Macbeth Act 1 Motif and Other Facts

Masks/false faces Macbeth and Lady Macbeth attempt to hide their true attentions and their masks allow them to get what they truly desire as the people around them are deceived.————————————————————————————”Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.” -Lady Macbeth “False face must hide what the false heart doth know” -Macbeth
Blood/bloodiness Represents the loss of humanity, both literally in the people who are killed, and symbolically in those who are the killers. ————————————————————————————”What bloody man is that?” (1.2.1). (Duncan about the captain)”make thick my blood; / Stop up the access and passage to remorse” (Lady Macbeth)
sleeplessness •Lack of peace of mind•It is the punishment that the first witch uses on the captain of the Tiger
Dark/light Used to produce a contrast between the good and evil. Light is related to goodness, innocence, truth and purity. Darkness is associated with corruption, cruelty, and guilt. ————————————————————————————”But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shineOn all deservers” (Duncan Act 1, Scene 4)”…Stars, hide your fires!Let not light see my black and deep desires;”(Macbeth Act 1, Scene 4)•Macbeth doesn’t want his moral and pure side to interfere with his evil inner ambitions•conscience begins good but evil is beginning to control him”Oftentimes to win us to our harm , the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to bretray ‘s in deepest consequence” (Banquo to Macbeth)”Come, thick night, and pall thee in the Dumbest 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'”(Lady Macbeth)
Birds “The raven himself is hoarse / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan / Under my battlements” (1.5.38-40). The raven is a bird of ill omen, and Lady Macbeth refers to it foreshadowing Duncan’s death that is soon to come “This guest of summer,The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,By his loved mansionry, that the heaven’s breathSmells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze,Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this birdHath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle. (1.6.3-8)”Banquo is speaking about the Macbeths’ castle, and saying that it is a pleasant place by using a particular bird known for its good taste. Using this positive aspect of birds, he compares Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to gentle and beautiful birds, the martlets, which is ironic given what they are plotting.
Clothing The clothing motif is used to describe why people do not “fit” the position that they are in, referring to the disruption of the order of hierarchy in Scotland. Clothing has to do with rising/falling of position. “The thane of cawdor lives; why do you dress me in borrowed robes?” (Macbeth)•symbol for the property and title of cawdor•Macbeth is uncomfortable with the idea of taking someone else’s place•borrowed=not rightfully his own”We will proceed no further in this business. He bath honored 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” (Macbeth)•clothing=newly regained respect and title of Cawdor•Macbeth does not begin the play as overly ambitious, but is initially grateful and satisfied in his place yet desires most of all to be nobl
Planting seeds and growing Planting seeds and growing is symbolic to rising into power”I have begun to plan thee and will labor to see thee full of growing”Duncan says this in order to show his plan of giving Macbeth a higher position in the monarchial system of Scotland.”If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not..”Banquo says this while referring to the witches predicaments as he is wondering which one of the predicaments may be true and how much power will Macbeth rise too
What does it mean to be a man? On one hand, Lady Macbeth argues that manhood requires a certain level of fearlessness and nerve: “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.”(Act I,vii, 49-51)Macbeth says he does all that a man would do, and that anyone who would murder is not a man
Blank verse
Dramatic Irony
Situational Irony
Verbal Irony
BACKGROUNDWhen was the play written?Why did Shakespeare start Macbeth with the image of the 3 witches?What was it believed that king James could do?When does the play take place? •1609- his 1st play in the 17th century•To appeal to King James the First who believed in witches (and he wanted the king to sponsor him)•heal anyone/anything•the 11th century
What is a tragedy? A work of fiction that shows the destruction of a noble outstanding person (honor kings)
What is a tragic flaw? Weaknesses which make the audience feel pity and fear
A hero must realize he is the cause of _________ which must be __________ His own downfall, it must be:Moral, spiritual, psychological, emotional, physical
Macbeth’s reasons for not killing Duncan 1. Too many consequences2. It teaches people to commit regicide and when he is king this will come back to him3. It will risk his entry to Heaven 4. He is Duncan’s host (duty to make sure he is safe while he staying at their house)5. He is Duncan’s Kinsman and Subject (Duty to protect him at all costs)6. Duncan has been a good king and people will grieve for him instead of praising Macbeth