Macbeth (English)

Characters Duncan, King of ScotlandDuncan is the King of Scotland, an old, gracious, pious and gentle man, who resembles Lady Macbeth’s father in his sleep. MalcolmMalcolm is Duncan’s eldest son. Almost captured in the battle that rages at the beginning of the play, he is rescued by the captain. DonalbainDonalbain is Duncan’s second son. After his father’s murder, he suggests to Malcolm that they quickly leave. MacbethMacbeth is Thane of Glamis and Cawdor. A superb general, he is a physically powerful man, able in a fight to eviscerate a man with an upward stroke. BanquoBanquo is a Scottish Thane, Macbeth’s co-general in the wars. MacduffMacduff is the Thane of Fife. Commanded by Duncan to visit him early in the morning at Macbeth’s castle, he discovers the King’s body. LennoxLennox is a young Thane attending on Duncan. RosseRosse is the Thane who brings Duncan news of the Norwegian invasion and of Cawdor’s complicity in it.MentethMenteth one of the four Thanes who desert Macbeth when Malcolm invades, bringing reinforcements to Malcolm’s armyAngusAngus is a Thane who accompanies Ross in bringing Duncan news of the victory over Norway, and later bringing Macbeth the announcement of his accession to the rank of Thane of Cawdor. CathnessCathness is one of the four Thanes who desert Macbeth when Malcolm invades, bringing reinforcements to Malcolm’s army.FleanceFleance is Banquo’s son. Lady MacbethLady Macbeth is a ruthless woman. More openly ambitious than her husband, she does not shy from murder, and pushes Macbeth towards it. Lady MacduffLady Macduff is a realist. Horrified at her abandonment by her husband, she castigates him in his absence for a lack of wisdom and normal human feeling. First WitchThe First Witch seems to be the leader of the trio of witches. Familiar is Greigmalking (a cat)Second WitchThe Second Witch speaks of present things, rather than past or future. Familiar is Paddock (a toad)Third WitchThe Third Witch speaks of future things. Like her sisters, she can command winds
Setting (time and place) Time: 1040 AD( Medieval Era)Place: Scotland
Act One Scene One Summary Act 1, Scene 1. On a heath in Scotland, three witches, the Weird Sisters, wait to meet Macbeth amidst thunder and lightning. Their conversation is filled with paradox and equivocation: they say that they will meet Macbeth “when the battle’s lost and won” and when “fair is foul and foul is fair” (10).
How does Shakespeare create a mood of gloom and evil in Act one scene 1 The weatherChanting together (audio version)Witches themselvesScotland at war
Why does Shakespeare use rhyming couplets with iambic tetrameter instead of his traditional blank verse for the witches? Creates almost a chanting spell
A paradox is a statement that seems to contradict itself, which is never less true. Explain the paradox in the lines “When the battle’s lost and won” (1.1.4)? and “Fair is foul and foul is fair” (1.1.9)? There are two sides of the war the winners and the losers. or there is also a won war, with lives lost.foul is ugly personality or looks, and fair is beauty on the inside or out, or Equality and not equal as well.
Act one Scene 2 Summary A captain enters, covered in so much blood he is almost unrecognizable. The captain tells them of the state of the battle against the invading Norwegians and the Scottish rebels Macdonald and the Thane of Cawdor. Two Scottish nobleman have been especially brave, Macbeth (the Thane of Glamis) and Banquo.
Macbeth kills Macdonwald by “unseam[ing] him from the nave to the chops” (1.2.22). How does he kill him? why does Macbeth “fix his head upon [Scotland’s] battlements” (1.2.23)? Kills him from his stomach up to his neck and slices his head off, and putting the traitors head on display is a warning of what will happen to other traitors.
What do Macbeth’s actions in battle reveal about him? What do the other characters comments, including the soldier and Duncan, tell us about Macbeth’s character? Macbeth is cruel and brutal, but brave in his actions. The other characters make him out to be a worthy Thane and a vicious one. Which makes Macbeth seem highly masculine.
What title does Duncan grant to Macbeth for his bravery in battle? Thane of Cawdor (Though, already the Thane of Glamis).
What effect does it provide when Ross describes the Scotsman as Bellona’s bridegroom? (Bellona-Roman Goddess of War) It makes them seem highly skilled and respected in battle.
Act One Scene 3 Summary they encounter Macbeth and Banquo as the two soldiers ride from the battlefield. The sisters make three prophecies, the first two regarding Macbeth and the last regarding Banquo. Macbeth shall be named as Thane of Cawdor and then king; Banquo, although he shall not himself rule in Scotland, will be father to future generations of kings. Immediately, the Witches vanish into thin air, leaving the two captains in amazement. Ross and Angus arrive on the scene to confirm what we already know, that Macbeth is to be invested with the thaneship of Cawdor. The Witches’ first prophecy has come true.
Note (1.3.8-10) Direct illusion to an attempt James claimed that was made on his life on his honeymoon. His ship began to sink, but he and his new bride were able to get away safely. James believing that any misfortune was caused by witches, felt that it was an assassination attempt because he calmed to see a rat with out a tail (A witches familiar). A beggar woman later takes credit for this, claiming knowledge of the rat without a tail, furthering James beliefs.
Act: major division of a play—in Shakespearean tragedies there are five
Scene major division of an act
Dialogue conversation between characters
Soliloquy speech spoken by a character in which his/her thoughts or feelings are revealed
Aside a comment made by a character on stage, while other characters are present, which is meant to be heard only by the audience— the other characters do not hear the comment
Figurative Language language that describes one thing in terms of another thing (metaphor, simile, personification)
Imagery language that is meant to appeal to the five senses—of particular importance to Macbeth is the use of “light” and “dark” imagery
Tragic Hero: The protagonist in a tragedy, also known as the tragic hero, experiences defeat because of a tragic flaw—an error in judgment or an inherent weakness in character. The hero undergoes some change, experiencing new self-knowledge or wisdom, despite the fact that s/he will suffer and/or die in the process.
According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, the typical traits of a tragic hero include: the hero holds a high place in society or is of great importance, causing an impact on the greater public when his/her downfall occurs the tragic hero’s own actions cause his/her demise the tragic hero possesses a character flaw which causes the tragedy
Characterization Because Macbeth is a drama, the primary method that Shakespeare uses to reveal Macbeth’s character is through indirect characterization. Note how Macbeth is revealed to us by:∙ his physical appearance ∙ his actions ∙ what others think/feel about him∙ his thoughts/feelings ∙ what others say about him ∙ his speech
Thane Scottish nobleman
Motif A motif is a reoccurring object, concept, or structure in a work. It may also be two contrasting elements in a work, like good vs evil. Examples of common motifs include colors characters traits, objects, location or situations.What makes something a motif is when a n author uses it throughout the work to draw your attention toward something important in the theme of the story.
Note that the witches call themselves, “Weird sisters” (1.3.33) The explanatory notes to the left that weird means the “3 fates”
What impact does the meaning of “weird” have on the purpose of the witches? How might their purpose serve as a motif? (1.3.33)
How do the three witches greet macbeth (1.3.51-53) “All, hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!/All, hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!/ All, hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.51-53)
What do the three witches predict for Banquo? 1. “Lesser than Macbeth yet greater” (1.3.68)2.”Not so happy, yet much happier” (1.3.69)3.”Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (1.3.70)
How does Banquo describe the witches appearance? “By each at once her choppy finger laying/Upon her skinny lips: you should be women,/ And yet your beards forbid me to interpret/ That you are so.” (1.3.46-49)
What is Banquo’s reaction to the witches’ prophecy? Does he seem to believe them? Banquo: “Were such things here as we do speak about?/ Or have we eaten on the insane root/ That takes the reason prisoner?” (1.3.86-88)No, he jokes about it with Macbeth right after.
What is Macbeth’s reaction to the witches’ prophecy? Does he seem to believe them? “My noble partner/You greet with present grace and great prediction/ Of noble having and of royal hope,/ That he seems rapt withal: to me you speak not./ If you can look into the seeds of time,/And say which grain will grow and which will not,” (1.3.52-57)He is giving them his full attention and demands them to speak more. But he also jokes about it after they have left.
In what ways could Macbeth ascend to the throne of Scotland? (What are two things he could do to become king?) 1.) Murder the king or his heir to the throne2.) Continue on the path he had been on originally
Macbeth Tragic Hero
Duality Theme #1 good vs evil
Duality Theme #2 light vs dark
The metaphor in the robes serve as a motif throughout the story. Explain the robe motif in the lines “Why do you dress me/In borrowed robes?” (1.3.114-115) and “Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold/ But with the aid of use”(1.3.161-162). The title of the Thane of Cawdor is already taken, “Who was the thane lives yet;/But under heavy judgment bears that life/Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combined/With those of Norway, or did line the rebel/With hidden help and vantage, or that with both/ He labour’d in his country’s wrack, I know not;/But treasons capital, confess’d and proved,/Have overthrown him.” (1.3.116-124)As Macbeth questions this they explain that he committed treason and he is to be executed. This completes the second part of the witches claim for Macbeth.
Act One Scene 4 Summary Back to Duncan, who wants to know if the Thane of Cawdor is dead. He is, and he confessed to being a traitor right before he died. Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus then meet the King.
Dramatic Irony is when the audience knows something that the speaker does not. How is the line, “There’s no art/To find the mind’s construction in the face:/He was a gentleman on whom I built/An absolute trust.” (1.4.13-16) an example of dramatic irony? One is unable to tell what they are thinking by just looking at them, and most likely Macbeth will kill the future King Malcolm, the heir to the throne.
Shakespeare begin s a motif with the planting metaphor when Duncan says, “I have begun to plant thee, and will labour/To make thee full of growing.” (1.4.32-33) What comparison is Duncan making? It is the development of the character and in translation it is “As you grow, I grow with you”