Macbeth Act 3 Study Guide

What does Banquo reveal to us in his opening speech? (Act 3:1) Banquo reveals how he is suspicious of Macbeth. He also notes that his part of the prophecy, his sons will be future kings, will probably come true.
What is the occasion? (Act 3:1) Macbeth’s coronation
What does Macbeth try to suggest about his “bloody cousins? (Act 3:1) He suggests that Malcolm and Donalbain have escaped to England and Ireland as murders, whom have not confessed, telling lies to their hosts.
What deal does Macbeth strike with the murderers? (Act 3:1) Macbeth tells the murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance, his son, tonight at the dinner party.
What does Macbeth mean when he says he will be a “fruitless crown”? (Act 3:1) He means that he will have no child to inherit the throne.
At the beginning of this act, Macbeth comments on sleeping and death. What is he saying? (Act 3:2) Macbeth says that he prefers to be dead than having to endure sleep deprivation and anxiety.
Macbeth has now assumed the leading role, not his wife. How do you know this? What does Lady Macbeth not know? (Act 3:2) The readers know that Macbeth is now the leading role in the relationship because he has assumed the responsibilities and actions necessary to keep him innocent of the crime and King. Lady Macbeth does not know that he has planned an assassination for Banquo and Fleance.
What is ironic about Macbeth’s telling Lady Macbeth to “lave our honors in these flattering streams,/and make our faces vizards to our hearts,/Disguising what they are (3.2.37-39)? It’s ironic because Lady Macbeth doesn’t know that Macbeth has plotted Banquo’s and Fleance’s murder.
Notice the image of “full of scorpions is my mind” (3.2.41). What does Macbeth mean? Macbeth means that he still has many worries even though he received the titles he wanted.
What does Macbeth ask night to bring? (Act 3:2) He asks the night to blindfold the happiness of the day and help him tear Banquo’s life away.
What do you think Macbeth means when he says, “Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill” (3.2.61)? Macbeth means that bad deeds force you to commit more bad deeds.
What went wrong with Macbeth’s plot to have Banquo and Fleance murdered? (Act 3:3) The three murderers kill Banquo, but they are not able to kill Fleance because he fled once the torch gave out.
How does this relate to the witches’ prophecy? (Act 3:3) Since Fleance was able to save himself, he has a much greater possibility of becoming the future King.
What does Macbeth see on the murderer’s face? (Act 3:4) Banquo’s blood
Who is the surprise guest who upsets Macbeth, and how does he react? (Act 3:4) Banquo’s ghost shows up in Macbeth’s place. Macbeth goes into a fit.
How do the guests respond? (Act 3:4) The guests do not see Banquo’s ghost, so they think that Macbeth is going crazy.
What is ironic about this scene? (Act 3:4) As readers, we know that Macbeth is the only person who can see Banquo’s ghost making the reactions of all the other characters quite ironic.
What does Lady Macbeth tell the guests? (Act 3:4) Lady Macbeth tells the guest that Macbeth has had these “momentary” fits ever since his childhood.
What two things does Macbeth now plan to do? Why? (Act 3:4) 1. Macbeth will have servants in each lords’ households to spy for him2. Macbeth will go back to the witches to determine the worst about this situation.
The monologue by Hecate is written in what rhyme? (Act 3:5) Iambic Pentameter
Who is Hecate, and why is she unhappy? (Act 3:5) Hecate is unhappy that the witches meddled in the affairs of Macbeth without consulting her first. She notes that she could’ve done a better job.
How does Act 3:6 reveal Macduff as the possible foil of Macbeth? Macduff joins Malcolm in England where they convinced King Edward of England to help them fight against Macbeth.