Macbeth Act 1 Scenes 1-3

ACT 1 SCENE 1 ACT 1 SCENE 1
How many witches are there? 3
Paradox A contradictory statement/half-truth
What are familiar spirits? Demons that guide the witches and differentiate them
What are the first and second witches’ familiar spirits? Greymalkin and paddock (toad)
“When the battle’s lost and won” Paradox – when one side loses, and the other wins
“Fair is foul and foul is fair” Paradox – someone who is fair on the outside may be foul on the inside
What is the third witch’s familiar spirit? It’s not stated
What are the witches doing? Chanting ominously
What do the witches vow? To meet Macbeth after the battle
ACT 1 SCENE 2 ACT 1 SCENE 2
Thane A man of high nobility who was a close confidant to the king and has control of a territory (like a governor). Each thane has a castle and fights in battles
Who is the Thane of Glamis? Macbeth
Who is the Thane of Cawdor? His name is not stated, but he is a traitor
Who is the Thane of Fife? Macduff
Is Banquo a thane? Yes, but his territory is not stated
Who is the king? Duncan
What is Macbeth’s castle? Inverness
Who tells Duncan about the battle? A wounded captain
Who led the Norwegian army? Macdonwald
Summarize the battle. Between Scotland and Norway. At first, neither side could get an advantage, but Norway seemed to be lucky. Then, Macbeth chopped through the front line, killed Macdonwald, and put his head on his sword. The Norwegian king stepped in, but neither Macbeth nor Banquo were scared. The scene was bloody, but Scotland won.
Who tells Duncan that the Thane of Cawdor is a traitor? Macduff (Ross)
What does Duncan say he will do? Execute the Thane of Cawdor and give Cawdor to Macbeth.
“2 spent swimmers” Simile, imagery – each swimmer is trying to help themselves, but in the process drowning each other, so neither can float.
“Fortune…wh0re” Metaphor – shows how luck was on Macdonawld’s side
“Shipwrecking storms” “Direful thunders” Imagery – shows the battle noises
“Yes…lion” Metaphor – Shows that Macbeth and Banquo weren’t scared of the Norwegian army despite the setback
“Golgotha” Allusion – portrays the chaos and goriness of the battlefield
Allusion A reference to something well known
“No…Macbeth won” Irony – at the beginning of the quote Duncan says he will not be betrayed by the Thane of Cawdor again, but soon the audience will find out that Macbeth will betray Duncan.
How does Shakespeare create atmosphere? He uses powerful imagery/literary devices and beautiful words to describe an ugly scene
What does the term “kerns and gallogases mean? Lightly and heavily armed soldiers
ACT 1 SCENE 3 ACT 1 SCENE 3
What did the second witch say she was doing? Killing swine
Why did the first witch punish the sailor? His wife was hoarding chestnuts
How do the witches speak? They speak in cryptic rhymes, use paradoxes, and usually speak in numerical order. They finish each other’s sentences as if 3 witches come together as 1.
How did the first witch punish the sailor? She created a storm that kept his ship at sea for 81 weeks.
What were Macbeth’s prophecies? Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, future king
What were Banquo’s prophecies? Lesser than Macbeth but greater, not as happy as Macbeth but happier, descendants will be king
What was Macbeth’s reaction to the witches? He wanted to know more/ is rapt, but was wary of them
What was Banquo’s reaction to the witches? They were so mysterious that he thought him and Macbeth were high
What does Macbeth consider in his aside? Murdering Duncan to become king. He goes back in forth in an angel vs. devil manner
Rapt Captivated
Antithesis Contradicting statement
Euphemism Less brutal language
Aside Dialogue spoken by 1 or more characters that only the audience can hear
Is Banquo jealous of Macbeth? Possibly
“Lesser than Macbeth but greater” Paradox – Banquo may be lesser than Macbeth in power, but greater in morals
“Not so happy, yet much happier” Paradox – similar to the last one, less fortunate in power, but more fortunate in regards to fate/morals
“Suggestion” “horrid image” “my thought” “surmise” “what is not” “horrible imaginings” Euphemism – used by Macbeth in his aside to refer to murdering King Duncan
“Or have we eaten from the insane root, that takes the reason prisoner?” After the witches vanish into thin air, Banquo thinks he’s high
“Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?” Macbeth is confused as to why he’s receiving the Thane of Cawdor’s title and land if he’s still alive
“So foul and fair a day” Paradox – Macbeth’s first line is similar to the witches’. This can be interpreted in many ways. It could be in reference to the battle in which the gore is foul and the victory is fair. It could be about the foul possibility of a second invasion but victory is once again fair. Or, the weather could be foul, but the news Macbeth is about to receive is fair.

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