Plot Summary / The Story-line
Act I Scene I of Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” begins with thunder and lightning on a heath (open, uncultivated land), where three witches, also known as the “weird sisters”, are gathered. They speak in riddles, discussing their recent encounters with mortals and their next meeting. They make plans to meet with Macbeth before sunset, after the battle is over. Hearing the call of their spirit friends, they leave the place.
Commentary on Act I, Scene i
Act I Scene I of William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” sets the tone for the entire play with the dark and hostile atmosphere. Moreover, in this opening scene of the play, Shakespeare introduces supernatural element. Actually, he wants to flatter King James I (an expert in witchcraft). The witches represent the evil nature and inward temptation of human beings.
Here, these witches are introduced to create a conflict between the evil force and the power of goodness. Macbeth is connected with this conflict.
This scene creates an atmosphere of mystery, superstition and evil. The foul atmosphere harmonizes with story of the whole play. It prepares us for the arrival of Macbeth on stage.