Macbeth - Act 1, Scene 4 Summary & Analysis

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Act 1, Scene 4 Summary

Duncan inquires as the status of the original thane of Cowdor's execution. Malcolm tells him that the rebel thane confessed, asked Duncan's pardon- then died like a gentleman, with great dignity, with a seeming indifference to his death. Macbeth, Banquo, Ross and Angus enter. Duncan expresses his great gratitude towards Macbeth. He expresses the same towards Banquo but bestows the title of Prince of Cumberland and his estate on Malcolm, his eldest son, who is now clearly heir to the throne. Macbeth, still reeling from the Witches' prophecy, sees this as an obstacle to his climb towards the throne.

Act 1, Scene 4 Analysis

Macbeth knows that he is carrying "black and deep desires." He is consciously evil. In that sense, his relationship to Duncan, as his true and faithful servant, is tainted by his ambition, as will be his relationship to himself and to all others...

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This section contains 152 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Macbeth Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
Macbeth from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.