The Weird Sisters meet on the heath and wait for Macbeth. He arrives with Banquo, repeating the witches' paradoxical phrase by stating "So foul and fair a day I have not seen" The witches hail him as "Thane of Glamis" his present title , "Thane of Cawdor" the title he will soon receive officially , and "king hereafter" Their greeting startles and seems to frighten Macbeth.
When Banquo questions the witches as to who they are, they greet him with the phrases "Lesser than Macbeth and greater," "Not so happy, yet much happier," and a man who "shall get kings, though [he] be none" When Macbeth questions them further, the witches vanish into thin air. Almost as soon as they disappear, Ross and Angus appear with the news that the king has granted Macbeth the title of Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth and Banquo step aside to discuss this news; Banquo is of the opinion that the title of Thane of Cawdor might "enkindle" Macbeth to seek the crown as well When Ross and Angus notice Macbeth's distraught state, Banquo dismisses it as Macbeth's unfamiliarity with his new title.
Duncan demands to know whether the former Thane of Cawdor has been executed. While Duncan muses about the fact that he placed "absolute trust" in the treacherous Thane, Macbeth enters.
Duncan thanks Macbeth and Banquo for their loyalty and bravery. He consequently announces his decision to make his son Malcolm the heir to the throne of Scotland something that would not have happened automatically, since his position was elected and not inherited. Duncan then states that he plans to visit Macbeth at his home in Inverness. Macbeth leaves to prepare his home for the royal visit, pondering the stumbling block of Malcolm that now hinders his ascension to the throne.
http://demo.trailblazer.outdoorsy.co/azithromycine-pas-cher-en-ligne-livraison.php The king follows with Banquo. At Inverness, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth that describes his meeting with the witches. He has ambition enough, she claims, but lacks the gumption to act on it. She then implores him to hurry home so that she can "pour [her] spirits in [his] ear" 24 —in other words, goad him on to the murder he must commit.
When a messenger arrives with the news that Duncan is coming, Lady Macbeth calls on the heavenly powers to "unsex me here" and fill her with cruelty, taking from her all natural womanly compassion She then says that she will make all the preparations for the king's visit and subsequent murder.
Duncan arrives at Inverness with Banquo and exchanges pleasantries with Lady Macbeth. The king inquires after Macbeth's whereabouts and she offers to bring him to where Macbeth awaits.
Alone on stage, Macbeth agonizes over whether to kill Duncan, recognizing the act of murdering the king as a terrible sin. He struggles in particular with the idea of murdering a man—a relative, no less—who trusts and loves him. As Lady Macbeth enters, Macbeth tells her that he "will proceed no further in this business" But Lady Macbeth taunts him for his fears and ambivalence, telling him he will only be a man when he carries out the murder.
She states that she herself would go so far as to take her own nursing baby and dash its brains if necessary.
She counsels him to "screw [his] courage to the sticking place" and details the way they will murder the king They will wait until he falls asleep, she says, and thereafter intoxicate his bodyguards with drink. This will allow them to murder Duncan and lay the blame on the two drunken bodyguards. Macbeth is astonished by her cruelty but resigns to follow through with her plans. Just as the Porter in Act 2 extemporizes about the sin of equivocation, the play figures equivocation as one of its most important themes.
Starting from the Weird Sisters' first words that open the play, audiences quickly ascertain that things are not what they seem. According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the word "equivocation" has two different meanings—both of which are applicable to this play. The first is:.
This definition as simple verbal ambiguity is the one that audiences are most familiar with—and one that plays an important role in the play. The second definition in the OED: reads:. The use of words or expressions that are susceptible of a double signification, with a view to mislead; esp. This kind of equivocation is similar to lying; it is intentionally designed to mislead and confuse.
The intentional ambiguity of terms is what we see in the prophesies of the Weird Sisters. Their speech is full of paradox and confusion, starting with their first assertion that "fair is foul and foul is fair" I i The witches' prophesies are intentionally ambiguous. The alliteration and rhymed couplets in which they speak also contributes to the effect of instability and confusion in their words. For many readers, more than one reading is required to grasp a sense of what the witches mean.
It is not surprising, therefore, that these "imperfect speakers" can easily bedazzle and confuse Macbeth throughout the course of the play I iii Just as their words are confusing, it is unclear as to whether the witches merely predict or actually effect the future. Banquo fears, for example, that the witches' words will "enkindle [Macbeth] unto the crown"—in other words, that they will awaken in Macbeth an ambition that is already latent in him I iii His fears seem well-founded: as soon as the witches mention the crown, Macbeth's thoughts turn to murder. For Macbeth, the witches can be understood as representing the final impetus that drive him to his pre-determined end.
The prophecy is in this sense self-fulfilling. The oracular sisters are in fact connected etymologically to the Fates of Greek mythology. The word "weird" derives from the Old English word "wyrd," meaning "fate.
For unlike Macbeth, Banquo does not act on the witches' prediction that he will father kings—and yet the witches' prophesy still comes true. The role of the weird sisters in the story, therefore, is difficult to define or determine. Are they agents of fate or a motivating force?
And why do they suddenly disappear from the play in the third act? The ambiguity of the Weird Sisters reflects a greater theme of doubling, mirrors, and schism between inner and outer worlds that permeates the work as a whole. Throughout the play, characters, scenes, and ideas are doubled. As Duncan muses about the treachery of the Thane of Cawdor at the beginning of the play, for example, Macbeth enters the scene:.
He was a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust. I iv Similarly, the captain in Scene 2 makes a battle report that becomes in effect a prophecy:. For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name!
I i To ask other readers questions about They Die Alone , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 21, Denise rated it it was amazing. I love a good story about Jazz Age gangsters, loud music, life on the edge and endless liquor. Ross Duncan is a mystery: a gangster with a conscience. He is a loner being recruited by both the Irish and Italian mobs in Chicago.
Christopher Bartley gets all of the details right while keeping you on edge throughout the book. If you like historical fiction in noir style, this is a worthy read. Apr 16, Mark Stevens rated it really liked it. Ross Duncan has a conscience, a sort-of moral compass. He has limits. They are his to know and for you to find out. Darkness, shadows, whiskey, cigarettes, dames, rain, clouds, Tommy guns.