Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Macbeth Acts 1-5 Preview

879 views

Published on

Ticking Mind’s new edition of 'Macbeth' takes a revolutionary approach to presenting this staple of High School English classrooms. Unlike conventional 'Macbeth' textbooks which only support students to understand that ‘gist’ of a scene or the whole play, Ticking Mind’s textbook breaks each scene into digestible 30 line chunks which scaffold students to actively understand the language and imagery at work in Shakespeare’s play. In addition to this, the textbook provides explicit instruction to students on how to annotate text, and on the counter side of each page of Shakespeare’s text, features short thinking activities which can create the framework for powerful class discussions about each part of each scene. To teach students to ultimately write about this text, Ticking Mind’s textbook does not include boring comprehension questions at the end of each scene, but scaffolded analytic writing procedures which improve students vocabulary, sentence structure skills and capacity to analyse the text. Important illustrations of themes and images in the text of the play are also signposted with icons that students can easily use to search for evidence when they are writing an essay on the text – a procedure which is explicitly taught at the end of the textbook.

Published in: Education
  • Today I have no problem, I even had an emotional time over the weekend where I did eat a little too much but it didnt affect me at all. I did not binge eat or get worried I just let the food digest, had a good rest and was back to myself the next day, just what normal people experience. ♥♥♥ http://t.cn/A6Pq6ilz
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • ...my blood sugar has come down to normal range, I have lost excess weight, I have all kinds of energy and I don't take insulin anymore! ♥♥♥ https://tinyurl.com/yx3etvck
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Paid To Write? Earn up to $200/day on with simple writing jobs. ◆◆◆ http://t.cn/AieXS62G
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Read now Create DOWNLOAD for free book ===grantdevelopers.clubB07G19LJF2-Lettura-del-Macbeth-.html
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • DOWNLOAD THAT BOOKS INTO AVAILABLE FORMAT (2019 Update) ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... Download Full PDF EBOOK here { http://bit.ly/2m6jJ5M } ......................................................................................................................... Download Full EPUB Ebook here { http://bit.ly/2m6jJ5M } ......................................................................................................................... Download Full doc Ebook here { http://bit.ly/2m6jJ5M } ......................................................................................................................... Download PDF EBOOK here { http://bit.ly/2m6jJ5M } ......................................................................................................................... Download EPUB Ebook here { http://bit.ly/2m6jJ5M } ......................................................................................................................... Download doc Ebook here { http://bit.ly/2m6jJ5M } ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... eBook is an electronic version of a traditional print book that can be read by using a personal computer or by using an eBook reader. (An eBook reader can be a software application for use on a computer such as Microsoft's free Reader application, or a book-sized computer that is used solely as a reading device such as Nuvomedia's Rocket eBook.) Users can purchase an eBook on diskette or CD, but the most popular method of getting an eBook is to purchase a downloadable file of the eBook (or other reading material) from a Web site (such as Barnes and Noble) to be read from the user's computer or reading device. Generally, an eBook can be downloaded in five minutes or less ......................................................................................................................... .............. Browse by Genre Available eBooks .............................................................................................................................. Art, Biography, Business, Chick Lit, Children's, Christian, Classics, Comics, Contemporary, Cookbooks, Manga, Memoir, Music, Mystery, Non Fiction, Paranormal, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, Religion, Romance, Science, Science Fiction, Self Help, Suspense, Spirituality, Sports, Thriller, Travel, Young Adult, Crime, Ebooks, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, History, Horror, Humor And Comedy, ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... .....BEST SELLER FOR EBOOK RECOMMEND............................................................. ......................................................................................................................... Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth,-- The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,-- Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,-- StrengthsFinder 2.0,-- Stillness Is the Key,-- She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement,-- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones,-- Everything Is Figureoutable,-- What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence,-- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!,-- The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness,-- Shut Up and Listen!: Hard Business Truths that Will Help You Succeed, ......................................................................................................................... .........................................................................................................................
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

Macbeth Acts 1-5 Preview

  1. 1. MACBETH PreviCopy
  2. 2. 4 5MACBETH INTRODUCTION How this book is set out: While, at its heart, this book is an edition of Shakespeare’s classic play Macbeth, it is also so much more. It’s a handbook for understanding the play and thinking about the characters, themes, symbols, ideas and language in it. There is also a range of activities and resources to help you get your head around these ideas and write a truly impressive essay. This book has a number of things to help you navigate your way around the play: 1. At the top of each page, there is a brief, irreverent summary of what is going on in the part of the play you are about to read. It’s called ‘What the…?’, because that’s what most students say when they start to read Shakespeare. The What the…? section comes before the play because it’s a whole lot easier to read Shakespeare’s words when you have a basic understanding of what is going on. 2. On the right page, or facing page, there are a number of thinking activities. These are designed to help you further understand the characters, language and ideas that Shakespeare is writing about in his play. These activities are the sorts of things you will need to understand in order to write a great essay, and they are the sorts of activities that will help you write more insightfully. 3. Beside the original text of the play are some icons. They are different on every page, and the reason they are there is so that you can flip through your text and find quotes and key scenes for the different ideas that these icons represent. Sometimes the icons represent different themes, sometimes they are about the setting of the play and sometimes they are about the symbolism that Shakespeare uses. There will be more details about these icons later in this introduction. 4. At the end of each scene there are some sustained writing tasks. These will help you start to write your ideas in more detail. PreviewCopy
  3. 3. 6 7MACBETH UNDERSTANDING SHAKESPEAREAN LANGUAGE One of the things that students (and teachers) find difficult about reading Shakespeare is the language he uses. In this version of Macbeth, we’ve broken each scene into smaller, bite-sized passages to make the task of grappling with Shakespeare’s language easier. Here are a few hacks we suggest you use to help you understand each passage. 1. Read the ‘What the…?’ section first: When you know a bit about what you’re going to read, you’re more likely to understand it as you read it. 2. Read the script beneath: Don’t worry too much about every individual word, but see if you can find the events or feelings described by the ‘What the…?’ section. Circle or underline any important words that help you understand the action. 3. Re-read: After you’ve read the play script, read the ‘What the…?’ section again to see if there’s anything you missed and then re-read the script. 4. Take notes: In the left hand side of every page of play script is space for you to take notes. Using this space well will help you both think about and better understand the text. On the opposite page are five ways you can take notes with an example of each in the image below. Taking Notes: A Read the ‘What the...?’ overview and then circle or underline parts of a passage and explain what is happening in the note-taking space. B Read the information on the right-hand page and then circle or underline parts of a passage you think illustrate something important, then explain what is being illustrated in the note-taking space. C The icons on the left of the play script are there to direct your attention to important ideas, images and themes, but they don’t identify specific words. Circle the words you think are symbolic or illustrate a key theme and explain this reference in the note- taking space. D Circle things that don’t make sense and jot your questions in the note-taking space. E Write a comment about anything else that you find interesting or note-worthy. ACT1 62 63MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations Interrupting her plans for world domination, a messenger comes to see Lady Macbeth, telling her that the king is about to arrive at the Macbeth homestead. This is a bit of a shock to Lady M, because she’s just read a letter from her husband (who has been hanging out with the king) and he didn’t mention a word about it. However, she recovers quickly and realises that she’s going to need to get tough with herself so they can work out how to knife the king. To be tough enough, she will need to be ‘toe top-full/ Of direst cruelty’. And that’s pretty full of cruelty. What the…? ACT 1.5 Lady Macbeth hears about the prophecy LADY MACBETH: What is your tidings? MESSENGER: The king comes here to-night. LADY MACBETH: Thou’rt mad to say it: Is not thy master with him? who, were't so, Would have inform'd for preparation. MESSENGER: So please you, it is true: our thane is coming: One of my fellows had the speed of him, Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more Than would make up his message. LADY MACBETH: Give him tending; He brings great news. Exit Messenger The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, Wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry 'Hold, hold!’ When Lady Macbeth hears that the king is arriving, she is pretty sur- prised. This tells us one thing: Lady M expects her husband to let her know things and be considerate of her, which is unusual for a medieval Scottish wife. And it also gives us some insight into Macbeth’s planning skills. Look at the statements below and choose the option that you think best encapsulates Macbeth’s ability to plan: Macbeth has no idea of how much preparation his wife will need to make for the king’s visit, indicating that he expects her to do her job without interference from him. Macbeth doesn’t give his wife the information she needs, demonstrating how distracted he is by the thought of becoming king. Macbeth doesn’t worry about giving her notice that the king is about to arrive, showing how competent he thinks his wife is. The fact that Macbeth focuses upon himself shows us that he does not have the planning capability needed to be king. However, what is perhaps more interesting about this particular passage is the contrast it offers to the previous page, when Lady Macbeth was discussing her husband. Let’s have a look at what she is saying in this passage, and compare it to what she says about her husband: Previous page This page That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; / And chastise with the valour of my tongue That is: Macbeth needs my spirit to be brave enough Come, you spirits… fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty That is: I need help from spirits to be brave or cruel enough thy nature; / It is too full o' the milk of human kindness / To catch the nearest way That is: Macbeth is too kind to be ruthless Come to my woman's breasts, / And take my milk for gall, That is: because I’m a woman, I’m also full of the milk of kindness wouldst not play false, / And yet wouldst wrongly win: That is: Macbeth is not a traitor Come, thick night, / And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, / That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, That is: I need it to be dark, so I can’t see when I wound the king A C B D E Duncan’s coming Macbeth should have told Lady M that Duncan was coming Raven = bad things are going to happen Does ‘fell’ mean falling over? Lady M sounds really evil like a vampire! PreviewCopy
  4. 4. 8 9MACBETH WHAT HAPPENS IN THE PLAY Macbeth is a play about a warrior who hears a prophecy that he’s going to be king and so he kills the king (and a whole lot of other people) to make this prophecy come true. Sorry about the plot spoiler but, really, you should already know this. However, there’s a fair bit of action in the story itself that deserves a bit more attention. To begin with, this play is a tragedy, so people who went to watch the play in Shakespeare’s time would have already known that things weren’t going to end well. As a general rule, Shakespeare’s plays are either tragedies or they’re comedies: if you want to know the difference, you need to count the bodies at the end of the play. If more people are dead than alive, it’s a tragedy. Tragedy also has a fairly predictable plot structure, so you can figure out where you are in the play. Here’s a quick outline: ACT 1 ACT 2 ACT 3 ACT 4 ACT 5 ACT 1 ACT 2 ACT 3 ACT 4 ACT 5 The exposition: you are introduced to the main characters and the world in which they live. Rising Complication: the central complication leads to a whole bunch of other complications that no one anticipated. The climax: the most dramatic part of all the action. Something super- important happens and the hero of the play has an important decision to make that will lead to either a happy or tragic ending. The falling action: all of the bad decisions the hero has made begin to point to certain doom. The resolution: in the case of a tragedy, it’s more like a catastrophe. The hero dies or is punished for the poor decisions he has made. You’re introduced to the world of medieval Scotland: the weather is foggy and awful and there has been a huge battle, which means that all of the protagonists first appear on stage covered in blood. Human blood. Oh, and in this version of Scotland, there are witches. And they tell the bloody Macbeth that he will be king… King Duncan and his sons are coming to stay at Macbeth’s house to celebrate winning the battle. Macbeth and his lady plot to kill Duncan and, by the end of this Act, Duncan is dead, his sons have left the country and Macbeth is about to be crowned king. Now that he’s the king, Macbeth is worried that his best friend, Banquo, will tell all. So Macbeth arranges for Banquo to be murdered. And then Banquo’s ghost comes to haunt Macbeth. Macbeth talks to the witches again and decides that he’s now going to kill anyone who annoys him. One of the other important warriors, Macduff, has gone to England to persuade Duncan’s son, Malcolm, to come back and be the king. While these two are talking, they find out that Macbeth has killed the whole Macduff family. Lady Macbeth starts sleepwalking because she feels so guilty. Eventually, she jumps off the roof of the castle. Malcolm has brought a whole army to Macbeth’s castle, but it’s Macduff who gets to fight Macbeth and cut his head off. All of the witches’ prophecies have come true. Falling Action Prologue Charaters + Setting Denouement Tone + Moral Conflict Rising Action Climax PreviewCopy
  5. 5. 10 11MACBETH WHO IS IN THE PLAY: The cast of Macbeth is extremely confusing. Some characters only last for one Act, and other characters seem to pop in and out of the action and you can’t quite work out why they are there until it’s too late and you’re super-confused. So, here are a few things to watch out for. The feudal world of medieval Scotland In this play, Scotland has a king and he rules the land with a group of important noblemen who are called thanes. At the very beginning of the play, Macbeth himself is a thane. These thanes control smaller areas of Scotland. Beneath the thanes are various noblemen, who don’t control as much land, but who are important allies to the king and his thanes. Before each Act At the beginning of each Act, you will find a chart of the characters you are about to encounter. These charts will change throughout the course of the play because some characters are killed and other characters change locations. General overview of characters Here is a quick summary of some of the more important characters that you can flip back to when you get confused. Character Icon Description The Macbeths Macbeth is the protagonist of the play, and the man who makes all of the bad decisions that are about to unfold. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis, but during Act One he also gets the title of the Thane of Cawdor. By Act Two, he is the King of Scotland and he stays there, wreaking havoc until he is killed. Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s wife. She encourages Macbeth to murder Duncan so that Macbeth can be king. Character Icon Description The King and his Family Duncan is the King of Scotland at the start of the play. He has two sons – Malcolm and Donalbain – and he is killed by Macbeth. Malcolm is Duncan’s oldest son. When Duncan is killed, Malcolm runs away to England. Scottish Thanes and Lords Banquo is Macbeth’s best friend, until after Macbeth becomes king and kills him. Banquo is the only character other than Macbeth who can see the witches. Macduff is Macbeth’s nemesis. After Duncan is killed, Macduff goes to England to get Malcolm to return to Scotland so he can become king. Lennox is another random nobleman who tries to stay loyal to the King of Scotland, even when he thinks the King is terrible. Ross is a nobleman whose most important job seems to be delivering messages between the King and other noblemen. Angus Angus is another random nobleman. He is the friend of Ross. PreviewCopy
  6. 6. 12 13MACBETH Why it’s important At the very beginning of the play, Macbeth is loyal to his king and his king rewards this loyalty. However, once Macbeth has chosen to betray his king, a number of other betrayals also happen. As king, Macbeth doesn’t keep his subjects safe, which is a betrayal of his role. But it is not only Macbeth who betrays people – he has created a world where his own subjects want to betray him. Character Icon Description English Lords Siward Siward is a rich Englishman who helps Malcolm by providing an army to defeat Macbeth. His son – Young Siward – is killed in the final battle. Supernatural Characters The witches are three ugly, bearded women who make a whole bunch of predictions about Macbeth. They act as agents of chaos in the play. WHAT IS THE PLAY ABOUT? In most English classrooms, teachers will discuss texts in terms of themes. This is one of those concepts that students find really confusing or difficult to begin with, but really it just means the big ideas a text is about. That is, a text is about more than just the plot and the charac- ters – usually an author (or, in this case, a playwright) is trying to say something about how we, as people, think about the important things in life. Shakespeare is a bit over-the-top, so he presents us with opposite extremes of an idea. Usually characters represent different aspects or extremes of an idea. To help you understand which parts of a text explore particular themes, we’ve put icons through- out the play. Below, you’ll find a rundown of the themes and the icons that signpost them throughout the text. Why it’s important This is the most important theme in the play. Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare demonstrates how there is a natural and normal way of doing things – like being loyal, moral and serving the king – and that when people break with this natural order, they create disorder and chaos. You’ll see below how all the other themes in the play connect to this big idea. Key Idea Key Idea Natural order Loyalty Betrayal Disorder PreviewCopy
  7. 7. 14 15MACBETH THE WITCHES One of the things that Macbeth is famous for (apart from being the very shortest and bloodiest of Shakespeare’s plays) is the witches. Since the role of the witches in Macbeth is really important, we thought we’d give you a bit of inside information on them: The witches represent important ideas The witches are both super-natural (have super powers) and are human, so they show us different ideas about whether Macbeth is a tragic hero because his life is fated to be that way. One of the questions you’ll probably think about in class is whether or not Macbeth’s downfall is the result of fate or the result of his own decisions. Let’s look at how the witches show us both sides of this issue: The witches talk in a funny way The witches know that Macbeth will be king The witches know how Macbeth will die The witches meet with Hecate who is a goddess The witches don’t tell Macbeth how he will become king: he and Lady Macbeth decide that The witches don’t interfere with any other character’s actions Most of Shakespeare’s dialogue is poetry and it has a poetic rhythm that it follows. Except for the witches, all the characters in Macbeth speak in iambic pentameter (an iamb is a “da dum” sound; pentameter means five beats). This sounds impressive and tricky, but all it means is that there are five da-dum rhythms in each line, like this famous one of Macbeth’s: “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” When this line is spoken, the ‘dum’ sounds are emphasised: foul, fair, day, have, and seen. It tells us important things about what a character is feeling. When characters speak in an iambic pen- tameter it also shows us they are educated and important. Since the witches are unnatural, they have a different way of speaking from all of the rest of the characters. In contrast to the rest of the characters, the witches speak in trochaic tetrameter (a trochee is a “dum da” sound – the opposite of an iamb; tetrameter means four beats). Let’s have a look at an example of the witches speaking: “Double, double, toil and trouble” The witches are putting their emphasis on the opposite syllables to the rest of the characters, which highlights just how wrong their world view is: they can’t even speak in the same rhythm as the rest of the characters. Why it’s important None of the events of Macbeth would have even occurred if characters were satisfied or contented with what they had. Instead, they are driven by an ambition that leads them to commit heinous acts. The ambition Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have means that they are never satisfied or happy in their own lives, and they want to take their misery out on other people. Why it’s important Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare illustrates that people are at their best when they act on honourable and noble ideals. When people act dishonourably, they betray themselves and others and in turn create disorder. Key Idea Key Idea Honour Contentment Dishonour Ambition Why it’s important One of Macbeth’s central problems is that he doesn't know himself very well. He thinks he wants to be a king, but he has no idea what a king does, or t he even wants to be a king in the first place. However, there are many characters who have a much clearer sense of who they are and what sort of a position they have in the world. These characters tend to be happier with their choices. Key Idea Clear identity Confused identity PreviewCopy
  8. 8. 16 17MACBETH SYMBOLS AND IMAGERY Shakespeare’s characters don’t always clearly and directly tell us how they feel. Instead, they sometimes use words and create pictures that symbolise or describe how they feel or show us what the world of Macbeth is like. These symbols and images are Shakespearean tools to explore the themes in the play. To help you understand where symbols and images are in the play, we’ve put icons through- out the text. Below is a rundown of the symbols and images and the icons that will be used to signpost them. Symbol or image Key idea Why it’s important Baby / Nurturing Nurturing babies and young children is normal. When characters’ thoughts or actions are about violence or harm to children, it shows they are unnatural. Birds / Natural World Birds represent how society should be naturally organised and should behave: 1) Big birds, like eagles, have more power than smaller birds, like sparrows; 2) Birds have powerful instincts to protect themselves and their young. Shakespeare uses or reverses this image to show us when people’s behaviour is either natural or unnatural. Blood Blood represents the violence of both thought and actions. Darkness / Light This is an easy one. Dark shows us evil, wicked behaviour; light is the opposite. Symbol or image Key idea Why it’s important Costumes Shakespeare uses references to costumes and clothes to show how people take on or dress themselves in new roles and identities. Sometimes, like clothes, these roles and identifies don’t quite fit or suit the person. Gold Gold represents golden, honourable, noble behaviour. Growing Shakespeare uses images of seeds or growing to show how ideas and feelings can grow and spread and have consequences. This could be evil thoughts and actions spreading like weeds, or the goodness of people growing and spreading into the future through the seeds of their children. Filth Filth represents the dirty immorality of people’s actions and thoughts. Foreboding Foreboding is when the atmosphere of a place or people’s thoughts and actions create a sense that things will turn out badly. Hiding In Macbeth, hiding is like lying – characters do it to cover up thoughts or actions they know are wrong. Madness Characters who consistently do the wrong thing become mad because their brain has become unnatural and evil. PreviewCopy
  9. 9. 18 19MACBETH Symbol or image Key idea Why it’s important Masculinity Characters, particularly Macbeth, are concerned with behaving in a way that is traditionally masculine – brave and stoic. Shakespeare uses this image to show us that this sense of masculinity can often be misguided. Measuring Shakespeare uses references to time, size and number to show the extent and consequences of people’s morality or immorality, duty or dishonour, order or disorder. Sleep Sleep reveals our true state of mind. Characters are sleepless and restless if they have done the wrong thing. On the other hand, noble characters easily find rest. Storms Storms represent the turmoil unleashed on the natural world by unnatural and evil thoughts and actions. Supernatural Supernatural literally means things that are beyond natural and normal and because of this they are wrong and unnatural. In Macbeth these are ghosts, visions, witches and prophecies. Sickness Like filth and madness, sickness represents the sickening, destructive consequences of unnatural and immoral actions. ACT 1H“Fair is foul, and foul is fair”. PreviewCopy
  10. 10. 20 21MACBETH ACT1 Who’s who in Act One You’ll come across three sets of characters in this Act: 1. The rebels At the very beginning of this play, there is a war going on in Scotland, where the action of Macbeth is set. A rebel called Macdonwald has decided to take the kingdom of Scotland from the current king – an old guy called Duncan. To help him win the war, Macdonwald has paid mercenaries to fight on his behalf. He’s got these mercenaries from Scotland (where they’re called “gallowglasses”) and from Ireland (called “kerns”). As if this isn’t bad enough, while all this fighting is going on, the King of Norway – the awesomely named Sweno – decides that he will join the fighting and hopefully win a bit of Scotland for himself. Look at the battle map on the opposite page to see a visual of what’s going on. 2. The current rulers of Scotland 3. Characters of the unnatural world These are the witches. To know something about them before you read the Act One, see the notes on the witches in the introduction. The King Duncan: The King of Scotland. He’s an old guy, so he’s not personally doing any fighting, but he has a number of young lords (or thanes) who are on his side. Sons Thanes Malcolm and Donalbain, his sons Macbeth, the best fighter in all of Scotland Banquo, Macbeth’s bestie and also a pretty awesome fighter Lennox, who’s quite a young lord, but is on hand to smile at the king whenever necessary Ross, who knows all of Duncan’s men well and can report on them Angus, a man of very few words, who is there to fight when he’s told Lady Macbeth, wife of Macbeth PreviewCopy
  11. 11. 22 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 23MACBETH ACT1 ACT 1.1 The first witch scene The play begins with witches because they’re awesome (and they didn’t have vampires or toasters in Shakespeare’s time). Like all awesome witches, these ones are coming up with a cool plan to do some magic and they’re going through a list of stuff they need to organise: 1) When to meet? Answer: Later on, when a battle is over and it’s dark. 2) Where? Answer: Outside in the grass (a heath). 3) Who’s the magic for? Answer: Macbeth (of course!!!) Then two of the witches get distracted by Graymalkin and Paddock…their cats. What the…? FIRST WITCH: When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain? SECOND WITCH: When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won. THIRD WITCH: That will be ere the set of sun. FIRST WITCH: Where the place? SECOND WITCH: Upon the heath. THIRD WITCH: There to meet with Macbeth. FIRST WITCH: I come, Graymalkin! SECOND WITCH: Paddock calls. THIRD WITCH: Anon. ALL: Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air. Exeunt Really, really, big important questions “When shall we three meet again?” Do the witches start things or simply respond to them? The first line of the play is a question about how to proceed with a plan. Does this planning or scheming mean the witches are behind the bad stuff that happens later in the play or that they simply know what is destined to happen? “That will be ere the set of sun.” Why do things happen when it’s dark? The witches plan is to meet when it’s dark. There’s going to be a truckload of actual darkness in this play and people behaving in a ‘dark’ way. You’ll need to consider throughout the play: What makes behaviour ‘dark’ or wrong? “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” Why are things disordered? What will happen because of the disorder? The last line of this passage is perhaps the most famous line in the play: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”. With this line, we’re being prompted to ask the question: Why are things topsy-turvy? Why is good bad, and bad good? The play starts with a question that creates a sense of foreboding and signals to the audience that Shakespeare wants us to ask some really important questions about the nature of the witches and the setting they inhabit. PreviewCopy
  12. 12. ACT1 24 25MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations What the…? In this scene, Duncan, the king, is hanging out with his two sons (Malcolm and Donalbain), and one of his lords (Lennox). They are at war with a Scottish lord (Macdonwald), who is paying Irish and Scottish mercenaries (“kerns and gallow- glasses”). Duncan’s not sure how the war is going, since they don’t have Twitter updates, so he decides to ask a random guy walking towards them. In fact, this guy is a sergeant who has rescued Malcolm from being captured by the baddies. The sergeant tells them that they’re winning, but only because Macbeth is basically Superman. ACT 1.2 Battle reports DUNCAN: What bloody man is that? He can report, As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt The newest state. MALCOLM: This is the sergeant Who like a good and hardy soldier fought 'Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend! Say to the king the knowledge of the broil As thou didst leave it. SERGEANT: Doubtful it stood; As two spent swimmers, that do cling together And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald– Worthy to be a rebel, for to that The multiplying villanies of nature Do swarm upon him–from the western isles Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied; And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling, Show'd like a rebel's whore: but all's too weak: For brave Macbeth–well he deserves that name– Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements. The first time we meet King Duncan, he’s wondering who can tell him what’s going on with the war. There are two interesting things about this: Duncan is not actually participating in the war that is being fought on his behalf, which is weird because part of the role of a king in medieval times is to be a war leader. Duncan doesn’t even recognise one of the sergeants who is fighting for him. So, as an audience, we have to ask ourselves, what kind of a king is Duncan? We also see Malcolm, Duncan’s oldest son, who knows the sergeant and greets him as a “brave friend”. So at least the king’s son recognises some of their men, but Malcolm also reveals that he was nearly captured by the enemies. So, while Duncan’s kingdom is threatened, he waits for news. In contrast to this inac- tivity is the story of what Macbeth is up to – his sword is smoking as he bravely carves up enemies. Bonus point! PreviewCopy
  13. 13. ACT1 26 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 27MACBETH What the…? Duncan, who doesn’t give a stuff that that the man before him is clearly about to pass out from his wounds, keeps pumping the Sergeant for information about what’s going on. This is what the Sergeant says: Having chased the filthy Irish scum (“kerns”) off the battlefield, Macbeth and Banquo have to face a whole new enemy – a “Norweyan lord”. Rather than making them feel dismayed, this gives them a Red Bull adrenalin rush and they go even more psycho in battle and beat everyone. ACT 1.2 Battle reports DUNCAN: O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman! SERGEANT: As whence the sun 'gins his reflection Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break, So from that spring whence comfort seem'd to come Discomfort swells. Mark, king of Scotland, mark: No sooner justice had with valour arm'd Compell'd these skipping kerns to trust their heels, But the Norweyan lord surveying vantage, With furbish'd arms and new supplies of men Began a fresh assault. DUNCAN: Dismay’d not this Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo? SERGEANT: Yes; As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion. If I say sooth, I must report they were As cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe: Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds, Or memorise another Golgotha, I cannot tell. But I am faint, my gashes cry for help. DUNCAN: So well thy words become thee as thy wounds; They smack of honour both. Go get him surgeons. In Hollywood action films, you’ll often hear about the action hero before you meet them, which is a way of creating an image of them in our heads. Since Shakespeare is basically a Hollywood script writer, he uses this technique at the start of Macbeth. In this passage, we get a number of good quotes about what Macbeth and Banquo are like in battle. Look at the quotes below and then choose the best word to describe what violence does for Macbeth: Quotes This means… DUNCAN: Dismay’d not this Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo? SERGEANT: Yes; As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion. Duncan: Didn’t this make Macbeth and Banquo upset? Sergeant: Yes (Not!!!) – they were about as upset as eagles seeing a sparrow or a lion seeing a hare. …they were As cannons overcharged with double cracks They became like cannons stuffed with twice the amount of gunpowder. Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds Their goal became to cut up the enemy so much they would be taking a blood bath. Which is the best word to describe what violence does to Macbeth? causes: makes him do something excites: makes him energised about doing something inspires: makes him feel hopeful about doing something challenges: makes him feel like overcoming something allows: lets him do something PreviewCopy
  14. 14. ACT1 28 29MACBETH Throughout the play, Lennox and Ross will pop up again and again. They’re super-important lords in Scotland at the moment and chief adv¬isors to the king. They don’t really have much to say in any scene, but they are important in letting us, the audience, know what is happening and how we should think. Here, Lennox is only saying that Ross is hurrying to meet the king, so he’s not really important. But Ross gives us some more important information about Macbeth. How Ross describes Macbeth Each of the statements below is a modern translation of something Ross says. Read through each statement and then place its number next to the original text it translates. 1. I’ve come from Fife, which is full of Norwegian flags. 2. The Norwegian king had loads of soldiers to help out Macdonwald. 3. Then Macbeth, who’s such a great fighter he’s practically married to the goddess of war, turned up andstarted to fight Sweno. 4. Macbeth was covered in blood. 5. Macbeth tried to fight fair by holding himself back, but he stilltotally beat everyone. What’s also worth noting is that Ross makes Sweno, the king of Norway, pay a fine of ten thousand dollars for fighting against Duncan. That’s a truck-load of money now, but back then it was truly a fortune. But how does Duncan reward Ross for getting all this money? Does Duncan say anything nice to Ross? Insights, Notes, & Annotations What the…? Someone’s coming, and once again Duncan has no idea who it is. Malcolm tells him that it’s Lord (“thane”) Ross, come to deliver the awesome news that they’ve won the war. Macdonwald (“the thane of Cawdor”) has been defeated by Macbeth (“Belladonna’s bridegroom”), which is pretty impressive considering that during the battle ANOTHER army turned up (led by the King of Norway) which Macbeth also beat. Total Chuck Norris. Duncan’s pretty happy with this outcome and decides to reward Macbeth by giving him Macdonwald’s land and title. Sweet. ACT 1.2 Battle reports DUNCAN: Who comes here? MALCOLM: The worthy thane of Ross. LENNOX: What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look That seems to speak things strange. ROSS: God save the king! DUNCAN: Whence camest thou, worthy thane? ROSS: From Fife, great king; Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky And fan our people cold. Norway himself, With terrible numbers, Assisted by that most disloyal traitor The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict; Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof, Confronted him with self-comparisons, Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm. Curbing his lavish spirit: and, to conclude, The victory fell on us. DUNCAN: Great happiness! ROSS: That now Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition: Nor would we deign him burial of his men Till he disbursed at Saint Colme's inch Ten thousand dollars to our general use. DUNCAN: No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death, And with his former title greet Macbeth. ROSS: I’ll see it done. DUNCAN: What he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won. Insights, Notes, & Annotations PreviewCopy
  15. 15. ACT1 31MACBETH30 Writing about this scene In your essays, you’ll need to write about how Macbeth and his world are characterised in the opening scenes of the play. Writing about Macbeth: When you write about Macbeth, you can use quotes and your own descriptions to analyse one way he is presented at the start of the play: At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare represents Macbeth as a character who is “brave” and loyal to his king. Now it’s your turn. Use these sentence starters to write about Macbeth as a brave character at the start of the play. • From the outset of the play, we are introduced to Macbeth as a character who is…and… • Shakespeare characterises Macbeth in the opening of the play as…and… You can use the quotes and words in the table below to help you. Quotes Words brave Macbeth–well he deserves that name Disdaining fortune As cannons overcharged with double cracks Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds loyal violent regardless of consequences energised by instinctively violent But the opening of the play isn’t all about Macbeth being brave. It introduces us to some potential flaws in his character as well: At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare represents Macbeth as a character who is “brave” but also “disdaining” of “fortune” or what will be the consequences of his actions. Now it’s your turn. Using the thinking you did for the first sentence writing activity, use these sentence starters to analyse Macbeth in a more complex way: • On the one hand, Shakespeare emphasises at the start of the play that Macbeth is…However, on the other hand, we also see early on that Macbeth is… ACT 1.2 Battle reports • From the outset of the play, we are introduced to Macbeth as a character who is both…and… • Scene Two introduces us to a Macbeth who is both…and… Writing about disorder: At its heart, the play Macbeth is about what happens when there is a collision between order and disorder. You’ll certainly need to write about this in your essays with sentences such as: The opening of the play introduces us a to a world of disorder, where people expected to be loyal are “disloyal”. Disorder is emphasised in the first two scenes with these quotes: • Fair is foul, and foul is fair. • So from that spring whence comfort seem'd to come Discomfort swells. • Assisted by that most disloyal traitor The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict; Now it’s your turn. Write one sentence about disorder in the opening scenes by using a quote along with a sentence opener and disorder word from the table below: In the opening scenes of Macbeth, Shakespeare characterises the world of the play as one of…where… From the beginning of the play…reigns as… Macbeth’s world is one of…from the very beginning as… confusion disorder mayhem turmoil PreviewCopy
  16. 16. ACT1 32 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 33MACBETH What the…? Meanwhile, the witches have their own stories. Witch Two has been a pig hit-man, which is pretty weird, but it’s Witch One who’s really got a story. She saw a sailor’s wife eating chestnuts and asked for a few, but the sailor’s wife made a noise like a pig and said no. So now, Witch One is going to sail away to find the sailor, get him hope- lessly lost, drain his blood, and make him an insomniac and very sick. And Witches Two and Three will give her some wind to help out the mission. Best planning session ever. ACT 1.3 Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches FIRST WITCH: Where hast thou been, sister? SECOND WITCH: Killing swine. THIRD WITCH: Sister, where thou? FIRST WITCH: A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap, And munch'd, and munch'd, and munch'd:– 'Give me,' quoth I: 'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries. Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger: But in a sieve I'll thither sail, And, like a rat without a tail, I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do. SECOND WITCH: I’ll give thee a wind. FIRST WITCH: Thou’rt kind. THIRD WITCH: And I another. FIRST WITCH: I myself have all the other, And the very ports they blow, All the quarters that they know I' the shipman's card. I will drain him dry as hay: Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his pent-house lid; He shall live a man forbid: Weary se'nnights nine times nine Shall he dwindle, peak and pine: Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest-tost. THIRD WITCH: A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come. ALL: The weird sisters, hand in hand, Posters of the sea and land, Thus do go about, about: Thrice to thine and thrice to mine And thrice again, to make up nine. Peace! the charm's wound up. Insights, Notes, & Annotations In this scene, we’re having a closer look at what kind of characters The Witches are. The Second Witch has been “killing swine” for no apparent reason, but it’s the First Witch who really shows her true colours. She has asked a complete stranger to share some nuts with her and, when the stranger refuses, the First Witch comes up with an incredible plan to get revenge – by harassing and nearly killing the stranger’s husband. Look at the list below and tick off which of the witch’s revenge strate- gies you think are TR (totally reasonable) and which are OTT (over the top): TR OTT “I will drain him dry as hay” I will say, ‘why, thou art being greedy, girlfriend’ I shall “forbid” a man any sleep for “nine times nine” weeks I shall turn my back and refuseth to speak to him I will curse him so he will “dwindle, peak and pine” through lack of sleep I will curse him to my friends so they will knoweth his wife doesn’t share snacks PreviewCopy
  17. 17. ACT1 34 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 35MACBETH What the…? Finally, we meet Macbeth, who enters while saying that the day is both awesome and rotten. Banquo, who’s obviously not a great listener, has spotted the witches and is distracted by their beards. Because they’re women. With beards. Macbeth orders the witches to speak and they do, calling Macbeth “thane of Glamis” (which he is), “thane of Cawdor” (we know Duncan is going to give him this) and “king” (which is a huge surprise to everyone). Banquo is super-impressed by this, and wants them to tell his fortune too. Especially if it’s good. ACT 1.3 Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches MACBETH: So foul and fair a day I have not seen. BANQUO: How far is't call'd to Forres? What are these So wither'd and so wild in their attire, That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth, And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught That man may question? You seem to understand me, By each at once her chappy finger laying Upon her skinny lips: you should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret That you are so. MACBETH: Speak, if you can: what are you? FIRST WITCH: All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! SECOND WITCH: All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! THIRD WITCH: All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! BANQUO: Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair? I' the name of truth, Are ye fantastical, or that indeed Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner You greet with present grace and great prediction Of noble having and of royal hope, That he seems rapt withal: to me you speak not. If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear Your favours nor your hate. The first words of Macbeth are fairly famous: “So foul and fair a day I have not seen”, and they echo the words of the three witches who said, in the opening scene “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”. In this way, Shakespeare connects Macbeth to the witches, making it appear as though the witches may be influencing Macbeth – perhaps even putting words and thoughts into his mouth. However, as an audience, we can’t be sure of exactly what he is talking about. Look in the table below and choose the option for ‘foul’ and ‘fair’ you think he is most likely refer- ring to when he makes this statement. Foul things Fair things war is terrible fighting is a lot of fun a foggy, overcast day a sunny, beautiful day lots of my friends have died I killed lots of traitors the people fighting against Duncan are awful winning a battle is awesome Another thing that is interesting about this scene is that Banquo is doing most of the talking. He notices the witches (when Macbeth seems not to) and, after they provide Macbeth with his prophecy, it is Banquo who tells us how Macbeth is reacting – that he seems “rapt”. Banquo is also far more impressed by the witches as supernatural beings: he describes them as looking “not like the inhabitants o’ the earth” but “fantastical” and asks them nicely if they will tell his fortune. This is in stark contrast to Macbeth, who merely orders the witches to “Speak”. Look at the spectrum below and make two marks – one to indicate how superstitious you think Banquo is and one to indicate how superstitious you think Macbeth is. Is sceptical of supernatural things Believes in fate and supernatural things PreviewCopy
  18. 18. ACT1 36 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 37MACBETH What the…? Now the witches give Banquo his prediction: he’s going to have sons who are kings, but won’t be anything special himself. Macbeth interrupts with a series of questions: Isn’t the thane of Cawdor still alive? How do you know all of this? What will happen next on that TV show I really like? While Banquo’s mind is so blown by all this he thinks he must have been taking Shakespearean drugs (“eaten on the insane root”), Macbeth instantly wants to go over again what the witches said…probably so he can tweet about it later on. ACT 1.3 Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches FIRST WITCH: Hail! SECOND WITCH: Hail! THIRD WITCH: Hail! FIRST WITCH: Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. SECOND WITCH: Not so happy, yet much happier. THIRD WITCH: Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none: So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo! FIRST WITCH: Banquo and Macbeth, all hail! MACBETH: Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: By Sinel's death I know I am thane of Glamis; But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and to be king Stands not within the prospect of belief, No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence You owe this strange intelligence? or why Upon this blasted heath you stop our way With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you. Witches vanish BANQUO: The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, And these are of them. Whither are they vanish'd? MACBETH: Into the air; and what seem'd corporal melted As breath into the wind. Would they had stay'd! Insights, Notes, & Annotations BANQUO: Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root That takes the reason prisoner? MACBETH: Your children shall be kings. BANQUO: You shall be king. MACBETH: And thane of Cawdor too: went it not so? BANQUO: To the selfsame tune and words. Who's here? This is Macbeth’s first long speech and he starts with another order to the witches, but after this, he asks a series of questions. The first question he asks is about Cawdor, which is interesting because almost anyone else would be more interested in being a king. The other hing we learn is that Macbeth doesn't seem to understand that Cawdor is one of the people he has been fighting. On the left side of the table below are some quotes about what Macbeth knows and thinks about his current situation. Draw a line from each of these quotes to an interpretation on the right hand side that explains what the quote reveals to us about Macbeth. Clues about Macbeth Sentences to describe Macbeth’s reaction “By Sinel’s death I know I am thane of Glamis” Macbeth is a logical thinker who wants to get his facts straight. Macbeth believes that the witches are ordinary people with ordinary abilities. Although Macbeth might be a formidable warrior, he doesn’t really understand the politics of what is happening behind the scenes of battle. Macbeth knows that the only title he ever received was after someone died. Macbeth is not particularly ambitious. Macbeth has never really thought about getting a promotion before. Macbeth is not very superstitious. “the thane of Cawdor lives,/ a prosperous gentleman” “to be king/ Stands not within the prospect of belief” “Say from whence/ you owe this strange intelligence?” PreviewCopy
  19. 19. ACT1 38 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 39MACBETH What the…? And now Ross and Angus rock up to tell Macbeth that King Duncan is all over Facebook about how sweet Macbeth’s ninja fighting skills are. Angus points out that they can’t give Macbeth the cash right now, but Ross chips in to say…wait for it…Macbeth is to be thane of Cawdor. Who would have seen that coming? Macbeth still has an absolute knot in his knickers about how he can be thane of Cawdor when the bloke is still alive, so Angus fills him in with the goss that Cawdor was a filthy traitor. ACT 1.3 Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches ROSS: The king hath happily received, Macbeth, The news of thy success; and when he reads Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight, His wonders and his praises do contend Which should be thine or his: silenced with that, In viewing o'er the rest o' the selfsame day, He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks, Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make, Strange images of death. As thick as hail Came post with post; and every one did bear Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence, And pour'd them down before him. ANGUS: We are sent To give thee from our royal master thanks; Only to herald thee into his sight, Not pay thee. ROSS: And, for an earnest of a greater honour, He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor: In which addition, hail, most worthy thane! For it is thine. BANQUO: What, can the devil speak true? MACBETH: The thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me In borrow'd robes? ANGUS: Who was the thane lives yet; But under heavy judgment bears that life Which he deserves to lose. By sending Ross and Angus out to give the good news, Duncan provides us with some interesting insights into the kind of leader that he is. Rather than hogging all of the good news to himself, Duncan has let Ross and Angus give Macbeth his reward. 1. Look at the character description chart below. Circle all of the phrases that you think apply to Duncan in this scene. brave and adventurous thoughtful about giving people good jobs too lazy to speak to his own men recognises the talent of others rewards talent does important jobs himself humble enough to see others as important interested in the careers of others allows others to be leaders when necessary too self-important to deliver news himself co-operates with all of his people approves of the work of others delegates important tasks takes personal risks generous towards his people considers every outcome 2. Now, read back through the passage and think about Macbeth’s own behaviour, as described by Ross. Circle the phrases (in a different colour) that describe Macbeth in the above character description chart. 3. Based upon the phrases you circled for Macbeth or Duncan, who do you think makes a better leader and king? Insights, Notes, & Annotations Whether he was combined With those of Norway, or did line the rebel With hidden help and vantage, or that with both He labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not; But treasons capital, confess'd and proved, Have overthrown him. PreviewCopy
  20. 20. ACT1 40 41MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations Like those crazy people you sometimes sit next to on the train, Macbeth talks to himself a lot in this bit. First he says (to himself) that the prediction about being than of Cawdor has come true and that it is the “greatest”. Then he asks Banquo if thinks the rest of the predictions will come true. Banquo doesn’t trust the old ladies. He reckons they may be telling them a few small things that are true, in order to con them into doing or believing big evils. Macbeth doesn’t really listen to this, but starts talking to himself again – this time about how the thought of being king is good on one hand, but on the other hand makes him feel kinda weird and strange inside. Like when you watch those scary shows on Netflix. What the…? ACT 1.3 Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches MACBETH: [To himself] Glamis, and thane of Cawdor! The greatest is behind. [To ROSS and ANGUS] Thanks for your pains. [To BANQUO] Do you not hope your children shall be kings, When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me Promised no less to them? BANQUO: That trusted home Might yet enkindle you unto the crown, Besides the thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange: And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence. Cousins, a word, I pray you. MACBETH: [To himself] Two truths are told, As happy prologues to the swelling act Of the imperial theme.— [To ROSS and ANGUS] I thank you, gentlemen. [To himself] Cannot be ill, cannot be good: if ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success, Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor: If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature? Present fears Talking to yourself is never a good sign in Shakespeare-land. You become secretive about your thoughts when you want to hide them from others. In other words – you know your thoughts are the wrong kind and shouldn’t be shared. Macbeth’s thoughts definitely aren’t good – he’s gone to a very dark place very quickly. By the end of this scene he’s imagining the “murder” of Duncan in order to become king. But does this make him evil or merely human? Look through the responses Macbeth has had so far and discuss which thing most likely motivates each response: Response This could mean… or… Macbeth wants to talk to the witches, Banquo, and then Ross and Angus about Cawdor – he ignores the prophecy about being king. Macbeth is a small picture thinker. He understands being a thane, so this is what he talks about. Focusing on becoming thane of Cawdor allows Macbeth to ignore the thing he actually (and guiltily) desires: to become king. Macbeth begins to talk to himself about being king. Macbeth needs time and privacy to process some startling news. Talking to himself is the basic way he tries to make sense of the prophecy. Macbeth talks to himself rather than others because he actually wants to be king and he knows this thought should be kept private. Macbeth imagines murdering Duncan. Macbeth is the product of a violent culture. Imagining the murder of Duncan doesn’t mean he wants to do it, merely that it’s the most likely way that the prophecy could come true. Macbeth’s heart knocks at his ribs as he imagines the murder of Duncan because he knows it’s something very wrong that he truly wants. Insights, Notes, & Annotations Are less than horrible imaginings: My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man that function Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is But what is not. PreviewCopy
  21. 21. ACT1 42 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 43MACBETH Macbeth is staring off into space mumbling to himself and everyone else (Banquo, Angus and Ross – yes, they’re all still there) are awkwardly standing around wanting to know what he’s doing. Macbeth is actually trying to pull himself out of the dark thoughts of the previous passage by telling himself that he could become king by “chance” (i.e. without having to murder anyone). He realises everyone is watching him, apologises, suggests they go on a horsey ride to the king, and that they should all talk about this weirdness later on. What the…? ACT 1.3 Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches BANQUO: Look, how our partner's rapt. MACBETH: [To himself] If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, Without my stir. BANQUO: New honours come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould But with the aid of use. MACBETH: [To himself] Come what come may, Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. BANQUO: Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure. MACBETH: Give me your favour: my dull brain was wrought With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains Are register'd where every day I turn The leaf to read them. Let us toward the king. Think upon what hath chanced, and, at more time, The interim having weigh'd it, let us speak Our free hearts each to other. BANQUO: Very gladly. MACBETH: Till then, enough. Come, friends. If Scene Two introduces us to Macbeth the courageous and loyal soldier, Scene Three introduces us to Macbeth the thinker, feeler and leader. Let’s look at two quotes about Macbeth as a leader. Both of these quotes suggest that when you become a leader, you put on leadership “clothes” – that is, you wear a new identity. Circle some words in each quote that show us how comfortable or uncomfortable Macbeth might be in the new leadership role of thane of Cawdor: BANQUO: New honours come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould But with the aid of use. MACBETH: The thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me In borrow'd robes? In many ways, this scene is a bit of a turning point for Macbeth, although he doesn’t know it yet. He says: If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me Without my stir So here, Macbeth has the opportunityto be content with how things are and to see what “chance” brings about on its own or to be ambitious and interfere with events. Which way do you think Macbeth is leaning at the moment? Content to leave things as they are Ambitious to change them PreviewCopy
  22. 22. ACT1 45MACBETH44 Writing about this scene When you write your essays about Macbeth, you’ll need to discuss the role of the witches as well as to analyse how Shakespeare presents them in the play. Here is an example sentence: The witches are characterised as unpredictable and malevolent forces who will “drain” a person as revenge for trivial crimes. Now it’s your turn. To write a sentence like this, you’ll need to do two things: 1. Identify some quotes that demonstrate what the witches are like. Look back at the first passage of this scene and identify at least two threats the first witch makes. 2. Write a sentence using a sentence starter and some words from the grid below with your quote. Then try writing another sentence with a different quote. The witches are characterised as… Shakespeare depicts the witches as… Before they give Macbeth his prophecy, we see the witches as… vengeful unstable extreme supernatural malicious figures beings creatures who will… who want… who can… ACT 1.3 Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches Exploring the complexity of Macbeth’s character: Scene Three also introduces us to a basic complexity in Macbeth’s character: he is conflicted between being content with what he has (being thane of Glamis and Cawdor) and acting on the witches’ prediction and having more (being king). Writing about this conflict might look like this: In his first scene, we witness Macbeth being torn between a prediction that could be “good” for him but also makes his “heart knock”, revealing a crisis of conscience. Now it’s your turn. To write a sentence like the one above you can combine phrases from the grid below. Have a go writing two sentences. In at least one of the sentences, use a quote from one of the previous two passages. From the start of the play,… From the outset of Macbeth, Shakespeare demonstrates… At his first meeting with the witches… we see Macbeth as… Macbeth is presented as… Shakespeare demonstrates Macbeth to be… Shakespeare depicts Macbeth as… Macbeth struggles with… conflicted between…and… his desire to be both…and… his horror of…but ambition to… a sense that the witches’ prediction could be…or… revealing a man who cannot… revealing a conscience that cannot… illustrating that he is… demonstrating that he… PreviewCopy
  23. 23. ACT1 46 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 47MACBETH On the next page, Macbeth will enter. As an audience, we now know that he’s already thinking like the original Cawdor: that is, he wants to betray Duncan. To make Macbeth’s entrance more dramatic, Shakespeare emphasises two things about Cawdor in this passage that are also true of Macbeth. Look at the quotes about Cawdor in the first column and make some notes about how this is also true of Macbeth in the second column: What Duncan says about Cawdor How is this also true of Macbeth? There’s no art To find the mind's construction in the face: (i.e. it’s impossible to see people’s true thoughts on their face) He was a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust. Cawdor’s betrayal foreshadows that of Macbeth’s. But there’s some- thing else Cawdor does that will also foreshadow Macbeth’s actions later in the play – he dies as if he doesn’t care: "he died" he died "As one that had been studied in his death" like he had practised dying "To throw away the dearest thing he owed" and was throwing away the most valuable thing he owned "As 'twere a careless trifle." as if it was worth nothing In this scene, Duncan is checking off his to-do list. He wants to know if he can put a tick next to the original Cawdor being executed (and go and pick up some milk, which is his next job). Malcolm reports that Cawdor said he was really sorry (like that will do him much good) and then died as if he wasn’t scared and couldn’t care less. Duncan’s response to all this is that you can’t tell a person’s true mind from what is on their face, and that he really had “absolute trust” in Cawdor. Oops. What the…? ACT 1.4 Duncan rewards Macbeth DUNCAN: Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not Those in commission yet return'd? MALCOLM: My liege, They are not yet come back. But I have spoke With one that saw him die: who did report That very frankly he confess'd his treasons, Implored your highness' pardon and set forth A deep repentance: nothing in his life Became him like the leaving it; he died As one that had been studied in his death To throw away the dearest thing he owed, As 'twere a careless trifle. DUNCAN: There’s no art To find the mind's construction in the face: He was a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust. Really, really, big important questions If someone had trusted you completely and you’d betrayed them, why might you no longer care about your life? How might you have lost something important to your sense of self when you betray someone? PreviewCopy
  24. 24. ACT1 48 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 49MACBETH This passage also introduces an important type of imagery that will recur throughout the play: seed and growing imagery. This imagery can be both positive and negative: While the first passage of this scene introduced us to betrayal, this passage explores loyalty. Having just survived the betrayal of someone he trusted completely, Duncan is now very keen to make sure he can actually trust the people around him by valuing and rewarding their efforts. Macbeth, who is thinking of knifing Duncan in the back, feels a little bit awkward about this. In response to Duncan’s flattery, Macbeth rolls out a little speech about what the relationship between King and subject should be (i.e. the natural order of things). Look at Macbeth’s speech and then annotate the diagram below with what a subject should do and what the king should do: Macbeth strides in and Duncan is down on the ground kissing his butt straight away. He goes on about how he hasn’t been grateful enough, how Macbeth is too fast to catch up with, and how there’s not enough stuff in the world to give Macbeth to thank him for his ninja skills. Macbeth plays it pretty cool in response, saying: that’s how it’s meant to be, you have to be loyal to the king. Duncan remembers then that Banquo also had ninja skills in the big battle and so he deserves a big hug. Lucky Banquo. Then Duncan breaks down crying because he’s so happy everyone was so loyal. What the…? ACT 1.4 Duncan rewards Macbeth DUNCAN: O worthiest cousin! The sin of my ingratitude even now Was heavy on me: thou art so far before That swiftest wing of recompense is slow To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved, That the proportion both of thanks and payment Might have been mine! only I have left to say, More is thy due than more than all can pay. MACBETH: The service and the loyalty I owe, In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part Is to receive our duties; and our duties Are to your throne and state children and servants, Which do but what they should, by doing every thing Safe toward your love and honour. DUNCAN: Welcome hither: I have begun to plant thee, and will labour To make thee full of growing. Noble Banquo, That hast no less deserved, nor must be known No less to have done so, let me enfold thee And hold thee to my heart. BANQUO: There if I grow, The harvest is your own. DUNCAN: My plenteous joys, Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves In drops of sorrow. As your king, I will… As your thane, I will… Seeds can grow, become strong, and symbolise good, healthy life. Seeds can grow into weeds, spread like disease and represent evil. PreviewCopy
  25. 25. ACT1 50 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 51MACBETH Having sucked up to Macbeth and Banquo, Duncan now drops a bombshell: he’s going to name his eldest son, Malcolm, as the person who’ll become king when he dies (see notes on the next page about why this is a big deal) and everyone else will shine around him like “stars”, making him look awesome. To cement the deal, Duncan says they’ll all go to Macbeth’s place (Inverness) and party. Macbeth then goes off to write to his wife to fill her in on all the news and, as he does so, he broods about the fact that Malcolm being nominated as next king has really screwed up his own plan. What the…? ACT 1.4 Duncan rewards Macbeth DUNCAN: Sons, kinsmen, thanes, And you whose places are the nearest, know We will establish our estate upon Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter The Prince of Cumberland; which honour must Not unaccompanied invest him only, But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine On all deservers. From hence to Inverness, And bind us further to you. MACBETH: The rest is labour, which is not used for you: I'll be myself the harbinger and make joyful The hearing of my wife with your approach; So humbly take my leave. DUNCAN: My worthy Cawdor! MACBETH: [Aside] The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. Exit DUNCAN: True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant, And in his commendations I am fed; It is a banquet to me. Let's after him, Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome: It is a peerless kinsman. Why is it such earth-shattering news that Malcolm is being named the next king? The eldest son always becomes the next king, doesn’t he? That’s how things happen now, but it wasn’t the case in Macbeth’s time. Anyone related or connected to the king could become the next king. Especially if they were good at battles, because one of the key jobs of being a king back then was to win wars and protect your land. What Scotland had then was called an elective monarchy – meaning the person thought best to be the next king was elected to be king. So, when Macbeth first heard the witch’s prophecy about becoming king, he thought there was a ‘chance’ he could be elected king if Duncan died. But now he’s heard the news about Malcolm, he’s thinking this: 3. If Duncan dies, I’ll be elected as king If Malcolm’s out of the way and Duncan dies, I’ll be elected king. Ambition is beginning to take hold of Macbeth. He’s no longer talking about murdering Duncan as something he could do, but as something he will do. Thoughts from the pen of Macbeth 1. The witches have said I’ll become king 2. I’ve performed amazingheroics on the battlefield:everyone probably thinksI’d make a good king PreviewCopy
  26. 26. ACT1 53MACBETH52 ACT 1.4 Duncan rewards Macbeth Writing about this scene In the previous scene, Duncan spoke a great deal about both loyalty and betrayal. These ideas are important themes to discuss when writing an essay about Macbeth, so you’ll want to do a good job of it. Here’s an example of two sentences that analyse these ideas: While Macbeth publicly states that he owes duties to Duncan’s “throne and state children and servants”, he quietly plots Duncan’s downfall, demonstrating his deceitful nature. While Macbeth publicly states that he owes duties to Duncan, he quietly plots Duncan’s downfall with “horrible imaginings”, demonstrating his deceitful nature. In the above sentences, the writer is pointing out the difference between Macbeth’s public behaviour and the private speeches that we, as an audience hear. It’s time for you to have a go. Find quotes demonstrating Macbeth’s public loyalty or private betrayal (hint: use the loyalty icons to help you identify these) and use the sentence stems below to help you put these quotes into an analytic sentence. While Macbeth publicly states… Although Macbeth loudly declares… To others, Macbeth says… When in the presence of others, Macbeth assures… he quietly plots… he secretly plans… he privately schemes… he discreetly decides… demonstrating… illustrating… showing… revealing… his deceitful nature. how duplicitous he is. his natural cunning. he is essentially untrustworthy. However, you don’t always want to use Macbeth as an example for every idea. Sometimes it's a good idea to analyse what the more minor characters have to say, like in this sentence below. As king, Duncan places “absolute trust” in his men, because he believes that loyalty to each other is a vital part of the relationship a king has with his subjects. Now it’s time for you to have a go. Use the quotes below, along with the sentence starters that follow, to write a sentence or two discussing Duncan’s ideas about loyalty. Quotes demonstrating Duncan’s attitude to loyalty: “signs of nobleness, like stars shall shine / On all deservers” “The sin of my ingratitude…was heavy on me” “My worthy Cawdor!” “will labour /To make thee full of growing” As king, Duncan places… As a leader, Duncan trusts… Duncan holds… In his role as king, Duncan believes… because he believes that… since he has faith in… due to the value he puts on… because he relies upon… loyalty to each other… their shared allegiance… the integrity of the relationship… the fidelity between… PreviewCopy
  27. 27. ACT1 54 55MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations Macbeth’s phone has no reception, so he sends Lady Macbeth an old-school letter instead, telling her all about his day (you know, how he met three witches who told him he’d become thane of Cawdor and then king). He calls Lady Macbeth his “dearest partner”, which is pretty ace. Lady Macbeth thinks the news is all cool but there’s one problem. She thinks that Macbeth has too much “kindness” to kill the king. Her solution: she’s going to use the strength (“valour”) of her tongue to convince Macbeth to go through with the murder. That’s one hell of a tongue. What the…? ACT 1.5 Lady Macbeth hears about the prophecy LADY MACBETH: 'They met me in the day of success: and I have l earned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hailed me 'Thane of Cawdor;' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with 'Hail, king that shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.’ Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou'ldst have, great Glamis, That which cries 'Thus thou must do, if thou have it; And that which rather thou dost fear to do Than wishest should be undone.' Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crown'd withal. This is the first time we meet one of the most iconic characters in liter- ature: Lady Macbeth. What we learn from this passage is that Macbeth highly values the partnership with his wife who he says is his “partner in greatness”. It’s clear that they each bring something to the relationship to make it a highly effective one. He brings the physical courage (we’ve heard lots of reports about that), she brings the intellectual bravery in the form of the “valour” (courage) of her “tongue”. In other words, he’s the muscle and she’s the brains. In this passage Lady Macbeth’s worried that her husband doesn’t have the strength of character to murder Duncan because he’s so used to behaving “holily”. She says that in having “ambition” you also need to be able to put up with the “illness” (i.e. the sick feeling of doing the wrong thing) that goes with it. However, Lady Macbeth thinks that she has the strength of character to put up with this “illness” of ambition and to convince Macbeth to do likewise. Is she right? Lady Macbeth’s belief in what she can do prompts three questions that you’ll need to consider over the next few Acts. What do you think at this point? 1. Does Lady Macbeth accurately understand Macbeth’s character, but not her own? Unsure at the moment It looks that way It doesn’t look that way 2. Does Lady Macbeth accurately understand how the situation requires characters to repress their morals? Unsure at the moment It looks that way It doesn’t look that way 3. Is Lady Macbeth focusing on Macbeth’s weakness because she’s actually anxious about her own strength? Unsure at the moment It looks that way It doesn’t look that way PreviewCopy
  28. 28. ACT1 56 57MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations Interrupting her plans for world domination, a messenger comes to see Lady Macbeth, telling her that the king is about to arrive at the Macbeth homestead. This is a bit of a shock to Lady M, because she’s just read a letter from her husband (who has been hanging out with the king) and he didn’t mention a word about it. However, she recovers quickly and realises that she’s going to need to get tough with herself so they can work out how to knife the king. To be tough enough, she will need to be ‘toe top-full/ Of direst cruelty’. And that’s pretty full of cruelty. What the…? ACT 1.5 Lady Macbeth hears about the prophecy LADY MACBETH: What is your tidings? MESSENGER: The king comes here to-night. LADY MACBETH: Thou’rt mad to say it: Is not thy master with him? who, were't so, Would have inform'd for preparation. MESSENGER: So please you, it is true: our thane is coming: One of my fellows had the speed of him, Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more Than would make up his message. LADY MACBETH: Give him tending; He brings great news. Exit Messenger The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, Wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry 'Hold, hold!’ When Lady Macbeth hears that the king is arriving, she is pretty sur- prised. This tells us one thing: Lady M expects her husband to let her know things and be considerate of her, which is unusual for a medieval Scottish wife. And it also gives us some insight into Macbeth’s planning skills. Look at the statements below and choose the option that you think best encapsulates Macbeth’s ability to plan: Macbeth has no idea of how much preparation his wife will need to make for the king’s visit, indicating that he expects her to do her job without interference from him. Macbeth doesn’t give his wife the information she needs, demonstrating how distracted he is by the thought of becoming king. Macbeth doesn’t worry about giving her notice that the king is about to arrive, showing how competent he thinks his wife is. The fact that Macbeth focuses upon himself shows us that he does not have the planning capability needed to be king. However, what is perhaps more interesting about this particular passage is the contrast it offers to the previous page, when Lady Macbeth was discussing her husband. Let’s have a look at what she is saying in this passage, and compare it to what she says about her husband: Previous page That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; / And chastise with the valour of my tongue That is: Macbeth needs my spirit to be brave enough thy nature; / It is too full o' the milk of human kindness / To catch the nearest way That is: Macbeth is too kind to be ruthless wouldst not play false, / And yet wouldst wrongly win: That is: Macbeth is not a traitor This page Come, you spirits… fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty That is: I need help from spirits to be brave or cruel enough Come to my woman's breasts, / And take my milk for gall, That is: because I’m a woman, I’m also full of the milk of kindness Come, thick night, / And pall thee in thedunnest smoke of hell, / That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, That is: I need it to be dark, so I can’t see when I wound the king PreviewCopy
  29. 29. ACT1 58 Insights, Notes, & Annotations 59MACBETH Macbeth turns up and his wife pumps up his ego by calling him “Great Glamis” blah- de-blah. She’s pretty excited about the whole becoming-king thing and even more so when Macbeth says that Duncan is coming for a sleepover. Lady Macbeth instantly declares that there’s no way Duncan is leaving alive. She says that Macbeth needs to play “innocent” but actually be a “serpent”. While he’s doing his best Brad Pitt acting, she’ll be working out the details ("put / this night’s great business into my dispatch”), so he shouldn’t worry his muscly little head about it. What the…? ACT 1.5 Lady Macbeth hears about the prophecy LADY MACBETH: Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor! Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter! Thy letters have transported me beyond This ignorant present, and I feel now The future in the instant. MACBETH: My dearest love, Duncan comes here to-night. LADY MACBETH: And when goes hence? MACBETH: To-morrow, as he purposes. LADY MACBETH: O, never Shall sun that morrow see! Your face, my thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters. To beguile the time, Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under't. He that's coming Must be provided for: and you shall put This night's great business into my dispatch; Which shall to all our nights and days to come Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom. MACBETH: We will speak further. LADY MACBETH: Only look up clear; To alter favour ever is to fear: Leave all the rest to me. Exeunt Have you ever made a hasty decision (when you didn’t need to) that turned out badly, like buying something on impulse that you later regretted? In Shakespeare’s tragedies, he’ll often put char- acters in positions where they feel they need to do things quickly. This pressure leads them to act on impulses that ultimately won’t provide them with happiness or contentment. In other words, they are acting in ways they think they should (like being ambitious), rather than stopping and considering what will actually make them happy. In the table below, write notes about how Shakespeare has put Macbeth in a situation where he acts on impulse, not reason: How does this make Macbeth feel pressured? Meeting the witches Macbeth returning to his castle Lady Macbeth planning Duncan’s murder Repeatedly throughout Macbeth, characters are blind to things or keep their plans secret from others. When this happens, Shakespeare often uses imagery of hiding and darkness to show us two things: 1. characters are doing something they know is wrong and that needs to be secret 2. characters don’t always ‘see’ the truth about themselves Look back through this passage and the previous one and identify (using the icons) images of darkness and hiding. Consider what is being said and annotate these icons using the following sentence starters: This shows us that [character name] wants to hide… This shows us that[character name’s] doesn’t know… PreviewCopy
  30. 30. ACT1 61MACBETH60 ACT 1.5 Lady Macbeth hears about the prophecy Writing about this scene By now, you have had some practice writing about characters and also writing about a theme but, to write a truly awesome essay about a Shakespearean play, you will need to have something to say about the imagery and language he uses. Let’s have a look at an example: To highlight the fact that Lady Macbeth is planning something unnatural, Shakespeare uses language that plays upon the stereotypes of women. In this scene, Lady Macbeth asks that her breasts be filled with ‘gall’ rather than ‘milk’, so that she becomes more masculine, rather than being the traditional nurturing mother. In the first sentence, the writer is outlining how Shakespeare plays with language. Using the table below, have a go at writing a similar sort of sentence: To highlight the fact… is planning some- thing unnatural… Shakespeare uses language that plays… (idea phrase) To underscore the idea… To epitomise the actions… To emphasise the notion… To accentuate the idea… has a perverse plan… has schemes that are deviant as well as devious… is undertaking something unnatural… Shakespeare’s language represents… Shakespeare’s imagery evokes… Shakespeare’s language characterises… the immoral nature of… the disruption of… the idea that… her as… her not stereotypically as… but as… In the second sentence, the writer is introducing the example/s that illustrate the point made in the previous sentence. Using the quotes below, as well as the table underneath, have a go at writing a similar sort of sentence: Lady Macbeth’s quotes about disrupting the natural order of things: “unsex [her] here” “fear thy nature” “may pour [her] spirits in thine ear” “Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark” Lady Macbeth asks.. so that she becomes… rather than… Lady Macbeth calls upon… Lady Macbeth invokes… Lady Macbeth cries for… Lady Macbeth hopes that… to help her achieve… to aid her husband… to create an environment… so that she can prevent… in order to stop… instead of being… in contrast to… which is the antithesis of… as a counter to… PreviewCopy
  31. 31. ACT1 62 63MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations Duncan is parking his horse out front and takes a few minutes to admire how nice Macbeth’s place looks. As he’s admiring the scenery, Lady M turns up and Duncan thanks her for showing “love” when hosting a king can be a lot of “trouble”. Lady M gushes that nothing is too much trouble for Duncan since he’s been heaps nice to Macbeth. Duncan asks where hubby is and Lady M doesn’t answer the question, but she says she’s a servant to Duncan and everything she has is “in compt” (a payment from) the king, so he should be able to use it when he comes to stay. Even the WiFi password. What the…? ACT 1.6 Duncan outside Macbeth’s castle DUNCAN: This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses. See, see, our honour'd hostess! The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you How you shall bid God yield us for your pains, And thank us for your trouble. LADY MACBETH: All our service In every point twice done and then done double Were poor and single business to contend Against those honours deep and broad wherewith Your majesty loads our house: for those of old, And the late dignities heap'd up to them, We rest your hermits. DUNCAN: Where’s the thane of Cawdor? We coursed him at the heels, and had a purpose To be his purveyor: but he rides well; And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess, We are your guest to-night. LADY MACBETH: Your servants ever Have theirs, themselves and what is theirs, in compt, To make their audit at your highness' pleasure, Still to return your own. DUNCAN: Give me your hand; Conduct me to mine host: we love him highly, And shall continue our graces towards him. By your leave, hostess. Throughout Act One, Shakespeare is emphasising the responsibilities that good kings have to their subjects and the loyalty that subjects owe to kings in return. Back in Scene Four, Duncan was a good and responsi- ble king by rewarding and praising Macbeth for his efforts and Macbeth responded that his job is to be loyal by doing “every thing / Safe toward your love and honour”. Here, Duncan is again being a good king by praising and thanking someone (Lady Macbeth) and Lady Macbeth acknowledges the role of subjects: that everything they own is because of the generosity of the king and should therefore be made available for the king. The reason Shakespeare emphasises this is to show that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth planning to murder Duncan isn’t just bad because it’s murder, but that it’s really, really bad because it’s a dramatic violation of the relationship between loyal subjects and responsible kings. Duncan has held up his part of the deal by being a top bloke, but the Macbeths are definitely going rogue on their part in the relationship. Have a go writing your own sentence about how the Macbeths’ actions will be wrong on two levels: The Macbeths’ plan to murder Duncan is not just a… • murder • homicide • physical crime but also a… • breach of (to break something) • transgression against (to go against a duty) • contravention of (to go against an accepted rule or way of behaving) PreviewCopy
  32. 32. ACT1 64 65MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations Macbeth’s making a bit of a pros and cons list about killing Duncan. First he thinks that if it’s going to happen, it should be done fast, so that Duncan’s “surcease” (death) is the end of the whole business. But then Macbeth worries that in killing Duncan he could “teach” other people to behave in the same way (i.e. people will kill Macbeth if he becomes king). This makes him think of a bunch of other reasons he shouldn’t kill Duncan: Duncan’s a great guy; Duncan has an awesome rep; Macbeth’s related to Duncan; Duncan makes great porridge (joke: there’s no such thing as great porridge!) What the…? ACT 1.7 Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with the murder MACBETH: If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly: if the assassination Could trammel up the consequence, and catch With his surcease success; that but this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases We still have judgment here; that we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice To our own lips. He's here in double trust; First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been So clear in his great office, that his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against The deep damnation of his taking-off; And pity, like a naked new-born babe, Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed Upon the sightless couriers of the air, Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other. Enter LADY MACBETH How now! what news? What reasoning does Macbeth provide for why he shouldn’t kill Duncan? Draw a line from each plain English translation on the left to a matching quote from Macbeth’s speech on the right. I shouldn’t kill Duncan because he has such a good reputation as a leader, everyone will see his murder as an awful crime and people will feel a lot of grief at his death. I shouldn’t kill Duncan because I have no real reason for wanting to be king except it sounds pretty cool. I shouldn’t kill Duncan because, in killing him, I could show other people that they could do the same to me when I’m king. I shouldn’t kill Duncan because he’s been a fair, gentle and effective ruler. I shouldn’t kill Duncan because I should be protecting him from murder while he’s in my house, not actually murdering him. I shouldn’t kill Duncan, who is here because he trusts me, for two reasons: I’m his subject and also his relative. this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been So clear in his great office we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet- tongued, against The deep damnation of his taking- off; tears shall drown the wind as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other. He's here in double trust; First, as I am his kinsman and his subject PreviewCopy
  33. 33. ACT1 66 67MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations When Lady M stops by to check in on her hubby, she finds out he’s decided not to kill the king after all, and that annoys her so much she calls him a scaredy cat, which is pretty harsh. Macbeth just says he wants to be a man and be on beer ads and stuff like that and Lady M tells him that the real men on beer ads would stick to their decisions. And she tells him that if she’d made a promise to him, even if it was a terrible promise like killing her own baby, she’d rather have “dash’d the brains” out of the rugrat than break that promise. Mother of the Year. What the…? ACT 1.7 Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with the murder LADY MACBETH: He has almost supp'd: why have you left the chamber? MACBETH: Hath he ask'd for me? LADY MACBETH: Know you not he has? MACBETH: We will proceed no further in this business: He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, Not cast aside so soon. LADY MACBETH: Was the hope drunk Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? From this time Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valour As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,' Like the poor cat i' the adage? MACBETH: Prithee, peace: I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none. LADY MACBETH: What beast was't, then, That made you break this enterprise to me? Insights, Notes, & Annotations When you durst do it, then you were a man; And, to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place Did then adhere, and yet you would make both: They have made themselves, and that their fitness now Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you Have done to this. This is one of the very few scenes in the play where Macbeth expresses contentment with what he has. And he has two reasons for feeling this satisfaction: He doesn’t “dare” do more than any other man should. People have expressed “golden opinions” of Macbeth, so his head is nicely swollen. So, it’s interesting that Lady Macbeth doesn’t just accept that her husband has found content- ment, but reminds him of his earlier ambitions. It’s also interesting that she reminds him of the child they once had, perhaps suggesting that some of their ambitions for having a family have already evaporated. PreviewCopy
  34. 34. ACT1 68 69MACBETH ACT 1.7 Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with the murder Really, really, big important questions Evidence that Macbeth made the plan Evidence that Lady Macbeth made the plan In Scene 3, Macbeth says: “My thought, whose murder is yet fantastical” In Scene 5, Lady Macbeth says: “O never / Shall sun that morrow see!” In this scene, Lady Macbeth says: “When you durst do it…Nor time nor place did then adhere” (Which means that Macbeth said he was going to do it, he just didn’t know when or where) In Scene 5, Lady Macbeth says: “you shall put / This night’s great business into my dispatch” (Which means Macbeth should leave the planning to her) In this scene, Lady Macbeth says that Macbeth broke “this enterprise” with her, meaning he planned to kill the king but has now gone back on that plan. Yet, so far in the play it seems like Lady Macbeth is the one who suggested the plan, so you have to ask yourself: Who made the plan to kill Duncan? Look at the evidence in the table below: Thinking about all of this evidence, which of the following statements is the most likely to be true: Macbeth made the plan to kill Duncan and Lady Macbeth was just helping with this plan. Both Macbeth and his Lady came up with the plan together. Macbeth made the plan, but Lady Macbeth thought out all the details. Macbeth wanted to become king and Lady Macbeth made a plan that would help him do it. My plans for Macbeth-like world domination: PreviewCopy
  35. 35. ACT1 70 71MACBETH Insights, Notes, & Annotations Macbeth’s a bit worried that it might be tricky to kill a king and get away with it, which makes Lady M LOL all over the place. She’s planning on visiting Duncan in his rooms for a late night party so she can get him and his servants drunker than Year 12 students at Schoolies Week. Then, when they all pass out, the Macbeths can kill “The unguarded Duncan” and blame it all on his servants. Macbeth is so impressed with the evil genius of this plan that he tells his wife she should only have sons, because she’s so manly. Which is the kind of compliment every woman wants. What the…? ACT 1.7 Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with the murder MACBETH: If we should fail? LADY MACBETH: We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep– Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey Soundly invite him–his two chamberlains Will I with wine and wassail so convince That memory, the warder of the brain, Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep Their drenched natures lie as in a death, What cannot you and I perform upon The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt Of our great quell? MACBETH: Bring forth men-children only; For thy undaunted mettle should compose Nothing but males. Will it not be received, When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two Of his own chamber and used their very daggers, That they have done't? LADY MACBETH: Who dares receive it other, As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar Upon his death? MACBETH: I am settled, and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show: False face must hide what the false heart doth know. In this passage, Shakespeareis highlighting just howdishonourable theMacbeths’ plan really is. Macbeth has already killed many, many people on the battlefield and has been rewarded for it, but this is a different kind of killing. It’s both “swinish” and “false”. Lady Macbeth is proposing to turn Duncan (who most people agree is a virtuous king) into someone who will fall into “swinish sleep” and then be slaughtered, much like the unhappy pig in this picture. PreviewCopy
  36. 36. 73MACBETH72 Writing about this scene In any truly awesome essay on Macbeth, you’ll want to compare the two Macbeths to each other, demonstrating that you understand why they are in the Serial Killer Couples Hall of Fame (it’s not a club most people want to be part of). In your essay, you’ll need to analyse and explain how their lives are influenced by the decisions they make and, to do that well, you’ll need to understand and evaluate their personalities. You’ll want to be able to discuss what they have in common (apart from planning murders) and what sets them apart from each other, such as in this sentence below: While the Macbeths’ shared ambition unites them, their very different personalities create vastly different fates for them. Let’s look at the first half of this sentence. Using the phrases in the table below, write a similar first half of a sentence: Linking phrase Attribute Linking words While the Macbeths’ shared Although the Macbeths similar Even though some things about the Macbeths, such as their Although one of the Macbeths’ common attributes, such as ambition energy callousness passion savagery aspiration/s ruthlessness unites them, links them, connects them, leagues them with each other, unifies them as a couple, Now, let’s look at the second half of the sentence. Using the phrases in the table below, finish the sentence you have already begun: Separate attribute phrase Verb Consequence phrase their very different personalities the fundamental contrasts between them the more important disparities between them the opposing nature of their personalities* *if you use this phrase, you will need to add an s to the verb in the next column create manifest result in generate initiate vastly different fates for them. contrasting destinies for each. quite separate deaths for each. their own particular punishment. ACT 1.7 Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with the murder ACT 2H PreviewCopy
  37. 37. 74 75MACBETH Who’s who in Act Two You’ll come across three sets of characters in this Act: 1. The current rulers of Scotland 2. Ordinary people There are a few ordinary people in this scene. The things they say show us what life is like for the people who don’t rule. The interactions they have with the lords also show us that the lives of ordinary people and those in charge interconnect. Porter: His one job is to guard the gate of Macbeth’s castle. Old man: His job is to be, well, an old man. Death toll The King Duncan The King of Scotland. About to be killed. Sons Thanes Malcolm and Donalbain, who will flee the country when the old man is killed Macbeth, the thane of Cawdor and soon to be king Banquo, Macbeth’s friend who becomes suspicious of his actions Lennox, a young lord who will be freaked out by events in this Act. Ross, a lord who will talk to the ordinary folk to get their perspective about events Macduff, one of Duncan’s most trusted and loyal lords Lady Macbeth, chief strategist in the plan to kill Duncan Fleance, Banquo’s son ACT2 Thane of Cawdor Executed for treason PreviewCopy

×