Macbeth Notes: Act 1

Scene 1 Witches have familiarties1st Witch- A cat named Gray Malloin2nd Witch- A frog named Paddock3rd Witch- unknown at this pointWhen they all chant “Fair is foul, foul is fair”, they are saying “anything goes”
Scene 2 The captain covered in blood talked about how the battle went down:The Norwegian army is invading Scotland, and we are given the 3 leaders of the army.1) MacDonwald2) The Thane* of Cawdor3) King of Norway (Sweno)That battle was described as In Fortune (=Good Luck). It was also described as a wwwwwhhhhhhooooorrrrrrreeeeee**, meaning it was in favor of the Scottish army at times and at other times, it was in favor of the Norwegian Army. Then all of a sudden, Macbeth comes in and fights off everyone. He strikes MacDonwald from the Naval to the head. It was described as “quite the spectacle”. He then takes his head and puts in on a stick, waving it to the enemy army, showing that their leader was killed.The king then asks, “Didn’t it scare Macbeth and Banquo?”Captain Responds: [sarcastically] “Yes, they ran off like rabbits and lions. No, they fought like cannons.” This is an error in the play, as cannons were not invented in the time period when this took place (1605).*A thane is a person who holds land for the King, a man of nobility. Described by Gibson as a “governor” and “leader of a large chunk of land”The king then orders the execution of the Thane of Cawdor, since he is a traitor. He also orders Macbeth to be named the new Thane of Cawdor for his patriotism.*I cannot spell the actual word out, or else it’ll censor it by default. Here is an example: ****. The real word is shorter!
Scene 3 The 1st witch asks for some nuts from a sailor, who denies her request. She is so mad to the point where she makes a huge threat. Read the next paragraph’s context to understand what she wants to do.Witches are known to work for the devil. People believed that God can only create perfection, and witches could create near flawless items. For example, if a witch wanted to make a rat, it wouldn’t have a tail. If they wanted to make a boat, it would have a sive [colander], but it would not sink. In summation, the witches are powerful, but not all powerful.So the 1st Witch wants to sink the ship by making a storm come up in his way.The ship was called the Tiger. This is named so because at the time Shakespeare was writing Macbeth, there was a ship named Tiger that got lost at sea. It was a popular conspiracy topic and so Shakespeare integrated it into Macbeth.On the topic of God and perfection, people thought that babies that were born with imperfections or defects were the work of the devil, and as a result, they were killed.The weird sisters define as “destiny sisters”. These sisters can mess with ones fate. They plan on messing with Macbeth’s soon.All of a sudden, Macbeth walks in and they all great him.*these are not word for word what they said*1st Witch: “Hi Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis.”2nd Witch: “Hi Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor.”– This was odd to Macbeth, as the title hasn’t been officially given to him.3rd Witch: “Hi Macbeth, you will be the King.”Banquo, seems jealous here. he questions the sisters of his success. They say, “Thou shall get King’s, but thou be none.” This means that his children will be kings but not himself.At this time, there was a root you could dig up and have a hallucinogenic reaction to. Macbeth and Banquo were “high” and kid around about his new royalty status.Macbeth believes that the witches gave him the title, when in reality, it was by the order of the king.The devil is known to give some good news before delivering a ton of bad news.Macbeth says, “If chance has me king crown me without my stir.” What he is saying is that “it happens, it happens, I’m not going to do anything to make it happen.”
Scene 4 They have executed the former Thane of Cawdor, and he confessed to everything. He did so for 2 reasons1) To end the brutal torture2) To get into heaven, as telling the truth was believed to get you into heaven at the timeKing Duncan [to Macbeth] “I can never repay you for what you did for the country.” He also directs the compliment to BanquoMalcolm is made heir to the throne. King Duncan: “I’m going to make Malcolm the Prince of Cumberland.” This basically is a one way ticket to becoming king.HE IS NOT MADE KING YET!At this point in time, the heir of the throne was not determined by family but rather by the king or queen themselves.Inverness in the book refers to Macbeth’s CastleMacbeth says “Malcolm is Prince of Cumberland?! A big step, jump, trip I must jump over.” He is talking about trumping Malcolm in order to become king.He goes from “I’m not gonna make myself king” to “I will kill anyone in my way of that throne!”Fact: In true literature (sorry, Disney does not count), there are few evil female characters or literature.
Scene 5 Lady Macbeth gets a letter from Macbeth. It sums up the story at this point. It also shows how Macbeth is too nice to go after the throne. His wife is completely against Macbeth in this case and she wants him to earn the throne.Lady Macbeth: “Here thee hither that I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with valor of my tongue.” = “I’ll convince you to fight for that throne!”She prays to become a guy, since at this time, Women are considered to be innocent and non guilty, while on the contrary, she is evil minded and spirited.
Scene 6 King, as he arrives to the Inverness, says “Man, this is the greatest place ever! It even smells great!” This is dramatic irony! Dramatic Irony is when the audience knows something about the story that a character doesn’t. In this case, the King is complimenting, in essence, his place of death.Banquo adds to the King’s comment by saying, “Love birds will only build a nest where love is overflowing.”Lady Macbeth walks outside. She says [to King] “Everything is almost ready!” The king replies, “Oh my room!”. In Lady Macbeth’s mind, the murder occupied her thoughts.
Scene 7 Macbeth [to Lady Macbeth] “How can I do this? It has to be done tonight and and me look not guilty!”4 Reasons that Macbeth comes up with to NOT kill the king1) People actually love the King, so if he kills him, it will sadden everyone.2) He’s his king, you just don’t ever kill your ruler.3) He’s Macbeth’s cousin, You don;t kill your cousin.4) He’s my house guest. You don’t kill your house guest.1 reason Macbeth comes up with to kill the King1) (actual quote) “Vaulting ambition” = [Macbeth] I want his position.Macbeth then says “Listen woman, we aren’t doing this!”Lady Macbeth replies, “Your such as pansy.”Macbeth then replies, “I’m as good as any man.”Lady Macbeth replies, “You are a man, but lacks the parts of one. I used tp have a baby, I’ll tell ya, I’d take it, bash its head to make you King and you don;t want to do this?”Macbeth decides he wants to go through with the plan.Here is the plan:1) Drugged the guards2) Sneak in, take their daggers3) Stab the King when he is asleep4) Splatter the blood on the guards to make it look like they did itMacbeth remarks, “If we have children, make them boys.” He says this because of the evil plot they have devisedMacbeth’s mindset on the plan over time:Not gonna do this —> Maybe —> NO —> Ok fine, I’ll do it