macbeth key

What is unique about saying the name of the play, Macbeth? Why? Saying the name of the play conjures witches & the dregs of the Universe.
This is a play that explores the darker side of the human psyche, though Macbeth is not a monster. What does Macbeth explore? Macbeth explores the human capacity of violence & evil
What two ways does Ethan Hawke say he plans to prepare for the role? Surrounds himself with really smart people. Watch as many productions of Macbeth that he could find.
What triggers Macbeth’s descent into murder? The supernatural elements of the witches that trigger Macbeth.
How is the prophecy of the witches like reading a horoscope? Horoscopes predict the future & whether or not you believe it, it plants an idea of the future.
What is the “one characteristic that undoes Macbeth”? Ambition
How is this true/shown today? We want to set ourselves apart from all others that we set apart our kindness in the name of achieving the goal.
What was the Elizabethan audience take on witches? Witches were everywhere. People knew about these connections.
What are the political implications of writing about witches? Witches were taken seriously. Mentioning about killing a king was a dangerous idea in a play. Dangerous of interpretation.
What was King James’s interest in witches? King James I wrote a book about demonology. Witches could bring down the divinely ordained monarchy.
What is the question the play asks about the supernatural? Where do dark forces come from? Is darkness & evil already there within man? Does supernatural forces cause anything during the play?
What is known about the real Macbeth? Lived in Scotland 1,000 years ago.
What is said about Dunsinane? Possibly where Macbeth lived but no one knows for sure.
How is the real Macbeth different from Shakespeare’s Macbeth? Macbeth was a tyrant, deceitful man, who murdered a godly king in his sleep.
What are the real circumstances of King Duncan’s death? Macbeth defeats Duncan on the battlefield. Duncan was the aggressor. Duncan’s death was a casualty of war.
Who “distorted” the historical facts? Historian are to blame. History is always written by the victims. Historians distorted facts because they needed to suite the powers that be.
How are we introduced to Lady Macbeth? Partner in crime. She is reading a letter from Macbeth about the witches prophecy. She is a bully.
How has Lady Macbeth been typically portrayed? Incredibly powerful & intimidating to Macbeth.
What is most ironic about the marriage of Lady Macbeth & Macbeth compared to typical Shakespearean couples? Lady Macbeth & Macbeth have a happy marriage.
How is Lady Macbeth seen as a scapegoat? Macbeth couldn’t have done anything if it wasn’t for Lady Macbeth. Does she make him a killer?
After the initial murder in the play, how much of the play is yet to come at this point? There are 3 more acts to go.
What are human responses to trauma? Shock, numbness, & denial
What happens to Lady Macbeth before her tragic downfall? Lady Macbeth has a breakdown. She sleepwalks/she unravels.
Why is this action disturbing? She begins reenacting the murder scene in her sleep
How does Macbeth’s reaction differ from Lady Macbeth? Macbeth suppresses all feelings & presses on. Emotionless. Plow his way on.
How long after Shakespeare’s death was Macbeth first published? 7 years
What corrupted Macbeth? Loses the capacity to feel. Witches or ambition.
Why is Macbeth a tragedy? There were many points where he could have turned back but he continues his rampage.
Shakespeare’s greatest gift as a writer is he never holds people at length and he has relevancy with his modern audiences. Based on what you know so far about Macbeth, why is the play relevant today? He never holds people at arm’s length. It’s me, it’s you, it’s us. Relevancy. Shared humanity.
According to Hawke, what is the greatest challenge of playing the role of Macbeth? How do you get people to care about him?

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