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Is Macbeth all that we think he is?

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Avriel Jackson

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Is Macbeth all that we think he is?

Macbeth Analysis: Act 3 Scene 1

In his play "Macbeth", Shakespeare suggests that the characters' ultimate distress and agony occurs as a consequence of Macbeth's failure to fulfill his obligations and duties to others.
By: Samuel Colman, Matt Kowalchuk, Avriel Jackson, Sarah Masur, and Jack Martin
Is Macbeth Really Who We Think He Is?
-Requests Banquo's presence at a Banquet:
-acts very nicely
-Fears Banquo's noble character and thinks he'll expose Macbeth's deed
-Feels lesser than Banquo and is not at peace with himself
-Reminds 2 murderers of the horrible things Banquo did to them
-Two faced towards Banquo; wanting Banquo's presence at his banquet,
yet is plotting to murder him
-Finds truth in the witches prophecies and is unsure of Macbeth and the murder of King Duncan
-Fears Macbeth Murdered King Duncan
-Does not want to remain close and loyal with Macbeth but wants his prophecies to come true too


Lust for Power
Fear of Exposure of the Truth


"As the weird women promised"
In his play, "Macbeth," Shakespeare suggests that the characters' ultimate distress and agony occurs as a consequence of Macbeth's failure to fulfill his obligations and duties to others.
"If he had been forgotten / It had been as a gap in our great feast" (3.1.12-13)
Macbeth tells Banquo that his presence is of the utmost importance;
Banquo assumes that he is the guest of honour
Macbeth's real goal is to kill Banquo & secure his crown
Dramatic Irony
"Our time does call upon us" (3.1.40)
"Our fears in Banquo stick deep" (3.1.53-54).
refers to the 3 witches' prophecies without directly saying so
"Fruitless crown" (3.1.65)
"Barren sceptre" (3.1.66)
"For them the gracious Duncan I have murder'd; / Put rancours in the vessel of my peace" (3.1.70-71).
In Forres with Macbeth who is now living in King Duncan's old castle at night
Point 1:
King Duncan's ultimate demise is met through Macbeth's treachery of his role as thanes of Cawdor and Glamis, and his inability to remain a faithful servant and host to Duncan.
Proof 1:
Upon the King's visit to Macbeth's castle at Inverness, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth formulate a plan in which Macbeth is to murder Duncan, allowing him to seize power. Prior to the regicide, Macbeth reconsiders carrying out the deed, as his conscience causes him to experience feelings of guilt and anxiety regarding his disloyalty and betrayal against the king:
"He's here in double trust: / First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, / Strong both against the deed: then, as his host, / Who should against his murderer shut the door, / Not bear the knife myself" (1.7.12-16).
Significance 1:
Macbeth states that as King Duncan's cousin and host, he is remorseful that he is to assume the position of Duncan's assassin as well. However, he demonstrates that he is not nearly guilt-ridden enough and his overly ambitious and power-hungry persona becomes excessively apparent and soon after leads to his insanity and paranoia.
Dramatic Purposes
Macbeth states that he is no longer at peace with himself
The metaphor implies that he refers to his peace of mind being stored in a scared container that has been tampered with or destroyed
Kings are not usually without children to pass their reign onto but due to the circumstances that Macbeth attained the crown he finds himself unlike most kings
Time is incapable of physically "calling" an individual to say it's time to go
One's fears cannot physically stick themselves deep into someone, they are either great fears or not
"But to be safely thus ... And champion me to the utterance" (1.3.53-76).
Macbeth vocalizes his concerns and fears regarding the prophecies made about Banquo coming true & his sons over-throwing Macbeth for the crown
Macbeth worries Banquo has discovered what he has done and will expose his secret
"Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all ... And set me up in hope? But hush, no more" (3.1.1-10).
Banquo suspects Macbeth and vocalizes his doubts about his honesty and the coincidence of King Duncan's death
He does not want to remain loyal to Macbeth, but wants his prophecies to come true as well
Additionally, Macbeth makes Banquo and Fleance’s deaths objectives for him, ensuring that the prophecies told by the witches of Banquo do not come true and allow Macbeth to reign in definitive supremacy.
Point 2:
Point 3:
Furthermore, Donalbain and Malcolm have blame cast upon them for their father’s murder to ensure that Macbeth is not suspected and will achieve sovereignty rather than the true heir, Malcolm.
Proof 2:
Macbeth admits his fears of Banquo’s prophecies and the truth they hold and says,
“Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be fear’d:

He chid the sisters,
They hail’d him father to a line of kings:
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench’d with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If’t be so,
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder’d;
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them” (3.1.53-73).

Significance: 2
Macbeth is worried that the consequences he faces in deciding to assassinate King Duncan may be an unnecessary sacrifice if Banquo reveals Macbeth’s treason and his son, Fleance, takes the throne. Macbeth constructs a plan and convinces two murderers that it would benefit them to kill Banquo and Fleance at a banquet Macbeth hosts in order to remove Banquo and the threats of exposure and being overcome by Fleance. Rather than seeking the well-being and safety of his subjects, Macbeth uses his authority to try to conceal the cruel act he performed upon King Duncan and secure his own welfare through deceit.
Proof: 3
Following the King’s murder, his sons, Malcolm and Donalbain attain awareness of his death and fear for their security at Macbeth’s castle in Inverness. They flee to Ireland and England without telling anyone and are then assumed guilty, which Macbeth does nothing to correct:
“We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow’d / In England and in Ireland, not confessing / Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers / With strange invention” (3.1.33-36).
Significance: 3
If caught, Donalbain and Malcolm face serious consequences, most likely execution, for the deed they are accused of. Macbeth, their relative, King, and trusted servant of their deceased father is willing to hold them responsible and lie to his people to protect his crown with a self-centred intent.
Through Shakespeare’s examples of Macbeth’s selfish and irresponsible actions, he proposes that an egotistical person will cause pain and suffering for those they are associated with.
Iambic Pentameter
All of Act 3, Scene 1 (3.1.1-158).
Demonstrates the high classes of the characters in the scene
Mainly Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Banquo
"Mine eternal jewel" (3.1.72).
"Seed of Banquo's kings" (3.1.74).
"How you were borne in hand, how cross'd the / Instruments" (3.1.86-87).
Macbeth's 'immortal soul'
Banquo's descendants
How the murderers were deceived by Banquo and defeated by his deceit
Full transcript