Act I, scene i Summary:
During a storm, three witches appear. They make plans to meet in an open field after the battle to confront Macbeth.
Act I, scene ii Summary:
The sounds of battle are heard. At a military camp, King Duncan enters with his sons, Lennox and attendants. A bloody captain appears giving updates about the battle, detailing Macbeth's and Banquo's bravery. The captain then explains how Macbeth killed Macdonald. The captain is taken away to have his wounds attended to and the thane of Ross appears and tells Duncan about how Macbeth courageously fought the thane of Cawdor and eventually was victorious.The King declares the thane of Cawdor will be killed and Macbeth will be given his title.
Act I, scene iii Summary:
With thunder in the background, the three witches appear and discuss various spells and plots against innocent victims. Macbeth and Banquo arrive and wonder who these crazy creatures are. Banquo thinks they don't look like they are from this Earth and even wonders if they are women since they appear to have beards.The witches call Macbeth the thane of Glamis (his current title) and also the thane of Cawdor. Macbeth wonders why they called him that since he has not yet learned of the king's decision. The witches then tell Banquo that his descendants will be kings. Macbeth begs the witches to give him more information on his future but they suddenly vanish into thin air. Macbeth and Banquo are left to wonder if what they witches said is true. Ross and Angus arrive and tell Macbeth the king has made him thane of Cawdor and Macbeth is amazed that the witches' prophecy came true. Banquo knows they need to be careful of the witches' words but Macbeth begins wondering if he could indeed one day become king and thinks about murdering Duncan. The group leaves for Forres but Macbeth whispers to Banquo he would like to discuss with him what happened at a later time.
Act I, scene iv Summary:
Malcolm tells his father that Cawdor was executed and he died nobly, confessing his crimes. Macbeth, Banquo, Ross and Angus enter. Duncan graciously thanks Macbeth and Banquo for their heroism in battle and tells Macbeth to thank him he's making him thane of Cawdor. Macbeth appears thankful and professes his loyalty to Duncan. The king also announces that he intends to make his son, Malcolm, heir to the throne. Macbeth pretends to be happy for Malcolm but secretly notes that now Malcolm also stands in his way of becoming king. Duncan plans to go to Macbeth's castle and dine for dinner that evening. Macbeth leaves to inform his wife of the king's arrival.
Act I, scene v Summary:
Lady Macbeth is seen reading a letter from her husband detailing the witches' prophecy. She knows her husband is ambitious but doesn't think he has it in him to do what is necessary to become king. She decides to convince him to do whatever it takes. A messenger enters telling her that the king and her husband are on his way. As she waits she tells asks the spirits to make her less like a woman and more like a man. She wants to feel no remorse so she can go through with her evil plan. Macbeth enters and tells Lady Macbeth that the king will be leaving the next day. She tells him that he will not see the next day. She warns him to make sure he maintains a happy, peaceful face in front of the king and leave everything else to her.
Act I, scene vi Summary:
The king and his sons, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus and their attendants arrived to Macbeth's castle. Duncan comments on how he thinks the castle is a pleasant place and enjoys its atmosphere. Lady Macbeth enters and is greeted by the king. She explains that her and her husband are extremely grateful for all he has done for them. Duncan says he loves Macbeth and asks to be taken to him.
Act I, scene vii Summary:
Inside Macbeth's castle, he wonders to himself about murdering Duncan and thinks that if he didn't have to worry about getting caught it would be easy to do. He knows the king is a virtuous man and people will be devastated if he's gone. Macbeth realizes his own ambition is his sole reason for wanting to kill Duncan and knows it can often misguide people. Lady Macbeth enters and tells Macbeth the king has almost finished his dinner and has asked for him. Macbeth tells her that he has changed his mind and they can't go through with killing him. Furious, Lady Macbeth asks if he wants to live like a coward and questions his manhood. But Macbeth is worried about failing and asks what would happen. She responds by saying they will get his two servants extremely drunk so they won't remember and blame his murder on them. Macbeth is amazed at how brilliant her plan is and agrees to go ahead with it.