Macbeth – Act 4, Scene 1 Summary

Act 4 Scene 1

Characters: Witch 1, Witch 2, Witch 3, Hecate, Macbeth, Apparition 1, Apparition 2, Apparition 3 and Lenox

Location: A dark cave

Events: The witches prepare for their meeting with Macbeth by creating a magic brew. Macbeth arrives and commands the Witches to answer his questions whatever the consequences. The Witches “masters” (Hecate) takes the form of apparitions. The first apparition (an armoured head) warns Macbeth about Macduff, but the second apparition (a bloodied child) reassures him that he cannot be harmed by any man who was born by a woman. With his suspicions confirmed, Macbeth vows to kill Macduff. A third  apparition appears (a child wearing crown) and tells him that he will not be defeated until Birnam wood comes to Dunsinane.
At Macbeth’s insistence to know whether Banquo’s son becomes king, the Witches show a procession of eight kings with Banquo at the end.
The Witches disappear and Lenox arrives to report that Macduff has fled to England. Macbeth decides to attack Macduff’s family while he is away.

Quotes: “Double, double, toil and trouble: Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.” – All the witches

“Be bloody, bold and resolute: laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth” – Apparition 2

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