The Fulfillment of the Witch's Prophecies to Macbeth
Macbeth is a play that was written between 1603 and 1606 by William
Shakespeare. The time in which the author first penned this drama
coincides with the accession of James the Sixth of Scotland to the
English throne, as James the First of England in 1603. It has been
suggested that this play could have been written with James in mind.
(York Notes 1997)
Act 1, Scene 1. The play starts with the meeting of three witches at a
Heath somewhere in Scotland were they are discussing where they shall
meet next and with whom.
Act1, Scene 2. Around the same time a battle is taking place near the
town of Forres in Scotland. Enter the King of Scotland and his two
sons who approach a sergeant just returning from the battlefield. The
sergeant debriefs this entourage about the battle, he states how close
they were to defeat before the "brave" Macbeth's intervention. The
sergeant goes on to say how the hero Macbeth battled bravely and
showed tremendous leadership qualities to lead them to victory. From
this point it is easy to see how the King could be so impressed by the
man Macbeth, he has heard that his army were on their knees, so close
to defeat yet one man would not yield and against all odds has lead
the Kings men to victory.
Again more news of conquests by Macbeth, only this time the news also
includes the deceit of "The Thane of Cawdor." With the news of
Macbeth's brave conquests fresh in his mind the King decides to have
the Thane of Cawdor executed and his title passed on to Macbeth.
Act 1, Scene 3. As planned previously the three witches meet again,
enter Macbeth and his friend Banquo. During some brief conversation
the Witches turn to Macbeth and start to praise him.
"All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!"
"All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!"
"All hail, Macbeth! that shall be king hereafter."
As Macbeth tries to come to terms with the startling news just
presented to him, Banquo turns to the witches and asks them to suggest
his future. Banquo's feedback states that although he may not be king,
he will father kings.
As the witches prepare to leave Macbeth interrupts, Macbeth already
holds the title of Thane of Glamis a title past on from his deceased
father. As he is still unaware of the fact that he is nearing another
title, he wants to get the witches to clarify how they know such
information. But they disappear.
Macbeth and Banquo are walking along trying to come to terms with what
they have just heard when one of the king's noblemen enters bringing
the news of Macbeth's new honour as Thane of Cawdor. With this news
comes more confidence for Macbeth in what the witches have said to
him, having heard the news also, Banquo is wary of what he has heard
and tries to alarm...