Study Guide

Macbeth Act 1, Scene 4

By William Shakespeare

Act 1, Scene 4

  • Back to Duncan, who wants to know if the Thane of Cawdor is dead.
  • He is, and he confessed to being a traitor right before he died.
  • Whew. Glad that's settled.
  • Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus then meet the King. The King is grateful; Macbeth and Banquo pledge their loyalty; group hugs all around.
  • The King announces that his son Malcolm will be named Prince of Cumberland, which is the last stop before being King of Scotland.
  • They'll all celebrate the good news at Macbeth's place.
  • Macbeth trots off, thinking (well, saying, since this is a play) that Malcolm is all that stands in the way of his kingship. He's thinking naughty thoughts again and hopes nobody can tell that he's got "black and deep desires."
  • Get the scoop on this scene from its two major players in this interview with Macbeth and Duncan.