I am looking for quotes of the three prophecies the apparitions give to Macbeth in Act IV of Macbeth.  What were Macbeth's reaction to these prophecies? Thank you so much.  I have to hand this...

I am looking for quotes of the three prophecies the apparitions give to Macbeth in Act IV of Macbeth.

 

What were Macbeth's reaction to these prophecies?

Thank you so much.  I have to hand this in tomorrow! God bless!

 

Asked on by funkydude

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shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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This is Act IV, scene i, when Macbeth visits the Witches to demand that they answer his questions, so the prophecies are prompted by Macbeth himself in this act, which differs from Act I, when the Witches accost Macbeth and Banquo with their predictions.

The first apparition, an "armed Head" that appears in response to Macbeth's thought, says:

. . .beware Macduff.

Beware the Thane of Fife.  Dismiss me.  Enough.

In response, Macbeth says:

. . .for thy good caution, thanks.

Thou hast harp'd my fear aright. . .

So, Macbeth already suspects that Macduff is his enemy.

The second appartition is a bloody child.  It says:

Be bloody, bold, and resolute. . .

. . .for none of woman born

Shall harm Macbeth.

Macbeth

Then live Macduff; what need I fear of thee?

But Macbeth decides to go ahead and kill Macduff, just to be sure that he cannot hurt him.  (This, we find out in the next scene, is not possible, since Macduff has fled to England.)

The third apparition is a crowned child with a tree in his hand who says:

Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until

Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill

Shall come against him.

Macbeth

That will never be.

Who can impress the forest, bid the tree

Unfix his earth-bound root? . . .

. . .and our high-placed Macbeth

Shall live the lease of nature.

So, Macbeth assumes that, since trees can't grow legs and walk, he won't be defeated and killed in battle.  He tries to find out one more thing:  "shall Banquo's issue ever/Reign in this kingdom?"  But the apparitions will offer no more information.

 

 

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