Meanwhile, an overwrought and conscience-ridden Lady Macbeth walks in her sleep and tells her secrets to her doctor. Her swift changes of thought and speech foreshadow the language of her final lapse into madness in the sleepwalking scene Act V, Scene 1 , when she relives these same moments. As the play opens, he learns of Macbeth's bravery in a victorious battle against Macdonald—a Scot who sided with the Norwegians. Lady Macbeth warns him to act cheerful in front of their dinner guests. Almost as soon as they disappear, Ross and Angus appear with the news that the king has granted Macbeth the title of Thane of Cawdor. But not as rough as it was for Duncan, who Macduff has just found murdered. My eyes are just fools of the other senses, or else keener than the rest.
The image of an owl hunting a falcon is part of a greater framework of symbolism surrounding birds in the play. The stage directions indicate that the play begins with a storm, and malignant supernatural forces immediately appear in the form of the three witches. She scoffs the watchmen who are asleep instead of watching their king as they should be. Act 3, Scene 2 Alone on stage, Lady Macbeth expresses her unhappiness: there seems to be no end to her desire for power and she feels insecure and anxious. At the same time, news arrives concerning the arrest of the treacherous Thane of Cawdor. Your appearance encourages me to pursue what I was going to do murder Duncan , and I was going to use a dagger to do it, so this must be a true indicator of what lies ahead.
Unlike other Shakespearean villains like Iago or , Macbeth is not entirely committed to his evil actions. She leads her husband back to the bedchamber, where he can wash off the blood. In disbelief, Macbeth and Banquo discuss the strange encounter. GradeSaver, 23 June 2008 Web. .
Duncan, too, evaluates heroic action on a rather gory scale. Banquo immediately asks for his sword back again, since someone is approaching. In Macbeth, the betrayal occurs in a more active form as Macbeth murders Duncan after the crows of the cock. She remarks that, if Duncan hadn't looked so much like her own father, she might have murdered him herself. She imagines that Macbeth is killing the king even as she speaks.
Act 1, Scene 4 Duncan demands to know whether the former Thane of Cawdor has been executed. The murderers leave to report back to Macbeth. Duncan, the trusting optimist, sees lucky birds, whereas Lady Macbeth sees ominous ones. GradeSaver, 23 June 2008 Web. Just as the Weird Sisters pervert the normal course of nature by telling their prophecy, Macbeth upsets the course of nature by his regicide.
From there, the action quickly shifts to a battlefield that is dominated by a sense of the grisliness and cruelty of war. Lady Macbeth then says give me the daggers, he sleeping and the dead are both just like pictures. When he hears Lady Macbeth ring the bell to signal the completion of her preparations, Macbeth sets out to complete his part in the murderous plan. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth emerge from the crime covered in blood. Just as the storm in the first scene of the play suggested something was amiss with the witches, so this one suggested something was amiss in the castle.
This is no coincidence: Banquo serves as a bright contrast to the dark night that accompanies Macbeth's rise to power. They also prophesy that the Scottish succession will still come from Banquo's son. Macbeth enters, and Macduff asks him if the king is awake, saying that Duncan asked to see him early that morning. Banquo's murder itself makes use of a common theme in Shakespeare's plays: the contrast between light and dark. Analysis Fate, Prophecy, and Equivocation Just as the Porter in Act 2 extemporizes about the sin of equivocation, the play figures equivocation as one of its most important themes.
This image of the darkness strangling the light of day is a meteorological manifestation of the murder of Duncan; the light of nature is suffocated just as Duncan's life is extinguished. Yet another part of the theme of corruption of nature lies in the compression of time that occurs throughout the act. Macbeth, at the very end of the act, also shows change. Once the servant has gone, Macbeth begins a soliloquy. Act 2 is singularly concerned with the murder of Duncan.
GradeSaver, 23 June 2008 Web. Macduff adds that the chamberlains seem the most likely murderers, and that they may have been paid off by someone to kill Duncan. As she leaves, Macbeth hears a mysterious knocking. The inner world of the psyche thus imposes itself on the physical world. More detail: 2 minute read Act I On a bleak Scottish moorland, Macbeth and Banquo, two of King Duncan's generals, discover witches.
They will wait until he falls asleep, she says, and thereafter intoxicate his bodyguards with drink. I can still see you, just as solid-looking as this real dagger I now draw from its sheath. Scene 4 Outside the castle Enter Ross and Old man These two talk of the former nights events. Macbeth fixates on the details of the prophecy. Lady Macbeth is taken away, while Banquo and Macbeth rally the lords to meet and discuss the murder.