BSC Macbeth Act 1 Key Quotes

Act 1 Scene 1Witches describing weather and setting scene for whole play.An ambiguous statement; could have double meaningAlso reflects the overall theme–hard to distinguish between fair (good) and foul (evil) Fair is foul and foul is fair
Act 1 Scene 2Captain describing Macbeth’s courage and showing how unaffected he is by the temptation of wealth.Good vs evil Brave Macbeth – for well he deserves that name – disdaining fortune…carved out his passage
Act 1 Scene 3The witches greet Macbeth with three prophecies predicting he will gain great titles. Ambition, royalty and power. “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!”
Act 1 Scene 3Macbeth is shocked by the witches’ appearance. Supernatural and gender. You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so
Act 1 Scene 3Macbeth is questioning how feasible the prophecies are. Ambition and power To be king stands not within the prospect of belief
Act 1 Scene 3Macbeth is speaking to Banquo about the prophecies. This moment dooms Banquo and Fleance. Power and ambition. Your children shall be kings
Act 1 Scene 3Macbeth questioning Ross who has announced Macbeth is to become Thane of Cawdor and therefore showing that the prophecies may be true. Reality vs appearance, ambition. Why do you address me in borrowed robes?
Act 1 Scene 3Macbeth uses ‘greatest’ to show that the truth is the most important, not the title. Now he ‘knows’ that he will become king. Supernatural, ambition, royalty. Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor: the greatest is behind.
Act 1 Scene 3Banquo’s quote is prophetic and foreshadowing. The witches are using truth to trick Macbeth. Reality vs appearance, supernatural. The instruments of darkness tell us truths; win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence.
Act 1 Scene 3Macbeth is considering and accepting the prophecy. Supernatural, ambition. This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good
Act 1 Scene 3 Macbeth’s ambition is already making him consider murder – it is a fantasy, but a dark and violent one. Ambition, murder My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical
Act 1 Scene 3Macbeth is losing his grip on reality – he cannot act because his is fantasising about his plan to kill the king. Ambition, murder Shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise
Act 1 Scene 4Duncan announces that Malcolm becomes heir to the throne. Divine right of kings, royalty, kinship Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter the Prince of Cumberland; which honor must not unaccompanied invest him only
Act 1 Scene 4Macbeth hopes no one will recognise that he is having evil thoughts about becoming king. Ambition, murder, good and evil Let not light see my black and deep desires
Act 1 Scene 5Macbeth addresses Lady Macbeth with affection and considerable respect: this would be very unusual for both Macbeth’s and Shakespeare’s timeGender roles, power My dearest partner of greatness
Act 1 Scene 5Lady Macbeth is concerned that Macbeth is far too kind to become king: she is also considering taking the crown by murdering King Duncan. She is impatient.Ambition, nature, murder, regicide Yet I do fear thy nature; it is too full o’ the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way
Act 1 Scene 5Lady Macbeth believes Macbeth is ambitious, but not wicked enough to achieve both their dreams. Ambition, good and evil thou wouldst be great; art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it
Act 1 Scene 5Lady Macbeth wants Macbeth to hurry home so she can convince him to kill King Duncan.Murder, ambition, gender roles, regicide Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear
Act 1 Scene 5Lady Macbeth wants rid of her feminine emotions so she can succeed in her plan to murder the king. She believes violence, aggression and cruelty are male traits. Gender roles, ambition, supernatural Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty
Act 1 Scene 5Look beautiful and innocent, but underneath be dangerous and untrustworthy – like a snake/serpent.Godo and evil, appearance vs reality Look like th’innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth is considering the plan to murder King Duncan: he wants it done quickly. Regicide, ambition, good and evil If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.
Act 1 Scene 7A prophetic reflection from Macbeth suggesting that the plan to kill King Duncan will backfire and ultimately harm Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.Ambition, power, Regicide, good and evil This even-handed justice commends th’ingredients of our poisoned chalice to our own lips
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth’s only reason to kill King Duncan is ambition – King Duncan is a good man and a great king. Regicide, ambition I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, and falls on the other.
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth they will not continue with their plan.Ambition, good vs evil We will proceed no further in this business.
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth has received titles and praise and should enjoy them instead of pursue their ambitions. Ambition, loyalty He hath honored me of late, and I have boughtGolden opinions from all sorts of people,Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,Not cast aside so soon.
Act 1 Scene 7Lady Macbeth is challenging Macbeth’s manhood: when he dared to kill King Duncan he was a man to her. Gender roles When you durst do it, then you were a man
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth speaks truthfully: At the start of the play he is a good and brave warrior and a fine example of a man of his time. Gender roles I dare do all that may become a man
Act 1 Scene 7Lady Macbeth hints at having been a mother, but we see no child with them now. Maybe this missing child has affected her mental health. Gender roles, kinship I have given suck and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me
Act 1 Scene 7Lady Macbeth reveals an extremely brutal vision to highlight her loyalty to Macbeth and her willingness to keep her promises. Loyalty, gender roles I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth’s main concern is being caught/unsuccessful, not how right or wrong the act of killing King Duncan isRegicide, loyalty, ambition, good vs evil If we should fail?
Act 1 Scene 7Lady Macbeth encourages Macbeth to stick to their plan: if he is courageous they will succeedAmbition Screw your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth is deeply impressed by Lady Macbeth’s plan to murder King Duncan – so much so that he thinks she should only have male children because she has so many male qualities. Gender roles Bring forth men-children only, for thy undaunted mettle should compose nothing but males.
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth is convinced: he will use all his bodily powers to commit the murder.Regicide, good vs evil I am settled and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat
Act 1 Scene 7Macbeth is committed to looking innocent to hide his disloyal heart in order to get away with the murder. Loyalty, ambition, appearance vs reality False face must hide what the false heart doth know

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