In Macbeth, from Act I to Act III, what quotes could explain the main themes regarding ambition, guilt, and supernatural forces?Pleass show some examples regarding the themes and give the...

In Macbeth, from Act I to Act III, what quotes could explain the main themes regarding ambition, guilt, and supernatural forces?

Pleass show some examples regarding the themes and give the characters who are related to those themes.  Thank you.

Expert Answers
sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Supernatural Forces

Act I, scene iii:  The witches gather and perform a spell, ending in "Peace! the charm's wound up." This represents their supernatural being.  Then Macbeth refers to the weird feeling of the day in this quote:  "So foul and fair a day I have not seen."  Because the day is contradictory, Shakespeare is setting an uneasy mood.  Banquo then refers to the witches as "not like the inhabitants o' the earth," as if they were not human. 

Banquo: What are these
So wither'd and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? (1.3)

Macbeth will later refer to the information they gave and the information given by Ross and Angus (announcing Macbeth as Thane of Cawdor) as "supernatural soliciting" (some texts omit the line "This supernatural soliciting").

Macbeth: [Aside] This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor. (1.3)

Act II, scene iii:  Later, after the king has been killed, Lennox will say that "The night has been unruly" and that he heard "strange screams of death,/And prophesying with accents terrible ...." There have been many suggestions in the text of forces beyond men's control.

Ambition:

In Act I, scene vii:  Macbeth lists all the reasons for why he should not kill Duncan but then says, "I have no spur/To prick the sides of my intent, but only/Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself/And falls on th' other."  He recognizes that the only reason to kill Duncan is because of what he wants.  Lady Macbeth refers to the deed as ambition herself when trying to convince him to do it.  She says to Macbeth that the crown is the thing "Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,...." She says if he wants it, he should take it, letting "I would" be decisive.

See Act 2, scene ii for lines by Macbeth about his guilt, such as, "There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried/'Murder!'"