'Macbeth' - Act 1 Key Quotations

"Fair is foul and foul is fair / Hover through the fog and filthy air."

- WITCH -

CONTEXT:

Opening scene of the play. Scotland has been turned upside down.

THEMES:

Duality; Nature

LANGUAGE:

Oxymoron = "fair/foul"

Alliteration = "f" - sounds evil and oppressive.

Atmosphere = "foul" and "filthy" - implies that the play will be similar.

"...brave Macbeth - well he deserve that name - disdaining fortune..."

- SERGEANT -

CONTEXT:

Duncan hears of how Mabeth won the battle for Scotland.

THEMES:

Duality; Nature

LANGUAGE:

Adjective = "brave" suggests Macbeth's nature and character at the beginning of the play.

Irony = "disdaining fortune" - Macbeth will never look at fortune in this way again.

"Present fears are less than horrible imaginings."

- MACBETH -

CONTEXT:

Macbeth has been given news of his promotion and now can't stop thinking about murdering Duncan.

THEMES:

Duality; Fear; Thought

LANGUAGE:

Emotive Language = "fears" - Macbeth can still be scared.

Noun = "imaginings" - thoughts are scarier than reality.