Macbeth Acts I-III

The natural disturbances that continue all night–including the screaming and murderous owl, chimneys being blown down, and Duncan’s horse turning wild–symbolize what? The evil of Macbeth’s deeds
Why does King Duncan decide to make Macbeth Thane of Cawdor? Because he has defeated the Thane of Cawdor who was an enemy of the king
How does Banquo react when Macbeth receive his new title? He is shocked
After reading the letter from her husband, Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to “Make thick my blood,/Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse.” What is she asking? To be made insensitive to the cruelty she is planning
Near the end of Act I, why does Macbeth express doubt about murdering the king? Macbeth is the king’s subject and host
In the play’s first act, what is Duncan’s attitude toward Macbeth? respectful and kind
Before Macbeth makes his first appearance, what do we learn about him? He’s brave
Lady Macbeth’s remark that her husband is “too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness” What does she mean? She thinks he is too nice to go after the crown
What is Macbeth’s tragic flaw? His lust for power
Why are the witches important? They foreshadow events
Why is King Duncan so grateful to Macbeth? Macbeth save King Duncan’s kingdom from rebels and the Norwegian king
What is Macbeth’s character flaw? his ambition
What does Macbeth think about killing King Duncan? He isn’t sure if it’s the right thing to do
Where does King Duncan come to spend the night? Macbeth’s castle
The numbered side notes in The Tragedy of Macbeth help readers understand which aspect of the play? Unfamiliar language
What does Lady Macbeth think Macbeth has little chance of becoming king? He isn’t ruthless enough
What is important about the dagger that Macbeth sees in his Scene 1 soliloquy? it is part of a hallucination
When Macbeth talks agitatedly about the murders, what does Lady Macbeth urge him? Try not to dwell on it
As soon as the murder becomes known, why do Malcolm and Donalbain flee Scotland? They fear for their lives
When Macbeth is alone, he imagines he sees what? A dagger
In Scene 4, how does Macduff emphasize his opposition to Macbeth? Refusing to go to scone to see Macbeth crowned
Why does Lady Macbeth drug the servants in Scene ii? So they will sleep through Duncan’s murder
Why does Lady Macbeth choose not to kill King Duncan herself? She says the king looks too much like her father
What does Macbeth mean when he says he will “sleep no more”? His conscience will never let him rest
What does Macbeth mean when he says the blood on his hands will redden all the seas? It is a comment of his profound guilt
Why do Ross and Macduff think King Duncan’s sons have killed their father? They flee the kingdom
When Macbeth hears that Fleance has escaped the murderers, how does he react? He gets anxious
When Macbeth begins talking to Banquo’s ghost, how does Lady Macbeth react? She tells the others that Macbeth has an illness
Why does Macbeth want Banquo dead? He knows that he suspects him of foul play
In the extended banquet scene, Macbeth chastises Banquo for being absent. What makes that speech ironic? Banquo is dead, but he is there in spirit
At the banquet, what does Macbeth’s tortured conscience cause? Challenging Banquo’s ghost
At the beginning of Act III, Macbeth learns that Banquo will not be returning to the castle until after dark. Why is this good news for him? It would be easier to have Banquo murdered to uncover darkness
During the banquet, Macbeth becomes unhappy and distracted. Lady Macbeth says to him, “Gentle my lord, sleek o’er your rugged looks; / Be bright and jovial among your guests tonight.” What does she mean? Don’t look so gloomy, be cheerful with your guests
Why does Macbeth begin to act so oddly at the banquet? He sees Banquo’s ghost
How has Macbeth changed between the beginning of Act I and the end of Act III? He is now quick to use treachery to suit his ends
At the end of Act III, Macbeth plans to visit the witches once more. What does he want to learn? He wants to know if he can continue being king and about his future and his reign