• Written by William Shakespeare in 1605
  • Macbeth is a man who overthrows the rightful King of Scotland
  • Shakespeare wrote Macbeth at the beginning of King James I reign
  • Before James succeeded Elizabeth I he was king of Scotland
  • Placing the play in James’ homeland probably pleased him
  • Will the real Macbeth please stand up?
  • Macbeth was a real king of Scotland
  • He did kill King Duncan
  • Reigned from 1040-1057
  • Unlike the Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play
  • The real Macbeth had a legitimate claim to the throne
  • The real Macbeth was a strong leader
  • The real Macbeth’s reign was successful
  • The real Macbeth was killed at Lumphanan  as opposed to Dunsinane
  • Connections for British Society
  • “Remember, remember the fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot.
    I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
    Should ever be forgot…”
  • In November 1605 the Gunpowder Plot was discovered
  • Guy Fawkes and his followers (Roman Catholics) planned to blow up Parliament
  • They wanted to bring down the British government and put a Catholic rulers on the throne
  • The plot was discovered and the men involved were tried and killed as traitors
  • Shakespeare sided with the king and seemed to think that a play about treason and death would find an audience at this time
  • So this is a comedy… right?
  • Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies (it is also his shortest)
  • Aside from the violent nature of the plot Shakespeare uses several literary devices to enhance the feeling of evil
  • He creates a serious and sinister mood by having most of the play take place at night
  • There is a heavy emphasis on the supernatural (witches, dreams, spells, and ghosts)
  • A little taste of Macbeth

Macbeth Act 1 – Scene 1

  • Witches  – Supernatural influences
  • “Fair being Foul” – Paradox
  • King Duncan – Scotland
  • Duncan’s sons- Malcolm and Donaldbain
  • Generals – Macbeth and Banquo
  • Thunder , lightning , and rain – sense of doom

Macbeth Act 1 – Scene 2

  • Macdonaldwald’s rebellion
  • Ross tells Duncan of Norway’s rebellion – King of Norway – Sweno
  • Thane of Cawdor rebels against Duncan
  • Scotland wins – Macbeth gets title  – Thane of Cawdor – “ THE SPOILS OF WAR”
  • Macbeth and Banquo – “Two spent swimmers”

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 3

  • The witches first prophesy has come true – Thane of Cawdor
  • Macbeth – “So foul and fair a day , I have not seen – recalls witches first scene
  • Banquo – “The instrument of darkness tell us truths – only to betray us”

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 4

  • Execution of Cawdor
  • “You can’t tell what is in a person’s heart by looking at his face”
  • “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it”
  • Duncan- Malcolm to be King
  • Macbeth- “Let not light see my black and deep desires”

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 5

  • Macbeth’s home – Castle of Inverness
  • Lady Macbeth comes up with plan to kill Duncan – Husband weak
  • “The milk of human kindness”
  • Lady Macbeth – Must pour spirits in their ear. (Hamlet killed that way)

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 6

  • Lady Macbeth – chameleon – perfect hostess
  • Duncan’s speech full of dramatic irony – “castle pleasant” – “air is sweeter” sees a martlet (a summer bird)
  • to Duncan the castle appears to be a paradise

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 7

  • LadyMacbeth – convinces Macbeth to do the “horrid deed”
  • Macbeth’s Soliloquy – marked by confusion
    Duncan – Kinsman and his subject , a good King and virtuous man , a popular King , and death would bring sorrow to Scotland
  • Lady Macbeth Argument- “What could have been when he can be King” – “ Would kill her own baby to do this”

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 1

  • Past midnight – Moon has set and the “Candles” of heaven cannot be seen – dark brooding
  • Banquo draws sword – irony doesn’t know Macbeth is going to kill Duncan
  • Dagger Speech – Mental disturbance
  • “Is this a dagger which I see before me,The handle toward my hand?” —Macbeth, 2.1.42–3

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2

  • Lady Macbeth – “That which have made them drunk, hath made me bold, What hath quenched them have given me fire”
  • Drunk with boldness and on fire with passion
  • Lady Macbeth -would have murdered Duncan had he not looked like her father
  • Macbeth has two concerns – he has murdered sleep , bloodiness of deed
  • Lady Macbeth – blood is only like paint wash it off
  • Knocking – knocking of their consciences actual knock
  • “With all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?”—Macbeth, 2.2.78–9

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 3

  • Porter – light comedy
  • farmer and equivocator have specific religious and historical connotations
  • A few months before Macbeth performed – Gunpowder plot – King James Guy Fawkes and John Garnett (nickname the farmer)
  • Lennox – extraordinary weather -unnatural events – The universe and events related
  • Equivocation – The practice of lying in court about one’s religion
  • Lady Macbeth faints when Macbeth proclaims he has killed the guards – avenge the act of treasonous malice – not in the plan
  • Malcolm – England
  • Donalbain – Ireland
  • Macbeth says he has killed servants – Lady Macbeth faints
  • Macbeth and other Thanes swear to meet “in manly rediness” to avenge this act of “treasonous malice”
  • “ There’s daggers in men’s smiles”
  • Donaldbain – Ireland
  • Malcolm – England

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 4

  • Macbeth has become King
  • Donaldbain and Malcolm have fled
  • Old Man – Traditional figure in lit represents what “has been”
  • owl kills falcon – daylight has been replaced by night – horses of the King’s stable have eaten each other
  • The world he has known has been turned on its head

Macbeth Act 3 Scene 1

  • Banquo suspects Macbeth – gains comfort from 2nd prediction – his own children will be Kings
  • Even with new title Macbeth does not feel at ease
  • calls murderers dogs but he shows his inhumanity and imperfections -also wants to kill Fleance

Act 3 Scene 2

  • Macbeth plans murder not Lady Macbeth
  • Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s world not at peace
  • Macbeth wants to get rid of his bond with humanity
  • “We have scorched the snake, not killed it.”—Macbeth, 3.2.15
  • “Duncan is in his grave; After lifeʼs fitful fever he sleeps well.”—Macbeth, 3.2.24–5

Act 3 Scene 3

  • Banquo killed – Murderers lantern extinguished – Fleance escapes
  • Forces of darkness are at odds with light
  • Murderers capable of poetry
  • Escape of Fleance turning point – Peripeteia – sudden reversal of fortune
  • Banquo’s dying words “to revenge”

Act 3 Scene 4

  • Macbeth has Thanes of Scotland over – Macduff not there
  • Murderers tell Macbeth what happened – Macbeth losses it
  • Macbeth sees ghost – goes into a fit
  • Macbeth has lost control
  • Macbeth will kill Macduff and visit three sisters
  • “It will have blood, they say: blood will have blood.” —Macbeth, 3.4.152–53

Act 3 Scene 5

  • Hecate joins three sisters
  • Some say this scene was not in the orginal play

Act 3 Scene 6

  • Lennox reveals doubts about Macbeth – Did he kill the guards hastily?
  • Macduff has fled to England to join forces with Malcolm also asks help from King Edward of England

Macbeth Act 4 Scene 1

  • “Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”—Witches, 4.1.10–1
  • Macbeth goes to weird sisters and demands to be shown apparitions of the future
  • 1. disembodied head of a warrior who warns Macbeth of revenge
  • 2. blood-covered child who cannot be killed by any man “ of woman born”
  • 3. a child wearing a crown promises Macbeth cannot lose in battle until Birnam wood moves to Dunsinane
  • Macbeth asks about Banquo’s sons and sees a procession of Banquo and future kings
  • Macbethless future
  • Macduff has fled to England and Macbeth announces revenge of Macduff’s wife and children
  • “I’ll make assurance double sure.”—Macbeth, 4.1.93

Act 4 Scene 2

  • Lady Macduff feels Macduff has acted dishonestly
  • Son says the world is full of dishonest men

Act 4 Scene 3

  • “At one fell swoop.”—Macduff, 4.3.256
  • Malcolm tests Macduff’s loyalty – says he would be a great tyrant – reverse psychology
  • Macduff still hates Macbeth – Malcolm has gotten what he wants Macduff’s loyalty
  • Ross tells him of the slaughter of wife and child – Macduff vows revenge

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 1

  • “Out, damned spot! out, I say!”—Lady Macbeth, 5.1.31
  • “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten  this little hand.” —Lady Macbeth, 5.1.46–7
  • “What’s done cannot be undone.”—Lady Macbeth, 5.1.62–3
  • Played in dark except one candle
  • Lady Macbeth has gone mad – sleepwalks and tells fragments of events
  • overheard by doctor and lady-in-waiting
  • Lady Macbeth is seen rubbing her hands – (quotes at the beginning)
  • Lady Macbeth needs a “divine”
  • Spiritual darkness  – 1 candle

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 2

  • Four lords of Scotland – Lennox, Mentith, Angus, and Caithness resolve to join Malcolm and English forces who are at Birnam Wood
  • Caithness speech – warrior hero – valiant fury – but not righteous – “ Distemper’d Cause”

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 3

  • Macbeth dismisses reports of invasion ( confident tyrant)
  • Trusts the prophecies
  • Servant ( cream faced lilly livered) announces huge army
  • Doctor tells of Lady Macbeth
  • “ yellow leaf” – fall of his own reputation

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 4

  • English and Scotish armies under leadership of Malcolm meet at Birnam Wood
  • Malcolm orders soldiers to cut a branch and carry it in front of them as camouflage “To shadow the number of our host”
  • taken from Holinshed’s Chronicles – 1577
  • Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5
  • Macbeth fully armed – brave rhetoric
  • shriek offstage – The queen is dead
  • Birnam Wood appears to have uprooted itself advancing towards Dunsinane
  • Shakespeare – Power-seeking tyrants tend toward self-destruction
  • “I have supped full with horrors.”—Macbeth, 5.5.14 – Banquo’s ghost
  • “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.”—Macbeth, 5.5.21

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 6

  • Malcolm and his troops have reached Dunsinane
  • Siward first to advance – age
  • Macduff order of troops- discipline – harbinger or sign of what is to come

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 7

  • Macbeth challenged by son of Siward
  • Macbeth’s forces have surrendered Dunsinane Castle
  • “They have tied me to a stake: I cannot fly”
  • kills young Siward – “Thou wast born of woman”
  • Macduff – ironic timing- takes place of Siward

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 8

  • Macbeth and Macduff finally face to face
  • words are tossed
  • Macbeth ponders suicide but hey I can’t die
  • Macduff tells him he entered the world “Untimely ripp’d” from mothers womb
  • Macbeth realizes witches  are “imperfect speakers”
  • Macbeth dies

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 9

  • Malcolm proclaimed new king of Scotland
  • true friends “we miss” loyalty he will rule with graciousness and humility
  • Macduff enters with Macbeth’s head

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