Plot Summary Acts 1 and 2 Act 1, Scene 1 Amidst thunder and lightning, three witches meet to plan their encounter with Macbeth, a Scottish general and the Thane of Glamis. They agree to gather again at twilight upon a heath that Macbeth will cross on his way home from battle. Act 1, Scene 2 King Duncan of the Scots awaits news of the battle between his men and the rebels led by the Thane of Cawdor.
Explanatory notes below for Act 1, Scene 5 From Macbeth.
Line numbers have been altered. It is unnecessary to repeat here what has been said in the Introduction as to the character of Lady Macbeth; but we may note the striking fashion in which that character is revealed to us.
The lady enters reading a letter in which her husband tells of his encounter with the witches, and of their prophetic greeting. He has already made inquiries as to the witches, and has learned that their prophecies always come true.
It is interesting to note that there is no suggestion in the letter of any criminal attempt to hasten the fulfilment of the oracle. Macbeth must have written while in the same mood of half-formed resolve to bide his time that marks the close of scene 3.
But Lady Macbeth has no intention of waiting for chance to crown her. She prefers "the nearest way," that of speedy and violent action. As yet she knows nothing of the obstacle which the proclamation of Malcolm as heir-apparent puts between Macbeth and the crown.
The only obstacle she sees lies in the character of her husband. He is ambitious, but is unwilling to play false to attain the objects of his ambition.
Yet she is so sure of her influence over him that she prays he may return speedily, in order that she may inspire him to action and drive out any scruples that may bar the way to his goal. When she hears of Duncan's approaching visit, she realizes instantly that Fate has delivered the king into her husband's hands, and invokes the powers of evil to strengthen her for the terrible deed that must be done at once.
On Macbeth's arrival she takes the matter into her own hands; she does not argue or persuade, but with quiet determination assures him that Duncan will never leave their castle alive, and that she will arrange all the details.
Macbeth is, as it were, stunned by her decision. He has, indeed, meditated the murder of his master; but he has by no means decided upon it, and he would like more time for consideration.
His wife, however, cuts the scene short, bidding him show a friendly face to his royal guest and leave all the rest to her. From the abruptness with which the scene begins, we must fancy that Lady Macbeth has already read a part of the letter before she comes on the stage.
Perhaps, when she came to the prophecy of the witches, she felt that she must be alone, and withdrew from the hall of the castle to the chamber in which the scene takes place. Lady Macbeth knows her husband well enough to feel sure that, however brave he is on the field of battle, he will hesitate to commit a murder.
Compare Macbeth's own words when the idea of the crime enters his mind, i. The illness should attend it, the wickedness, or at least the unscrupulousness, which must go along with ambition, if the ambition is to be gratified.
The best interpretation of this much disputed passage is probably that which takes "that" as referring to Duncan's death. The passage may then be paraphrased as follows: The accent is on the first syllable.
It seems for the moment so impossible that the opportunity for instant action can thus be placed in her hands that Lady Macbeth exclaims that the messenger must be crazy. The raven, a bird of ill omen.
Come, you spirits, etc. Note how Lady Macbeth nerves herself to meet the terrible strain of the coming night. It is plain from line 53 that she means to commit the murder herself.analytical essay memento, essay writing for entering college students kongruente deckung beispiel essay ancient egyptian government bureaucracy essay using hyphens in essays do you underline caste system brave new world essay introduction, teaching persuasive essays high school.
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The Role of Good and Evil in Macbeth - Good and evil are symbolized by light and darkness in the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare.
When there is peace and good, Shakespeare mentions light; whether if it is the sun shining brightly or merely a candle giving light.