Macbeth Personal Notes: Act 1 Scene 1

Macbeth Personal Notes: Act 1 Scene 1
Macbeth Personal Notes: Act 1 Scene 1

Setting: A desert place

The scene takes pace in a baron wasteland which is the most suitable place for the witches and evil entities to meet and conceive plans for their mischiefs. The place is isolated therefore it is not interfered by the humans.

Thunder and lightening

The witches meeting in a foul weather shows that how different they are from the normal people as they would stay inside their home and not come out. The corrupt weathers and their desire to meet only in this kind of weather shows their evil nature and evil soul.

Symbolically, it also gives us hint of the moral upheaval in the heart and mind of the story's protagonist, Macbeth.

"When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain?"

The witches prefer this kind of weather.

"When the hurlyburly's done, when the battle's lost and won"

Literally meaning, when the confusion of the battle and the mayhem is over.

Symbolically, when the battle is won, and Macbeth is not on his guards and his ability to reason has submitted to his ambitions, it will the perfect time to meet again when Macbeth emotionally too is not strong after the bloodshed in the battlefield. 

"Upon the heath"

The wasteland which comes in the way of returning from the battlefield to the royal capital of Scotland. It will be an isolated place and witches can carry out their meeting with Macbeth in such a place without anyone's interference.

"I come, Graymalkin!"

The name of a grey cat who is the familiar of the first witch. The witches carry pets to use them in the rituals and for other evil purposes.

"Paddock calls"

The name of a toad which belongs to the second witch.


The third witch responds to her familiar, it means in a moment.

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair"

The things which are fair to the normal people is foul for us and the things is are fair for us is foul for them. For example, the weather preferred by the normal people is of a sunny day while the witches prefer clouds blocking the sunlight and rainy weather. The witches also prefer making mischiefs and causing trouble for everyone else. Lawlessness is their law which is completely opposite to what normal people say fair. 



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