Act 1 Summary



- The witches meet and converse about Macbeth, and his future densities

- McDonwald had betrayed Duncan’s army and he sides the Norwegian king

- Macbeth is named thane of Cawdor, but Macbeth is not told about it yet

- The witches tell Macbeth the prophecy about Macbeth being the future king, and the future thane of Cawdor

- Macbeth is told about his reigning as Thane, and Duncan explains how his future son will be named king. Macbeth starts having murderous feelings towards Duncan and his son

- Macbeth writes to his wife, telling her about the prophecy

- She plots the murder of the king, as he will be visiting later that day

- She plots to kill him the night he is staying, enforcing Macbeth to change his loyalist thoughts towards his king



- Hypocritical - he appears loyal to Duncan; however in reality he is planning to kill him

- Conflicted - he contradicted himself many times about killing Duncan and couldn’t make up his mind

- Empathetic - he feels bad that he will kill his king

- Naive - He was easily moved and convinced by Lady Macbeth to kill Duncan

- Dominated - He is easily dominated by Lady Macbeth and convinced to kill Duncan

Lady Macbeth

- Power Hungry - she is planning to kill Duncan to become Queen and doesn’t care how she will get there

- Domineering - She controls Macbeth and convinces him to

- Adopts a masculine role as she is taking the male role. This includes being manipulative, authoritative, and being very un-feminine. In Shakespearean times she would automatically be considered Evil because of her role


- Wise - he tries to tell Macbeth to be careful and question the witches words as they may not be true

- Brave - he fought by Macbeth’s side in battle

- Generous - When Duncan sees how well Macbeth served him, he gave him the title “Thane of Cawdor”.

- Observant - observes all the different parts of the castle

- Naive - he cannot read any clues of dishonesty as he was betrayed by he Thane of Cawdor and he will soon be betrayed by Macbeth  

- Benevolent - Even though Macbeth is expected to serve his king and fight for him, Duncan still was very appreciative and very nice to Macbeth

- Over Trustful - He trusted the old Thane of Cawdor and

Thane of Cawdor

Decieving: Made Duncan think that he was loyal, however he was planning on betraying him in battle

Selfish: when apologizing for betraying Duncan he was only trying to get out of being executed


Evil/Whimsical: When the lady didn’t give one of the witches the chesnuts they became very angry and were going to harm the lady’s husband


Unattractive: Banquo said that the witches look more like men and that they are “ugly”
They are catalysts because they triggered Macbeth to think about becoming king and therefore leading him to want to kill Duncan.

Macbeth would perceive the witches as deliveres of good news and trusts them because of their prophecies. He also sees them as temptations as they are making him think of becoming king and killing Duncan.

The Audience would perceive the witches as evil because of the actions we see them doing to other people.



Man Vs. Himself: Macbeth has a conflict within himself as he isn’t sure whether to kill Duncan or not to

Appearance Vs. Reality: Macbeth sees the witches as good, however he doesn’t know the evil things that they have don

Good Vs. Evil: Lady Macbeth is considered evil as she is is doing things against her nature, however Macbeth was good before but Lady Macbeth influenced him.

Status does not represent the person’s personality: The Thane of Cawdor should be a loyal man however he ended up betraying his king.

Men can be easily corrupted by greed: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were both corrupted due to their greed to become King and Queen.

Ambitions can affect what a person will do: Lady Macbeth changed her whole personality because of her ambitions to be royalty


- Battlefield
- Duncan’s Castle
- Forres (town)
- Iverness (Macbeth’s Castle)
- The Heath



- Thunder / Lightning
- Paddock
- Foreshadowing “Fair is foul and foul is fair”
- Spirits: Helped unsex Lady Macbeth
- Macbeth not greeting Duncan: Shows Macbeth’s feeling of guilt


Important Quotes




"No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death,
And with his former title greet Macbeth."


--King Duncan to Ross. 
He's saying that Macbeth is going to be the new Thane of Cawdor.


"So foul and fair a day I have not seen."


--Macbeth to Banquo
Macbeth's first line. It sets the tone of the play.


"All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee Thane of Glamis!"
"All hail, Macebth! hail to thee Thane of Cawdor!"
"All hail, Macebth! thou shalt be king hereafter!"


--The Weird Sisters to Macbeth
This is where they say he will be the king.


"There's no art/To find the mind's construction in the face"


-- Duncan to Malcolm
They killed the former Thane of Cawdor. Duncan is saying that he would never have believed the Thane of Cawdor would betray him, but you cannot always tell these things. It's foreshadowing what is to come with Macbeth.


"The raven himself is hoarse/That croaks the fatal of entrance of Duncan/Under my battlements."


-- Lady Macbeth to herself
She's plotting Duncan's death and saying she's going to convince Macbeth to kill him. (There's a full monologue you may want to read-- I, 5, pretty much the beginning)


"Look like the innocent flower,/But be the serpent under't."


-- Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
She's essentially repeating Duncan's line of "There's no art to find..." (I mentioned it above), but telling Macbeth that this is what he needs to do to kill Duncan


"When you durst do it, then you were a man;/And, to be more than what you were, you would/Be so much more the man."


--Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
She's convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan, and saying that he's not a man if doesn't go through with it.


"I have given suck, and know/How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:/I would, while it was smiling in my face,/Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,/And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you/Have done to this."


--Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
Same as above, only now she's saying that she would kill a baby if Macbeth wanted her to.




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