In ll.10-11, what is the meaning of these lines and what theme do these lines introduce? [Fair is foul, and foul is fairHover through the fog and filthy air.] Appearances are deceiving; The witches delight in the confusion of good and bad, beauty and ugliness.
What mood is established with the appearance of three witches in the first scene of this play? Considering the scene’s stage direction (thunder and lightening) and the fact that the witches call on evil spirits, the mood establish is dark and ominous (suggest something bad will happen in the future)
What element do the witches represent that was also present in Beowulf and Sir Gawain? supernatural
Reread lines 15-40. What great feat has Macbeth accomplished for Duncan? What does it convey about his character? [] Macbeth has defeated the king’s enemies. This action conveys Macbeth’s bravery and loyalty.
Note the use of blood in this scene (lines 18, 38-40). What is the significance expressed here? [So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,] To signify how bloody the fighting was.
Reread lines 35-42. How does Macbeth react to the new assault? [] He is unfazed and redoubles his fighting efforts.
In what way does the word choice in ll.53-55, highlight the mood? [] Each of the lines ends with a forbidding phrase—terrible numbers, disloyal, traitor, dismal conflict—that serves to increase the ominous mood in this scene.
Reread lines 50-68. According to the report that Ross makes, what has Macbeth accomplished? How does the king reward Macbeth for his ambition? [] Macbeth has restored order to Scotland by defeating the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Norway. Duncan’s response of “Great happiness!” indicates that he is very pleased with Macbeth. He undoubtedly views Macbeth as heroic, for he declares Macbeth worthy to receive the title Thane of Cawdor.
Review the plot summary for Scene 2. Does Macbeth seem to be overly ambitious at this point? Explain. The plot summary implies that Macbeth’s ambition is to serve his king by winning a victory over the king’s opponents. Such an ambition seems moderate and honorable.
What is the metaphor expressed in ll.24? [Though his bark cannot be lost] A bark is a word for a ship; a bark in tempest is used as a metaphor for a soul in turmoil. What does this suggest about the witches’ powers? The witches do not have ultimate control over people’s lives or decisions. They cannot take the sailor’s life and soul unless he surrenders to evil.
What is the meaning of weird in ll.32? [(dancing together in a circle) The weird sisters, hand in] Weird derives from the Old English word wyrd meaning “fate” or “destiny.” It could also refer to the Three Fates that determined the course of human life.
In ll.65-66, explain the two paradoxes in the witches’ prophecy about Banquo. [Hail! – Lesser than Macbeth and greater] Banquo will be less than Macbeth because he will not be king like Macbeth, but Banquo will be greater than Macbeth because Banquo will have a line of heirs to the throne
Reread lines 39-78. In what ways have the witches shown that they represent supernatural forces? [] The witches physical appearance shows that they are wild, unnatural creatures (lines 39-47). In addition, they predict the future (lines 48-68), and they disappear when they have finished (lines 79-82).
In lines 65-68, the witches compare Banquo to Macbeth and prophesy that Banquo will not be king but will father (get) future kings. What do you think their words predict for Macbeth? [] The witches’ words predict that Macbeth will be king but that he may have an unhappy reign. Their words also suggest that the throne will pass from Macbeth to the sons of Banquo rather than to any children that Macbeth himself may have and that Macbeth ultimately will not receive as much glory as Banquo will receive.
Reread lines 39-82. In what ways have the witches shown that they represent supernatural forces? [] The witches’ physical appearance shows that they are wild, unnatural creatures (lines 39-47). In addition, they predict the future (lines 48-68), and they disappear when they have finished (lines 79-82).
Reread lines 83-85, 117-127. Compare and contrast Banquo’s and Macbeth’s reactions to the witches. [] Both men believe they may have eaten of “the insane root” and thus the witches are a hallucination. Banquo, however, tries to explain their presence, wondering if he and Macbeth were hallucinating. Macbeth seems to accept their authority and wants them to explain their prophecies.
What new ambition does Macbeth reveal in lines 116-126? [] Upon learning that he is to become Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth realizes that the first of the witches’ prophecies has come true. He now begins to consider becoming king, as the witches also predicted.
How do Banquo’s words in ll.120-27 suggest that Macbeth is overly ambitious and that his new goal may be unworthy? [] Banquo recognizes that ambition in Macbeth and warns against it. Banquo warns that evil powers often offer little truths to tempt people. The witches may be lying about what matters most.
Reread Macbeth’s aside in lines 130-142. What private thoughts does he reveal to the audience? Why might he want to keep these thoughts hidden from the other characters? [] Macbeth reveals that he is pondering whether the witches’ prophecy is meant for good or for evil and that they idea of murdering Duncan to make the second prophecy come true has already crossed his mind. He hides these thoughts because he does not want the other characters to know that he has thought about murdering the king.
Notice that in lines 11-14, Duncan admits he misjudged the thane of Cawdor, who proved a traitor. What might this admission foreshadow about the king? [] Duncan’s admission might foreshadow that he is not the best judge of character. He could easily misjudge someone else whom he trusts (namely, Macbeth) and be betrayed by that person.
Contrast the two elements that are depicted in ll.41-52. [] Duncan states that nobleness will shine like a star on those who deserve it, while Macbeth asks that the stars not illumine his “black and deep desires.” Duncan welcomes the light, while Macbeth calls for darkness.
Be aware that in Macbeth’s aside in lines 48-53, he admits that he hopes the king will be murdered. Based on these lines, what do you think is Macbeth’s tragic flaw? [] Macbeth’s tragic flaw appears to be ruthless ambition. He knows that his thoughts are wicked (line 51), yet he wants the king murdered so that he can become king.
Where is everyone going to spend the night? Predict what will happen. Inverness, the site of Macbeth’s castle. Duncan might further reward Banquo and Macbeth; Macbeth might give way to his dark desires.
Paraphrase lines 12-27 in which Lady Macbeth expresses her thoughts about the prophecies. What conclusions can you draw about Lady Macbeth?[] Lady Macbeth is even more ruthless and ambitious than her husband. She worries that Macbeth is too good (“too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness”) to seize the throne by murder (“the nearest way”). Lacking the necessary wickedness (“illness”), he wants to gain power virtuously (“holily”). She considers herself more ruthless than Macbeth, and she hopes that she can use her cunning and her skill with word to convince Macbeth of what he must do to become king (lines 23-27).
Consider lines 34-51. What role do you think Lady Macbeth will play in Macbeth’s downfall? [] Lady Macbeth calls on the spirits of evil to rid her of feminine weakness (unsex me) and to block out guilt. She wants no normal pangs of conscience (compunctious visitings of nature) to get in the way of her murderous plan. She asks that her mother’s milk be turned to bile (gall) by the unseen evil forces (murd’ring ministers, sightless substances) that exist in nature. Furthermore, she asks that the night wrap (pall) itself in darkness as black as hell so that no one may see or stop the crime. Like the witches, she will provoke Macbeth into doing the evil deed that will lead to his tragic downfall.
Interpret Lady Macbeth’s response in line 58 to Macbeth’s statement that Duncan plans to leave the next day. [] Lady Macbeth follows up on this idea with her metaphorical statement that “Never shall sun that morrow see,” implying that Duncan will not be alive the following day.
How does Lady Macbeth’s words in lines 59-63 relate to Duncan’s statement, “there’s no art/To find the mind’s construction in the face” from scene 4, lines 12-13? [] and [] It supports Duncan’s comment by suggesting that the face can be used as a mask to conceal evil thoughts.
As Scene 5 concludes, in lines 55-70, does Macbeth wish to satisfy his ambition to become king? Explain. [] Although he does not specifically agree here to do anything, and although he delays any decision by telling his wife that they will speak later (line 68), his failure to interfere with Lady Macbeth’s plans suggests that he supports her ambition to have him become king.
Contrast the image of the martlet in lines 3-10 with that of the bird Lady Macbeth imagined in Act 1, Scene 5, ll.35-36? [] Lady Macbeth imagined a “hoarse raven,” a bird that symbolizes evil and misfortune and was supposed to indicate approaching death; while the noble Banquo sees the “temple-haunting martlet,” a bird that usually built its nest on a church. Banquo sees the presence of the martin’s hanging (pendant) nest, a breeding (procreant) place, as a sign of healthy air.
Why is the exchange between Lady Macbeth and Duncan in line 25-31 ironic? [] The conversation is ironic because Lady Macbeth greets Duncan politely and humbly (lines 25-28), but the audience knows that she is plotting his murder.
Note that in lines 12-28 of his soliloquy, Macbeth lists the reasons why he shouldn’t kill Duncan. How will others characters react if Macbeth kills the king? [] Other characters will be angry (line 20) and very sorrowful (line 25) if Duncan is murdered, for Duncan has been a good king (lines 16-20).
In lines 13-28, what does Macbeth acknowledge about his ambition? What does his acknowledgement suggest about his state of mind at this point? [] Macbeth acknowledges that his “vaulting ambition” is the only reason for him to kill Duncan (lines 26-27). This acknowledgement shows that he is thinking clearly at this point, for he knows that he has no justification for murdering Duncan. He recognizes that Duncan has been a good king (lines 16-20) and does not deserve to be murdered. In fact, Macbeth knows that there are reasons for him not to murder Duncan (lines 13-16).
In ll.35-38, Lady Macbeth says that Macbeth had clothed himself in hope. How does she then personify hope? What is she trying to achieve through this personification? [] She says that hope is inebriated, has since slept it off, and now wakes “green and pale.” She is trying to goad Macbeth into action by accusing him of being sickly and pale—or in other words, weak.
How appropriate do you think the word coward is to describe Macbeth if he does not kill Duncan as Lady Macbeth says in lines 41-45? Explain. [] The word is not appropriate at all; a person who refrains from killing someone is rational and civilized, not a coward. The word is appropriate because in Macbeth’s time the definition of manliness probably involved using force to take what one felt one deserved.
Reread lines 47-59. How does Lady Macbeth urge her husband to carry out his terrible plan? [] Lady Macbeth urges her husband to murder Duncan by shaming him, saying that he will not be a man if he fails to go through with the plan (lines 49-51). She also uses their relationship to pressure him, saying that if she had promised him that she would do something—even murder her own baby—she would fulfill her promise (lines 56-59).
Compare Macbeth’s words about a “false face” in the last line of this scene to Lady Macbeth’s words in ll. 59-63 from Scene 5. [] . Macbeth is becoming more evil—he has taken Lady Macbeth’s advice so seriously that now he says virtually the same thing as she does. He and Lady Macbeth will return to the banquet and deceive everyone (mock the time), hiding their evil intent with gracious faces.
According to lines 6-9, what is happening to Banquo? What does this reveal about him? [] Banquo is unable to sleep because of his “cursed thoughts” (lines 8-9). He is uneasy about the encounter with the witches.
According to lines 4-20, it is obvious that Banquo knows what about Macbeth? [] He knows of the witches’ prophecies regarding Macbeth, and he knows that one prophecy has already been fulfilled. He also knows that these facts have stirred Macbeth’s ambitions.
Reread lines 16-18, in which Macbeth tells Banquo that he and his wife couldn’t entertain the king as they would have liked. Why are these remarks ironic? [] These remarks are ironic because the audience realizes that Macbeth wishes to kill Duncan, not entertain him.
What does Macbeth’s soliloquy in lines 32-60 reveal about his state of mind? Cite details that support your ideas.[ In the soliloquy, Macbeth realizes that he is on the edge of insanity. He says that he sees a dagger in front of him, yet he realizes that he is not holding it (lines 32-34). He is aware that the dagger exists only in his eyes(lines 43-44)—that is, in his imagination (line 37). He also realizes that the blood on his dagger is imagined, the product of his murderous thoughts (lines 44-48). Macbeth’s state of mind is pernicious, too, as he aligns himself with evil and witchcraft (lines 49-55).
How do ll. 33-39 reflect the theme of appearance versus reality? [] Macbeth’s hallucination shows how appearance and reality have become interchangeable in his crazed condition. The two states have become blurred.
In lines 1-13, what is Lady Macbeth willing to do because of her ambition? Explain. [] Lady Macbeth is willing to cause the deaths of innocent bystanders as well as that of the king, for she has drugged the servants’ drinks (line 6) and placed the daggers in their possession (line 11) so that they will be framed for Duncan’s murder.
In what sense does Lady Macbeth’s ambition falter? Her ambition falters in that she cannot kill Duncan herself because he reminds her of her father.
In lines 31-32, what advice does Lady Macbeth give her husband? [] She warns him not to think of the religious implications of the murder.
Based on lines 42-51, is Lady Macbeth sympathetic to Macbeth’s struggle? What do her responses reveal about her character? [] She is not sympathetic at all. She considers Macbeth foolish and weak for thinking about the murder (lines 42-44); she takes charge of planting the daggers when he falters (lines 46-51). Her responses reveal her cruelty and ruthlessness.
In ll. 34-38, identify the metaphors that describe sleep. [] A knitter who untangles the threads of care; the death of the life of each day; a bath that soothes a laborer; an ointment that heals the mind; the body’s greatest need after food.
Reread lines 39-41. What mental state might the inability to sleep reflect? What do you suppose these lines foreshadow for Macbeth? [] The inability to sleep might reflect a guilty or uneasy conscience. These lines probably foreshadow Macbeth’s inability to find peace because of his murderous act.
According to lines 54-55, what does Lady Macbeth plan to do that Macbeth failed to do earlier? How do her actions reflect the theme of appearance verses reality? [] She’ll cover (gild) the servants of Duncan with blood, blaming them for the murder. While appearances (gild) might conceal reality, they are only a superficial layer barely covering what is truly inside (guilt).
Reread lines 57-67. How does the imagery concerning blood and water in Macbeth’s speech contrast with that in Lady Macbeth’s speech? What is the significance of this difference? [] He believes that “all great Neptune’s ocean” could not clean his hands, while she claims “a little water clears us of this deed.” Lady Macbeth is practical—water washes away blood. Macbeth is speaking on a metaphorical level. He believes his sin will contaminate the oceans of the world.
How serious is Macbeth when he says he wishes Duncan could be awakened by the knocking? Explain. He is serious because he is genuinely horrified by his deed; he seems to genuinely regret what he has done even though he knows what he wishes is impossible.
How is killing Duncan different from killing Macdonwald? How are they similar? Killing on the battlefield to defend one’s country against a traitor is acceptable whereas the assassination of the king for personal, selfish gain is not. – The brutal way in which Macbeth kills Macdonaldwald shows a side of Macbeth’s nature that will emerge more fully in the murder of Duncan.
The porter’s speech in lines 1-16 provides comic relief, which breaks the tension of the preceding scene. What specific details in the Porter’s speech in lines 1-16 suggests that Macbeth’s castle is hell? What is ironic about the porter’s notion that he is opening hell’s gate? [] “Porter of hell gate,” “Beezelbub;” The porter pretends he is welcoming a farmer who killed himself after his schemes to get rich (expectation of plenty) failed, a double talker (equivocator) who perjured himself yet couldn’t talk his way into heaven, and a tailor who cheated his customers by skimping on material (stealing out of a French hose). – The audience knows—as Macduff, Lennox and the porter do not yet know—that the murder of Duncan has turned Macbeth’s castle into a hellish scene. This is an example of dramatic irony.
What is ironic about Macduff’s use of the word timely in line 37? [] Macduff’s arrival is not “timely” or early enough but too late to save the king who is dead and cannot be awaken. Verbal irony.
Summarize the strange events of the night that Lennox discusses in lines 46-53 and what confusion they foretell. Would mood do these strange events foretell? [] Elizabethans firmly believed that when people committed horrible acts or man did something unnatural like murder that nature mimicked this unnatural behavior. Lennox says that there was a storm, earthquakes, deathly screams, owl screeching and all kinds of unnatural occurrences followed. The mood is one of dread and inevitable disaster.
Recall Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy in Act One, in which she calls on the spirits of evil to “unsex her.” How do Macduff’s words in lines 75-78 ironically echo Lady Macbeth’s earlier speech? [] Macduff’s words ironically echo Lady Macbeth’s speech because Macduff says that Lady Macbeth is too gentle and womanly to hear about Duncan’s murder. But in Act One, Lady Macbeth wanted to rid herself of womanly weaknesses so that she could carry out a murderous plan. These lines are another example of dramatic irony.
In lines 98-110, in what ways does Macbeth conceal his true ambition? As the servants’ murders are discussed, who seems suspicious of Macbeth? Why did Macbeth murder the servants (consider what reason he gives and what secret reason he has for doing so)?[] He conceals his ambition by killing. Macduff is suspicious of Macbeth; he immediately asks Macbeth would murder Duncan’s servants. – Macbeth says that he did so because of his love and devotion for Duncan and because of his courageous nature (lines 108-110). Macbeth does not want people to think that he is ambitious to rule; instead, he wants to characterize himself as caring or moved by passion to protect or defend good—in this case, Duncan.
What may cause Lady Macbeth to cry out right after Macbeth’s speech in lines 100-110? [] She follows her own suggestion and makes her “griefs and clamor roar.” She is trying to draw attention away from Macbeth’s absurd and unnatural speech by pretending to faint; or, she is shocked by the murder of the grooms, begins to fall apart, and actually faints.
Reread lines 111-116 and 127-133. Are Malcolm and Donalbain ready to discuss their father’s murder with the other men? Why or why not? Was it wise for Malcolm and Donalbain to leave? [] No; they keep their conversation private. They are not sure whom they can trust (lines 113-114) because of the false appearances of others. They fear for their lives. – Yes. They are in danger and did not know whom to trust. No. Their quick exit might cause some people to suspect them of murdering their father.
In lines 120-24, what does Banquo say is his future plan of action? Who does Banquo most likely suspect of killing Duncan and why? [] He intends to stand on the side of righteousness in fighting the “treasonous malice” that killed Duncan. It also suggests that he does not believe that the murder has been avenged yet—in other words, he fears that the grooms were not guilty. He most likely suspects Macbeth because he is the only other person, besides Lady Macbeth, that knows about the witches’ prophecy that Macbeth would be king.
According to lines 1-20, on what idea do Ross and the Old Man agree? Name two details that each character mentions in support of that idea. [] Ross and the old man both think that nature is in disorder because of King Duncan’s murder. Ross mentions the unnatural darkness during the day (lines 6-10) and the rebelliousness of Duncan’s horses (lines 14-18); the old man mentions a falcon that was killed by an owl (lines 11-13) and the rumor that Duncan’s horses have eaten each other (line 18).
What details in this scene suggest that Shakespeare is writing for a superstitious audience? The old man and Ross mention omens. The audience’s response to these omens would have mirrored the character’s response, thus heightening the tension.
In lines 24-30, Macduff and Ross are incorrect in suspecting Duncan’s sons, but what do their words suggest about the power of a person’s ambition? Although Macduff and Ross do not suspect Macbeth, how do their thoughts about ambition apply to him? [] Their words suggest that ambition can be so powerful that it can cause people to act against nature (in this case, sons acting against their father). – Their thoughts apply in that if it is natural to let a king rule until he dies or steps aside, then Macbeth has let his ambition cause him to act against nature by murdering the king.
Reread lines 1-10, in which Banquo hopes the witches’ predictions for him will come true as they have for Macbeth. Why might Banquo want to hid his thoughts from Macbeth? [] Banquo might want to hide his thoughts because he suspects Macbeth of Duncan’s death. He would not want Macbeth to hear him speak of being “father/Of many kings” (lines 5-6), lest Macbeth decide to kill him, too.
Reread lines 47-71. Why does Macbeth feel threatened in this scene? How does he plan to resolve this problem? [] Macbeth fears that the rest of the witches’ prophecy about Banquo will come true. He plans to kill Banquo in order to keep the prophecy from coming true.
In lines 48-56, how does Macbeth characterize Banquo? [] Macbeth characterizes Banquo quite favorably. He refers to Banquo’s “royalty of nature” (line 49), his “dauntless temper” (line 51), and the “wisdom that doth guide his valor” (line 52). He says that he does not fear anyone except Banquo (lines 53-54), whose presence tempers his own ambition (lines 54-56). His statements show that he regards Banquo very highly and fears him at the same time.
Does Macbeth have a valid reason to be fearful of Banquo? Why or why not? In the context of the prophecies, Macbeth may have a valid reason for fear. On a personal level, however, Banquo has done nothing to suggest that he is as ruthless or ambitious as Macbeth; he probably is not a threat.
In lines 70-71, Macbeth challenges fate to enter the combat arena so that he can fight it to the death. What will be the likely result of Macbeth’s efforts to fight fate? [] Macbeth will probably fail. His challenge to fate even may hasten his downfall and result in the death of others, i.e. Macbeth plans to challenge fate by having Banquo and his son, Fleance, killed in order to avoid the witches’ prediction that Banquo’s sons would be kings.
What is ironic about Macbeth’s words in ll.103-107? [] It is ironic that Macbeth thinks he will be restored to perfect health through the murder of his friend because it was a murder (of Duncan) that made Macbeth ill in the first place.
Reread lines 115-125. What has Macbeth led the murderers to believe about Banquo? [] Macbeth has convinced the murderers that Banquo is their enemy.
Macbeth is the king, so why doesn’t he just order Banquo’s murder (refer to lines 115-125)? [] Macbeth acknowledges that he could take that action (lines 117-119); however, he realizes that he and Banquo share some friends and that he needs the support of those friends (lines 120-127). Those men might rebel if they knew that he ordered Banquo’s murder (lines 121-122).
What does Macbeth’s reasoning in lines 115-125, suggest about his character? How has Macbeth changed since the beginning of the play? [] Macbeth’s reasoning shows that he is cunning and manipulative. He is aware of how flimsy or shaky his position is and he realizes that he needs all the support he can get. Macbeth seems to be a different character now, for his sense of remorse has disappeared, as has his loyalty to anyone but himself.
What are Macbeth’s final instructions to the murderers in lines 127-138? [] Within the next hour, he will tell the murderers the place and time for killing Banquo. The murder must be done at some distance from the palace and in such a way that Macbeth cannot fall under suspicion. Fleance must also be killed.
How is the couplet at the end of Act III, Scene 1: “It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight, If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.” mirror the closing couplet of Act II, Scene 1:”The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell that summons they to heaven or to hell.”? [] Both show Macbeth’s resolve to commit murder, and both warn the intended victims—first Duncan, then Banquo and Fleance—that the end is near and that their souls will face final judgment that night.
In line 4-19, how do the couple’s words show that achieving an ambition may not automatically bring satisfaction? [] Lady Macbeth’s private words express worry about being able to hold on to what they have gained; Macbeth echoes that sentiment when he speaks to her.
Reread lines 8-26. What advice has Lady Macbeth given her husband about what he has done? What metaphor does Macbeth use to describe his present situation? Why is this comparison ironic? Do you think Macbeth really thinks it would be better “with the dead”? Lady Macbeth has told him to forget about the past, which he cannot change (lines 10-12). – Macbeth uses the metaphor of the snake to represent the obstacles of his success. This comparison is ironic because Macbeth has murdered Duncan and hired assassins to kill Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth is a ruthless predator—not an innocent victim, as he suggests. – Yes, Macbeth regrets his actions and realizes that only more violence is to come. No, if Macbeth truly regretted his actions and wished for peace, he would not plan more murders.
How is the motif of sleeplessness highlighted in ll. 17-26? [] Macbeth sleeps fitfully and has terrible dreams, while Duncan is at peace. This reinforces the idea that Macbeth “murdered sleep” (Act 2.lines 40-42)
How do Macbeth’s words in ll.33-34 play on the “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” theme? [] Macbeth and Lady Macbeth will appear jovial and nonchalant at the nights’ banquet to mask their true feelings; what appears to be fair is really foul.
⦁ Why is line “O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!” the turning point for Macbeth? Even though we do not know how things will end, Fleance’s escape means that the prophecy about Banquo can still come true. Moreover, this is the first time that Macbeth has been openly thwarted, so it may foreshadow a reversal of momentum in the play.
In lines 17-22, as Scene 3 concludes, what might Fleance’s ambition be after the murder of his father? [] Fleance may now wish to seek revenge from his father’s killers.
Notice that Macbeth admits his fear in the aside in lines 21-25. What further actions might Macbeth take as a result of his fears? [] Macbeth might take further action by attempting again to kill Fleance or by killing anyone else who he thinks may threaten his position as king.
Why is Macbeth’s question to the Murderer in line 25 “But Banquo’s safe?” ironic? [] It might sound as if he is asking if Banquo is well, but he is actually asking if Banquo was safely dispatched—that is, murdered.
Who or what is the serpent? Who is “the worm that’s fled”? Refer to lines 29-31. [] Banquo, now dead; Fleance has fled and may pose a threat in the future. However, he is not dangerous yet, perhaps because of his youth.
To whom is Macbeth talking in l. 50-51? In what way are his words true? [] His protest to the ghost is literally true—he did not strike the fatal blow—but he is the instigator of the crime and therefore responsible.
In lines 53-58, Lady Macbeth tells her guests to pay no attention to her husband’s fit. Why is this situation ironic? [] The situation is ironic because Lady Macbeth tells the guests that Macbeth’s fit is like many that he has experienced since childhood. The audience knows full well that this is false and that Lady Macbeth is trying to disguise the fact that Macbeth is losing his mind. She is afraid that Macbeth will tell the guests about the murders.
In lines 63-66, Lady Macbeth has resumed her earlier goading role, taunting Macbeth for being womanly or acting weakly. What is her motivation? [] She is afraid Macbeth will either reveal too much and condemn himself or be thought mad. In either case, they risk losing their position of power if he does not regain his composure.
In lines 84-96, how does Macbeth show ambition in this scene—in other words, what does he hope to accomplish? Do you think that Macbeth will succeed? [] Macbeth shows ambition by trying to get the support of his noble guests. He probably will not succeed in obtaining their support, for seeing (or imagining that he sees) Banquo’s ghost causes him to speak and act irrationally, unlike a person who is capable of leading a country.
In lines 122-140, what does Macbeth think will happen because of Banquo’s death? [] Macbeth thinks that he will pay for Banquo’s murder with his own life.
Considering lines 122-140, how could Macbeth be characterized at this point? Cite evidence [] Macbeth is paranoid and has lost all integrity. Macbeth’s network of household spies is proof of his paranoia (lines 130-132). Completely steep in evil, he acknowledges that he will consult the witches again (lines 132-33) and use any wicked way to get information, forgetting conscience (lines 134-36). Macbeth has lost any sense of integrity, for he excuses his behavior by saying it’s too late for him to change (lines 136-38).
Think about how Macbeth has changed. Does it seem that he can be a successful king? Why or why not? In the beginning of the play, Macbeth showed courage, honor, and ambition. He wanted power, but he also had a conscience and was bothered by his evil actions. At this point, he excuses his actions. He most likely cannot be a successful king because he’s too concerned with serving himself and not his people.
Reread lines 23-33. How does Hecate reveal herself to be Macbeth’s antagonist? What does she plan to do to Macbeth and why? []
According to the lord speaking in lines 24-39, how does Macduff hope to put an end to Macduff’s ambition? What does the lord believe will happen if Macduff is successful[] Macduff hopes to stop Macbeth by getting King Edward of England to persuade the people of Northumberland and their aggressive earl Siward to join Malcolm’s cause in defeating Macbeth (lines 29-37). – The lord says if Macduff is succeeds, with God’s help, hen order and peace will be restored to the people of Scotland (lines 32-37).
What do lines 44-45 reveal about Macbeth and his decline? []
Detail the revelations from the four apparitions conjured up by the witches and how they affect Macbeth. There is no answer listed but look here 🙁 []
Refer to lines 50-61. What does Macbeth command the witches to do? What is the purpose of Macbeth’s listing of disasters? Explain. Do you think Macbeth is sane? Defend your opinion. Macbeth commands the witches to answer the question that he has brought to them. – Macbeth’s purpose is to emphasize his desperation. He lists disasters that will throw he world into disorder, saying that he is willing to have these disasters occur if such is the price of having his question answered. – Yes, Macbeth is sane: Being troubled about the future is not, in itself, a sign of insanity. No, Macbeth is insane: It is madness to be willing to accept total chaos in return for getting the answer to a question. In addition, the fact that Macbeth has come to depend upon the witches suggests his madness.
Why are ll. 138-39 ironic? Which type of irony do they demonstrate? []
Reread lines 79-81. Note the prophecy’s apparent promise of safety. What effect do you think the prophecy will have on Macbeth? []
In lines 82-86, how do Macbeth’s words prove that his ambition is ruthless? []
In lines 144-156, what news has Lennox just brought to Macbeth? []
In lines 94-105, what does Macbeth’s final question reveal about his ambition? []
Reread lines 114-137. Why does Malcolm pretend to be evil? []
Reread lines 144-149. What seems to be Macbeth’s rationale for striking impulsively against Macduff? In these lines, Macbeth decides that Macduff escaped only because Macbeth did not act quickly enough to stop him. Macbeth may reason that if he does not act quickly now (by ordering the murder of Macduff’s family), he will lose his last opportunity to strike against Macduff in any fashion.
How does the murder of Duncan show that Macbeth has not always been governed by impulse. Trace how Macbeth’s behavior has change from that point to this one. Macbeth did not act impulsively at that point; he thought about the idea considerably before he acted upon it (and then acted largely due to the prompting of his wife). He ordered the death of Banquo and Fleance in a more decisive manner. Macbeth’s actions are being increasingly governed by impulse, corresponding to his descent into madness.
Reread lines 3-14. Why is Lady Macduff upset? In what sense are Lady Macduff’s comments about her husband ironic? [] Lady Macduff is upset because she believes that her husband abandoned her and her children to the danger presented by Macbeth. – Lady Macduff claims that her husband has become a traitor because he has left his family alone during a dangerous time. Despite Ross’s assurances, she believes that Macduff has fled out of fear. These comments are ironic because Macduff has bravely set off on a mission to defeat Macbeth, the king who has betrayed his people.
What do the messenger’s words in lines 61-69 reveal about how Macbeth’s ambition has affected Scotland as a whole? []
Reread Lady Macduff’s speech in lines 69-75. How have some of the characters in the drama reflected her conclusions about “this earthly world”? []
What is ironic about Macduff’s speech in line 2-8? []
In lines 44-66, how does Malcolm compare his supposed ambition to Macbeth’s? What does Malcolm reveal about his own character with such talk? []
Reread lines 66-100. How does Macduff respond to Malcolm’s confession of lust? What does Malcolm say about his greed? How is Macduff’s response similar to his response to Malcolm’s lust? At this point in their discussion, do Macduff’s responses to Malcolm’s statements make Macduff seem honorable and trustworthy—that is, someone whom Malcolm can trust? Why or why not? Macduff says that as king, Malcolm will have many admiring women. – Malcolm says that his greed is unquenchable and that he would take land and jewels from nobles, only to want even more (lines 78-82). Macduff’s response is similar in that he again points out that there is plenty in Scotland to satisfy Malcolm. – The responses do make Macduff seem trustworthy, for he supports Malcolm despite Malcolm’s alleged weaknesses. The responses do not make Macduff seem honorable, for they indicate his support of ignoble qualities, such as lust and greed, in order to eliminate Macbeth.
In lines 187-193, what does Ross think would fuel the ambition of the people of Scotland to fight against Macbeth? [] Ross thinks that if Malcolm and Macduff were in Scotland, the people—even the women—would be motivated to fight against Macbeth (lines 187-89).
How can the audience tell that test of Macduff is now over? [] Malcolm tells Macduff, and thus the audience, that he is assured of Macduff’s “good truth and honor” (line 117) and that his previous claims to evil were just a pretense (lines 121-131).
What “king-becoming graces” does Malcolm’s speech demonstrate? []
Reread lines 164-173, in which the audience learns that in Macbeth’s bloody reign, screams go unnoticed (are made, not marked) and violent sorrow has become commonplace (modern ecstasy). What emotions does Macbeth inspire as a tragic hero at this point? []
Reread lines 28-32, in which Lady Macbeth relives how she persuaded her husband to murder Duncan. What appears to have happened to Lady Macbeth as a result of their plot? []
What difference between Malcolm and Duncan does this scene highlight? Unlike his father, Malcolm has proven he is and will not be easily deceived by someone’s outer appearance. He is not trusting to a fault.
What event does Macduff’s speech in lines 233-238 foreshadow? []
⦁ Reread line 239-243. In what way is Macbeth “ripe for shaking”?[] Malcolm says that their troops are ready to attack, needing only the king’s permission. Like a ripe fruit, Macbeth is ready to fall, and heavenly powers are preparing to assist them. The long night of Macbeth’s evil will be broken.
In lines 40-50, what event is Lady Macbeth reliving in her sleepwalking? []
In lines 25-29, what is the ambition of the Scottish rebels, and how do they intend to achieve it? What does their ambition reveal about them? [] The ambition of the Scottish rebels is to help the suffering Scottish people by joining with Malcolm against Macbeth. Their willingness to risk their lives for the people of Scotland shows that these men are unselfish and honorable.
⦁ Reread lines 54-55; then review line 12 in Act Three, Scene 2: “What’s done is done.” How does the difference in these comments reflect a change in Lady Macbeth? []
Consider Macbeth’s words about blood in Act Two, Scene 2, lines 57-61: “What hands are here? Ha, they pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.” to Lady Macbeth’s actions in this scene. How do Macbeth and Lady Macbeth seem to have switched roles in this scene? []
How does Macbeth view his ambitions now according to lines 19-28? []
Reread lines 11-29. As the scene opens, why does Macbeth speak the words “Fear not, Macbeth”? [] Macbeth is recalling and drawing confidence from the witches’ prophecy that no one “born of woman” will harm him. He considers himself invincible.
Reread lines 11-29. How do Macbeth’s feelings change when the servant announces that ten thousand soldiers are approaching? [] After the servant has departed, Macbeth admits that he is “sick at heart” (line 19). He does not repeat his earlier confidence; he even suggests that he is looking for or expecting death (line 22). Macbeth’s despondent words reflect the theme of appearance versus reality in that he realizes that the honor that he now receives is false (line 27); he recognizes that a person’s heart (emotional state) is not always reflected in a person’s face (lines 27-28).
Reread lines 11-29. Do Macbeth’s expressed feelings make readers sympathize more with him as a tragic hero? []
In lines 39-45, Macbeth asks the doctor to remove the sorrow from Lady Macbeth’s memory and relieve her overburdened heart. Why are these lines so moving? [] Macbeth’s lines are moving because they show that he cares about his wife, and he grieves because he knows in his heart that the doctor cannot cure her. The lines also suggest that he is sad and wishes for a cure for himself; he, too, has a “mind diseased” (line 40) and certainly could use a “sweet oblivious antidote.”
What “disease” does Macbeth refer to in line 51? What is ironic about his metaphor? [] He calls the rebellious thanes and their English allies a disease and recommends purging the land. Ironically, the audience knows, even if Macbeth does not, that he is the sickness in the land and that he is calling for his own demise.
How would you characterize Macbeth’s ambition in lines 58-62, as Scene 3 concludes? []
In lines 4-7, Malcolm orders his men to cut down tree branches to camouflage themselves and confuse Macbeth’s scouts. How will this affect the prophecy about Birnam Wood? []
What food imagery does Macbeth use in ll. 9-15? [] “taste of fears” and “supped full with horrors”; He has done so many terrible deeds and has worried so much about their consequences that his senses are numb, preventing him from feeling fear.
What metaphors does Macbeth use for life in lines 24-28? []
Be aware that in lines 11-13, Macbeth recalls the third prophecy. What conclusion might Macbeth draw from killing young Siward? []
Reread lines 47-52. Note that Macbeth vows to take action, which will probably lead to the drama’s catastrophe, or tragic resolution. What is the likely outcome of his action? [] The likely outcome of Macbeth’s outcome will be Macbeth’s death. Macbeth’s army is not as strong as it was originally, and Macbeth has just started to realize that the witches’ prophecies can be fulfilled in a way that will mean his destruction after all (lines 40-46). He concludes the scene by acknowledging the possibility of his death and the death of others (line 52).
Reread line 9-10. In what way are the trumpets “clamorous harbingers of blood and death”? Line 9 is an example of what type of figurative language? []
When Macbeth says, “They have tied me to a stake” (line 1), to whom is he referring? What does that mean?
Notice how Macbeth taunts Young Siward in lines 5 and 9. What do these taunts reveal about Macbeth’s state of mind? []
A tragic hero typically realizes how he has contributed to his own downfall and faces his end with dignity. Notice that in lines 27-34, Macbeth realizes that he is doomed. To what extent is he redeemed by his determination to fight to the death? []
In Scene 7, lines 24-29, who seems to have lost ambition? What does this change in attitude indicate about Macbeth’s status? []
What motivates Macbeth to say, “My soul is too much charged / With blood of thine already” (lines 5-6)? He may feel guilty about murdering Macduff’s family as he tells Macduff he has already killed too many of his family members
Why might it be fitting for Macbeth to be tricked by “palter[ing] …in a double sense”? Refer to lines 20-22 and the side note in the textbook for lines 19-22. []
Malcolm and Macduff differ somewhat in their ambition. In lines 55-76, as the play closes, how have their ambitions been fulfilled? Be specific. []
What is Siward’s reaction to the news of his son’s death in lines 47-50? []
Reread lines 61-76. What kind of ruler will Malcolm be? Provide evidence. []