Macbeth Act I Scene IV

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  • Lady Macbeth is receiving the news of her husband's encounters. He tells her how he came upon them after being successful in battle and how they disappeared before he could ask for more.
  • They met me in the day of success, and I have learned by the perfectest report they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished ..
  • As the letter continues, Macbeth explains to his wife how already one of the predictions given to him has come true.
  • .. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives from the king, who all-hailed me 'Thane of Cawdor,' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time with 'Hail, king that shalt be!'
  • Macbeth wrote this letter so that his wife may also rejoice in the new success and power they are being given.
  • .. This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.
  • Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it.
  • Lady Macbeth realizes that her husband's new found power will increase .. but she believes he is too kind of a person to make it happen.
  • The Thane's wife decides that she will guide him through the obstacles that keep him from being king. She will "whisper in his ear", taking those things away as she believes now that both fate and those supernatural powers want him to be king.
  • And that which rather thou dost fear to do, Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, And chastise with the valor of my tongue, All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crowned withal.
  • A young messenger enters the throne room, startling the soon-to-be queen whom was previously wrapped up in her rant. She demands to know what news he brings to her.
  • What is your tidings?!
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