Scene One: Macbeth's Soliloquy To be thus is nothing;(52) But to be safely thusBut to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo Stick deepStick deep; and in his royalty of natureroyalty of nature Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares; (55)would be'tis much he dares And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,dauntless temper He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour To act in safetyTo act in safety. There is none but he Whose being I do fear: and, under him, My Genius is rebuk'd; as, it is said, (60)Genius Mark Antony's was by CaesarMark Antony's was by Caesar. He chid the sisterschid the sisters When first they put the name of king upon me, And bade them speak to him: then prophet- like They hail'd him father to a line of kings: (65) 1. Dehumanization of Macbeth: "to be thus...thus" (52-53), threatened animal, he is no longer safe (change in worldview) repetition of "fear" in lines 53-59 reinforces Macbeth's deteriorating humanity, retreat into mammalian instinct o From "Brave Macbeth" to "dead butcher," this soliloquy marks the early stages of his dehumanization 2. Just Monarchy: "to be thus... thus" (52-53), leadership/power comes with venerability "'tis much he...safety" (55-59), believes Banquo is cunning and careful, two necessarily kingly qualities o implies he is lacking in confidence in these areas 4. The Weird Sisters: "He chid...kings" (62-65), o without their prophecy, would he have committed Duncan's murder? (their prophecy was put "upon" him, implies Macbeth victimized) o because they will Banquo eventual king, is it so? o Macbeth feels they are ACTIVE agents of fate/responsible for his downfall
Scene One: Macbeth's Soliloquy Continued Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown, (66)fruitless crown And put a barren sceptre in my gripe, Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,with an unlineal hand No son of mine succeeding. If 't be so, For Banquo's issue have I fil'd my mind; (70)issue have I fil'd For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;gracious Duncan Put rancours in the vessel of my peacerancours in the vessel of my peace Only for them; and mine eternal jewelmine eternal jewel Given to the common enemy of man,the common enemy of man To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings. (75) Rather than so, come fate into the list. And champion me to the utteranceAnd champion me to the utterance! (77) 1. Dehumanization of Macbeth: "Put rancours... peace" (72), poisoned/rotted his soul ("my peace"), the soul being the entity that sets humans and animals apart "and mine...man" (73-74), he's forfeited his soul (now, "mine eternal jewel") to Satan "And champion me to the utterance" (77), fight or flight mentality 2. Just Monarchy: "gracious Duncan" (71), possible allusion to divine right "Rather that so...list" (76), challenging the prophecy o This soliloquy prefaces Macbeth's decision to kill Banquo, has already killed Duncan, ill-begotten kingship/monarchy in general fosters chaos? 3. Manhood: "Upon my head...succeeding" (66-69), ambiguous "they" implies Macbeth blames his infertility on outside influence, still MAJOR blow to masculinity o the "they" could refer to the Weird Sisters, the gods, etc. "To make...kings" (75), Shakespeare's use of "seeds," as opposed to "sons" in reference to Banquo's future kids makes more prominent that Macbeth's lack of offspring is his fault
Scene One: Macbeth's Soliloquy Continued Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown, (66)fruitless crown And put a barren sceptre in my gripe, Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,with an unlineal hand No son of mine succeeding. If 't be so, For Banquo's issue have I fil'd my mind; (70)issue have I fil'd For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;gracious Duncan Put rancours in the vessel of my peacerancours in the vessel of my peace Only for them; and mine eternal jewelmine eternal jewel Given to the common enemy of man,the common enemy of man To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings. (75) Rather than so, come fate into the list. And champion me to the utteranceAnd champion me to the utterance! (77) New "them," lines 73 and 75, applies to Banquo's unborn sons o Macbeth has sacrificed himself for Banquo's sons, not even his own if the full prophecy is fulfilled 4. The Weird Sisters: Pronoun "they" (66) applies to witches, who are to blame for either Macbeth's infertility or his progressive immasculinization (they "plac'd" and "put") o Reinforces that they are ACTIVE agents of fate/responsible for Macbeth's downfall
Scene One: Miscellaneous 1. Dehumanization of Macbeth o "Let every man be the master of his time till seven at night" (44-45) (Double entendre, figurative language) Banquo will not be "the master of his time" when darkness falls and Macbeth's assassins attack, but Macbeth will not be his own master when paranoia and madness befall him o "Know that it was he...self" (83-86) Macbeth is lying to the Murderers to encourage they efficiently execute Banquo 2. Just Monarchy o Dialogue between Banquo and Macbeth (11-42), obvious power-structure talk, Banquo refers to Macbeth as "my lord, my good lord," etc. They fought as equals, but Macbeth's kingly status has severed the friendship o Though Banquo is suspicious, his obedience to the crown (not Macbeth specifically) is unshaken 3. Manhood o "We are men, my liege" (102) Murderers imply that it is man's nature to want to avenge oneself with blood o "Aye, in the catalogue...men" (103-113) Macbeth concours that their murderous nature makes them men as "hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels and curs...are clept by the name of dogs" Shakespeare intentionally had Macbeth compare men and dogs, as he is implying that Macbeth is confusing "natural" manly characteristics with those of vicious animals
Scene Two LADY MACBETH Naught’s had, all’s spent, Where our desire is got without content. 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy. Spent everything, got nothing; rather be murdered than live with the guilt. Duncan is free from any worries and Lady Macbeth now lives with constant anxiety. Rehumanization! Doubt = suspicion and fear; fear of their terrible secret being revealed; suspicion that the prophecy about Banquo will become reality
Scene Two (cont.) LADY MACBETH How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone, Of sorriest fancies your companions making, Using those thoughts which should indeed have died With them they think on? Things without all remedy Should be without regard. What’s done is done. Irony - Lady Macbeth tries to soothe her husband's mind when she herself is doubtful
Scene Two (cont.) MACBETH We have scorched the snake, not killed it. She’ll close and be herself whilst our poor malice Remains in danger of her former tooth. But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer, Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep In the affliction of these terrible dreams That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead, Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace, Than on the torture of the mind to lie In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave. After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well. Treason has done his worst; nor steel nor poison, Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing Can touch him further.
Scene Two (cont.) MACBETH Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives. LADY MACBETH But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne. Now Lady Macbeth wants to leave the deed to nature's doing? Is she scared? Doubtful? Is it a way to calm him down?
Macbeth vs. Lady Macbeth MACBETH Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day And with thy bloody and invisible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond Which keeps me pale. MACBETH Let your remembrance Apply to Banquo; present him eminence, Both with eye and tongue: unsafe the while that we Must lave our honors in these flattering streams, And make our faces vizards to our hearts, Disguising what they are. LADY MACBETH Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark To cry “Hold, hold!” LADY MACBETH Your face, my thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters. To beguile the time, Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, Your hand, your tongue. Look like th' innocent flower, But be the serpent under ’t.
Macbeth vs. Lady Macbeth Macbeth Now using animal imagery (snake, bat, scorpions, etc.) Asks to lose his "bond" with the natural world; rid him of his humanity Lady Macbeth Used animal imagery before (the raven, serpent, etc.) Asked to be "unsexed"
Scene Two (cont.) MACBETH Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day And with thy bloody and invisible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond Which keeps me pale. Light thickens, and the crow Makes wing to th' rooky wood. Good things of day begin to droop and drowse; Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse. Thou marvel’st at my words: but hold thee still. Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill. So, prithee, go with me.
Scene Three "He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers Our offices and what we have to do To the direction just." - Second Murderer (3.3.3-5) Irony of the third murderer/juxtaposition w/ Banquo o Macbeth sent Third Murderer, who does not need to be wary of the first two because of Macbeth's orders o Macbeth summoned Banquo, who must be wary of the first two because of Macbeth's orders
Scene Three (cont.) "Almost a mile; but he does usually (So all men do) from hence to th' palace gate Make it their walk" - Third Murderer (3.3.17-19) Emphasis on Banquo's manliness Fleance's escape maintains the possibility of the prophecy of the Weird sisters Macbeth is powerless in the face of the prophecy a. Irony of his attempt b. Does he see this as an assurance of his fate?
Scene 4 MACBETH You know your own degrees; sit down. At first And last, the hearty welcome. MACBETH See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks. Both sides are even. Here I’ll sit i' th' midst. Be large in mirth. Anon we’ll drink a measure The table round. MACBETH (aside to FIRST MURDERER) There's blood opon thy face. FIRST MURDERER 'Tis Banquo's then. MACBETH 'Tis better thee without than he within. MACBETH Thou art the best o' th' cutthroats: Yet he’s good that did the like for Fleance. If thou didst it, thou art the nonpareil. "You know...welcome" (1-2) "See...round." (10-13) Macbeth's words and phrases to the thanes, such as "You know your own degrees" and "Both sides are even: here I'll sit i'th'midst" suggest a renewal of order and symmetry in Scotland, yet the audience knows that this is not the case. Both sides are not even, because Banquo is missing. Degree, or rank order, has been effectively distorted by Macbeth by his killing of the king and his seizing of the throne. 1. Dehumanization of Macbeth: "There's blood...within." (13-15) Aware of his involvement with the murder Shows no sign of moral culpability He feels no shame, only relief that Banquo has been eliminated "Thou art...nonpareil." (19-21) Macbeth's determination continues to secure his thrown
Scene 4 MACBETH Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect, Whole as the marble, founded as the rock, As broad and general as the casing air. But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in To saucy doubts and fears.—But Banquo’s safe? MACBETH Thanks for that. There the grown serpent lies. The worm that’s fled Hath nature that in time will venom breed; No teeth for th' present. Get thee gone. Tomorrow We’ll hear ourselves again. 1. Dehumanization of Macbeth "Then comes...safe?" (23-27) At first shows his supposed invincibility Language abruptly changes. The alliteration of the hard c sounds reveals Macbeth's sense of constraint, in contrast to the freedom which he claims to have enjoyed previously Feeling uneasy about Fleance's escape Metaphorically tangled in his own doubts regarding his thrown "Thanks...again" (31-35) A metaphorical snake (Fleance) is threatening Macbeth's position
Scene 4 LADY MACBETH Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus And hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep seat. The fit is momentary; upon a thought He will again be well. If much you note him, You shall offend him and extend his passion. Feed and regard him not. (aside to MACBETH) Are you a man? LADY MACBETH O proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear. This is the air-drawn dagger which you said Led you to Duncan. Oh, these flaws and starts, Impostors to true fear, would well become A woman’s story at a winter’s fire, Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself! Why do you make such faces? When all’s done, You look but on a stool. Manhood "Sit, worthy...man?" (64-70) Lady Macbeth, remains constant in her judgement. Unlike Macbeth, she cannot see the ghost, and her tone is typically pragmatic and down-to-earth: "When all's done, / You look but on a stool." "O...stool" (73-81) She appears to want to calm his rages, but anger simmers beneath her appeasing words. Once more she scolds her husband for his apparent lack of manhood.
Scene 4 MACBETH Prithee, see there! Behold! Look! Lo! How say you? Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too. If charnel houses and our graves must send Those that we bury back, our monuments Shall be the maws of kites. MACBETH Can such things be, And overcome us like a summer’s cloud, Without our special wonder? You make me strange Even to the disposition that I owe, When now I think you can behold such sights, And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks, When mine is blanched with fear. "Prithee...kites" (82-87) Macbeth's eloquence disappears and he begins babbling "Can such...fear." (135-141) Each time the ghost vanishes, Macbeth's relief is recorded in softer, more lyrical expression The entire structure of this scene shows a man swinging from one state of mind to another, recalling the structure of the earlier dagger speech This alternating structure adds strongly to the impression of Macbeth's loss of control. A specific parallel with the murder scene occurs when Macbeth accuses his wife of being able to "keep the natural ruby of your cheeks, / When mine is blanched with fear"). The words "ruby" and "blanched" clearly recall the distinction that Lady Macbeth made between the "red" hands of murder and the "white" heart of a coward (II: 2, 64).
Scene 4 MACBETH It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood. Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak. Augurs and understood relations have By magot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth The secret’st man of blood.—What is the night? MACBETH I hear it by the way; but I will send. There’s not a one of them but in his house I keep a servant fee’d. I will tomorrow— And betimes I will—to the weird sisters. More shall they speak, for now I am bent to know, By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good, All causes shall give way. I am in blood Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o'er. Strange things I have in head, that will to hand, Which must be acted ere they may be scanned. "It will...night?" (151-157) His language in this coda to the banquet scene is mysterious and prophetic. The short scene is dominated by the repeated word "blood" and by the idea that a tide of murder has now been initiated which Macbeth is powerless to stop. "I hear...scanned" (162-172) With the departure of the guests, Macbeth appears to regain some of his earlier self-confidence. He announces his decision to visit the Weird Sisters once more, this time of his own accord. Witches are active agents of fate Macbeth is not a victim, he chooses to visit the witches to hear their prophecy
Scene Five HECATE Have I not reason, beldams as you are? Saucy and overbold, how did you dare To trade and traffic with Macbeth In riddles and affairs of death, And I, the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms, Was never called to bear my part, Or show the glory of our art? And, which is worse, all you have done Hath been but for a wayward son, Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do, Loves for his own ends, not for you. But make amends now. Get you gone, And at the pit of Acheron Meet me i' th' morning. Thither he Will come to know his destiny. Your vessels and your spells provide, Your charms and everything beside. I am for the air. This night I’ll spend Unto a dismal and a fatal end. Great business must be wrought ere noon. Upon the corner of the moon There hangs a vap'rous drop profound. I’ll catch it ere it come to ground. And that distilled by magic sleights Shall raise such artificial sprites As by the strength of their illusion Shall draw him on to his confusion.
Scene Five (cont.) HECATE He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear. And you all know, security Is mortals' chiefest enemy. FLASHBACK to SCENE ONE: MACBETH Mine eternal jewel Given to the common enemy of man, To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings! Is Hecate's description of Macbeth as "spiteful and wrathful" accurate?
Scene Six "The gracious Duncan Was pitied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead. And the right valiant Banquo walked too late. Whom you may say, if 't please you, Fleance killed, For Fleance fled." (3.6.5-9) Lennox's sarcastic comment on happenings in Scotland Lords see through Macbeth's guise easily
Scene Six (Cont.) "For from broad words, and 'cause he failed His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear you Macduff lives in disgrace." - Lennox (3.6.24-26) How different from the "brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)" of Act 1, Scene 2 "Thither Macduff Is gone to pray the holy king upon his aid To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward..." -Unnamed Lord (3.6.33-35) Siward = Earl of Northumbria Macduff is going to Scotland...with weapons