Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are some problems going on in Macbeth's kingdom in Acts I through III? William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Critic Harold Bloom writes that no other play by Shakespeare "so engulfs us in phantasmagoria as Macbeth." From beginning to end, the preternatural and blood dominate.

Act I

The intrusion of the supernatural into the first scene stirs the blood-ridden warrior with desires for power as Macbeth is greeted by the witches as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King.  The idea of his acquiring such powerful positions tempts Macbeth, but Banquo warns him against the trap of the "instruments of darkness."  Nevertheless, the bewildered Macbeth who realizes "nothing is/But what is not," is tempted:

If chance will have me King, why, chance may crown me

Without my stir. (1.3.155)

However, once the treacherous Thane of Cawdor is executed and Macbeth is made Thane, he no longer doubts the witches' predictions.  However, by his entertainlng the preternatural, Macbeth risks disturbing the Chain of Being and he risks conflict with Banquo, who is aware of the predictions and has cautioned him...

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