Macbeth Act I

What are the witches planning at the beginning of the act? They are planning on meeting with Macbeth.
Why does Shakespeare include witches in Macbeth? It represents the interest of the time since many in America and Europe believed in the actual existence of witches. Also, Shakespeare wished to please King James.
What is the point of the first scene literally and in reference to the whole play? Literally, the witches are deciding when they shall meet again. This scene sets the mood for the entire play and introduces major motifs: the witches, confusion, and the stormy fate of Scotland, as well as the main character Macbeth.
Who is at war in Act I? Scotland and Norway
What does the captain report about the battle to Duncan? He reports that Macbeth has fought bravely and has defeated the enemy.
What does Ross and Angus report to Duncan? They report that Scotland has to deal with a traitor (Thane of Cawdor)
What does King Duncan order Ross and Angus to do after the news of the traitor? He orders them to order the execution of the present Thane of Cawdor and strip him of his title and present the title to Macbeth.
What title is given to Macbeth for bravery in the battle? Thane of Cawdor
What happened to the original Thane of Cawdor and why did he lose his title? He was executed because he had betrayed his country (Scotland)
In what three ways do the witches greet Macbeth? They greet him as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and as future King.
What do Macbeth and Banquo think of the witches when they first see them on the heath? They think they are not of this world and are not women because of their beards.
What does Banquo say to the witches after they greet Macbeth? “To me you speak not. If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me.”
What do the witches tell Banquo? “Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. Not so happy, yet much happier. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none”
What news is brought to Macbeth by Ross and Angus? News that Macbeth has gained the title of Thane of Cawdor.
After the witches vanish, how does Macbeth and Banquo react? Banquo wants to know, “Whither are they vanished?’ and Macbeth says, “Into the air and what seemed {real} melted as breath into the wind.”
How does Banquo react after the witches vanish? He wonders whether the witches were an illusion and if they had slipped into insanity.
What is an allusion? a reference to historical figures (people), literary works, places in history to support the current reading.
What does “hurly-burly” mean? noisy disorder and confusion
What is an “aside”? a remark made quietly by a character on stage so as to be heard only by a select group of people and not by others who are nearby.
Who are the “instruments of darkness”? The witches.
Macbeth says, “Stars, hide your fires. Let not light see my black and deep desires.” What are Macbeth’s desires? He now desires to be the king and he realizes that something will have to be done with Duncan before his desires can become reality.
In the line, “Two truths are told, as happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial theme,” what is the swelling act that Macbeth refers to? Him becoming king
What do we see as Duncan’s greatest fault in Act I? Trusting too easily
What happens to cause Macbeth to recalculate his ease of becoming king? Malcolm becomes the Prince of Cumberland.
Mabeth says, “(aside) The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap. For in my way it lies.” What is the significance of this line? Macbeth now realizes that Malcolm (Duncan’s son) is an obstacle in the way of him becoming king. With Malcolm alive, he will “fall down” (not have a chance).
What is the name of Macbeth’s castle? Inverness
How does Lady Macbeth learn about the witches’ prophecy for Macbeth? Through her husband’s letter.
What is meant by the line, “Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way?” Lady Macbeth is displaying her doubt that her husband (Macbeth) has it in him to do what has to be done (murder) in order to take what is promised (kingship)
What is meant by the line, “…unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full of dire cruelty! Make thick my blood..” Lady Macbeth wishes she was a man (unsex me) so that she could have power instead of her husband having it and her having to control his thoughts/actions.
Why does Duncan go to Inverness? To celebrate with Macbeth and his wife his new title.
What has Lady Macbeth schemed to do to the King while he is at Inverness? She has planned to have Macbeth murder the king while he is sleeping.
How sure is Lady Macbeth that this plot of murder will succeed? She is so sure that she doesn’t even consider the fact that they could fail.
By what other name is the play Macbeth known and why? The Scottish play because according to history, the play is cursed and saying the name brings bad luck.
What is meant by the line, “…look like th’ innocent flower, But be the serpent under ‘t?” Lady Macbeth is telling her husband that he has to act “normal” when the king comes to Inverness, but he must remember what he must do (kill).
What is significant about the line, “We will proceed no further in this business: he hath honored me of late, and I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon?” Macbeth is telling Lady Macbeth that he has changed his mind on the murder. He is expressing that he has just been honored with a new title (Thane of Cawdor) and he wants to enjoy the admiration that he will receive from that honor as long as possible.
What is the significance of the following line spoken by Lady Macbeth- “But screw your courage to the sticking place and we will not fail?” She is determined that the “deed” (murder and rise to king) will not fail if Macbeth follows through with the plan and does not chicken out.
What is the significance of the following line said by Macbeth? “False face must hide what the false heart doth know?” Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have just gone over the plan to kill Duncan. Now, they have to go about business as usual without letting anyone know about their plan. The quote means that Macbeth must cover up his guilt with a happy face (false face), and pretend like everything is alright (false heart).
Who encourages Macbeth to kill Duncan? His wife, Lady Macbeth
Who is “to be the father of kings though be none?” Banquo
Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor Macbeth
Named as successor to the throne of Scotland Malcolm
Executed by King Duncan Thane of Cawdor
At war with Scotland Norway
Plans King Duncan’s murder Lady Macbeth
Traitor who led a failed rebellion Macdonwald (Thane of Cawdor)

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