• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1 Analysis

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐MACBETH The classroom analysis (generalized) (Previous analysis was June holiday homework) Act1 Scene 1: 1 / 7 /11 A desert place. The setting of ?Thunder and lightning? depicts bad weather, which shows the eerie atmosphere and tense mood. The play opens on a note of noise and disorder, foreboding much evil to come. Witches, who seem to enjoy the chaotic weather, appear to hold alien values and preferences compared to normal men and women. The mood is sinister, dangerous and ominous; the immediate appearance of the witches starting from the first scene is used to inform readers of the underlying note of darkness. The witches speak in riddles, and seem to know Macbeth?s secret desires and are seen as mischievous, otherworldly and evil beings. By saying that the ?battle?s lost and won?, many meanings emerge, such as the ?battle? refers to the fight with Cawdor and though Macbeth may have ?won? against him, he has ?lost? a battle to himself, by afterwards caving into the witches? tempting words. They seem to refer the dark ?ere?, which means after, ?the set of sun?. This hints of their evil natures that seem to relate to their preference of bad weather and dark skies. They decide on the ?heath? to meet Macbeth. The rhyming words lead us to think of the ?heath?, which is a wild and barren place, in relation to Macbeth and his future. This way, we are lead to think that Macbeth?s heart will too, become wild, dry and bare. This is the first meeting between Macbeth and the witches and we can see that they are keen to meet him. We can infer from this fact and what we have learnt about the witches? that they plan to do him harm. The mention of familiars, ?Graymalkin?, which is a grey cat and ?Paddock? , a toad, continues to inform us of the Witches? supernatural status, as well as further deepening the theory of ?evil witches? as they have chosen to keep strange pets. ...read more.


Macbeth?s power hungry nature is emphasized as the witches leave the scene. He desperately wants to know more. As the witches refuse to direct or properly guide him, Macbeth is eager to learn how to make this prophecy come true. His commanding nature and forceful demand does not affect the witches. Hence we can infer from this that the Witches are mischievous, mysterious beings that do not listen to normal men. However, their elusive nature helps to add to a sense of suspense building up amongst the audience as it increases their fear of the unknown. This scene, especially this part, emphasizes how the Witches bait and lure Macbeth into their plans. The witches vanish suddenly, and are likened to ?bubbles? by Banquo, suggesting that just like bubbles the witches are insubstantial, as though they do not really exist and are unnatural occurrences. Furthermore, their disappearances fuel the uncontained hunger in Macbeth for the knowledge to become King. However, Banquo on the other hand is confused and bewildered by the Witches? sudden appearance and disappearances. He wonders if they had eaten the ?insane root? and hence have gone mad. The men try to reconfirm the witches? prophesies by repeating them to each other. However there is a difference in the tone of which the words are said. Macbeth seems wary and resentful of the fact that Banquo children are supposedly going to gain kingship, rather than his own children. Whereas, Banquo?s mood is light and joking, as he still is disbelieving and doubtful of the witches. The arrival of Ross and Angus interrupts the exchange between the two men. In summary, they inform Macbeth that Duncan is caught between praising Macbeth or expressing his amazement at Macbeth?s courage and skill. He also comments on Macbeth?s lack of fear of the distorted faces of the people he has killed, ?strange images of death?, and this later becomes an irony as Macbeth will later make even stronger images of death later on, one of which being Duncan. ...read more.


2. 3. Recurrent images of darkness and night, illness and blood are all used figuratively to suggest moral significance, and to give a CONCRETE image of evil. Explain: REGICIDE, when it is performed of a good, lawful King, is considered EVIL. There is no moral objectivism, especially when the murder carries it out for his/her own benefit. This is emphasized by the many symbols used. 1. However, good and evil is also presented in a paradoxical way… Macbeth expresses the most sensitive moral awareness: he accuses himself of the evil of his murder in the most eloquent terms; and experiences great horror and terror both before and after the deed. This contradicts the idea of good and evil as though Macbeth ‘knows the evil’, he still carries on to perform the ‘evil’, as if it were ‘good’ The choosing of wrong though aware of the right, causes good and evil to seem also like paradoxical ideas. INTO THE PLAY ï¦ Macbeth’s soliloquy: 1. Macbeth speaks the greatest proportion of his lines alone; in a soliloquy or an ‘aside’ 1. Lack of interaction with other characters is very SIGNIFICANT in this kind of drama which usually relies upon dialogue to move the action forward. 2. This solitary speech produces a strong sense of Macbeth’s isolation especially later in the action, where he is virtually speaking alone even though there are many silent servants on stage. 3. This makes Macbeth a very internal character, whose inner life creates a kind of action in mind. His private speeches use vivid and moving images and develop powerful inner experiences at different points in the play. Scottish court: 1. Duncan, Malcolm and Macduff have distinct roles to play 2. However, thanes are apparently generalized in speech and decisions at the start of the play 3. Duncan’s role is that of a gracious but overly trusting and wrongfully murdered King. He relates to his scout with elaborate and formal courteousness 4. After Duncan is murdered, thanes become wary of each other and their surroundings ï½ IMPORTANT! ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Compare and Contrast the Characters of Macbeth and Banquo

    lose none / in seeking to argument it, but still keep / my bosom franchised and allegiance clear, / I shall be counselled.' Banquo believes in the Chain of Being, the order of humanity and that the King should be protected.

  2. Imagine you are Macbeth. Write a diary entry in which you express your thoughts ...

    After listening to her I felt very offended. I knew I had to do this or I will regret it all my life. I wanted to prove 3 things that I am a man, my love for my wife, and my desire to be king.

  1. Compare and contrast Banquo and Macbeth looking particularly at the first meeting with the ...

    His words echo those spoken earlier by the witches. Perhaps this is because the witches knew he would say these words and were mocking him. Perhaps the witches have some control over him. Or maybe Shakespeare is suggesting that Macbeth and the witches are similar in character as well as in the way they talk.

  2. How do the Witches in Macbeth Reflect contemporary ideas of witchcraft? Are the Witches ...

    This makes little difference as Macbeth continues to do horrific acts anyway. So from the scenes where she does influence Macbeth I can say that she contributed to his downfall by being impatient and enforcing the witch's prediction onto Macbeth in the quickest way.

  1. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    to give Macbeth the air of impatience, and eagerness to know what the witches have to say; and possibly an annoyance with Banquo's disbelief. Banquo tends to ask direct questions to them, which indicates to the audience that he has less respect for the witches than Macbeth, who speaks to them in minimal proportions.

  2. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    inhabitants o' th' earth...you should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so'. The audience doesn't see Macbeth as a threatening or cunning character due to his withdrawn attitude. This is the first sign of Macbeth doing wrong, he acts the fool, thus is being two faced.

  1. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    However, it is made clear to the audience that Macbeth is not incredulous about their information, especially when he begs or orders (depending on how the line is played) them to "Speak, I charge you," and is most disappointed when the disappear, and utters "would that they had stayed" This

  2. Explain what Act 1, Scene 7 tells us about the characters of Macbeth and ...

    She doesn't seem to realise that less people will suspect her if she keeps um a womanly persona, instead she desires all out carnage and rage, whilst in the form of being "unsexed". However she is instructing Macbeth to pretend to be grateful to Duncan, whilst secretly plotting his downfall.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work