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Act 1, Scene 3 Notes from Macbeth

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Macbeth Act 1, Scene 3

On a heath near Forres the three witches are gathered awaiting Macbeth. Macbeth and Banquo encounter the witches as they leave the battle camp. The first witch hails Macbeth as the Thane of Glamis, which he was before he went into battle. Then the second witch hails him as the Thane of Cawdor, and the third calls him king. Macbeth is startled to be addressed this way, and Banquo tells him not to shirk from such promising prophecies. The witches then tell Banquo that although he will not be king, his descendants will be. Shortly after saying this, the witches disappear without giving the men an explanation of their predictions. When the witches are gone Ross and Angus come to Macbeth to tell him that the king has granted him the title of the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth and Banquo are both surprised and excited to see that there is some truth in what the witches told them. But this prophecy also makes them a little nervous because they are afraid that they will be tricked into betraying Duncan to achieve the throne. Macbeth vows to let things happen as they will without his interference. If the witches' words are true they will come to pass without any help from Macbeth to speed them along.

Topic Tracking: Foreshadowing 3
Topic Tracking: Betrayal 2

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