How does Macbeth feel as he sees and hears from first apparition?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first apparition that Macbeth sees in Act 4, sc. 1, when he returns to the Weird Sisters demanding to know more about his future is the vision of a head clad in battle armor. The apparition says, "Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff; / Beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough."  Macbeth apparently feels a couple different emotions because he first thanks the apparition for the warning, "Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks!"  He is grateful that the apparition warned him to look out for Macduff.  He also feels some confirmation of what he already suspected, thus giving him a measure of confidence because he also says, "Thou hast harped my fear aright...".  In Act 3, when Hecate talks to the other witches, she says that "...Security is mortals' chiefest enemy."  Her plan for the handling of Macbeth is to make him feel so confident that he lets down his guard.  This is just one step in that plan.  Macbeth feels that he is correctly assessing the situation with Macduff, even after the next apparition tells him that he need not fear any man born of woman.  At first Macbeth says he doesn't need to fear Macduff if no man born of woman can harm him, but he says he'll take the extra safe measure and get rid of Macduff anyway.  The witches want Macbeth to feel invulnerable and they are succeeding in doing this.