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33

tl;dr The superstition that Macbeth is unlucky and must not be named is often supposed to date from the very first performance, or very shortly thereafter. However, a documented belief in this alleged curse can be traced back only as far as the early 1970s. Background: What is the alleged curse on Macbeth? The Royal Shakespeare Company provides some ...


24

You are quite right that the witches did not prophecy that Macbeth would murder Duncan, and so the option was available to him to “play it safe”: that is, to wait and see how the prophecy transpired, and so, perhaps, ascend the throne of Scotland “holily”. When you spot a case like this, in which a character behaves in a way that you would never do, that’s a ...


11

It is indeed true that the prophecy of the three Weyard Sisters does not imply that Macbeth would need to murder king Duncan. In fact, in Holinshed's Chronicles, Shakespeare's source for the play, Macbeth had a genuine claim to the throne, but Shakespeare doesn't really use that in the play. What we have instead is that king Duncan designates his successor ...


9

The composition of Macbeth is usually dated to 1606, i.e. some time after the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605, to which it contains an allusion (see e.g. Braunmuller, page 6). (Arguments for an earlier date, even as early as 1601, has not been convincing. See Muir page xviii.) The earliest eyewitness account of a performance dates from 1610 or 1611 [1] and ...


8

Option 2 is correct: Macbeth killed the chamberlains during act II scene 3, where the sequence of events is as follows: Macduff goes to visit Duncan in his chamber. Macduff. I’ll make so bold to call. For ’tis my limited service. Exit Macduff. Macduff returns and reports that he found Duncan murdered. Enter Macduff. Macduff. O horror, horror, horror! ...


7

Introduction The accepted date for Macbeth is 1606. This date, first proposed by the 18th C scholar and editor Edmund Malone, has never been seriously challenged. Yet the earliest surviving text of Macbeth is that of the 1623 First Folio, published seven years after Shakespeare's death. There is good reason to believe that the text did not remain stable in ...


6

TL;DR There is no plot hole here. Macbeth killed the chamberlains in Act 2, scene 3, when the murder of King Duncan is discovered. Critics debate whether Lady Macbeth's fainting is feigned or real. Deets In Act 2, scene 2, Macbeth tells his wife after returning from Duncan's chamber about how the two chamberlains woke each other after one cried "murder&...


5

In addition to the two excellent answers by Tsundoku and Gareth Rees, it's worth adding a note about the nature of the play: Macbeth is a tragedy and, in classical theatre, a tragedy is the story of a great person (usually a man) who is brought down and destroyed by a flaw in his otherwise estimable character. Shakespeare's tragedies are classical tragedies, ...


5

Shakespeare’s problem is how to get from I.4 (at Forres, where Macbeth has heard the witches’ prophecy and been made thane of Cawdor) to I.5 (at Inverness, where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plot the murder of Duncan) quickly and dramatically. There are various ways a playwright might go about this: Macbeth arrives at Inverness, meets Lady Macbeth, and tells ...


4

The phrase means "royal nature" and refers to two things. First, it refers to Banquo's character and is a form of praise. For example, a few lines further down, Macbeth explains, to that dauntless temper of his mind, He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour To act in safety Second, it refers to the prophecy that the three weyard sisters (...


4

To say ‘Fleance escaped’ tells Macbeth what happened during the ambush. It is a simple past tense, and as such it leaves scope for there to be more to the story… ‘Fleance escaped, but we chased him down at last and killed him’ for example. ‘Fleance is escaped’ (or Fleance is ‘scaped to make it scan) tells Macbeth, and us, that Fleance is currently at large.


4

In addition to the devices mentioned in the other answers, the phrase "milk of human kindness" also deploys two other devices: Paronomasia, or more simply, a pun. Kindness typically means gentleness, generosity, and/or helpfulness, which is the most readily accessible sense here. But kind can also mean category, as in: What kind of books do you ...


4

De Quincey says that murder singularly focuses the attention on the instinct for self-preservation, which destroys any sense of distinction between human beings and animals: the primal law of self-preservation, is the same in kind, (though different in degree,) amongst all living creatures; this instinct therefore, because it annihilates all distinctions, ...


3

Three examples of dramatic irony in Macbeth. In act I scene VI, Duncan visits Macbeth’s castle at Inverness and shows no signs of apprehension. Duncan. This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses. But the audience knows that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are planning to murder Duncan. In act II scene ...


3

There aren't many candidates in this scene. Macbeth has no children. In Act I, scene 7 Lady Macbeth says, I have given suck, and know How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me And Macbeth also mentions elsewhere that he has murdered Duncan but Banquo's descendants may become the beneficiaries of his taking that risk. However, Macbeth has not been ...


2

In “his royalty of nature”, “nature” means “innate character or disposition”, and “royalty” is used in the sense: royalty, n. 4. Kinglike or majestic character or quality. Oxford English Dictionary. Then in the next line Macbeth gives us a metaphor in which Banquo’s character is compared to a kingdom, and the qualities that govern his character are ...


2

The Royal Shakespeare Company themselves anecdotally refer to legends regarding the first showing of the play, where Shakespeare had to take the part of Lady Macbeth, and the actor playing Duncan was stabbed, and killed, by a real dagger instead of a prop one. The site also refers to a riot in 1839 where 10 people died following animosity between two rival ...


2

Even though this question already has two answers, it seems worth adding what the lines looked like in the original text of Macbeth, published in the First Folio of 1623. The First Folio printed the text as follows:   Mur. Most Royall Sir Fleans is scap'd. The italics are from the First Folio; they are not what matters here. The Folio's spelling was scap'd,...


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