Macbeth William Shakespeare
Act I Scene i • Scene i: 3 witches are gathered in the woods, discussing when to meet Macbeth because they know something about him (Holt 142). (Jenson 1)
Act I Scene ii • Scene ii: At an army camp a bloody solider reports that Macbeth has killed a traitor, Macdonwald in battle. The Norwegians asked for peace, and King Duncan agrees, but not before he gets a large chunk of money from the Norwegians. Thus, King Duncan bestows the name Thane of Cawdor upon Macbeth (unbeknownst to Macbeth), then he calls for the death of the present Thane of Cawdor who is a traitor (Smith 3).
Act I Scene iii • Scene iii: On a heath, Macbeth and Banquo meet 3 witches who make 3 predictions: One witch calls Macbeth Thane of Cawdor, a second says he will be king, and a third says Banquo’s children will be kings (but Banquo will not become a king). • Two Scottish noblemen (Ross and Angus) tell Macbeth he has been made the Thane of Cawdor, he learns of the death sentence placed upon the Thane of Cawdor. • Macbeth then takes the witches’ prophecies seriously and begins to have disturbing, evil thoughts of how to steal the throne from Duncan; he even contemplates murder (Adams 24).
Act I Scene iv • At his palace, King Duncan is told by “sources” that the Thane of Cawdor is dead, and he is honored when Macbeth walks in. King Duncan proclaims himself grateful of Macbeth’s deeds (Holt 143). • King Duncan then proclaims his son, Malcolm, heir to the throne (Smith 5). • Macbeth realizes Malcolm will be in his way of obtaining the throne, and he again broods on his “black desires” (Adams 25)
Act I Scene v • At the Macbeth’s castle in Inverness, Lady Macbeth learns of the witches’ prophecies through a letter from her husband. She thinks Macbeth is too weak to seize throne alone, so she begins to plot his reign as king. • A messenger arrives and tells her that King Duncan will visit their castle that night. • Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that they should take the opportunity to kill the king (Adams 26).
Act I Scene vi • King Duncan arrives at Macbeth’s castle along with his sons, Malcolm and Donaldbain, and with the noblemen, Angus, Banquo, Ross, Lennox, and Macduff. • The comments on the pleasant air in the home (dramatic irony!). • Lady Macbeth graciously welcomes the king while plotting his murder (Holt 144).
Act I Scene vii • Macbeth speaks his first soliloquy, explaining how his ambition has led him to thoughts of murder. • Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to commit murder (Adams 29). (Jenson 2)
Works Cited • Adams, Dean. The Modern Shakespeare. Penguin: New York, 1988: 20 -30. • Holt, Theresa. The Companion to Macbeth. Vintage Press: Boston: 140 -145. • Jenson, Mark. The Official Macbeth Website. 31 March 2002. <http: //www. macbethforstudents. com> • Smith, Eugene. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Hamlet: A comprehensive guide. August 1999. <http: //yahoo. macbeth/smith/shakespeare. com/html>