Act 1: Scene 1 to 4

Act 1, Scene 1

The scene opens on a Scottish moor. The weather is inclement; thunder and lightning set the somber, creepy mood. Three witches appear from the depths of the storm. They begin chanting and plan to challenge Macbeth. They then disappear.

Act 1, Scene 2

The scene begins at a military camp located near the king’s palace. Scotland’s King Duncan asks an injured captain about a Scottish battle with the Irish invaders. The captain relays to the king that Macbeth and Banquo showed courage during the battle. The captain, who received his injury while helping the king’s son escape the Irish invaders, tells King Duncan that Macbeth killed Macdonwald, who led the Irish invaders. The thane of Ross comes to tell King Duncan that the thane of Cawdor has committed a traitorous act; King Duncan orders the thane of Cawdor to be killed and Macbeth to be given the title.

Act 1, Scene 3

The witches reappear. The third witch announces that Macbeth is on his way. When Macbeth arrives, Banquo accompanies him. Banquo and Macbeth find themselves so horrified by the witches’ appearance that they question if the witches are mortal and actually female. Macbeth does not yet know that the king has granted him the title of thane of Cawdor, but the witches refer to him as such. They also predict that Macbeth will one day become king, and they inform Banquo that he will be “lesser than Macbeth, and greater.” Before vanishing into thin air, they also predict that Banquo’s children will one day reign.

Macbeth and Banquo remain unsure what to think about the witches and their predictions. To confirm the witches’ prophecy, Ross and Angus arrive to tell Macbeth that the king has made him the thane of Cawdor. Macbeth questions Banquo if he believes his children will one day reign; Banquo responds that the prophecy may be the work of the Devil. Macbeth has a monologue in which he ruminates about his potential reign. He...

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Essays About Macbeth