Presentation on theme: "MACBETH QUESTIONS and ANALYSIS. ACt 1, Scene 1 - The Witches PURPOSE: establishes power of witches / supernatural in driving this play. Gives atmosphere."— Presentation transcript:
MACBETH QUESTIONS and ANALYSIS
ACt 1, Scene 1 - The Witches PURPOSE: establishes power of witches / supernatural in driving this play. Gives atmosphere of terror/ evil / chaos = “Fair is foul, and foul is fair, / Hover through the fog and filthy air.” witches like "foul" and hate the "fair." So they will "hover" in the fog, and in the dust and dirt of battle, waiting for the chance to do evil. PARADOXES & PROPHECY: “battle’s lost and won” / “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” ATMOSPHERE: “thunder, lightning, rain” / “fog and filthy air” = symbolic setting Chaos - the witches chanting, circling, confusion = creepiness / darkness / evil
ACt 1, Scene 1 INFORMATION: 3 of them - when they’ll meet again after the sun has set (in darkness), upon the Heath (deserted, rough terrain) to meet Macbeth There is a battle right now, that will be lost and won Witches have their “familiars” = evil
“FAIR IS FOUL, FOUL IS FAIR” A) All 3 witches - in unison B) To themselves, but creates a “curse” through the chant C) They are leaving, but the chant suggests “sealing the fateful” meeting later with Macbeth. Suggests they are waiting (hover) in the “fog and filthy air”. D) SIGNIFICANCE: Thematically linked to Shakespeare’s favourite theme of “Appearances versus Reality” where what seems fair is foul and what seems foul is fair too. We will see this developed through the plot based on deception and masks where things are not always what they appear to be. This develops the chaotic atmosphere and prepares the audience not to trust everything (or everyone) they see. T T T The audience is to view the play through the lens of dramatic irony, as we are aware that the witches will continue the “hurleyburly” as the “hover” ever near in the “fog and filthy air”, which is symbolic of the dark times that Scotland is about to endure under Macbeth.
ACT 1, Scene 2 Macdonwald’s Character: leader of the rebel forces Macdonwald’s Character: leader of the rebel forces “merciless” “merciless” “multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him” = insects represent that the evil was overtaking him “multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him” = insects represent that the evil was overtaking him “slave” = Macbeth chopped in 1/2 and decapitated “slave” = Macbeth chopped in 1/2 and decapitated REPORTS: Macbeth defeated Macdonwald - although it was a hard fought battle REPORTS: Macbeth defeated Macdonwald - although it was a hard fought battle Then Norweyan lord attacked when Macbeth’s and soldiers were exhausted from 1st battle against the rebels, doesn’t know what happened, but left hurt = suspense Then Norweyan lord attacked when Macbeth’s and soldiers were exhausted from 1st battle against the rebels, doesn’t know what happened, but left hurt = suspense ROSS = Thane of Cawdor - disloyal traitor assisted Norweyans = death to Cawdor and give title to Macbeth ROSS = Thane of Cawdor - disloyal traitor assisted Norweyans = death to Cawdor and give title to Macbeth MACBETH = loyal, valour, brave, strong, stamina, fierce, honoured, respected. MACBETH = loyal, valour, brave, strong, stamina, fierce, honoured, respected.
“ What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.” A) Duncan B) To Ross, Lennox, Malcolm C) King Duncan has just told Ross to pronounce Thane of Cawdor’s death and give that title to Macbeth. D) SIGNIFICANCE: In the beginning of the play MacBeth was certainly a military hero who was worthy of the praises and rewards bestowed upon him. Shakespeare described him in terms such as these: “For brave MacBeth – well he deserves that name –” 1, 2,16 / “O valiant cousin, worthy gentlemen.” 1, 2, 24 / “What he hath lost, noble MacBeth hath won.” 1, 2, 67. MacBeth is portrayed as a brave and loyal soldier who fights for king and country. We note the irony that what Cawdor “lost”, Macbeth has “won”. Although well deserved, the presence of the witches has not been forgotten and we’re well aware of the irony that Macbeth has won, and will likely lose something too, in the end. After all, this is a tragedy.
3 MESSAGES to Macbeth: Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, that shalt be King hereafter. 3 Prophecies to Banquo: Lesser than Macbeth and greater Not so happy, yet much happier Thou shalt get Kings, though thou be none. REACTIONS: MACBETH = rapt and believes them / Banquo = skeptical and warns “instruments of darkness...” MACBETH’s PREOCCUPATION at end of SCENE: thinks of murdering the King to “win” the last prophecy, but he is horrified that he has even considered it and decides to let “chance” crown him. SOLILOQUAY = speaks alone on stage & reveals inner thoughts and feelings ASIDE = spoken to specified character who can only hear or to the audience. Act 1, Scene 3
“So fair and foul a day I have not seen.” A) Mabeth B) to Banquo C) Enter on the heath where the witches are - 1st time we see Macbeth, although we’ve heard much about him and know him to be heroic returning from battle. D) His first words, “So fair and foul a day I have not seen” (1.3.36) echo the “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (1.1.10) of three witches in scene one and immediately link him to them. This reminds us of the important theme of things do not appear as they are. It also recreates the symbolic atmospheric setting that is turbulent, unpredictable, and creepy. This repetition moment is our INCITING INCIDENT when Macbeth fatefully meets the witches and their prophecies set the conflict of the play in motion. Does the devil make Macbeth do the deed or does he make the “choice” to do the deed? Perhaps “fair and foul” suggests a complicated combination of evil command and personally willed choice that brings about Macbeth’s “fair” honours and “foul” means to make the prophecies come true.
“The instruments of darkness tell us truths. / Win us with honest trifles, to betray us / In deepest consequence.” A) Banquo B) to Macbeth C) The witches have made their prophecies and disappeared. Ross and Angus have arrived and told them that Macbeth is Thane of Cawdor - just as the witches promised! Banquo is skeptical, while Macbeth is excited by the prophecies and what they promise. Banquo says this speech as a warning. D) Banquo becomes the voice of reason behind all the supernatural doings and power in the play. He warns us and Macbeth that such creatures cannot be trusted; the witches prophecy says that the dark forces might look good and beneficial in the beginning but they will betray him when their own motives are achieved. Banquo understood that weird truth has many faces, that personal action and fate are inextricably intertwined, one playing off the other, neither laying full claim to sooth. So as Banquo brings about this truth, a powerful foreshadowing is presented, warning us how this tragedy will unfold. Banquo, patriarchal descendent of our King James I, is seen as wise and respectable - a homage to our present King.
“and nothing is / But what is not” A) Macbeth B) Aside to Audience C) Macbeth has been “rapt” after the witches’ prophecy came true; he’s considering the murder of the King to fulfill the final promise of being King. D) This powerful quote connects to the paradoxical idea that nothing is as it seems to be. At this point Macbeth prefers fate to take its course naturally, despite the fact that all this is very unnatural. The theme of false appearances come present, and Macbeth is aware that his unnatural thoughts are horrifically deceptive. He is foreshadowing his own tragic demise as he is aware that these ideas of murder are terrifying and he is frustrated by this internal conflict that now preoccupies him. He sets out a challenge to himself that “nothing comes from nothing” and realizes that these horrific imaginings should not come to and are not reality as “nothing is / But what is not.”