Macbeth Scenes I and II

1603 Date Macbeth was derived
Crowning of King James I Scottish prince who ascended to the English throne, prompting Shakespeare to write “Macbeth”
Macbeth Main character, esteemed warrior and cousin to King Duncan. He receives a prophecy from the Weird Sisters that he will become king. This prompts him to murder the king and ascend to the throne, haunted by a vision of a dagger
Lady Macbeth Wife to Macbeth, calls upon Supernatural Spirits to fill her with hate so she cannot feel the consequence of preparing murder. She hears the “fatal owl” hoot, and she goes to ensure Macbeth isn’t caught for his crimes
Banquo Esteemed warrior, ally of Macbeth who is very loyal to the king. He is prophesied to bear kings. He is “lesser but greater,” rather, his fate is better than Macbeth’s
Malcolm Son of King Duncan and named heir to the throne. He flees to England once his father is murdered, and he is suspected of paying servants for the murder
Macduff A Scottish noble. He questions the murder of King Duncan
Fleance Banquo’s son. Banquo hands him his sword
Duncan King of Scotland. He was a favored king, but was murdered by Macbeth
3 witches Also known as the Weird Sisters. They tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and king. They tell Banquo that his descendants will be kings
Donalbain Younger son of King Duncan. He flees to Ireland when his father is murdered
paradox Literary device used in: “Lesser than Macbeth but greater/Not so happy yet much happier” (1.3.68-69) – Banquo may not end up in the best position, but it will be preferable to Macbeth’s fate
irony Literary device used throughout Scene Act 1 Scene 4. Some examples: “[The Thane of Cawdor] was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust” (1.4.15-16); “Only I have left to say, more is thy due than more than all can pay” (1.4.23-24)
Act 1 Scene 1 The 3 witches meet about Macbeth during a storm. They say, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”
Act 1 Scene 2 Malcolm and the injured captain tell King Duncan about Macbeth and Banquo’s success in the battle against Norway and the traitorous Thane of Cawdor. Duncan sends messengers to tell Macbeth he is now Thane of Cawdor.
Act 1 Scene 3 The three witches hail to Macbeth and call him “Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and king hereafter.” They tell Banquo that he will father kings. Ross and Angus tell Macbeth that he is now Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth thinks about killing Duncan.
Act 1 Scene 4 Duncan is told that the Thane of Cawdor is dead and thanks Macbeth and Banquo. He says that Malcolm will succeed him, and Macbeth thinks of killing Duncan.
Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth reads Macbeth’s letter about the witches’ prophecy. She is afraid that Macbeth will not be ruthless enough to kill Duncan and asks for supernatural aid. She tells Macbeth that she will prepare for Duncan’s visit and murder.
Act 1 Scene 6 Lady Macbeth greets Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus, and attendants.
Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth thinks about whether or not he should kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth mocks him and convinces him to murder him.
Act 2 Scene 1 Banquo talks to his son Fleance. He is tempted by his prophecy in his dreams, but Macbeth pretends he forgot about the prophecies. Macbeth thinks he sees a bloody dagger, which foreshadows his murder of Duncan. He hears a bell (Lady Macbeth’s signal) and proceeds to kill Duncan.
Act 2 Scene 2 After murdering Duncan, Macbeth is horrified and forgets to leave the daggers with the servants. He cannot return them, so Lady Macbeth does it for him. She comes back and tells the still-paralyzed Macbeth to wash the blood from his hands.
Act 2 Scene 3 A drunken porter hears someone knocking on the door and pretends that he is admitting people into hell. Macduff finds Duncan’s body and starts freaking out. Lennox announces that the servants murdered him and Macbeth tells of how he killed the servants, trying to avoid suspicion. When others begin to question his motives, Lady Macbeth distracts them by pretending to faint. Malcolm flees to England and Donalbain to Ireland.
Act 2 Scene 4 Ross and an old man discuss the recent strange events. Macduff claims that Malcolm and Donalbain bribed the servants to kill Duncan because of their suspicious fleeing. He also says that Macbeth will be the new king. He says, “Lest our old robes sit easier than our new,” referring to Duncan as the “old robes” and Macbeth as the “new.”

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