Macbeth Act I Vocabulary

Rebel A person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler
Rebel Quote: “Worthy to be a rebel, for to that the multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him (9).” The captain is reporting to Duncan about the traitor, Macdonwald.
Disdain The feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one’s consideration or respect; contempt
Disdain Quote: “Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,which smoked with bloody execution (9).” The captain is describing the great Macbeth in the battle.
Valor Great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle
Valor Quote: “Like valor’s minion, carved out his passage till he faced the slave (9).” The captain is describing Macbeth: as though he was the darling of Valour itself, cut a path right through the enemy troops
Minion A follower or underling of a powerful person, especially a servile or unimportant one
Traitor A person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc
Traitor Quote: “Assisted by that most disloyal traitor (13).” Ross is talking about the traitor, Thane of Cawdor
Rapt Completely fascinated by what one is seeing or hearing
Rapt Quote: “That he seems rapt withal” (17). “Look how our partner’s rapt” (25). “Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives from the King, who had hailed me…” (31). Banquo is the speaker. Macbeth is so struck with the greeting of the witches that he stands silent as in a trance, while Banquo speaks (p.17).
Prophetic Accurately describing or predicting what will happen in the future
Prophetic Quote: “With such prophetic greeting” (19). Macbeth is talking to the three witches.
Corporal Of or relating to the human body.
Corporal Quote: “Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted, as breath into the wind” (19). “Each corporal agent to this terrible feat” (45). Macbeth is talking about the vanishment of the witches (19.)Macbeth’s last lines in Act 1 (p.45)
Surmise Suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it
Surmise Quote; “That function is smothered in surmise, And nothing is but what is not” (23). Macbeth’s ability to function normally is crippled or smothered by his fantastic imagination (surmise)
Cleave To adhere or cling to
Cleave Quote: “Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold but with the aid of use” (25).
Recompense Compensation or reward given for loss or harm suffered or effort made
Recompense Quote: “Thou art so far before the swiftest wing of recompense is slow to overtake thee (27)” King Duncan is the speaker
Harbinger A person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another
Harbinger Quote: “I’ll be myself the harbinger and make joyful the hearing of my wife with your approach”(29) Macbeth is talking to Duncan. Note here that Macbeth offers his own castle as Duncan’s resting place for the night.
Chastise Rebuke or reprimand severely
Chastise Quote: “Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valor of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round,” (31) Lady Macbeth is the speaker
Compunctious Feeling uneasy or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain
Compunctious Quote: “That no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose,”(33) Lady Macbeth is saying: That no forces of goodness (nature) invade my conscience and stop me from proceeding with my cruel intention (fell purpose) of trying to murder Duncan, nor interfere (keep peace) with the actual outcome of the attempt.
Beguile To charm or enchant, sometimes in a deceptive manner
Beguile Quote: “To beguile the time, look like the time.”(35) Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth that in order to decieve Duncan he must look like the men of the time
Dispatch An official report on state or military affairs.
Dispatch Quote: “you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch…” (35) Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth that he shall leave the murder of the king to her.
Procreant Quote: “…this bird hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle” (37). Banquo is the speaker.
Trammel To entangle in a net from which nothing can break free
Trammel Quote: “if the assassination could trammel up the consequence and catch with… (39)” Macbeth’s soliloquy: If the assassination could net up the consequence and catch success by Duncan’s demise (his surcease).
Adage A proverb, wise saying
Adage Quote: “…like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?” (41) Lady Macbeth says this to Macbeth.
(un)daunted Not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment

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