What's the mood of act 1 scene 1? What contributes to this mood?
Why did Macbeth find it hard to believe the witches' prediction would come true?
What does Lady Macbeth fear about her husband's nature? What might his nature prevent?
Name two reasons for Macbeth not wanting to kill duncan?
What messages does the messeger bring to Lady Macbeth in act 1?
The messenger is sent ahead of Macbeth to warn Lady Macbeth that Duncan will be visiting the castle. The note includes enough information to give her the idea that Macbeth is considering taking the King's life. This note gives Lady Macbeth time to prepare a plan for Duncan's demise. (and provides ample time for Lady Macbeth to communicate to the audience what she is thinking and why...in other words, it allows for the audience watching to find out critical information about her character before Duncan and Macbeth arrive and the action begins.)
Macbeth knows the Thane of Cawdor, and believes he is alive and well, and so he finds the prophecy to be ridiculous. However, when the noblemen arrive to tell them of Cawdor's betrayal and upcoming execution, Macbeth is swayed into thinking that the "weird sisters" are credible.
Lady Macbeth is ready to believe the sisters easily, and wants to move things along immediately. She fears, however, that Macbeth is too weak of spirit, lacking in the ambition he would need to murder his own kin. This would prevent the death of Duncan and prevent Macbeth gaining the crown.
Macbeth has honest objections though. Duncan is his king and his cousin; he is Duncan's host, and should not bring harm to him; Duncan has been a good leader and is well liked.
The messanger brings the news that Duncan will be visiting the castle.
Macbeth finds it difficult to believe the witches at first because they call him "Thane of Cawdor," and, as he says, "The Thane of Cawdor lives, / A prosperous genteleman." Rather than clear up his confusion, the witches disappear. Lady Macbeth thinks her husband might not kill Duncan for he (Macbeth) might be "too full the milk of human kindness," in other words, too nice of a guy, too soft and feminine (even though he is a warrior) to in fact murder a King.