
Serpentine Imagery in Shakespeare's Macbeth; Macbeth's Evolution; Jumping the Life to Come;. Free summary and analysis of Act 1, Scene 7 in William Shakespeare's Macbeth that won't make you snore.
We promise. Macbeth Act II Summary and Analysis William Shakespeare. When Macbeth and Banquo first encounter them in Act 1, Scene 3 of the play, the three witches .
· Lady Macbeth’s plan fails to account Banquo. Within the letter in Act 1 Scene 5, Macbeth fails to mention that Banquo was with him when the witches made the prediction. Perhaps if they murdered both of them on that very night there would have been no issue whatsoever.