Who wrote Macbeth? Shakespeare
Act I – What mood did Act I evoke in you? Doom
Act I – What statements do the witches and Macbeth make about “foul & fair” What meaning does each remark make? Macbeth says “so foul & fair a day I have not seen” – forshadowingWitches say “foul & fair” – trolling whatever is good is bad whatever is bad is good
Act I – Describe Banquo’s and Macbeth’s reactions to the witches. Compare and contrast their reactions to the witches Macbeth immediately falls for the witches’ manipulation. It is clear he puts his own ambition above all else. Banquo is cautious and untrusting.
Act I – In his soliloquy at the beginning of Scene vii, what arguments against killing Duncan does Macbeth express? Which of these arguments seem to influence him the most? Explain Macbeth was a loyal servant to Duncan and saw Duncan as a great king. Duncan was also an esteemed guest at the house of Macbeth at the time. Killing Duncan went against all of these logical reasons Macbeth had thought of.
Act I – What is Lady Macbeth’s opinion of her husband’s character? How does she use her knowledge of his character to convince him to kill Duncan? She says he’s a pussy and he needs to grow some ballsThis makes him wanna be a cool and be a man and that manipulates him into killing these people
Act II – Describe Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s reactions to the murder just after it is committed. Compare and contrast their reaction to the deed. Macbeth says he heard many sounds, mostly voices. He heard someone in his sleep cry out, “God bless us!” and another cry out, “Amen!”. When Macbeth himself wanted to say, “Amen” in return, the words stuck in his throat. The significance is that he has just killed a king and he has broken his connection to God and so cannot say the word. Macbeth also says he thought he heard someone say, “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”. The significance of this is that Macbeth suffers from insomnia ever after this. Macbeth also heard, “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor / Shall sleep no more! Macbeth shall sleep no more!” Macbeth has come into Lady Macbeth’s chamber holding the bloody daggers and with blood on his hands. He is in a state of shock and seems remorseful. Lady Macbeth, who appears much calmer and cooler, chides him for forgetting to leave the bloody daggers on the guards and takes the daggers to place them on the guards in order to implicate them in the murder of Duncan. She tells him she’d be ashamed to be as remorseful as he is and that a little water cleanses them both literally (as it washes off the blood) and figuratively. In Act 5, she will try to wash blood from her hands.
Act II – What kind of gate does the porter imagine he is tending? In what way is the porter’s playful fantasy a comment on Macbeth’s situation? The gate of hell – ironic because Macbeth has just turned the castle into a place of hell with murderous sins
Act II – What two strange occurrences are reported in this act? Why would Shakespeare include reports of such occurrences at this point in the play? In what way do these strange occurrences relate to the Elizabethan notion of an orderly & interconnected universe? Falcon killed by an owl, Horse’s eating each other, & Sun hidden at day time Represents how universe is out of order & everyone sees this bad omen, not just people closest to himKing dies & earth is connected to the king and all things on earth die after king dies
Act II – What question does Ross ask that indicates he doubts that the grooms committed the murder? Explain. Is Ross satisfied by the answer? Explain They fled, so it must have been themYes because it Malcolm was next heir to the throne so therefore it makes sense if he were to have killed his father
Act III – What complaint did Macbeth make about murdered men in the banquet scene? Is there anything humorous or even ridiculous in this complaint? Why or why not? Does Shakespeare use humor for comic relief in this scene, as he does earlier scene with the porter? Explain Macbeth was unhinged by the ghost, which no one else at the banquet could see. He complained that previously murdered men stayed murdered. Their lives ended when their brains were made to stop working [Line 79]. But with Banquo’s murder, Macbeth complained that the victim didn’t know his place, that the victim presumed to take the royal place. (never died and still lingering around)Yes because he wanted him gone but when he finally got what he wanted, he was still there.Shows him talking to a chair and looking crazy
Act III – What does Macbeth think as he anticipates the murder of Banquo? Compare & contrast Macbeth’s thought about Banquo’s murder with his thoughts before the murder of Duncan That he will be forever in power With Duncan, he didn’t want to kill him because he was such a good manWith Banquo, he just wanted him dead and did it more out of spite – evilness
Act III – Has the relationship bt Macbeth and Lady changed? Explain She went to being assertive and dominate one in the relationship, to saying no and being more concerned when he wanted to kill more people & didn’t GAF
Act III – What does this act suggest about the effects of evil on evildoers? Explain? Sin creates more sin when committed
Act IV – What are the predictions made by the second & third apparition? Why does Macbeth readily accept these predictions? He accepts them because…apparition #2 came in the form of a blood child which told him not to fear the power of man, because no child born of a woman would defeat him. He agrees with this, because he believes that he can’t be defeated by anyone and this apparition simply helps justify his thoughts.apparition #3 came in the form of a child with a crown holding a tree which told him not to fear those who hate him or conspire against him, because he shall not be defeated until the battle of Birnam Wood on Dunsinane Hill, and he doesn’t even believe he would be defeated so the second part didn’t even register in his mind.
Act IV – What happens to Macduff’s family? What does the fate of Macduff’s family suggest about Macbeth’s state of mind? Macbeth was driven by greed and his wife to become ruler. Once he had it in his grasp, he was willing to do anything to retain the power. Once one murder has been commited, is it really hard to envision the same person murdering once more? ten times more?The sacrifice of moral reasoning creates a void into which other emotions will flow.
Act IV – How does Malcolm test Macduff? What does this test reveal about both Malcolm and MacDuff? Explain stdzeepeeMalcolm declares to Macduff that he is wicked because he has excessive lust and greed and in fact has no redeeming qualities to offset these faults. He is testing Macduff’s loyalty to Scotland because he does not know Macduff well and is unsure of Macduff’s motives for coming to England. Is Macduff there because he seeks some personal gain, or is he interested in the good of the country? By pretending to be more evil than Macbeth, Malcolm discovers that Macduff really is more concerned about the country than he is about anything else. Therefore, Malcolm decides he will return to England with an army to overthrown Macbeth, just as Macduff had hoped.
Act IV – How does Macduff respond when asked to take the news about his family “like a man”? How would you characterize Macduff, based on his reaction to the murder of his wife and son? Compare & contrast Macduff’s understanding of manhood with definitions of it earlier in the play Macduff is finally convinced not only to engage in the rebel army but also to take personal revenge upon Macbeth. He is both shocked and asks repeatedly if his entire family has been killed or if, by some miracle, one or more may have escaped (All my pretty ones? The hen and all her chicks?), and not surprised at all since this is the very reason he is in England at the time. MacDuff has realized that Macbeth is bad news. He has been telling Malcolm of the suffering of the country…how she mourns and bleeds and screams…because of the horrid leadership she now has. His purpose for being in England is to convince Malcolm to raise an army and come back to claim his rightful throne. Perhaps the shock part is that MacDuff does not consider until the very last minute when Ross comes in with the news of his family that MacDuff was leaving his family completely defenseless against a tyrant who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. As a result of his leaving Scotland, his family has been sacrificed. He is mourning and grieving them already, which is why he is told that there will be time for his grief after they return to Scotland and take Macbeth down.
Act V – What does the doctor see in the sleepwalking scene, what does he speculate about the causes for what he sees? How have Macbeth & Lady Macbeth reversed roles by the end of the play? The doctor sees her requiring a lighted candle 24/7 The stress of the murder makes Macbeth see the dagger. He follows the dagger to Duncan’s chamber. The vision tells us he’s wacko.After the murder, there is a role reversal. Now that Macbeth is king he needlessly slaughters Macduff’s family, kills his best friend Banqou. Here it is evident he has taken on Lady Macbeth’s fierce nature in the begining of the play. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth adopts Macbeth’s quiet nature from the begining. She is riddled with guilt after killing King Duncan and ends up killing herself becasue of it. She sleepwalks and hallucinates blood on her hands (like when Macbeth visualised a knife drawing him to the murder of king duncan).
Act V – What does Macbeth say when he hears of Lady Macbeth’s death? What does his reaction to her death reveal about their relationships & his state of mind? Macbeth’s reaction to the death of his wife is very different from what we, as an audience expect from a man who shared a very intimate and close understanding with his better half. Macbeth, early in the play, derived trememdous insipration from, and was heavily influenced by his wife, Lady Macbeth, who then, seemed to be one of the most ruthless, power-hungry female characters created by Shakespeare. When Macbeth finds out Lady Macbeth comitted suicide, he is emotionless, saying “she should have died hereafter” ( see act 5, scene 5).Macbeth is very calm, almost like he doesn’t care at all. He says that she was going to die someday anyway. He has lost everything and this does not bother him.On the other hand you might view the reaction of Macbeth to his wife’s death, as one of neutral remorse. He realized that he should be saddened by the event, but was too busy trying to protect himself.
Act V – What does Macbeth say about the witches when he learns that Birnam Wood is apparently moving and that Macduff “was from his mother’s womb/ Untimely ripped”? What growing realization do these statements about the witches seem to reflect? What is Macbeth’s state of mind in his final battle with Macduff? Explain Macbeth prepares to defiantly fight his enemies armed with the prophecy that he will only be defeated when the nearby Birnam Wood moves on his castle. Macbeth now learns of the ten thousand strong army against him. Seyton confirms this bad news and Macbeth donning his armor, prepares to fight his enemies recalling the Birnam Wood prophecy once more as a source of comfort. With his troops loyally around him, Malcolm orders each man to cut down a branch from the nearby Birnam Wood as his army now camouflaged under an umbrella of Birnam Wood, head towards Macbeth’s castle at Dunsinane. Macbeth laughs off his enemies’ numOn the battlefield, Macbeth at last encounters Macduff. They fight, and when Macbeth insists that he is invincible because of the witches’ prophecy, Macduff tells Macbeth that he was not of woman born, but rather from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped (5.10.15-16). Macbeth suddenly fears for his life.That he will win, because he believes no man can kill him because all men are born from women, but Macduff was cut from his mother’s stomach.
Act V – What occurs in Act V, scene viii, lines 35-75? Would the play be complete if it ended with Macbeth’s death but omitted these lines? Why or why not? Malcolm and Siward learn of the deaths of Young Siward and Macbeth. Malcolm is hailed as king. Malcolm thanks everyone. (b) Possible response: The story ends with Macbeth’s death, but for a play in particular, one expects a final comment on what has happened and what it means or brings about.
Duncan The good King of Scotland whom Macbeth, in his ambition for the crown, murders. Duncan is the model of a virtuous, benevolent, and farsighted ruler. His death symbolizes the destruction of an order in Scotland that can be restored only when Duncan’s line, in the person of Malcolm, once more occupies the throne.
Malcolm The son of Duncan, whose restoration to the throne signals Scotland’s return to order following Macbeth’s reign of terror. Malcolm becomes a serious challenge to Macbeth with Macduff’s aid (and the support of England). Prior to this, he appears weak and uncertain of his own power, as when he and Donalbain flee Scotland after their father’s murder.
Macbeth Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches, especially after their prophecy that he will be made thane of Cawdor comes true. Macbeth is a brave soldier and a powerful man, but he is not a virtuous one. He is easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne, and once he commits his first crime and is crowned King of Scotland, he embarks on further atrocities with increasing ease. Ultimately, Macbeth proves himself better suited to the battlefield than to political intrigue, because he lacks the skills necessary to rule without being a tyrant. His response to every problem is violence and murder. Unlike Shakespeare’s great villains, such as Iago in Othello and Richard III in Richard III, Macbeth is never comfortable in his role as a criminal. He is unable to bear the psychological consequences of his atrocities.
Macduff A Scottish nobleman hostile to Macbeth’s kingship from the start. He eventually becomes a leader of the crusade to unseat Macbeth. The crusade’s mission is to place the rightful king, Malcolm, on the throne, but Macduff also desires vengeance for Macbeth’s murder of Macduff’s wife and young son.
Banquo The brave, noble general whose children, according to the witches’ prophecy, will inherit the Scottish throne. Like Macbeth, Banquo thinks ambitious thoughts, but he does not translate those thoughts into action. In a sense, Banquo’s character stands as a rebuke to Macbeth, since he represents the path Macbeth chose not to take: a path in which ambition need not lead to betrayal and murder. Appropriately, then, it is Banquo’s ghost—and not Duncan’s—that haunts Macbeth. In addition to embodying Macbeth’s guilt for killing Banquo, the ghost also reminds Macbeth that he did not emulate Banquo’s reaction to the witches’ prophecy.
Fleance Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. At the end of the play, Fleance’s whereabouts are unknown. Presumably, he may come to rule Scotland, fulfilling the witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will sit on the Scottish throne.
Lady Macbeth Macbeth’s wife, a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. Early in the play she seems to be the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges her husband to kill Duncan and seize the crown. After the bloodshed begins, however, Lady Macbeth falls victim to guilt and madness to an even greater degree than her husband. Her conscience affects her to such an extent that she eventually commits suicide. Interestingly, she and Macbeth are presented as being deeply in love, and many of Lady Macbeth’s speeches imply that her influence over her husband is primarily sexual. Their joint alienation from the world, occasioned by their partnership in crime, seems to strengthen the attachment that they feel to each another.
Lady Macduff Macduff’s wife. The scene in her castle provides our only glimpse of a domestic realm other than that of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. She and her home serve as contrasts to Lady Macbeth and the hellish world of Inverness.
Witches Three “black and midnight hags” who plot mischief against Macbeth using charms, spells, and prophecies. Their predictions prompt him to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to blindly believe in his own immortality. The play leaves the witches’ true identity unclear—aside from the fact that they are servants of Hecate, we know little about their place in the cosmos. In some ways they resemble the mythological Fates, who impersonally weave the threads of human destiny. They clearly take a perverse delight in using their knowledge of the future to toy with and destroy human beings.