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Module 1: Macbeth Act One

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Act one, scene seven

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English - Act one, scene seven

Act one, scene seven

This scene, like scene five, is very important in establishing the
relationship between Macbeth and his wife. It begins with his soliloquy in
which he contemplates the proposed murder. Macbeth concludes that he has no
reason to kill Duncan except his ambition to be king.

When Lady Macbeth enters Macbeth tells her he has decided against the
murder. His reasons are that Duncan has honoured him and that he is
experiencing the respect and admiration of many at the moment and does not
want to throw this aside so soon. These are not reasons he has mentioned in
his soliloquy and the audience wonders why he cannot tell her those.

Lady Macbeth continues to manipulate her husband by suggesting that she
has more manly qualities than him, that she would rip her nipple from her
baby's mouth and bash its brains out if she had promised to do so

Lady Macbeth is enraged by this and in her wrath questions Macbeth's
manliness. Her ambition to be queen was as strong as Macbeth's to be king.
She feels betrayed by his refusal to continue with their plan and thus
calls into question his love for her. She says that when he was determined
to murder Duncan he was a man but now that he has broken the promise to
commit the act he is little more than a beast.

Macbeth questions his wife as to what would happen if they fail in their
task and she confidently assures him that if they are courageous they will
not fail. She informs him of the plan to commit the murder and says they
will lay the blame on the King's guards to make it look like they did it.
This scene concludes with Macbeth resolving to commit the crime.

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