Macbeth Study Guide Act 1

Why does shakespeare open the play by showing the witches? Why is it good for Macbeth not to appear first? to set the scene up, to have suspense and get an impression of Macbeth
How does Duncun reward Macbeth for his bravery in defeating the rebels? Making him Thane of Cawdor, he finds out from the witches before Duncan
Macbeth calls the day of the battle “foul and fair”. Comment on what you think he means. It was foul because it was a bloody battle and lives were lost, but fair because they won
When Macbeth is told of his new title, how do he and Banquo react? Can you think of reasons for the difference in reactions? Macbeth was shocked and surprised, almost speechless. Banquo was happy, but in disbelief.
Why does Macbeth call Malcolm “a step on which” he “must fall down or else o’er leap”? Which of these alternatives do you expect Macbeth to choose and how might he do it? In order for him to become king he must go over Malcolm or give up. He’s going to get rid of Malcolm by killing him
What does Lady Macbeth fear about her husband, after she has read his letter? That he’s going to guve up and not try to be king.
Lady Macbeth tells her husband to “look like the innocent flower/But be the serpent under it”. Explain what she means (either generally or specifically or both, as you think appropriate). She wants him to smile and act as if everything is ok but stick to the plan and act for him to be king
What is the purpose and effect of Duncan’s and Banquo’s comments when they approach Macbeth’s castle? They were telling how nice it was and how grateful they were for his hospitality.
Why, in Macbeth’s opinion, is the murderof Duncan so wrong? Because that’s his cousin and he serves him and if he does kill him he will be truly missed
How does Lacy Macbeth make sure that her husband murders Duncan? By getting the guards drunk outside the kings door