English; Macbeth

Setting and Plot stuff We first hear of Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, when the three witches appear and plan to meet him. The news of Macbeth’s and Banquo’s bravery at the battlefield reaches King Duncan. Pleased with Macbeth, he decides to name him the Thane of Cawdor. Later, the witches meet Macbeth and Banquo and address Macbeth as Thane of Cawdor and as king. They also tell Banquo that his descendants will be kings. Duncan meets Macbeth and Banquo and asks to visit Macbeth’s castle at Inverness. Duncan says he has chosen his son Malcolm as the heir to the throne. From this point, Macbeth has to hide his “dark and deep desire” of wanting to see the witches’ prophecy come true.
More things Another major plot point of act I is Lady Macbeth learning of the witches’ prophecies and Duncan’s decision in a letter from Macbeth. When she discovers that one of witches’ predictions—Macbeth becoming the Thane of Cawdor—has already come true, she sets her mind on seeing Macbeth become king. She knows Macbeth is ambitious but isn’t ruthless enough to kill the king on his own.At the end of the act, Duncan arrives at Inverness with his sons. Ironically, Duncan and Banquo talk about the peaceful atmosphere of the castle. Macbeth worries about the consequences of killing the king. He tells his wife he can’t go ahead with the murder. Lady Macbeth scolds him for being a coward and convinces him to kill Duncan.
Scene I Macbeth begins in stormy weather in an open and deserted plot of land where the three witches meet. The setting of the first scene establishes the overall mood.
Scene II This scene is set in a military camp near Forres in Scotland, where the audience meets King Duncan of Scotland for the first time and learns that Scotland is at war. It’s a logical background for the characters to discuss military bravery and awards. They also hear about the brave acts of Macbeth and Banquo. Duncan is shown as an active king in this scene as he punishes the disloyal Thane of Cawdor and gives Macbeth that title.
Scene III The setting is a heath, or wasteland, near Forres. The atmosphere is stormy and ominous as the three witches return. The deserted place is an appropriate location for the appearance of the witches.
Scene IV This scene takes the audience inside Duncan’s palace in Forres. The king receives the news of the Thane of Cawdor’s execution and also names his older son, Malcolm, the heir to his throne. This decision advances the plot, with Macbeth realizing that Malcolm now stands between him and the throne. This scene also prepares the audience for Duncan’s visit to Macbeth’s castle.
Scene V The setting shifts to Inverness, Scotland, where Macbeth’s castle is located. The audience meets Lady Macbeth somewhere in Macbeth’s castle, which becomes a symbol of Macbeth’s crime later in the play. The audience sees Lady Macbeth alone on the stage and can hear her inner thoughts. Lady Macbeth considers killing Duncan and also doubts Macbeth’s ability to murder the king. This scene sets the tone for the gruesome events to follow.
Scene VI The action in scene VI occurs outside Macbeth’s castle. This scene is important because Duncan arrives at Inverness along with his sons and companions. It is ironic when he compliments the castle for its pleasant and peaceful atmosphere. The castle symbolizes Lady Macbeth, who welcomes Duncan graciously but has murderous intentions. The audience understands that although the castle appears calm and charming, it is here that Duncan is least safe.
Scene VII The setting is unchanged from the previous scene. Servants are attending to the royal guests and food is being served. The mood is one of celebration and joy. Shakespeare introduces a contrasting mood when Macbeth speaks in an aside about his intention to kill Duncan. But he seems uncertain. Lady Macbeth tells her husband, as well as the audience, that Duncan is finished eating. Lady Macbeth makes the final plan of killing Duncan and putting the blame on the chamberlains in this scene.
Plot stuff In Macbeth, as in most plays, the plot is somewhat simple because it reaches the audience mostly through characters’ lines. The first two acts contain the introduction, or exposition, and the rising action. The introduction is in the first two scenes of act I, which includes most of the major characters and the murky atmosphere surrounding the three witches.The rising action begins in scene III of act I and continues into act III. In scene III of act I, the audience meets Macbeth and sees the witches tempt him to kill King Duncan. Part of the rising action involves Lady Macbeth’s attempts to sway Macbeth to follow through on his temptation.
Stuff Let’s look at the major plot points in the first scene of act II. This scene dwells on the unusual darkness of the night at Inverness. The witches’ prophecy that he will be the father of kings is still on Banquo’s mind. When Banquo wants to discuss the witches’ prophecies with Macbeth, Macbeth refuses to talk about them, saying, “I think not of them.”Meanwhile, Macbeth has been thinking about his plan to kill King Duncan. As he waits for his wife’s signal, he hallucinates and sees a bloody dagger in the air. He decides that thinking too much about the plan will make it difficult for him to act. When Macbeth wavers, Lady Macbeth says she will kill Duncan herself. However, Duncan reminds Lady Macbeth of her father, and she is unable to kill him. Macbeth kills Duncan offstage. Later, Macbeth enters the stage, full of guilt. Lady Macbeth tries to bring Macbeth back to his senses. She goes on to place the blood-soaked daggers near the chamberlains. They hear knocking at the gate, which upsets Macbeth and highlights his guilt.
More After the knocking at the gate, we see a marked shift in Macbeth’s behavior. Macduff and Lennox arrive to meet Duncan. By this time, Macbeth’s mind is clearer. He meets them and pretends that their knocking has awakened him.Macduff discovers that Duncan has been murdered. Macbeth rushes inside and kills the chamberlains, blaming them for the murder. Lady Macbeth pretends to faint upon hearing of the king’s murder. Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, fear they are also in danger and flee to England and Ireland, respectively.Ross, Macbeth’s cousin and a Scottish noble, learns of the strange happenings surrounding Duncan’s murder. Macduff tells Ross that Duncan’s sons have fled Scotland, and so must be behind the king’s murder. Duncan’s sons are regarded as traitors, and Macbeth is named the new king of Scotland.
Pls I just wanna pass Act II has two scenes. One takes place inside Macbeth’s castle in Inverness, and the second takes place outside the castle. Darkness has replaced the peaceful atmosphere of the castle, signaling a change in plot. Supernatural elements return to the stage with Macbeth hallucinating a floating dagger, its tip directed toward Duncan’s chamber. Lady Macbeth is later alone on the stage and imagines Macbeth killing Duncan. The scene turns gory when Macbeth enters with his hands covered in blood.The dialogue and setting later in the scene compare Inverness to hell. Lennox, a Scottish noble, describes the stormy weather of the previous night. The atmosphere similarly reflects chaos when Macduff discovers Duncan’s body. Duncan’s sons flee to save their own lives.Though short, scene II lets the audience know how the general atmosphere has turned chaotic after the king’s death. The old man that Thane of Ross meets is a symbol of tradition and order. He is a contrast to the unnatural occurrences and Macbeth’s crime of regicide—murder of a king. Regicide was a crime against the natural order because people considered the king God’s representative on Earth.
Macbeth Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most complex tragic heroes. He’s a brave warrior, but he is also extremely ambitious and later proves to be disloyal. He’s a dynamic character, undergoing internal change because of the situations around him. Although Macbeth commits murder, he suffers from a moral dilemma. Unlike other Shakespearean villains, such as Richard III, Macbeth doesn’t seem comfortable with what he did. Although Macbeth chooses to murder Duncan, he understands the difference between right and wrong. He tries to discourage Lady Macbeth’s plan when he tells her, “We will proceed no further in this business.”
Lady Macbeth Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful female characters. Extremely ambitious for the sake of her husband, she acts as the catalyst for Macbeth’s murder of Duncan. Because she feels Macbeth is incapable of doing the deed without all her powers of persuasion, she calls on the darker forces to fill her with cruelty:Come, you spiritsThat 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.
The Three Witches The three witch sisters are inseparable. Each time they appear on stage, the atmosphere is mysterious and sinister. They are accompanied by thunder and lightning. They speak in rhyme and make predictions for the other characters in the play. It is their prophecies that create ambitious and murderous thoughts in Macbeth and his wife. They predict that Macbeth will be king and that Banquo’s children will be kings. They are agents of darkness and chaos. The three bearded witches look so strange that Banquo is shocked when he meets them:What are theseSo wither’d, and so wild in their attire,That look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth.Shakespeare links the witches to the Fates in Greek mythology. The Fates are three sisters who decide the fate of all humans—one spins the thread of life, the second measures the length of life, and the third cuts the thread of life with her scissors. The witches’ resemblance to the Fates makes the audience wonder whether Macbeth truly has any control over his actions.
Duncan The king of Scotland is portrayed as a good and kind father figure. However, his kind nature prevents him from realizing the true motives behind Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s hospitability.
Banquo The Thane of Lochaber is a brave nobleman. The witches predict his descendants will be kings. Although he is ambitious, he doesn’t let his ambition control him and lead him to treachery or murder. First seen as Macbeth’s ally, Banquo later chooses the path that Macbeth doesn’t. His moral clarity sharply contrasts with Macbeth’s initial moral ambiguity.
Macduff A Scottish nobleman, he is the first to discover King Duncan’s murder. Alhough shocked, he keeps his focus and is the only person who questions Macbeth about killing the chamberlains.
Malcolm Malcolm is Duncan’s older son and the next in line to the throne. In his first appearance, he’s praising a soldier for saving his life. The audience wonders if he would be a good king or would always need to depend on others. Malcolm flees to England after his father’s death.
minion a submissive, servile follower
cleave (v.) To cut or split open; to cling to
wanton (adj.) reckless; heartless, unjustifiable; loose in morals; (n.) a spoiled, pampered person; one with low morals
harbinger an omen or sign
metaphysical Concerned with abstract thought, related to metaphysics (branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the nature of being and of the world); very subtle or abstruse
prate to talk a great deal in a foolish or aimless fashion
equivocate (v.) to speak or act in a way that allows for more than one interpretation; to be deliberately vague or ambiguous
suborn to convince someone to lie or commit a crime
knell a sound made by a bell, often rung slowly for a death or funeral
multitudinous very numerous
Phrases and Clauses Perhaps you’re asking yourself how you can and why you should tell the difference between a phrase and a clause. Don’t worry too much about it. Just think of them as tools you can and already do use to combine words in different ways and form a variety of sentences. We’ll start by looking at how these two different parts of sentences serve different grammatical functions.Examine the following sentences:I need money.I need a small, affordable, easily maneuverable car.The underlined phrase in the second sentence plays the same role as the noun money in the first sentence. So it’s called a noun phrase.Here are a few more examples. In each sentence, you could substitute the underlined phrase with a single word of that type: a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb.Few people understood Dr. Bell’s elaborate explanation. (noun phrase)She has been singing at concerts for years. (verb phrase)It was the most painfully embarrassing moment of his life. (adjectival phrase)We discussed the proposal for a very long time. (adverbial phrase)
More stuff Here’s a tip to help you remember these terms better: adjectival and adverbial phrases often begin with prepositions. Phrases beginning with prepositions are called prepositional phrases. Look at the following examples of prepositional phrases in sentences—the bolded words are prepositions.Throughout the summer, Helen prepared for the examination. (adverbial phrases)The guide drew our attention to a statue beside the monument. (adjectival phrase)Juan lived in a cheerful apartment. (adverbial phrase)The man in the business suit seemed nervous. (adjectival phrase)Notice that a single preposition can start an adjectival or an adverbial phrase.
MORE ANNOYING STUFF As with phrases, people define clauses by grammatical function. But first let’s distinguish between independent and dependent clauses. In this example, we start with two complete sentences and combine them. Tonya took the exam. (Why?) She wants to be a doctor.Tonya took the exam because she wants to be a doctor.Notice how the word because links the two former sentences and makes the second one the dependent clause—which just means that it cannot stand on its own with because. Notice also that the dependent clause serves a specific grammatical function for the independent clause. It tells why Tonya took the exam, so it’s an adverbial clause. Here’s some more information about dependent clauses that act as nouns, adverbs, or adjectives.Noun clause: Clauses that begin with that, which, who, whoever, whomever, whose, what, or whatsoever are noun clauses if the connecting words do not occur after a noun. These clauses play the same role as a single-word noun. Example: What I had for dinner was delicious.Adjective clause: This type of dependent clause gives us additional information about nouns that already exist in the sentence.Example: The girl who won the gold medal met with the president.Adverbial clause: This type of dependent clause provides additional information about a verb in a sentence or in the entire independent clause. Adverbial clauses begin with conjunctions such as while, where, and when.Example: While I was running, I tripped.

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