Act 1 Scene 2
Macbeth is depicted as a great soldier and many epithets are used on his name, we has won a battle against the betraitor.
This part is important because it is in juxtaposed to the prior one in which the audience knows that the Witches are to plan something with Macbeth
It also sets an irony because what now is a valiant soldier that defeated the traitor will soon become another traitor that kills the King who so much preaches him.
ACT 1 Scene 3-The revealing prophecy scene
Macbeth and Banquo receive the prophecy, Macbeth shall be Thane of Cawdor and Glamis and Banquo shall be father of kings but he himself be none, Macbeth is disturbed and now gets to know that he is indeed Thane of Cawdor
This acts as a contrast between Banquo and Macbeth, Banquo is calm and does not believe in the prophecy whereas Macbeth does, acts as foreshadowing
This will lead Macbeth to kill Banquo and the King as the prophecies are coming true
Macbeth’s mind is wrought in things forgotten, his mind does not seem to be as strong as he physically is by what is described in scene 2.
Macbeth cannot help but to further inquire the witches whereas Banquo seems to be willing to dismiss.
He notices how his mind is playing games already.
ACT 1 Scene 4
Macbeth is well received by Duncan who cannot help but to praise him.
This scene sets irony as Duncan is praising his “worthy cousin” and filling him with honor and pride. Macbeth is seen as a liar because he reciprocates the soothing words
Malcolm is named Prince of Cumberland now MB must o’erleap him to become King
This is a scene of great dramatic irony, specially since Macbeth’s avaricious and dishonest soliloquy is juxtaposed to the King’s kind and honorable words.
Macbeth talks about a sky and heaven that cannot see him commit the terrible deed, this will come back later as Lady Macbeth asks the sky to turn a blind eye to her action.
ACT 1 Scene 5- The letter scene
Macbeth sends a letter to LM and she is now hopeful to become royalty, she does fear that Macbeth is full of kindness and will not commit to things terrible to overthrow. Duncan is to spend the night at their castle and LM wants Macbeth to commit in murderous deeds.
From the letter we can understand how certain Macbeth is of the prophecies and how close the relationship between the two is.
LM does fear that MB will not commit and so she wants to be the driving madness that takes him to horrid deeds “I may pour my spirits in thine ear” sexuality is a theme here
LM wants to turn evil to realize the murder, she wants to be freed from her femininity and be “take[n] my milk for gall, your murdering ministers”. She is seen as the real evil.
Serves as a contrast with the trauma she is will come upon when the deed is completed.
ACT 1 Scene 7-The pondering of murder scene
Macbeth debates himself, there are many reasons for him not to kill Duncan: judgement, remorse, karma, Duncan’s greatness, etc
This scene is important as it shows that although he wants to become King by every mean he is also a good man as he says he will not proceed with the deed
MB is after all only driven to the deed by the Witches and his wife who know attacks his manliness “I dare so all that may become a man”
She uses “thou” as she wants to be tender and “you” when trying to convince him
He is mentally weak, he knows how much of a great king Duncan has been and the only reason to murder him is the ambition to take the crown, soliloquy
ACT 2 Scene 1- The dagger scene
MB meets B and lies to him then see an imaginary dagger that take his to do the deed.
This is the turning point for MB and it is one in which he is not lucid so this will have an effect afterwards when he states that what terrible started must so continue, he is not as evil, just let a weak mind be manipulated by ambition, his wife and the witches. His soliloquy shows this “proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?”
ACT 2 Scene 2- The knocking door scene
Lady Macbeth drugged the guards of Duncan, Macbeth commits the deed, both fear be discovered.
The fact that he has forgotten the daggers in his hands. He is a soldier, he should not, also “I am afraid”. It shows about how horrendous the act’s been. “I wish thou couldst” wake up.
Macbeth feels repent right after he has committed the crime “sleep no more. Macbeth does murder sleep”, contrast with when he just feels the horrors as a continuation of this act.
LM takes the leading role again, returns the daggers and calls upon the lack of temper her husband has. “These deeds must be not thought” “ I shame to wear a heart so white” “go get some water”
They both fear being discovered and later on in the sleepwalking scene LM will come back with remembrance of this moment to haunt her mettle.
She then later say “all the sweet perfumes of Arabia won’t clean this hands”
He speaks to himself and so does her. They try to communicate but they speak to themselves.
ACT 2 Scene 3
“‘Twas a rough night” he is so calm about what he’s done.
ACT 3 Scene 1 Coronation scene THIS IS A TURNING POINT; THEY SWITCH ROLES IN THE RELATIONSHIP
MB is named King and plans to murder Banquo to ensure his power, asks murders to kill him.
MB’s weak mind plays foolish games with him once more and takes him to the realization that he must kill Banquo to ensure his reign of tyranny, he knows Banquo would be a better governor for his people.
“Fail not to our feast”
Now MB is acting like LM attacking the manliness of the murderers to make them commit the murder of Banquo “not in the worst rank of manhood”
His reign of tyranny begins, now no remorse is allowed in his mind.
Shakespeare contrast Macbeth characters in the same order a rage of passion comes before a deep repent and a complete indifference follows, same happens when Banquo is killed, the banquet seem and the appearance of the ghost symbolizes his remorse.
ACT 3 Scene 2 The King’s leisure
LM wishes to talk to her King, now she is rather seen as a servant, he does no longer listen to her
She must ask to see him as another servant “say to the king I will attend his leisure”
She wants to stop the bloodbath “be bright and jovial among your guest tonight” “you must leave this”
“Why do you keep alone?” we are a team!
He is now all driven by madness and must continue all things horrible to ensure his stay in power “things bad begun make themselves by ill”
They have indeed switched roles in the relationship
“Ignore the knowledge, dearest chuck” ignore the knowledge till thou applauds the deed.
ACT 3 Scene 4- The banqueting scene
A banquet is celebrated in the King’s castle, MB is haunted by Banquo's ghost, terrifying the guests while LM tries to calm him and excuse him. MB is notified that the Fleance has fled and Banquo is dead.
Everyone now realizes that the King’s mind is but a box of madness and fear “avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!
He is trying to take command but he can’t because he is scared.
He must continue ensuring his reign “blood will have blood”
Macbeth acts as an individual here, he renounces her. She goes crazy because of this.
LM cannot withstand his husband temper anymore, exhaustion comes to her, she no longer sees the nature in his eyes “you lack the season of all nature, sleep”- foreshadows.
She can’t sleep and that is why she becomes crazy.
LM will never be the same after this and will not be seen beside her man.
ACT 5 Scene 1 Sleepwalking Scene
LM is seeing sleepwalking and traumatized by the killing
The fear of being discovered haunts Lady Macbeth
Clear references to the killing of Duncan. She remembers this deed because it is the most horrendous for her. “A little water will take it away” “All sweet perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand”
The blood is a symbol of guilt.
She repeats things from the prior scenes.
“Out damned spot! Out I said!”
Later we discovered that this is the stepping stone to her suicide.
It demonstrates that a woman is not capable or bearing the realization of such deeds.
“To bed, to bed, …” x5 She is trying to recover nature by sleeping.
ACT 5 Scene 3
MB does not care anymore about what is happening in the battlefield, he will endure no more reports. He calls the doctor to cure her disease.
ACT 5 Scene 5
The now tyrannic King is notified; the queen is dead. He also receives the new that the Birnam Wood prophecy is becoming truth
Famous soliloquy about the insignificance of the human life, he has become tired of life and lets everything to the force of luck.
“I ‘gin to be a-weary of the sun”-tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, it is a tale told by and idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
There is nothing that he cares about anymore, what is life if not a tale?
This also shows that he was not preoccupying his mind anymore with her as when he acknowledges her death he simply states that “she should have died hereafter”
He’s become numb to horrors.