Macbeth Questions

If you are an actor, you know this as “The Scottish Play” because to say “Macbeth” in theater, except in the context of performing the play, is considered bad luck. Why? I don’t know. This play is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, although Scotland did actually have a King Macbeth. The problem is that Shakespeare wasn’t trying to be even remotely historically accurate with this play (the real Macbeth was quite well liked by his people and didn’t have to stage a coup to take the throne). Shakespeare wrote this play to flatter King James I, the first King of both Scotland and England. The real Banquo (who you will meet in the play) was one of James’ ancestors, so Shakespeare wanted to demonstrate how fate had always intended for James to become king.As you read through the online text, conveniently separated into scenes, take note of this notion of fate. We came across it earlier in this course with the Greeks and the question of whether Oedipus really ever had a choice in how his life was going to go. Just like the idea of the Tragic Hero reappears in literature throughout the centuries, the debate over fate or free-will rages on in plays and novels. Shakespeare’s audience also took the idea of witches and supernatural powers very seriously–King James eventually wrote a book describing how to identify a witch. So don’t be hasty in mocking Macbeth for listening to the three women who make predictions about his future.Complete the assigned worksheet questions as you progress through reading the play.NO PLAGIARISM AND QUIZLET, SPARKNOTES,WIKIPEDIA, ETC.
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Question
Hint
How does Banquoâ??s comment support the â??Fair is foul, foul is fairâ? theme?
Act I, Scene 3
What does Macbeth mean in his aside about two truths being prologue to the imperial
Act I,theme?
Scene 3
Why was the old Thane of Cawdor executed?
Act I, Scene 4
What news does the King impart to Macbeth and what is Macbethâ??s reaction to the
Act
news?
I, Scene 4
In what way does Lady Macbethâ??s advice to Macbeth relate to the â??fair is foulâ? theme?
Act I, Scene 5
Macbethâ??s response to her about what a man may dare is frequently quoted. WhatAct
is his
I, Scene
meaning?
7
After Lady Macbeth finishes reading the letter, what fear about her husband does Act
sheI,express?
Scene 5
After saying that if the deed is to be done it must be done quickly, what argumentsAct
does
I, Scene
Macbeth
7 raise for not doing it?
Compare and contrast the personalities of Lady Macbeth and her husband. Which Act
is the
I, Scene
more 7powerful character? Why?
In his last speech in this scene, what does Macbeth reveal?
Act I, Scene 4
When are the three Witches to meet again and for what purpose?
Act I, Scene 1
What atmosphere is created by the witches? Why do you suppose Shakespeare chose
Act I,toScene
start 1the play with them and not
Do you think the witches control Macbethâ??s fate, or does he control his own future? Explain.
No Hint
How does Lady Macbeth manage to stiffen Macbethâ??s courage and determination?Act
What
I, Scene
arguments
7
does she use to forc
What do you suppose is suggested by the line, â??Fair is foul, and foul is fair.â?
Act I, Scene 1
In literature a foil is a character whose personality serves to contrast with and highlight
Act I, aspects
Scene 4 of the main character’s pe
When she says, â??Hie thee hither,â? what is it that she plans to do?
Act I, Scene 5
In scenes 5-7, how much evidence can you find that Macbeth is more frightened by the
Noplan
Hint to kill Duncan than Lady Mac
What is the nature of the war in which Scotland is involved? From the reports of the
ActSergeant
I, Scene and
2 Ross, what are the read
Why is it so important that Macbeth is first presented to the audience as a brave and
Act honored
I, Scene 2soldier?
As the scene begins, how does the conversation of the Witches strike you?
Act I, Scene 3
When Macbeth says, â??So foul and fair a day I have not seen,â? to what is he referring?
Act What
I, Scene
could
3 be the dramatic irony in
What prophecies do the Witches make regarding Macbeth? What do the Witches Act
see I,inScene
the future
3
for Banquo?
The Elizabethan audience actually believed in witches; a modern audience does not.
ActWhat
I, Scene
difference
3
could this make in t
As the others talk, what does Macbethâ??s aside reveal about his thinking?
Act I, Scene 3
Answer
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Question Hint
As Macbeth and Banquo discussAct
theII,King’s
Scenevisit
I and their encounter with the weird sisters, what does the reader detect a
Analyze the â??daggerâ? speech. InAct
howII,many
Sceneways
I does Macbeth see the dagger? Is he becoming stronger or weaker in wil
What is the meaning of Macbethâ??s
Act opening
II, Scenespeech
2
in this scene?
In this scene, how does Lady Macbeth
Act II, Scene
show 2herself to be stronger than her husband?
Scene 4 is considered by many to
ActbeIII,a Scene
turning4 point in the play. Explain why this might be considered the climax
Macbeth, apparently troubled by
Act
the
II, murder
Scene 2he has just committed, tell Lady Macbeth what he saw and heard. She tells
What happens at the ambush? Act III, Scene 3
Why does Lady Macbeth not commit
Act II,the
Scene
murder
2 when she is in the room?
What events described by the Old
ActMan
II, Scene
and Ross
4 show that supernatural forces are influencing events in Scotland?
How is Macbeth’s claim that he Act
will II,
“sleep
Sceneno4 more” foreshadowed by the witches in Act I.iii?
The Porterâ??s scene, or the â??knocking
Act II,atScene
the gate,�
3
is a much debated scene by scholars, but many agree it is the typical co
Who are Malcolm and Donalbain?
ActWhat
II, Scene
do Malcolm
4
and Donalbain decide to do? Why?
What dramatic purpose is served
ActbyIII,the
Scene
appearance
4
of Banquoâ??s ghost? How does Lady Macbeth react in this horrible sce
In this scene, what is Macbethâ??sAct
state
II, Scene
of mind?
2
How does the relationship between
Act III,
Macbeth
Scene 6and his wife change after the death of Duncan Explain using details from Ac
What is there in Banquoâ??s character
Act III,that
Scene
makes
1 Macbeth uneasy?
How has Macbeth changed as aAct
result
II, Scene
of the4events in this act? Cite lines that illustrate thesechanges.
In his soliloquy, what suspicion Act
andIII,
hope
Scene
does
1 Banquo reveal?
Why is Hecate angry with her witches?
Act III, Scene
What5plans does she have for Macbeth?
For what reasons does MacbethAct
want
III, Scene
Banquo
1 murdered? What reasons does he give the murderers? What does the conv
One characteristic of Shakespeareâ??s
Act III,
style
Scene
is his
4 play on words. How is technique demonstrated in the murdererâ??s reply tha
Compare and contrast the murders
Act III,
of Scene
Banquo
6 and Duncan. How does the murder of Banquo illustrate the changes that M
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Question Hint
Look carefully at the three prophecies.
Act IV, Scene
In what
1 ways does each encourage a sense of false security in Macbeth?
Macbeth says (about the witches)
Actâ??Infected
IV, Scenebe
1 the air whereon they ride,/And damned all those that trust them!� What i
Why does Macbeth have Macduffâ??s
Act IV,
family
Scene
and
2 servants killed
Why might Rossâ??s appearance at
Act
Macduffâ??s
IV, Scenecastle
2
represent a weakening of Macbethâ??s position? Do you think the Messen
What words by Lady Macbeth show
Act V,that
Scene
she1has been brooding over the past crimes? Which crime does she dwell on the
Act
WhyV,isScene
he disillusioned?
3 Read Macbeth’s speech which begins with : I am sick at heart…
How is Macduffâ??s motivation different?
Act V, Scene 7
Why does Macbeth kill again? What
Act V,isScene
his motivation?
7
What admirable quality does Macbeth
Act V, Scene
finally5display?
What further moral degradationAct
does
IV, Macbeth
Scene 2 show by the end of this scene?
What metaphors does he use for
Act
life?
V, Scene 5
What does Macbethâ??s line:â??My Act
soulV,is Scene
too much
8 charged� already� mean?
Act
In the
V, Scene
scene 3
asRead
a whole,
Macbeth’s
in whatspeech
ways iswhich
he still
begins
placing
with
his: faith
I am in
sick
the
atwitches?
heart…
What dramatic purpose might there
NobeHint
to having 8 short scenes in the last act?
Act
To what
V, Scene
disease
3 Read
is Macbeth
Macbeth’s
referring?
speech which
How isbegins
this ironic?
with : I am sick at heart…
Macbeth is killed brutally. HowAct
does
V,this
Scene
parallel
8
another event early in the play?
Macbeth returns to the witches,Act
apparently
IV, Sceneplacing
1
his trust in their knowledge. However, as the audience knows through
Is Macbeth’s downfall a result of fate
Noor
Hint
his own actions? Explain.
Read the opening of the scene, Act
prior
IV,toScene
Macbeth’s
1
entrance. What do you think is the purpose of this scene?
Read Macbeth’s speech in response
Act V,toScene
Lady Macbeth’s
5
death. How does he respond?
Answer
begins with : I am sick at heart…
begins with : I am sick at heart…
begins with : I am sick at heart…

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