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Module 1: Macbeth Act One

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Act one, scene four

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XSIQ
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English - Act one, scene four

Act one, scene four

In this scene there are two significant events.

The first event comes when Macbeth and Banquo meet King Duncan and the
King expresses his gratitude to the two of them hiding his ambition and all
previous thoughts of murder.

Macbeth is humble before the King stating that his duty is to the throne
and state. King Duncan tells Macbeth that he will nurture him and ensure
greatness for him:

'I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
TO MAKE THEE FULL OF GROWING' (lines 30-31)

This line is important as it is something the audience will remember later
in the play as the tragedy unfolds. One cannot help but think about how
things would have been different if Macbeth had not been so ambitious as to
want the throne so quickly. Shortly afterwards King Duncan announces that
Malcolm will be heir to the throne and is now to be called Prince of
Cumberland. (Remember that in these circumstances the line to the throne
was not hereditary, the King would name who he wanted to succeed him.) It
is Macbeth's response to this that is significant as the extent to which
the witches have affected him can be seen. He is distressed that the King
has announced Malcolm as his successor and immediately begins to plot how
he will overcome this obstacle in his ascent to the throne. He bids the
stars to hide so that his "dark and deep desires" will not see what crimes
the hands commits

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