What is a summary of act one of macbeth?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The play begins in an empty section of Scotland where three witches meet. They discuss Macbeth and plan to meet again later. In the next scene, King Duncan is told about the heroic deeds of Macbeth.  Macbeth has killed the traitor McDonwald in a brave battle.  Please by his actions, Duncan decided to name Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor.

In scene 3 the witches meet again and this time see Banquo and Macbeth.  The witches predict that Banquo will never be king, but his sons will be. They also greet Macbeth as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King.  This prediction holds weight when Macbeth learns of the king's decision to pass along the title.  He begins to think that he might be king and contemplates what that means.

In scene 4 Duncan names Malcolm Prince of Cumberland. This means that if Duncan were to die, Malcolm will inherit the throne.  At this point, Macbeth knows that if he is going to become king, he's going to half to step over (kill) Malcolm.

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 no light see my black and deep desires

In scene 5 Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband detailing the prediction of the three witches. She knows that her husband is to kind to do what needs to be done to become king.

In scene 6 Duncan arrives at the home of the Macbeth. Duncan comments on the nice night and believe it's a sign of something good about to happen.

In scene 7 Macbeth holds a dinner for Duncan. He contemplates if he is strong enough to kill Duncan and Lady Macbeth questions his manhood.


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