Macbeth Quotes and Summaries

Macbeth Quotes and Summaries

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  • Created by: Soka12
  • Created on: 20-04-14 17:51

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.

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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

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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.

-Witches vanish.

-Ross and Angus meet Macbeth & Banquo.

-Macbeth shocked to hear he's the Thane of Cawdor.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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

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