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Macbeth: Act I
Transcript of Macbeth: Act I
I.i. (Act I, Scene i)
The play opens with the three witches meeting upon the heath. They agree to come together again in order to meet with Macbeth; this all happens during battle, thunder, and lightning, indicating that something dark is in the works.
I.ii. (Act I, Scene ii)
Duncan, in the middle of the battlefield, hears a report from the captain who defended Malcolm's (his son) life that Macbeth and Banquo have been fighting valiantly against their enemies, even to the point where they refused to allow them burial of their dead without a large monetary fee.
Macbeth's loyalty, bravery and visciousness is shown when he kills the traitor Macdonwald by slicing the man open and placing his head on the battlements; Duncan thinks this is awesome. It is made known that another traitor, the Thane of Cawdor was previously captured and Duncan awards his titles to Macbeth.
I.iii. (Act I, Scene iii)
The witches meet and talk of the horrible deeds they have done. They are very spiteful and torture humans, but cannot kill them.
They meet Macbeth and Banquo; they hail Macbeth as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor (he is not aware of this reward yet) and king hereafter. Banquo is told that his sons will be kings.
The two men joke and wonder if they hallucinated the witches. Ross and Angus ride up and tell Macbeth that he is awarded Thane of Cawdor. Suddenly he is intrigued by the witches' prophecies, but suggests that if it is fate, then he should not have to do anything to make their last prediction come true (king). Banquo says he is wary of the three weird sisters, as often dark forces will lure people in with pleasant promises only to find dark ends.
I.iv. (Act I, Scene iv)
Duncan discusses the fact that he is a bad judge of character, and thought the traitor was trustworthy. Macbeth arrives and claims that service to the king is a reward in itself. Duncan honours both Banquo and Macbeth, then names his son Malcolm as Prince of Cumberland, heir to the throne.
Macbeth is annoyed, and starts thinking about disposing of Malcolm.
I.v. (Act I, Scene v)
Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband explaining the events of the battles, witches and awards. She reads and invites the power of Satan into her body to make her strong and capable of murder, since she believes her husband is too weak. She plans to manipulate him into doing her bidding. Lady Macbeth is AMBITIOUS, as is her husband.
A messenger arrives to tell Lady Macbeth that Macbeth is coming for the night. When he arrives, she welcomes him and tells Macbeth to seem innocent but be the serpant beneath the flower; she has a plan.
I.vi. (Act I, Scene vi)
Duncan arrives at Macbeth's castle and talks about how lovely it appears. He also talks about how pleasant Lady Macbeth is, reinforcing his poor judge of character.
I.vii. (Act I, Scene vii)
Macbeth waffles about killing Duncan. He feels terrible about betraying the trust of his king and guest, and decides not to commit regicide. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, calls him a coward and questions his manhood; they decide that the murder will be done.