What impressions does Shakespeare's Act I, Scene 2 create for the audience in Macbeth?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Act I, Scene 2 of Macbeth creates the impressions of violence, bravery, foreign conflicts, blood, and victory.

In Scene 2 of the first act of Macbeth, King Duncan asks "What bloody man is that?" This is the captain who reports on the bravery of the violent Macbeth whose sword "smoked with bloody execution," as he violently "unseams" his enemy, the traitorous Macdonwald, and "fixed his head upon our battlements." 

While this has all transpired, there is also a threat from Norwegian soldiers, who, when they saw the Irish fleeing, take advantage of the situation and use the opportunity to attack the Scottish forces. Norway is repelled; however, the king of Norway demands terms of peace.

When Ross tells King Duncan about the King of Norway's demands, Duncan is more concerned about his own men because he orders Ross to take care of the execution of the traitorous MacDonalwald and to award Macbeth the title of Thane of Cawdor. So, out of this all, Macbeth emerges as a victor.

Certainly, this second scene from Act I is replete with the aspects of battle: violence, conflicts with foreign powers, blood, and ultimate victory.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial