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Summary Act 1

Scene 1

Act one begins during a storm with the 3 witches conversing. They discuss where they will next meet, and that there they will meet with Macbeth.

Scene 2

This scene begins in a camp near Forres. Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, lennox with their attendants meeting with a bloody Sergent. Duncan asks who this Sergeant is and judging by his state of being that he report on the goings-on at the battle field.

Malcom introduces the Sergent as a good and hardy soldier who fought against Malcom's own captivity, hails him and asks him to tell the king of the fight as it was when he left it.

The Sergent then reports that it was doubtful as two tired swimming men who try to hold on to one another to keep from drowning and end up drowning each other. Macdonwald who was an evil man and worthy to be called a rebel and his title revoked for all of his ill qualities. He told them of how brave Macbeth killed the evil Macdonwald by splitting him from the belly button to the jaw, then beheaded him and stuck his head on the fort wall.

Duncan shouts O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman! Praising Macbeth for these gory violent acts.

The Sergent then continues to say, where comfort seemed to come from before, now discomfort takes it's place. He tells the king to take note of how no sooner than Macbeth had killed Macdonwald than his men turned heel and ran and that Macbeth's army took after them with fresh men and supplies.

Duncan then asks if this awed Macbeth and which the Sergent responds yes, they were like lions! like cannons doublecharged. They were so excited by this that it gave them new strength with which to pursue their enemies. The Sergent then grows faint and askes that his wounds be tended to.

Duncan praises both Macbeth and Banquo and tells his attendants to take the Sergent to the surgeons.

Exit Sergent and Enter Ross

Malcolm introduces the worthy Thane of Ross, who speaks, God save the king.

Duncan then asks where Ross had come from. Ross answers that he came from Fife where the Norwayans have taken over thanks to the traitor thane of Cawdor until Macbeth killed him and the victory fell to Scottland. And that now Sweno, the Norways' king is upset in the fact that we deny them burial of his troops until he left the battlefield and payed ten thousand dollars to the Scotts.

Duncan then orders the death of the thane of Cawdor and that Macbeth be given his title.

Scene 3

This scene opens in a heath near Forres

Thunder as the three witches enter, they ask eachother of their recent doings. Then enter Macbeth and Banquo.

Banquo seeing the witches begins to jest and jeer at the wierd sisters saying You should be women, but your skinny beards forbid me to see you as such.

Macbeth orders them to speak.

The witches speak in prophecy, they hail Macbeth as the thane of Glamis, Cawdor and as future king.

This prophecy seems to upset Macbeth and Banquo notices, saying Why do you seem afraid of this good news? He then asks the witches why they greeted Macbeth with wonderful news of the future and not him? He demands they tell him of his future, if they can see it.

The witches speak in riddles. they Hail Banquo as lesser than Macbeth, and greater, they tell him that there will be kings in his future bloodline but that he himself will not be king. and they hail Macbeth and Banquo.

Macbeth is confused and demands of them to tell him more, he knows he is the thane of Glamis, but how is he the thane of Cawdor? that man is still alive and prosperous. He then chides about the prospect of being king and how that is beyond belief. He demands they tell him more and they vanish.

Banquo and Macbeth comment on how the witches dissapear into nowhere and Macbeth comments on how he wishes they'd have stayed.

Banquo asks if that had really happened or if they had been hallucinating, Macbeth and banquo laugh about the matter as if the witches had been joking.

Enter Ross and Angus

Addressing Macbeth they tell him of how the king had heard of his valiant deeds in battle and praised him. they tell him of how the king has granted him the title Thane of Cawdor.

Macbeth asks how this can be since the thane of Cawdor still lives

They tell Macbeth that though the thane of Cawdor is still alive, he won't be for long and that Macbeth had earned to be called by that title.

Macbeth thanks Ross and Angus for their telling him the news. Then asks Banquo, don't you hope now that your children will be kings? they told truth in that i would be thane of Cawdor.

Banquo warns Macbeth that sometimes a person will tell a minor truth to gain trust to betray them later. Macbeth thinks to himself, if it is not good, and it is not bad, if it is good why is he afraid of it? and if it is bad why does it excite him so? he begins to feel deeply conflicted.

Banquo notices how Macbeth seems distracted.

Macbeth, still thinking to himself wonders if he can become king without doing anything.

Banquo tells Macbeth they are waiting on him.

they leave to see the king.

Scene 4

enter Duncan Malcolm Donalbain, Lennox, Duncan and attendants

The king asks if Cawdor has been executed. Malcolm tells him that the men sent had not come back yet but that he spoke to a man who saw him die and that he confessed all his sins and begged for his life.

Duncan laments his teason saying that once he'd had full trust in the thane of Cawdor.

Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Ross and Angus

Duncan praises Macbeth, and Macbeth is greatful.

Duncan praises Banquo and Banquo is humble.

Duncan names Malcolm the prince of Cumberland

Macbeth leaves and thinks to himself that the prince of Cumberland is an obstacle in his becoming king. He tells himself that his dark thoughts and feelings must never come to light.

Duncan tells the rest that it is time to leave.

Scene 5

scene opens at Inverness in Macbeth's castle.

Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth in which he tells her of the witches prophecy and his becoming the thane of Cawdor.

A messanger enters and tells Lady Macbeth that the king is coming there that night.and that Macbeth comes with him.

Lady Macbeth then calls on the murderous spirits that be to fill her with poison and make her able to do whatever is necissary to guarantee Macbeth's seat as king.

Enter Macbeth

Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth of how his letter made her feel.and lady Macbeth speaks of murdering the king that night for him, to which Macbeth seems torn two ways.

Scene 6

opens in front of Macbeth's castle in the night.

Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus and attendants.

Duncan speeks of feeling welcome at Macbeth's castle to which Banquo confesses doubt.

Enter Lady Macbeth

Duncan thanks Lady Macbeth for her hospitality and welcome and Lady Macbeth welcomes him in. Duncan asks after Macbeth saying that they were following him, but that he rides fast.Lady macbeth then leads them into the castle.

Scene 7

enter boys with torches, various servants with food and drinks pass over the stage and then enter Macbeth, talking to himself. he tries to decide whether or not hew should kill duncan. he muses that a man should stay away from a murderer, not go sleep in his house, he being in double trust, being his cousin first and being a servant of the king in second. He speaks of how a man in his position should keep out the murderers, not be the murderer hiimself, expecially of Duncan, a good man and righteous king. He says that he would not want to kill Duncan except that his greed and overwhealming ambition drive him to do it.

Enter Lady Macbeth

He is almost done with dinner, why did you leave?

Macbeth inquires if the king had asked for him.

She answered, don't you know he has?

Macbeth tells his wife he does not plan to proceed with the asassination because the king had honored him recently.

Lady Macbeth then chastizes him for being such a coward.

Macbeth yells at her, I will dare to do whatever a man would do.

Lady macbeth then asks, why did you tell me this news then? she tells him that if she had done a thing similar to this it would feel like killing her own child while he nursed her.

Macbeth admits his fear of failure and his wife says, if we fail so be it, but show back bone! screw your courage to the sticking place! and we will not fail! while Duncan sleeps you kill him while i give wine to his attendants till they are drunk. then they will be to blame and not us.

Macbeth tells his wife she hould only have boy children, because if she were to have girls they would all be as devious as her.


William Shakespeare