Macbeth Act 1

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” • Speaker- The Three Witches• Situation-Before they meet with Macbeth• Notes-Good is bad and bad is good. Moral Ambiguity- you cannot tell what is good and bad.
“So foul and fair a day I have not seen.” • Speaker-Macbeth• Situation-Right before he meets with the witches. He has been in two bloody battles before hand, and the weather is very stormy. • Notes-Foul= bloody battles and weather has been stormy. Fair= they won the battles
“The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me in borrowed robes?” • Speaker-Macbeth• Situation-Right after he is named Thane of Cawdor• Notes-Dressed in Borrowed Clothes=A title he has to give back. He is saying why they calling him something if he has to give it back.
“Two truths are told,As happy prologues to the swelling actOf the imperial theme. (to ROSS and ANGUS) I thank you, gentlemen.(aside) This supernatural solicitingCannot 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 suggestionWhose horrid image doth unfix my hairAnd make my seated heart knock at my ribs,Against the use of nature? Present fearsAre less than horrible imaginings.My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,Shakes so my single state of manThat function is smothered in surmise,And nothing is but what is not.” •Speaker-Macbeth in an aside (when an actor speaks his thoughts when actors are on stage) Soliloquy- says thoughts by himself on stage but not in this quote only an aside. •Situation-After being named Thane of Cawdor•Notes-I have learned two things as preliminaries to that stately or dignified idea that I will become king. These prophecies cannot be good or bad. If they are evil then why did one of them come true. If the prophecies are good, why do I think of murdering Duncan. Hair stands on end (scalp starts to move) and heart pounds (unnatural way). These anxieties are not as terrible as my thoughts of murder. These are still only imagined, but they still upset me. I cannot act but can only think. Only the future seems real, not the present. Excited/Worried for the future
“If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir.” • Speaker-Macbeth• Situation-Right after has been named Thane of Cawdor• Notes-If fate will make me king, then fate will have to do it, and without me doing anything.
“There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face: He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust.” • Speaker-Duncan• Situation-Right after the execution of the Thane of Cawdor.• Notes-Thane of Cawdor had been implicated of having helped the rebels and flying the flag. • -You can’t tell what someone’s thinking by looking at his face. Cawdor was someone I had complete faith in. It shows that Duncan may be too trusting. Duncan trusted a traitor and now Duncan will trust the New Thane=Macbeth.
“The Prince of Cumberland! That is a stepOn 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 beWhich the eye fears, when it is done, to see. •Speaker-Macbeth in an aside•Situation-After Malcolm has been named Prince of Cumberland (heir to the throne)•Notes- The position of the Prince of Cumberland is going to stop me or I am just going to jump over him. He asks for darkness so that no one can see his evil thoughts. He knows he will not be able to see his hand because he would have killed Duncan.
“It is a peerless kinsman.” • Speaker-King• Situation-Right after he named Prince of Cumberland• Notes-Macbeth is a relative without equal. Irony-Duncan means without equal in goodness, but Macbeth is without equal in evil.
“Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt beWhat thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindnessTo catch the nearest way” •Speaker-Lady Macbeth•Situation-She has just read Macbeth’s letter•Notes-She has found out he has succeeded, and that he met some witches. Significance-She knows he is Thane of Gloms and Thane of Cawdor, and you will become king. I am afraid you are too kind to murder.
“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.” •Speaker-Lady Macbeth•Situation-She has just received the letter. She has found out Duncan is coming as well.•Notes-She is happy they’re all coming. It is a soliloquy.•She is asking evil spirits to take away anything that is like a woman. And instead give me the cruelty that I will need so that she will be ready.
“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 th’ innocent flower, But be the serpent under ‘t. He that’s coming. Must be provided for…” •Speaker-Lady Macbeth to Macbeth•Situation-Lady Macbeth has just asked when he is going to leave. Macbeth then says probably tomorrow. This quote is Lady Macbeth’s response= He is not going to leave tomorrow. •Notes- People will be able to tell what you’re thinking by the expression of your face. To trick people, act like a kind host but be evil underneath that act. We have to get ready for Duncan by getting ready to kill him.
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 blowMight be the be-all and the end-all here,But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases We still have judgment here; that we but teachBloody instructions, which, being taught, returnTo plague the inventor: this even-handed justiceCommends th’ ingredience of our poison’d chaliceTo our own lips.” •Speaker-Macbeth (soliloquy)•Situation-He is outside of the banquet hall.•Notes-If the murder could be over and done with, when it is finished, then it would be a good idea to act quickly. If killing Duncan could be successful and without consequence, if this one act is all I needed to become king, I would risk my afterlife (heaven or hell). But in our justice system, if I do something deadly, something deadly could be done to me. Macbeth is changing his mind.
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 virtuesWill plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, againstThe deep damnation of his taking-off; And pity, like a naked newborn 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 th’ other. •Speaker-Macbeth•Situation-Outside the banquet in the hall.•Notes-Here is his reasons to not going through with it. He is my king and relative which makes murdering him even worse. I should be protecting him as his host, not endangering him. Duncan has been such a good king, his murder will be known immediately. God is going to find out because he is an excellent king. I just don’t have the means to push me to this murder. All I have to push me is my own ambition.
Was the hope drunkWherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?And wakes it now, to look so green and paleAt what it did so freely? From this timeSuch I account thy love. •Speaker-Lady Macbeth to Macbeth•Situation-Outside the banquet, talking to her husband•Notes-Was your desire to become king, just like being drunk. Has it now passed out now being so drunk? Now, is it (hope for becoming king) hungover? From now on that is what I will think of your love.
What beast was ‘t, then,That made you break this enterprise to me?When you durst do it, then you were a man;And to be more than what you were, you wouldBe so much more the man. Nor time nor placeDid 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 knowHow tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.I would, while it was smiling in my face,Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gumsAnd dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as youHave done to this. •Speaker-Lady Macbeth to Macbeth•Situation-Outside of the banquet•Notes-What monster forced you to break your word? When you were willing to do it, you were a real man. She’d be attracted to him if he were a king. In the past we didn’t have the opportunity to kill Duncan and seize power. Now, we have the perfect opportunity, and you become a coward. I have nursed a child, and I know the joy of loving a little infant. If I had promised you and broken my word, I would kill my own child while I was nursing him.