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Macbeth act 1 notes

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Macbeth act 1 notes

  1. 1. ACT ONE SCENE 2
  2. 2. • Macdonwald was a rebel against Duncan, Macbeth literally ripped him apart in battle. • “Till [Macbeth] unseamed [Macdonwald] from the nave to the chops” (Captain).
  3. 3. • What are the qualities of a military hero?
  4. 4. • Macbeth is an extremely skilled and dedicated soldier, one with no mercy for the enemy. He is a military hero. • “Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?” (King). • “As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion” (Captain).
  5. 5. • Banquo was fighting alongside Macbeth.• Macbeth and Banquo were as frightened as eagles are of sparrows and lions are of rabbits, in other words, not frightened at all.
  6. 6. • Duncan is making Macbeth the new Thane of Cawdor, thus bestowing him with honor and property. • “What [Cawdor] hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won” (King).
  7. 7. • Macbeth is brave, strong, loyal, skillful, ruthless, persistent, bold, and self-confident.• He is described as wanting to bathe in the blood of his enemies and as the husband of the goddess of war.
  8. 8. • The Thane of Cawdor is guilty of treason and will be executed.• Thane = An old Scottish title for the chief of a clan, roughly equal to “Earl”.
  9. 9. DO NOW:• It is better to be feared than loved.• Do you agree with this statement? Explain.
  10. 10. ACT ONE, SCENE III • Vocabulary and Allusions• Tiger – the name of the ship making the journey to Alleppo, a city in northern Syria
  11. 11. • Thane = An old Scottish title for the chief of a clan, roughly equal to “Earl”.
  12. 12. • Weird = from the Old English “wyrd” meaning fate or, in the plural, “the Fates.”• (In Roman mythology the three goddesses supposed to control the course of human life.)
  13. 13. • Cawdor – located in northwestern Nairnshire, between Inverness and Forres.• Glamis – A village north of Forfar.• Check Map of Scotland
  14. 14. INSANE ROOT• A herb or root causing insanity. Shakespeare may have had in mind such plants as hemlock, henbane, or deadly nightshade.
  15. 15. ACT I, SCENE 3• Like the witches in the first scene, Macbeth speaks of a mixture of foul and fair.• The witches are old and dressed wildly. They have bony fingers and thin lips, and they wear beards.
  16. 16. MACHIAVELLI AND THE PRINCE• At the very beginning of the 16th century, an Italian politician, philosopher, and writer named Machiavelli wrote The Prince.
  17. 17. • In this book, he described the characteristics he saw as necessary to an effective political leader.• The book attained notoriety and sometimes condemnation both in Italy and elsewhere.
  18. 18. • Machiavellianism was a hot topic in Shakespeare’s England and is reflected in plays like Macbeth.• Watch for evidence of the following as you read the play.
  19. 19. • A good ruler must know how to do wrong and be able to use that ability when necessary.• Virtue can ruin a person, and vice can bring success.• Generosity can ruin a person.
  20. 20. • Sometimes a successful leader will have to be cruel.• It is better to be feared than to be loved.• A good leader must be crafty and capable of dissembling.
  21. 21. • It is more important to look virtuous than to be virtuous.• A leader must not give an impression of being greedy, fickle, or cowardly.
  22. 22. ACT I, SCENE 4• The first four scenes surface a number of images that pervade the play as a whole.• Night and darkness come up over and over again, almost as objects of prayer.
  23. 23. IMAGERY• Blood drenches the text from the description of Macbeth’s merciless slaying of MacDonald to other murders in the text.• Animals are frequently mentioned- toad, cat, horses, owls, falcon, dogs, a bear, scorpions and more.
  24. 24. • Shakespeare also makes interesting use of clothing imagery.• The witches “so withered, and so wild in their attire.”• “Why do you dress me in borrowed robes,” (Macbeth, scene iii)
  25. 25. SCENE 4• The King welcomes Macbeth and cannot praise him enough for his actions in battle.• The King gives the title “Prince of Cumberland” to his eldest son, Malcolm.
  26. 26. • At the time of Duncan’s reign, the throne of Scotland was not hereditary.• If the King’s successor was designated during the monarch’s lifetime, he received the title of Prince of Cumberland, as a sign of his future succession.
  27. 27. • Macbeth discusses how this will now stand in his way of the throne.• “That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies” (Macbeth, scene iv).
  28. 28. DO NOW• Describe Macbeth’s thoughts as he makes his decision to carry out Duncan’s murder. What are some reasons for his hesitation? (p. 55)
  29. 29. ACT I, SCENE 5• Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband as the scene opens.• What does the letter state and how does this stir her?
  30. 30. • “Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness … Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it” (Lady Macbeth, scene 5)• Illness = the evil quality- ruthlessness- which should go along with ambition
  31. 31. • She wants Macbeth to hurry home so she can “get in his ear” about attaining the golden crown.• She calls on the spirits to “unsex” her. She is asking to be free of mercy and gentleness, qualities traditionally associated with the female sex.
  32. 32. • Macbeth arrives and gives her news of Duncan’s stay as guest at their castle that night in Inverness.• She tells Macbeth to “look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.”• What does she mean?
  33. 33. • How can Lady Macbeth’s attitude be characterized as “Machiavellian”?
  34. 34. • She tells Macbeth to receive Duncan with a welcoming eye, a handshake and conversation.• Make him think he is an honored guest = false sense of security.• Macbeth must leave the rest of the planning to her and keep an innocent face.
  35. 35. ACT I, SCENE 6• Lady Macbeth skillfully applies her own advice to “look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.”
  36. 36. • The King is totally trusting, and lady Macbeth says all the expected social things, while in fact she is trying to convince her husband to kill Duncan.
  37. 37. ACT I, SCENE 7• Do Now:• Paraphrase Macbeth’s first soliloquy using the pages in your handout.
  38. 38. • Inside the castle, while preparations are made for the evening’s feast with King Duncan, Macbeth ponders his idea of assassinating the king.
  39. 39. • Lady Macbeth understands that she will have to manipulate her husband into acting on the witches’ prophecy.
  40. 40. When Macbeth is hesitantabout murdering Duncan, ladyMacbeth questions hismanhood.
  41. 41. • She compares his willingness to carry through on Duncan’s murder with his ability to carry out a sexual act.• “Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire?”• Desire=Sex
  42. 42. • Throughout the play, whenever Macbeth shows signs of faltering, lady Macbeth implies that he is less than a man.
  43. 43. THE PLAN…• While Duncan sleeps, she will give his servants wine to make them drunk, and then she and Macbeth can slip in and murder Duncan.• They will smear the blood of Duncan on the sleeping servants to cast the guilt upon them.
  44. 44. • Macbeth tells her that she should “bring forth men- children only” because she is so bold and courageous.
  45. 45. • “False face must hide what the false heart doth know” (Macbeth).• Mirrors the “innocent flower” lines from lady Macbeth.• Reflects Machiavelli’s ideas

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