With a crash of lightning, the play opens with the three witches gathered together upon the heath. They are planning to come together again after the ongoing battle to confront Macbeth. Meanwhile, the King of Scotland, Duncan, asks a wounded captain for news from the battlefield where the Scots have been fighting off the Irish invaders. The captain reports that Macbeth and Banquo--two of Duncan’s best generals--fought bravely on the battlefield. Ross, a nobleman, enters with the news that the traitorous Thane of Cawdor has been defeated. Duncan orders that the Thane of Cawdor must be slain and that the heroic Macbeth should take the title as a reward.
On their way to King Duncan’s court, Macbeth and Banquo bump into the three witches. They greet Macbeth as the Thane of Cawdor but, spookily, they also state that he will become King. In a further twist, they declare that Banquo will never be King but, instead, his children will sit upon the throne. Before offering any further