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Macbeth Act1 Scenes 3-4 Notes

Act 1 Scene 3

Scene 3 Thunder. Enter the three Witches. Presumably on the heath where they’ve already agreed to
Scene 3
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
Presumably on the heath where they’ve
already agreed to meet Macbeth

Act 1 Scene 3

7: Aroint thee, witch,” the

  • 1. Aroint = Be gone

rump-fed runnion cries

  • 2. Only second time ‘witch’ is used in the play

  • 3. Runnion = today’s equivalent to ‘prick’

  • 4. This line is an insult to the weird sister and so

she decides to curse the sailor and his wife

7: and munched, and munched, and munched 10: I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do

1.

Pattern of 3 which is a ‘magic number’

12-14: I’ll give thee… another

  • 1. Offering wind to blow the sailor around. Witches were believed to control weather

Act 1 Scene 3

20: Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his penthouse lid.

  • 1. Sleep motif. Be on the lookout for this

  • 2. The sailor won’t be able to sleep

22-24 He shall live a man forbid.

  • 1. Cursed

Weary sev’nnights, nine times nine,

  • 2. 9 is also a ‘magic number’

Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine.

  • 3. The curse with the use of 9 is used again when Macbeth entered

25-27: Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest-tossed. Look what I have.

  • 1. This shows the limits of the weird sister’s power. ‘Bark = Ship’. It cannot be ‘lost = wrecked’, but the weird sisters can cause a storm.

  • 2. Look what she has! The sailor’s wife’s thumb!

Act 1 Scene 3

33-37: The Weïrd Sisters, hand in hand, Posters of the sea and land,

  • 1. Weird sister’s hold hands, back to back, and spin in circles. This causes the curse.

Thus do go about, about, Thrice to thine and thrice to mine And thrice again, to make up nine.

  • 2. They use the ‘nine’ again for the curse.

38: Peace, the charm’s wound up.

  • 1. What does this metaphor invoke?

Act 1 Scene 3

39: So foul and fair a day I have not

  • 1. We’ve heard this before.

seen.

  • 2. Who else has echoed the weird sisters so far? Where?

40-49: How far is ’t called toForres?— What are these,…that you are so.

Physical description of the weird sisters.

47-49: You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

  • 1. Themes of gender is introduced here. Watch for this throughout

That you are so.

  • 2. These women somewhat resemble men. We’ll see this again

Act 1 Scene 3

51: Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair?

Throughout this whole scene, opposites or ANTITHESIS , are used. Fear - Fair

68-69: Lesser than…Macbeth and Banquo

More antithesis

  • 1. Lesser-greater

  • 2. Not so happy-happier

  • 3. Shall get kings-be none

67: Thou shalt get kings, though thou be

  • 1. Direct reference to King James. Banquo’s

none

son, Fleance, is a descendent to James 1

Throughout the scene, consider how Macbeth responds to what the weird sisters have suggested. How does he take the news? What words/diction are used to

Act 1 Scene 3

90-101: The King hath…poured them down before him

Ross shares the praise of Duncan.

 

Another motif of clothes. Close that are

114-115: The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me In borrowed robes?

borrowed, stolen, ill-fitting

..

Act 1 Scene 3

117-120: Glamis and Thane…be kings

1. The greatest is behind, as in, the greatest is next after Thane of Cawdore

141: As happy prologues to the swelling act

1. Why these words? Carefully examine the diction in this line

Act 1 Scene 3

140-155: Two truths are told As happy prologues to the swelling act Of the imperial theme.—I thank you, gentlemen. Aside. This supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor. If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock at my ribs Against the use of nature? Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but

1. Look at the antithesis in this soliloquy. How many opposites/contradictions can you fine? Mark them down.

Act 1 Scene 3

156: Look how our partner’s

1.

Rapt is a play on words. Banquo means he’s

rapt.

busy thinking. But he’s also ‘wrapped’ in the

idea…more clothing. We’ll see this word again.

160: New honors come upon him, like our strange garments

1.

Clothing motif. It’s as if the title/clothes aren’t meant for Macbeth

What’s going through Banquo’s head here? He knows what Macbeth knows. He’s also supposed to have Kings. How can this be so if Macbeth is king? He sees Macbeth pause and get lost in his thoughts. Does he suspect anything? Is he just excited that his kids might be kings?

Look for words/phrases that lead you to your answer.

Act 1 Scene 4

9-10: He died as one that had been studied in his death

  • 1. Like an actor who has studied his part

13-16: There’s no art To find the mind’s construction in the

  • 1. What does this reveal about Duncan?

face. He was a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust.

  • 2. What does this foreshadow?

39- My plenteous joys…We will establish our estate upon our eldest, Malcolm

  • 1. Unlike England, the crown of Scotland was not hereditary in Macbeth’s time.

Act 1 Scene 3

55-57: The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down or else o’erleap, For in my way it lies.

  • 1. Macbeth was previously puzzled as to how he’d become king when only Duncan was the obstacle. Now there are two people who must be removed for Macbeth’s assentation.

57-58: Stars, hide your fires; Let not

  • 1. Is talking to the stars…fate?

light see my black and deep desires

  • 2. He really wants to be king. He describes his desires and ‘black and deep’

59: The eye wink at the hand…

  • 1. Here, wink means ‘fail to see’. His hand will have to commit evil to achieve his ‘black and deep desire’

Act 1 Scene 3

39: So foul and fair a day I have not

  • 1. We’ve heard this before.

seen.

  • 2. Who else has echoed the weird sisters so far? Where?

40-49: How far is ’t called toForres?— What are these,…that you are so.

Physical description of the weird sisters.

47-49: You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

  • 1. Themes of gender is introduced here. Watch for this throughout

That you are so.

  • 2. These women somewhat resemble men. We’ll see this again

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