I need help with quotations on conflict, pathos, imagery and contrast in Act 1 of Macbeth.Please explain how it is a conflict, pathos....so on :)

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are many examples of all these literary devices in Act 1 of Shakespeare's Macbeth.  When the Captain returns from battle, he relays to King Duncan all that has gone on in the war using imagery:  "Shipwracking storms and direful thunders break" (I.ii.26).  King Duncan is angry, however, because the present Thane of Cawdor has proven to be a traitor and has given information to the opposing army causing an obvious conflict of interest; as punishment, King Duncan sentences him to death:  "No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive our bosom interest.--Go pronounce his present death" (I.ii. 65-66). 

After this scene, Macbeth and Banquo have their encounter with the witches.  The witches present a contrast in what they say and do according to Banquo:  "But 'tis strange:  and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of Darkness tell us truths" (I.iii.122-124).  Banquo suggests that he assumes that the witches should always tell lies, but in this case, they have given the men a dangerous hope.  Finally, when King Duncan makes his reward to Macbeth for his bravery on the battlefield, he does so with strong pathos:  "O worthiest cousin!  The sin of my ingratitude even now was heavy on me" (I.iv.14-15).  King Duncan showers Macbeth with kindness and praise to show his reverence to loyalty.

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