Clothing imagery is first used in Act l, Scene 3, when Ross tells Macbeth that the had asked him to greet the general with the title "Thane of Cawdor." Macbeth responds as follows,
The thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me
In borrow'd robes?
Banquo had, after Ross's statement, rhetorically responded asking if the devil can speak true. He is surprised that the witches' earlier prediction that Macbeth would become thane of Cawdor could actually be true. Macbeth is equally amazed, for he thinks that the thane still holds the title. The "borrowed robes" symbolically refer to the title.
Ross then informs him that the Thane of Cawdor is to be executed for his betrayal by assisting Sweno of Norway and the rebel, Macdonwald, who had turned against his king. The title would then be available, and King Duncan decided to bestow it on Macbeth for his bravery.
It is ironic that Macbeth is given the title that belonged to a traitor, since he would become one himself when he brutally assassinates his liege and...
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