Sue Beardsmore

First hear of Macbeth:

'There to meet with Macbeth'.

This establishes mystery, suspense and that something sinister is meddling with Macbeth.

'For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name -

Disdaining fortune'

an account of Macbeth's bravery, violent nature, fearless for a good cause (for king and country). Not caring for himself or the consequences. (Shows bravery in this example - later to be used for evil).

Line 39:

'doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe'

Showing Macbeth (and Banquo) fighting extra hard, extra valiantly. (Later parallel Macduff etc.)

Magnificent view of Macbeth's character:

- brave

- loyal

- fearless

- super power

- fighting for good

- saviour

Duncan's order to create Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor

A contrast between the traitor, Cawdor and Macbeth has been set up.

Duncan creates Macbeth as a reward. Dramatic because we see later

1) Cawdor is part of the prophecy.

2) As Cawdor (1) was a traitor so Cawdor (2) will be.

Opening establishes the witches as evil - they act indiscriminately and capriciously.

Line 31:

'Macbeth doth come'

the winding up of the spell.

'So fould and fair a day I have not seen'

first utterance echoes the witches.

Banquo doesn't know who what they are Macbeth

'Speak' (line 48')

'Stay' (line 70) wants to know more ready to believe

'Strange Intelligence' (line 76)

First point from the prophecy that Macbeth says

'Your children shall be Kings'

Thinking ahead. Assimilated about himself. Ambition going on.

Line 109:

Seems genuine shock when he's given the Thaneship, but by 117 has thought ahead. He believes the prophecy.

Teases Banquo about children to be Kings. He believes the prophecy and this is the second reference to this point.


Banquo's speech of warning. Sound advice. by 128 Macbeth has ignored to prophecy ill?


Macbeth's vision of his future:

'Two truths are told,

As happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial theme'.

Kept private. Public action, private thought.


Soliloquy - opposite of 121. Banquo's advice prophecy good.


Macbeth resigned - he will do nothing.

'if chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir'


My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical.

Shakes to my single state of man that function is smothered in summise.

We are suspicious because he has uttered the word 'murder'.

The uncertainty of the future shows his ability to act determinedly (like a man)

At this stage he has a glimpse of the possibilities of the third prophecy but he checks himself. He controls himself.


repetition that the future will unfold.

'Come what come may,

Time and the hour runs through the roughest day'


Tells Banquo they should speak privately about what has happened Banquo is glad to.

We have seen Macbeth's thoughts working. By the end of scene 3

he believes the prophecy

chance and the future

will unfold - he'll do nothing to aid the prophecy

Banquo - intends to speak to him

Reunited - Duncan and Macbeth

The sovereign's trust and honour of Macbeth established.


Duncan of Cawdor (i)

'He was a gentleman on whom I built

An absolute trust'

at which time Macbeth enters.

Device to doubt Macbeth.


Macbeth's speech of loyalty.

Has the ring of insincerity now.


Macbeth's reception of the news of Malcolm's succession.

Out pouring after controlled public behaviour.

'that is a step

On which I must fall down, or else o'er - leap,

For in my way it lies'

He seems to be harbouring thoughts of ambition which are evil. He's frightened of his own thoughts. He controls himself again - he doesn't want others or himself to acknowledge these thoughts.

Letter to L.M. Macbeth Callster


'My dearest partner of greatness'


'Yet I do fear thy nature;

It is too full o' the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldn't be great,

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it.

This confirms Macbeth's character so far. He is not prepared to do anything, especially wrong, to further his ambition.

She will fulfil her part - 1.10 - making him great by her efforts.


'And chastise with the valour of my tongue

All that impedes thee from the golden round'

She can talk him into doing what's necessary - by 'chastising '- (nagging, taunting, telling off etc!)


Macbeth's wife calls on evil to help her

'Come, you spirits,

That tend.......'

invocation to evil. Opening the channel to evil.

This is a parallel to the witches evil.


Macbeth enters and she greets him as the prophecy says.


Lady Macbeth gives the first thought to the death of Duncan.

At this stage Macbeth does not utter anything to suggest the murder of Duncan. Lady Macbeth warns him to behave properly in public. The thought of murder seems to be understood between them without being spoken.

Lady Macbeth says she will sort everything out.


'and you shall put

This night's great business into my dispatch;

Which shall to all our nights and days to come

Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom'.

Macbeth's only reaction is to say they speak further later.

Opens with Macbeth's soliloquy

He is thinking aloud.

Cowardice does not restrain Macbeth but conscience.


'We will proceed no further in this business' represents a triumph of conscience. He has talked himself away from killing Duncan. He has recognised what a great sin it would be. He can appreciate Duncan's good qualities and recognise his own duty and the moral way.

Lady Macbeth - taunts his manhood (coward).

He yields to her, and in order to prove himself a man in her eyes, submits to a woman's guidance.

'I am settled and bend up.

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know'.

He has been goaded and convinced by Lady Macbeth.

(Note Act 1 Scene 3 1.26 ) Lady M has succeeded.

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