Logical Fallacy

Slippery Slope
If we take mobile phones away from students they will start to feel incomplete and will look for something else to fill in the gap. They will turn to drugs and alcohol and go to jail and become depressed and have a mental break down and never be the same again. To prevent this, don’t take away students phones!

NCEA Formal writing 1.5, Literary Essay: Macbeth

Annika Gibson

Essay on Macbeth

How does Shakespeare exploit the conventions of language and theater to fill his play from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty – and moreover, why is this so essential to the universal meaning of the play? (Explain how Shakespeare used language features and play conventions to convey his ideas) 

In his play Macbeth, Shakespeare weaves a tragic tale using many different threads of language techniques. The natural world stains this story green as Shakespeare captures specific features of nature and hooks them into his tale using literary devices such as pathetic fallacy and symbolism. Shakespeare enhances aspects of nature to illustrate important events or features in the play. I will be exploring the dark and twisted world of Macbeth and uproot and decipher the meaning behind the clever use of pathetic fallacy and consequential use of symbolism.

Shakespeare uses pathetic fallacy throughout his play Macbeth to illustrate the important relevance of an event or a strong mood of a character that will influence the play.  Shakespeare frequently applies pathetic fallacy to nature and the weather in this play. An example of which is when Lennox describes the strange activity of the night of King Duncan’s death in Act 2, Scene 3. “The night has been unruly…our chimneys were blown down…the earth was feverous, and did shake”. He speaks of the night being “unruly” and saying “our chimneys were blown down” which indicates that there was a wild storm. Shakespeare uses a storm to reflect the evil doings of that night and show how the murder of the king abruptly disrupted the natural order of the kingdom. This idea is strengthened by noticing that the day before the murder, when Duncan arrived at Macbeth’s castle in Act 1, Scene 6 he says, “This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses.” . At this point in the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have just discussed Duncan’s murder and are starting to plan his death. This is unknown to Duncan as he ironically describes the castle as having a pleasant setting and air that is sweet and alluring to his senses. This quote allows us to see the contrast between the stormy night of Duncan’s death and the pleasant setting of the day before when he is still very much alive. This quote is also another example of pathetic fallacy applying to nature and is used to show how the natural world around Macbeth’s estate responds to Lady Macbeth’s earlier comment in Act 1, Scene 5, “Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under ’t”. Lady Macbeth says this to her husband upon hearing of Duncan’s plan to visit. She knows they plan to kill the King and tells Macbeth to act welcoming and gracious and use that deception to hide his wicked intents. This deceit is then adopted by the air and setting surrounding Macbeth’s castle to hide the oncoming storm.

Not only does Shakespeare appoint pathetic fallacy to nature but he also applies it to animals as well. After the ordeal of Duncan’s death, Rosse appears in a scene with an old man and they discuss what they observed since that fateful night. Rosse says, “Duncan’s horses…/ beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,/ turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out/ contending ‘gainst obedience, as they would make/ war with mankind.” To which the old man adds, “‘T is said, they ate each other.” This evidently shows that something unusual happened the night of Duncan’s murder. Lennox describes Duncan’s horses as beautiful and swift animals that are the best of their breed. However on that particular night they became wild and broke out of their stalls. He said they were “contending ‘gainst obedience” which indicates that they were originally very disciplined and well-trained but when the King was killed they went against all of their regal training. Lennox further described their strange behavior as “as they would make war with mankind.” and the old man says “T is said, they ate each other.” . Everyone knows this is highly unusual horse behavior and Shakespeare uses this to convey the idea that the animals also reacted to the death of the king. Since the horses originally belonged to Duncan, they reflect his cruel murder with a lot more depth.  Shakespeare makes Duncan’s well-behaved steeds betray their master’s training and their regal reputation to represent the betrayal of Macbeth. The horses were said to have eaten each other which is a reflection of the inhuman act of Macbeth preying on his own cousin and killing him. Duncan is the “master” of his people which includes Macbeth, just as he is the master of his horses. On the night of his death he was betrayed by both. 

In many cultures throughout history, lots of animals or features of the natural world have been used to symbolize important aspects of humanity such as luck, death or life. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, he uses birds to symbolize the atmosphere around a certain scene of a play or a critical event that is or has taken place. In Act 2, Scene 2, Lady Macbeth says, “Hark!/ – Peace!/ It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman/ which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it.”. “Hark” in Shakespearean times meant “listen”. It is obvious when Lady Macbeth says this she is hearing something. She then continues and says that it was an owl that cried good-night like a bell before an execution. Since owls are nocturnal and only seen and heard during the night, in the old times the bird of darkness was associated with evil and as a bad omen. When Lady Macbeth describes the obscure bird’s call as like an execution bell, it is clear to understand that in this context the owl is used by Shakespeare to symbolize the evil that is befalling on that world that night. Lady Macbeth recognizes this too and then says “He is about it.” meaning that her husband, Macbeth, must be acting on their agreement to kill the king. At this point in the play however we do not yet know if Macbeth succeeds but the call of the owl has foreshadowed the fact this murder is inevitable on that fateful night.

Another example of birds symbolizing bad activity in this play, is when even earlier on in the play, Lady Macbeth yet again uses another bird in association with evil tidings. After reading Macbeth’s letter that informed her of his meeting with the witches and their treacherous predictions she says, “The raven himself is hoarse/ that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan/ under my battlements.”. In the time that the play was written, Ravens were said to be symbols of bad luck or messengers of death. In the context of the play Macbeth, both of these superstitions fit. At this point in the play the audience and/or readers would be thinking that this bad omen is directed towards King Duncan upon hearing Lady Macbeth connect its croak to “the fatal entrance of Duncan”. This is correct, for it symbolizes and foreshadows the king’s death later on in the play. However, it also symbolizes and foreshadows Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s death near the end of the play. The audience/readers would not realize this yet but the raven in this context represents the death/ bad luck of both the King and Macbeth and his wife. They were too caught up in their ambition to become the next rulers of Scotland that they never considered the fact that the raven could have been crying himself hoarse to signify their demise as well. Another way Shakespeare uses symbolism in his play Macbeth, is not only by using superstition associated with animals but also significant or frequent natural events that everyone in his audience would be able to relate to.  A common theme throughout the play is how good and evil is represented as light and dark. When Rosse is talking to the Old Man after the tragic death of Duncan he describes the day/s that have followed by saying, “And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp./ Is it’t night’s predominance, or the day’s shame,/ that darkness does the face of earth entomb,/ when living light should kiss it?”. This indicates that the days have been dark since the death of the king. Just like a king was associated with God, in Shakespeare’s time he was also connected to the sun or light (goodness). The darkness, which in this case is Macbeth’s evil act of killing the King, is predominating and conquering the sun or the light which symbolized the King and what he stood for as sovereign. I also want to draw the eye to the phrase “living light” . This is another example of symbolizing the reign of a king or the king himself as light, in the way that the light is personified as living. In the context of the quote, it makes it clear that light is not falling on the world at that point in the play. This is because what the light represented on earth is now dead and so it no longer has a connection to world the play is set in.

Shakespeare has used many different methods to convey the fact that under Macbeth’s traitorous rule, the land itself wears the scars of his evil reign. Macbeth’s ambition drove him to kill his own beloved cousin and take his throne. This treasonous betrayal defies the natural order of the kingdom and purges the land of its health and prosperity. However, the cause of Macbeth’s sickening ambition is manifestly due to the wicked seeds planted in his mind by the mysterious witches he met at the very start of the play. Without them to put the poisonous thoughts in his head the events of the play would never come to pass. Macbeth notices the deterioration of his country but does not connect its decline in health to the decline of his own mental well-being. We see throughout the play that Macbeth shows signs of madness and corruption in his own mind. This is reflected in the land using pathetic fallacy once again, by applying the degeneration of Macbeth’s mind and the corruption of his thoughts to the land itself. In Act 5, Scene 4, when the battle between Macbeth and Scottish Lords and English Army is about to commence, Macbeth says to the doctor, “If thou couldst, doctor, cast/ the water of my land, find her disease,/ and purge it to a sound and pristine health.” . He says this in irony as the disease infecting his land is himself. But Macbeth’s mind, the instrument behind the dismal affairs, does not wholly belong to him anymore. Ever since the three weird sisters filled his head with dire ambition, they have influenced his actions which are the main feeders of the dark cloud hanging over Scotland. This dark cloud is a symptom of the supernatural world interfering with the natural events of the kingdom. The natural world is not only showing a reflection of Macbeth’s mind, but it is responding to the evil power that is controlling it.

Macbeth is a tale of dangerous corruption and dire ambition. Throughout this play, Shakespeare cleverly illustrates Macbeth’s journey from war hero to a traitorous king by manipulating and shaping the innocent face of nature to reflect the effects of his poisonous intents and actions. Through the use of indicative and purposeful language features, such as pathetic fallacy and symbolism applied to aspects of the natural world, Shakespeare has grown a fateful story that shows just how treacherous ambition can be.


Act 5 Summary

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 1 Summary

Characters: Doctor, Gentlewoman, Lady Macbeth.

Location: Dunsinane, a room in the castle.

Time: After the murders of Macduff’s family.

Events: Lady Macbeth’s gentlewoman tells a doctor about her mistress’s behaviour while sleeping. Lady Macbeth then appears sleepwalking. While sleepwalking she imagines washing the blood off her hands and talks about the recent murderers. The doctor and gentle-woman leave, shocked about what they have just seen and heard.

Quotes: “Why, it stood by her: she has light be her continually; ‘t is her command.” (She has light beside her always because she is afraid of the dark) – Gentle-Woman

Quotes: “Out damned spot! out, I say!” (Blood get off my hands) – Lady Macbeth

This is funny because when Lady Macbeth and Macbeth talked about murdering the king they spoke of darkness covering their evil intents but now she is afraid of it.

Several times in the play, Macbeth appeared to a bit mad and now Lady Macbeth is showing signs of it too.

The gentle-woman and the doctor start to suspect and are now in danger from knowing that information.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 2 Summary

Characters: Menteth, Angus, Cathness, Lenox.

Location: The country near Dunsinane.

Time: Not sure.

Events: The Scottish army opposing Macbeth approaches Dunsinane and the thanes discuss Macbeth’s loss of control and that he has fortified his castle.

Quotes: “He cannot buckle his distempered cause within the belt of rule.” (He is unable to control the kingdom) – Cathness

Quotes: “Now does he feel his title hang loose about him, like a giants robe upon a dwarfish thief.” (He has become unfit to have the title of King.) – Angus.

More clothing metaphors.

Quotes: “Or so much as it needs to dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.” (However much blood we must spill to water the royal flower (Malcolm)  and drown the weeds (Macbeth)).

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 3 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Servant, Seyton, Doctor.

Location: Dunsinane, a room in the castle.

Time: When the English army and Scottish rebels are gathering in the forest.

Events: Macbeth receives a report of the approaching armies but comforts himself by remembering what the witches told him. He realized he cannot have what he would have wanted at that age and he decided to live with it.  The doctor reports that Lady Macbeth’s sickness is of the mind. Macbeth struggled into his armour as the doctor leaves saying he will never come back.

Quotes: “If thou couldst, doctor, cast the water of my land, find her disease.” (If you could, doctor find out what disease is plaguing Scotland.) – Macbeth

Macbeth sees Scotland as sick which is ironic because he is the cause of that “sickness”.

Quote: “Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with some sweet, oblivious antidote cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart?”

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 4 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Menteth, Siward, Soldiers, Macduff.

Location: The country near Dunsinane.

Time: Not sure.

Events: The Scottish Lords and the English army leader talk about the upcoming war and they make a plan to break off branches to camouflage the army and hide their numbers. Macbeth is still in the castle which is heavily fortified and could last siege a long time.


William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 5 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Seyton, Messanger.

Location: Dunsinane, within the castle.




William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 6 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Siward, Macduff.

Location: Dunsinane, outside the castle.




William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 7 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Young Siward, Macduff, Siward, Malcolm.

Location: Dunsinane, outside the castle.




William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 8 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Macduff.

Location: Dunsinane, outside the castle.




William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 9 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Siward, Rosse, Macduff.

Location: Dunsinane, within the castle.




Act 4 Summary

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 4, Scene 1 Summary

Characters: The witches, Hecate, Macbeth, Apparitions, Lennox

Location: A dark cave

Time: Not Sure

Events: Witches and Hecate meet with Macbeth and give him some more information using three apparitions. One tells him to beware of Macduff, the other tells him that no man can harm him and the third tells him that he will never be vanquished until the forest moves up the hill. Macbeth tries to ask them what about Banquo’s children becoming kings. They confirm it again. Then Lennox comes just as the witches disappear and tells him Macduff has fled to England.

Quote: “Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff; beware the Thane of Fife. – Dismiss me. -Enough.” – Apparition One.

Quote: “Be bloody, bold and resolute: laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” (Be bloody, bold and resolute: laugh at the power of men for no man to whom a woman has given birth shall harm Macbeth.) – Apparition Two.

Quote: “Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are: Macbeth shall never vanquish be, until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him.” (Be as courageous as a lion, proud and don’t worry about who is angry, or complains or plots against you: Macbeth will never be defeated until the Great Birnam wood moves up Dunsinane hill.) – Apparition Three.

Shakespeare has used animals (birds especially) to be symbols and/or metaphors to emphasise a quality (Be lion-mettled, proud), a state of time (when the owl is used to symbolize darkness for an approaching dark time) and also to explain the importance of an event (quote in summary below).

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 4, Scene 2 Summary

Characters: Lady Macduff, Son, Rosse, Messanger, Murderers.

Location: A room in Macduff’s castle.

Time: After Macduff fled to England.

Events: Lady Macduff is talking to Rose about Macduff fleeing to England, Lady Macduff says that Macduff is dead to her and has left their son fatherless. The son does not believe what his mother is saying that his father is not a traitor as his mother says he is. The murderers come in and ask for Macduff, Lady Macduff says he is in an unholy place and the son called them villains. They stab and kill him and Lady Macduff runs out of the room.

Quotes: “He loves us not; he wants the natural touch; for the poor wren, the most diminutive of birds, will fight, her young ones in her nest, against the owl. All is fear, and nothing is the love; as little is the wisdom, where the flight so runs against all reason.” (He does not love us, he lacks the normal feelings of a father and a husband. Even the fragile wren will fight against the owl when it threatens her young ones in the nest. His running away has everything to do with fear and nothing to do with love. There is no wisdom in his running away and goes against all reason.) – Lady Macduff

Again, Shakespeare uses birds to describe what is going on in the play and what Lady Macduff of her husband now that he has left them.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 4, Scene 3 Summary

Characters: Malcolm, Macduff, Doctor, Rosse.

Location: England, a room in the King’s Castle.

Time: After the murder of Lady Macduff and her son.

Events: Malcolm is suspicious, fearing that Macduff might betray him to Macbeth for a personal reward. Macduff is dismayed to be suspected in this way.  To test Macduff’s loyalty, Malcolm pretends to be even more sinful than Macbeth. Malcolm pretends to be lustful and greedy and lacking in all the virtues that a king should possess. Finally believing that Malcolm is as full of vices as he claims, Macduff angrily rejects him as fit to rule Scotland. This is the reassurance that Malcolm needs and he explains that he had lied about his vices to test Macduff’s loyalty. Malcolm explains about King Edward’s powers to cure people. Rosse arrives to report the latest news from Scotland. He reports that Macduff’s family are well and that good men are preparing to rebel against Macbeth. Malcolm confirms his plans to invade Scotland with the support of an English army. Then Rosse breaks the news about the murder of Macduff’s family. Malcolm tries to comfort Macduff and they then leave for the invasion of Scotland.

Quotes: “It is myself, I mean; in whom I know all the particulars of vice so grafted, that, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth will seem as pure as snow; and the poor state esteem him as a lamb, being compared with my confineless harms.” ( I am talking about myself. I have many bad qualities that when the people see them all, Macbeth will look as pure as snow and poor Scotland will see him as a sweet lamb compared to my infinite evils.) – Malcolm

Quotes: “Macbeth is ripe for shaking, and the powers above put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may; the night is long that never finds the day.” (Macbeth is ready to be taken off the throne and the heavenly powers are arming themselves. The night was long but a new day will come.) – Malcolm.

They talk about Macbeth’s reign as a long night and that their plan to take him off the throne and invade Scotland will start a new day. This adds on to the night metaphor that has been seen throughout the play. It is also a nice quote that can also mean that bad times will always come to an end.



Act 3 Summary

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 1 Summary

Characters: Banquo, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Lenox, Rosse, Attendant.

Location: Forres, a room in the castle

Time: After Macbeth has been crowned.

Events: Banquo expresses his suspicion about Macbeth, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth come in and talk about Banquo’s ride today. Macbeth talks to two murders about Banquo.

Quote: “Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown, put a barren sceptre in my grip thence to be wrenched with an unlined hand, no son of mine succeeding. ” (The crown in fruitless and the sceptre barren because Macbeth’s descendants would not inherit them.) – Macbeth

Quote: “For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind; for them the gracious Duncan have I murdered; put rancours in the vessel of my peace only for them; and mine eternal jewel given to the common enemy of man, to make them kings and seed of Banquo kings!” (I have polluted my mind with Banquo’s descendants and I have given my soul to the devil just so Banquo’s children can be kings!) – Macbeth

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 2 Summary

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Servant, Macbeth.

Location: Forres, a room in the castle.

Time: After Banquo has left.

Events: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth briefly discuss what to do about Banquo and his son, Macbeth says he has it all under control and to be a gracious hostess for the banquet that night.

Quote: “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.” (Come night and blindfold the kindhearted day, use your bloody and invisible hand to tear the life bond of Banquo who has me in fear.) – Macbeth

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 3 Summary

Characters: Three murderers, Banquo, Fleance

Location: a mile outside the castle at Forres.

Time: At night as Banquo arrives back.

Events: The three murderers attack Banquo, killing him but Fleance escapes.

Quote: O treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou may ’st revenge —O slave! (Treachery, good Fleance run, run, run! Someday get revenge. Oh you slave) – Banquo

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 4 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Lords, Murderer, Lenox, Rosse.

Location: A room in the palace, at a banquet table.

Time: After Macbeth’s coronation.

Events: Macbeth attends a banquet to celebrate his coronation and murderer appears to say that Banquo is dead but his son got away. Banquo’s ghost appears but only Macbeth sees him. To the lords in attendant, Macbeth looks like he’s acting crazy and Lady Macbeth tries to cover for him.

Quote: “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.” (I will sacrifice anything to get what I want. I have got blood on my hand and I have gone too far to turn back now.) – Macbeth

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 5 Summary

Characters: Witch, Hecate.

Location: The heath.

Time: Not sure.

Events: One of the witches meets with Hecate who says she feels left out and that their situation with Macbeth can be dangerous.

Quote: “You all know, security is mortals’ chiefest enemy.” (Giving a mortal confidence and security can also be their greatest enemy) – Hecate.

Overconfidence can lead to selfishness and a greed to get more power and can lead to their own destruction or that of others. 

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 6 Summary

Characters: Lenox and another Lord.

Location: Somewhere in Scotland

Time: Not sure.

Events: Lennox expresses his suspicions of Macbeth to another lord. (Using a bit of sarcasm)


Act 2 Summary

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 1 Summary

Characters: Banquo, Fleance, Macbeth

Location: Macbeth’s castle

Time: Moonless, starless night after midnight.

Events: Banquo and Fleance meet Macbeth late at night, they wish each other a good night since neither can sleep and Macbeth talks about his intents. (Floating dagger – real or in his head)

Quotes: “There’s husbandry in heaven; their candles are all out” (Heaven is busy, there are no stars) – Banquo

Before in the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth talk about the stars ‘hiding their fires’ and the darkness covering their evil intents and hiding them from heaven.

Quote: “A dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” (Is it a figment of my mind, an image of something that is not there coming from a feverish brain?) – Macbeth

Macbeth is then alone, he talks about seeing a dagger he cannot hold. It could be a vision telling him to carry on with his plan to kill Duncan. He does not know if it is real or not. Throughout the play, there have a few times that Macbeth’s imagination or mental state has affected what he sees and believed. One contradiction to this is that Banquo also saw the witches. 

Quote:”I go, and it is done: the bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell.” (The bell is encouraging me on, do not hear it, Duncan, for it is a funeral bell that will summon you to heaven or to hell) – Macbeth

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 2 Summary

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth

Location: A room in Macbeth’s castle.

Time: After Duncan has been killed.

Events: Lady Macbeth is afraid that the servants woke and that their plans are ruined. Then Macbeth comes and says that he did the deed and talks about how the servants woke up and said a few things then went back to sleep. Macbeth says how he can’t believe what he has just done and Lady Macbeth tells him that he shouldn’t be scared of what he had seen and done.

Quote: “It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it.” (That was the owl that shrieked like a bell before an execution a scary good-night. Macbeth must be doing the deed now.) – Lady Macbeth

Throughout the play, there have been many sounds that are then talked about in the characters speech. These include the sounds of birds (owl – night), (raven – messenger of death) and bells (both execution and funeral).

Quote: “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine making the green one red.” (I have so much blood on my hands that not even the sea can clean it, if I were, I would turn the sea red) – Macbeth

Quote: “My hands are of your colour; but I shame to wear a heart so white.” (I have blood on my hands too, but my heart is not white, the colour of cowardice as yours is). -Lady Macbeth

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 3 Summary

Characters: Porter, Macduff, Lenox, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Banquo, Malcolm, Donalbain.

Location: A courtyard in Macbeth’s castle.

Time: Morning after Duncan has been killed.

Events: Macduff enters the castle, needing to speak with the king. He finds him dead and everyone in the castle is shocked (most anyway). Lady Macbeth and Macbeth pretend to not know anything. The guards are found covered in blood and with the murder weapon. Macbeth goes to kill them before they wake up. Malcolm and Donalbain are suspicious and plan to leave knowing whoever did it was probably not finished with his job just yet.

Quotes: “The night has been unruly: where we lay, our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say, lamentings heard i’ the air; strange screams of death, and prophesying with accents terrible of dire combustion, and confused events, new hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird clamoured the livelong night: some say the earth was feverous and did shake.” (The night was stormy, and the wind blew down our chimneys. Some say they heard cries of misery and strange screams of death and voices prophesying bad events that will start a woeful age. The owl  hooted all night and some say the earth shook as if it had a fever.) – Lenox

Lenox talks about what happened during the night that Duncan was killed. He mentioned the call of a bird yet again, the owl (bird of darkness). He also talked about strange screams and predictions that could be lead back to the witches, who started prophesying about bad things. He also talks about how the earth shook, and before Banquo and Macbeth talked about the witches disappearing into the earth and could link to what Lenox is talking about. 

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 4 Summary

Characters: Old man, Rosse, Macduff

Location: Outside the castle.

Time: Not sure.

Events: Rosse and Old Man talk about the evil deed and what other strange things happened around that time. Macduff comes and says that it was the servants that killed the king and were paid to do it. He says that the kings two sons Malcolm and Donalbain have fled and are under suspicion. They say that Macbeth is now going to be crowned king and is on his way to it now.

Quotes: “Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man’s act, threatens his bloody stage: by the clock ‘t is day, and yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp. Is ‘t night’s predominance, or the day’s shame, that darkness does the face of earth entomb, when living light should kiss it?” (The heavens are disturbed by men’s deeds and are now threatening the earth with storms. The clock says its daytime but the dark night is strangling the sun. Is it the superior power of the night or the day hiding its face in shame, that darkness covers the earth when it is supposed to be light?) – Rosse

Rosse and the old man are talking about unnatural things that have been happening. This links with what Lenox said in the scene before.  He talks about how the darkness has overtaken the day/light and they do not know why. 

Quote: “Lest our old robes sit easier than our new.”(Old clothes are more comfortable than new ones) – Macduff

Macduff is saying that Duncan’s rule might have been easier to live under than Macbeth’s new one.



Metaphor Paragraph

Powerful metaphors and compelling personification,  amplify Lady Macbeth’s evil intents and dark thoughts. In Act 1 Scene 5, Lady Macbeth has just had the light shine on the past events her husband, Macbeth has been through so far in the play. Shakespeare’s strong use of these language features has given us a clear insight into how Lady Macbeth understands these new developments and her cruel intentions to act on them.

After the messenger has delivered the news of the King’s plan to visit, Lady Macbeth tells the audience her thoughts in a metaphor full soliloquy that includes the phrase, “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.” 

By illustrating the night as thick, and calling on it to cover her actions like it was a living thing is an example of personification and a metaphor. She wants to hide from heaven (God/goodness) and uses smoke from hell to obscure her motives and intentions. By using these opposites in this quote, Shakespeare has made the darkness and the night belong to the concepts of hell.


Summary – Act 1

William Shakespeare`s Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 1 Summary

Characters: Three witches.

Location: A desert place.

Time: Unkown (before the end of the battle mentioned)

Events: The witches plan to meet again after the battle is done and meet Macbeth upon the heath.

Quote: “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” (Paradox) – All Witches

William Shakespeare`s Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 2 Summary

Characters: Duncan, Malcolm, Captain, Lenox, Rosse.

Location: Camp near Forres.

Time: Just after Macbeth slain Macdonwald.

Events: Battle just fought, King Duncan is being told by the wounded Captain about how Macbeth slew Macdonwald. Their enemy. And how brave and valiant Macbeth fought. Rosse tells the King that they won the battle.

Quote: “As two swimmers, that do cling together and choke their art.” (That the outcome of the battle was still unclear and both sides were just holding off each other.) – Captain

Quote: “Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution.” (The blood of his sword looked like vapour flying off)                – Captain

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 3 Summary

Character: Three witches, Macbeth, Banquo, Rosse, Angus.

Location: Upon the heath.

Time: After the battle was won by them.

Events: Three witches tell Macbeth and Banquo that Macbeth is Thane of Cawdor and will be king and Banquo’s children will be king. Then Rosse and Angus come and tell Macbeth about how the king made him Thane of Cawdor. They start to take the witches prediction seriously. Banquo is aware of a possible mistruth by the witches. Macbeth believes them. He starts thinking about a murderous fantasy he is scared to consider.

Quote: “The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me in borrowed clothes?” (The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you give me the title of someone else.) – Macbeth

Quote: “New honours come upon him like our strange new garments, cleave not to their mould. But with aid of use.” (New honours have been given to him like clothes that do not fit properly but will with the “aid of use”.

Throughout the scenes, we have read so far, there have been a few metaphors about clothing to describe the situation someone is in. (Motif / Symbolic) 

Quote: “If Chance will have me king, why, Chance may crown, without my stir” (If fate has planned to have him king would he be crowned without him needing to take action” – Macbeth

This can be referenced back to Romeo and Juliet in the same way that Romeo allows ‘Fate’ to “direct his sail” and “steer my course”, as Macbeth will let ‘Chance’ “have him king” and “may crown”.

Quote: “That, trusted home, might yet enkindle you unto the crown besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ‘t is strange: and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence-” (Just because they tell us one truth does not mean everything else they said will come true too. )- Banquo

Banquo doesn’t believe or doesn’t want to believe that Macbeth will become king, he doesn’t believe the witches and refers to them as “instruments of darkness”.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 4 Summary

Characters: Duncan, Malcolm, Macbeth,

Location: Forres. A room in the King’s Palace.

Time: After the witches told Macbeth and Banquo about their prediction.

Events: Duncan personally thanks Macbeth for his great deed in battle and we now know of the execution of the old Thane of Cawdor who betrayed them. Macbeth thinks Duncan will pronounce him as the next King and is disappointed that Duncan names Malcolm his heir.

Quote:” The Prince of Cumberland! – That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap for in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires; the eye wink at hand, yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.”(He will be my downfall or I will overcome him since he stands in my way of becoming king. Nobody shall see my evil thoughts, and I shall close my eyes as to not see my hand. When it is done the eye will fear to look at what he did.) – Macbeth

As Macbeth learns of Malcolm’s new position, he recognises him as an obstacle to his becoming King and he will either be Macbeth’s downfall or Macbeth will get rid of him; “That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies”. He will pretend to congratulate Malcolm while planning to plot behind his back with his dark thoughts and ideas. “Let not light see my black and deep desires.”. 

Macbeth is also afraid of these thoughts and what he might do, the imagery used of the eyes has been used a few times throughout the play already. “the eye wink at hand” and “which the eye fears”. 

Also, Shakespeare also uses the stars which played a big part in fate in Romeo and Juliet. In this play, the stars could also represent God and Macbeth does not want him to see his evil thoughts and plans. 

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 5 Summary

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Messanger, Macbeth.

Location: A room in Macbeth’s castle.

Time: After Malcolm was crowned heir to the throne.

Events: Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth that tells her all that has happened to him. She reflects that Macbeth is too kind to perform such a deed. A messenger comes to tell her about the King’s arrival and she plans to take control of the situation to kill the king for Macbeth she says she wants to be “unsexed” because women in that time were thought incapable. She says that she has no compunctious so her conscience wouldn’t get in her way. Macbeth comes and tells her of the kings stay, she says to him to leave the deed to her.

Quote: “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty!” (Take away my femininity to do the deed.) – Lady Macbeth

Women at that time were thought as weak and incapable so she wants her femininity to be taken away “unsex me here”.

Quote: “-Yet I do fear thy nature: it is too full o’ the milk of humans kindness to catch the nearest way.” (She fears her husband’s nature is too kind.) – Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth does not think her husband has it in him so she plans to do the evil deed for him so he can rise to power and pull her up with him.

Quote: “Come, you spirits, that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood; stop up the access and the passage to remorse that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts, and take my milk for gall, you murdering minister, wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature’s mischief! 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”.” (Come dark night, and shroud yourself in the darkest smoke from hell so my knife cannot see what it has done and so heaven/goodness cannot see through the darkness and yell at me to stop.) – Lady Macbeth

This is the first insight into the plans to kill the king, Lady Macbeth has started to show her darker self. She uses similar wording to her husband when she says “Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes” and Macbeth says “Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be, which the eyes fears, when it is done, to see.” These two quotes both use the dark to hide thoughts or/and the actions the two characters a thinking of. In this quote, the darkness is also referred to the evil spirits like those of the witches. They do not want heaven to see what they are up to.

Quote: “Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crowned withal.” (Fate and metaphysical (evil spirits, witches, supernatural) help which seem to have crowned you already) – Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth recognises the otherworldly help her husband will have and that they have already predicted him as king.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 6 Summary

Characters: Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth (Malcolm, Donalbain, Lenox Macduff, Rosse, Angus and attendants)

Location: In front of Macbeth’s castle.

Time: After Macbeth and Lady Macbeth talk.

Events: The king and those who accompanied him arrive at Macbeth’s castle and are greeted by Lady Macbeth, they discuss Macbeth then proceed inside. Duncan expresses his love for Macbeth and the pleasantness of the castle.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 7 Summary

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth.

Location: Room in Macbeth’s castle.

Time: As Duncan has dinner.

Events: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth discuss how they are going to kill Duncan. Macbeth changes his mind at the beginning and Lady Macbeth calls him a coward and changes his mind back to her plan to frame the king’s guards.

Quote:”He’s here in double trust: first, as I am his kinsmen and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself.”(The King has two reasons to trust me, I am his subject and his family and also his host who should not allow his murderers into his home and not hold the knife to kill Duncan himself.) – Macbeth.

Macbeth is now thinking of why he shouldn’t be the one kill Duncan as he is part of his family, his king, and his guest. Because of these, he should be the one to turn away potential murderers and not murder him himself.

Quote:” He hath honoured me of late; and I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon.” (He is an honorable man and many people think highly of him, their opinions should be worn as medals and not cast aside.) – Macbeth

Macbeth has now changed his mind towards killing Duncan, but Lady Macbeth tries to talk him out of it. Macbeth says that his cousin is too good of a person and is loved too much by many people.

Quote: “Was the hope drunk, wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since, and wakes it now, to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? From this time such I account thy love.” (Were you so for it all before because you were drunk? Have you now woken and feel sick about it. I will now think of your love as a drunk lust.) – Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth is outraged that Macbeth is going back on what he was planning earlier, she accuses him of loving her in the same drunken, untrue way.

Quote: “Bring forth men-children only! For thy undaunted mettle should compose nothing but males.” (Have only male offspring for your unafraid fearlessness should only make males.) – Macbeth

Macbeth has now had his mind changed back by his wifes clever plan to kill Duncan and admres her courage and says he hopes they have son to inherit her fearlessness.

State of Mind = Are the witches real or is Macbeth seeing things

Text Transcript

Abi: “I’m bored (Lack of punctuation – no full stop)”

Annika: ” R u (Logograms – R = Are and u = you) now, me to I almost don’t want to go to sleep becoz (Unusual spelling- becoz = because) it’s school tomorrow”

Abi: “I just realised I planned to finish my English and I completely forgot whoops :’ ) (Emoticons – smiley/crying face) ookaaayyy (Repeated letters for emphasis) now I’m screwed lol (Acronym – lol = laugh out loud) alg (Contraction – alg = all good) it’s fine hahaha (Speech like interjection) noooo (Repeated letters for emphasis)

Abi: “Rip”

Abi: “Yeah same lololol (Repeated acronym for emphasis)

Me: “What english (Lack of capital letter) (Lack of punctuation – no full stop)

Abi: “; )”

Abi: “I never finished my Romeo thing in class    (Lack of punctuation) I’m really behind”

Abi: “Fudgicles (Made up words that give emphasis and meaning) I should probably do it but my parents would be like “what the heck u had 2 weeks bla bla (Speech interjection)” so I’m just gonna freak out to you slightly instead”

Me: “Ha me neither but I did get the quote down just not the notes”

Abi: “Ok”

Abi: “Well I’m biking to school tomorrow so I will just panic and do it in the library before school starts how bout (Slang but used in texting) it :’ )”

Me: “Haha ok”

Abi: “(Poo emoji) (Emoticon)

Me: “Oh what a lovely way to show your affection (Sarcasm)

Abi: “Believe me that is a great honour (Sarcasm)”

Me: “I feel honored (Sarcasm)

Abi: “(thumbs up) (Emoticon)

Abi: “Will meet u on field? (Ellipsis)

Me: “.b”

Abi: “No”

Abi: “:’ )”



Conversation Transcript (Abi & Brianna)

Annika: “Abi you’re wrecking the field!”

Abigail: “Sorreee (Repeated sound for emphasis)”

Annika: “Keep your hands to yourself.”

Brianna: “Do you guys remember like (Verb filler), when they graffitied the field?”

Annika: “Yes!”

Abigail: “I wasn’t here for that.”

Annika: “Oh my god!”

Brianna: “It was so funny!”

Annika: “They like, didn’t they get fined or something?( Verbal filler )

Brianna: “They got like weedkiller.”

Abigail: “Oh yeah, didn’t they like spray it in the quad? Or on the field?

Annika: “Yeah they did some on the quad as well. ( Adjacency pairs – question then answer)

Brianna: “Yeah they got weedkiller and like, drew inappropriate things.”

Abigail: “Oh…”

Brianna: “It was quite funny.”

Annika: “Didn’t Mr Hose say they got fined or something?”

Abigail: “Yeah they probably did. Coz (Dialect – typical of youths around our area ) its like… bad stuff, what, what is it?”

Annika: “Yeah they had to, they had to re- like – ”

Brianna: “It cost a lot of money”

Abigail: “Huhuh (Filler). Wasn’t it a leaving prank or something?”

Annika: “Yeah”

Brianna: “Yea`h, I wonder what Jessie and Stirling -”

Abigail: “Oh, they banned all the pranks last year.”

Brianna: “Did they?”

Abigail: “And they said that if anyone like did any pranks they would get like ex -”

Brianna: “Well they can’t get expelled coz they’re leaving.”

Abigail: (interrupts Brianna at they’re) “Well, no, they, they would get a fine or s-something (Stuttering, shows a bit of hesitation or second-guessing) or rather (Brianna: “That sucks (Metaphor)“) I’m not really sure.”

Annika: “What did they do last year?”

Abigail: “They, they couldn’t do it last year coz there was a big punishment.”

Brianna: “That’s, not, really fair.”

Abigail: “They didn’t do anything they weren’t allowed.”

Annika: “You sure?”

Abigail: “Yeah”

Brianna: “Yeah they did?! Didn’t they?”

Abigail: “No coz Sam was gonna (Dialect – typical to youths in this area) do one but he couldn’t do it coz he would have got like a serious

Annika: (interrupts at “like”) “Has Sam left?!”

Abigail: “Yeah”

Annika: “Oh my god!”

Brianna: “He’s in year 13 last year.”

Abigail: “Yeah he moved yesterday.”

Annika: “Where’s he going?” (Brianna says simultaneously “Yesterday?”)

Abigail: “Or the, day before or something he’s going to um, (Filler) Canterbury.”

Brianna: mumbles unidentifiable sound

Annika: “Oh cool.”

Abigail: “Engineering.”

Annika: “Oh, like Luke!”

Brianna: “Sounds like Sam, that smart unidentified mumbling

Annika: gasp “That’s so cool”

Abigail: “All of the boys in year 13 that have, like, half a brain, (metaphor) they’re all doing like engineering.”

Brianna: “Do you know what Georgia is doing?”

Annika: “Oh guys, this is like two minutes now.”

Abi: “Oh she’s, she’s taking a gap year.”

The End!