Act 1 Scene 1
- Three witches talk together during a thunderstorm.
-They plan to meet on the moorland again before sunset- knowing Macbeth will be there.
- Every detail of the first scene is supernatural.
'Fog and flithy air'- darkness, unhealthiness.
'When the battles' lost and won'
'Fair is fould and foul is fair'- only understandable to the Witches seems to Paradox otherwise.
Act 1 Scene 2
-King Duncan recieves reports of battles being fought.
-Reports stress Macbeth's heroism and loyalty.
-Duncan condemns the Thane of Cawdor to death for treachery.
-Duncan awards Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor.
'What he hath lost, noble Macbeth has won'- echoes Scene 1- links Macbeth and the Witches
'What bloody man is that?'- Macbeth's brutality
'O Valiant cousin!'- Brutality is revelled in- Gothic conflict
Act 1 Scene 3- Summary
-Witches meet again on a heath during thunderstorm.
-Hail Macbeth as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King.
-Banquo told decendants will be Kings.
-Ross and Angus meet Macbeth & Banquo.
-Macbeth shocked to hear he's the Thane of Cawdor.
Act 1 Scene 3- Quotes
'The Weird sisters'- Weird means controlling destiny originally spelt wyrd.
'I'll drain him dry as hay'- Vindictive Witches (Against sea-captain)
'So foul and fair a day I have not scene'- Macbeth is echoing the Witches' 'fair is foul'
'Come what come may,/ Time and the hour runs through the roughest day'- Macbeth says what is going to happen will, rhyming couplet suggests Macbeth doesn't think further on becoming King.
Context- James VI of Scotland believed heavily in Witches.
Act 1 Scene 4- Summary
-Palace at Forres, Malcolm, Duncan's oldest son tells his father about the execution of the Thane of Cawdor.
-Duncan greets Macbeth and Banquo- tells them Malcolm is his heir.
-Macbeth wonders how he will overcome Malcolm in order to become King.
-Duncan invites himself to be Macbeth's guest in Inverness.
-Macbeth goes to tell Lady Macbeth about the King's visit.
Act 1 Scene 4- Quotes
'He was a gentleman on whom I built/ An absolute trust'- Duncan sucks at judging character as he trusted the previous Thane of Cawdor who was a traitor.
Emphasis on words such as 'loyalty' and 'service'
'There's no art/ To find the mind's construction in the face'- disparity between appearance and the mind.
'Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter/ Prince of Cumberland'- Duncan is leaving the Kingdom to his oldest son, thinks the Kingdom will be safe with his son.
Act 1 Scene 5
- Lady Macbeth reads Macbeth's letter
-Wants to fulfil the Witches' prophecy, thinks Macbeth is too weak to do so.
-Servent brings the news of Duncan's arrival~ Macbeth arrives.
'Come you spirits...fill me from crown to the toe top-full/ Of direst cruelty'- She prays for the supernatural to hide her plan.
'Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor'- Lady Macbeth calls him the same way as the Witches did.
Act 1 Scene 6
- Duncan arrives and notices the pleasant air.
-Duncan welcomed by Lady Macbeth.
-Compliments Lady Macbeth and she compliments him back.
'guest' and 'host' are repeated.
Lady Macbeth appears as the best host acting like the 'innocent flower/ But be the serpent under't' (Act 1 Scene 5)
Critical: King James was Shakespeare's patron- Duncan's murder may be shown as an act against God to please the king.
Act 1 Scene 7
-Macbeth reflects on the crime he's about to commit.
-Decides not to kill Duncan fears the consequences- Lady Macbeth persuades him.
-Outlines her tactics and Macbeth admires her.
-Macbeth steels himself to kill the King.
'Hath borne his faculties so meek'- He will face an eternity of divine punishment
'Will please like angels'- Duncan's virtues
'All that may become a man'- Lady Macbeth is challenging Macbeth's masculinity.
'If we should fail'- Lady Macbeth refuses to contemplate this