Act 1 Scene 4

Notes

 

 

Important Quotes

 

There’s no art

To find the mind’s construction in the face.

He was a gentleman on whom I built

An absolute trust.

 

Duncan is showing the characteristic trustful of others. Duncan doesn’t have a very good sense to know if people are truly worthy of his trust or just fake.

 

 

 

The service and the loyalty I owe

In doing it pays itself. Your highness' part

Is to receive our duties, and our duties

Are to your throne and state children and servants,

Which do but what they should, by doing everything

Safe toward your love and honor.

 

---

 

The rest is labor which is not used for you:

I’ll be myself the harbinger and make joyful

The hearing of my wife with your approach.

So humbly take my leave.

 

 

Macbeth is expressing his loyalty toward Duncan, his children, and his servants. This shows Macbeth’s hypocrisy because in Scene III he was thinking about killing Duncan, however here Macbeth is claiming that he is very loyal to Duncan.

 

Questions

 

 

  1. What does Duncan mean when he says:

There’s no art

To find the mind’s construction in the face.

He was a gentleman on whom I built

An absolute trust (I.iv.12-13)

 

 

  1. What do the following lines reveal about King Duncan’s character:

 

O worthiest cousin,

The sin of my ingratitude even now

Was heavy on me. Thou art so far before

That swiftest wing of recompense is slow

To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved,

That the proportion both of thanks and payment

Might have been mine! Only I have left to say,

More is thy due than more than all can pay. (I.iv.14-21)

 

 

  1. How does Macbeth react to King Duncan’s praise?

 

 

  1. What does Macbeth think to himself after King Duncan names his son, Malcolm, as Prince of Cumberland and heir to the throne?

 

 

  1. Find two examples of dramatic irony. What does dramatic irony add to the play?

 

 

 

 

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