Macbeth Test

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair” Witches; Paradox
“Doubtful it stood, as two spent swimmers that do cling together and choke their heart.” General; Simile that sets up the fight between Macbeth and Macdonwald and sets up Macbeth’s character as brave and violent.
“For brave Macbeth… from the nave to the chaps.” General; emphasizes the violent nature of Macbeth.
“So fair and foul a day I have not seen.” Macbeth; Paradox that sets the mood for the whole play.
“If chance will make me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir.” Macbeth; showing that if it is his fate that he should become king, he shouldn’t have to do anything to become king.
“He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust.” Duncan; Dramatic Irony because little does he know Macbeth’s plans of murder.
“Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires.” Macbeth; symbolism in an aside
“Yet I do fear they nature; Its is too full o’ the milk of human kindness.” Lady Macbeth
“Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty.” Lady Macbeth; in her soliloquy says this to emphasize that only men could be cruel and she must be removed of all of her feminine features in order to be evil.
“To beguile the time, look like the time: bear welcome in your eye, your hand your tongue; look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t” Lady Macbeth; simile and paradox
“This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses” Duncan; Dramatic Irony
“I have given suck, and know…had I so sworn as you have done this.” Lady Macbeth; contrasting of imagery to show her loyal character.
“Me thought I heard a voice cry ‘sleep no more! Macbeth doth murder sleep’ – the innocent sleep” Macbeth
“The night has been unruly…was feverish and did shake” Lenox; shows the nature reacting to the unruly action of the king’s murder.
“The wine of life is drawn” Macbeth; metaphor
“Who can be wise, amazed, temperate…courage to make’s love known.” Macbeth; Imagery that emphasizes Duncan’s royalty. This is when he admits to killing the guards, but claims to have done so out of love for the king.
“To be this is nothing, but to be safely thus” Macbeth; illustrates MB fears of Banquo and how he worries that he ruined his own soul only for the benefit of Banquo’s sons. Start of one of his famous soliloquies.
“Twas a rough night” Macbeth; understatement
“Let grief convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it” Malcom
“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” Lady Macbeth; Dramatic Irony because throughout the whole play Lady Macbeth tries to keep MB from going crazy, but really LMB is overcome by guilt and loses her mind.
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth; One of his final long quotes. Shows him as depressed and unhappy. This quote is full of metaphors and portrays him as hopeless for the future and life.
“I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of women born” Macbeth; example of Dramatic Irony due to his overconfidence due to the witches false prophesies.
Describe the setting of this scene. How might it be significant considering this is the first scene of the play? What sort of mood does it create? A deserted place, it is a place of evil, barrenness and death. Three hideous witches gather here, obviously up to no good. It sets up a sense of foreboding and darkness, that there will be great sorrow and death in this story.
The witches say together, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” This is one of the most famous lines in Macbeth. What do you think it means? It means that in this world, actions that are morally corrupt can end up gaining success, while good actions can actually harm one’s chances of success. It is referenced when Macbeth first speaks, and when Lady Macduff is ranting. (IV.ii.82-84).
What does the Sergeant specifically report about Macbeth? What does this news reveal to you about Macbeth’s character? That Macbeth fought with Macdonwald with great skill, but he did not just defeat him, but cut him wide open from chin to legs. This shows that Macbeth is an effective warrior/person, but a brutal and vicious one.
When Macbeth says, So foul and fair a day I have not seen,” what does he mean? What other line of the play does he echo? What could be the dramatic irony of the line? As Macbeth’s first words of the play, how might this line be significant? According to the quote thing above, he is acknowledging a difference between appearance and reality. He is echoing the words of the three witches, who had said “foul is fair and fair is foul”. That the readers know this to be similar to what the witches say, but none of the characters know of this link. This line relates him to the witches, with all the twistedness, evil, and death that it entails. It is setting him up for his fate- foreshadowing.
Why does Banquo warn Macbeth about “the instruments of darkness?” How does this comment tie into the “fair is foul, foul is fair” theme? Banquo is nervous about these witches, he realizes that this may be a trap, set to drag them down into evil. Their words seem fair, but are underlit with evil and sin.
As the others talk, what does Macbeth’s aside reveal about his thinking? What does he fear? How is this moment a significant turning point for Macbeth? Also that he doesn’t know if the prophecy is good or bad. He fears his fantasy of killing the king. This is significant because no one in their right mind contemplates killing the king in order to gain his power. Refer to the first sentence. It marks the start of his ambition.
What is the difference between how Banquo reacts to the fulfillment of the first prophecy and how Macbeth reacts? Why might their reactions be different? Macbeth draws back in fear (warning, Quinn may have missed this, as it was not directly stated in the book) Macbeth, after getting over his shock, asks the witches to explain. then is entranced by the promised greatness , Banquo is thoughtless and greedy, asking for his own prophecy. Macbeth is taken aback at how close their prophecy is to some of his dreams, also may have something to do with his cautiousness around evil. Banquo wants what he can get, he is greedy, and incautious.
How does Malcolm describe Cawdor’s execution? How does Duncan respond? Cawdor died honorably, and with dignity. He confessed his treason, and submitted to his execution. He believes there is no way to judge a man’s mind by his face. Duncan trusted Cawdor completely and was wrong about him (foreshadowing to the stabby-stabby part).
After Lady Macbeth finishes reading the letter, what concern does she express about Macbeth? She fears that he will be too considerate of other humans, that he will not let ambition override the care he has for other people.
How do Duncan and Banquo regard Macbeth’s home? How are their comments an example of dramatic irony? They describe it as comfortable and pleasant. It is dramatic irony because it is the home of MURDERERS OH GOSH. Refer to stabby-stabby part if you are still confused.
How does Lady Macbeth’s behavior in this scene contrast with what we know of her from last scene? What does this indicate about her character? Lady Macbeth dons the image of an honorable, peaceful, and giving hostess. She is pleasant to her guests, and acts as if she is very feminine. In contrast, she is actually manipulative, power-hungry, and aggressive (as seen in an earlier scene). This indicates she is not as she seems. She is deceptive and does not show her true character on her face. Similar to Macbeth.
What arguments does Macbeth raise for not committing the murder? What does Macbeth mean when he says that Duncan is “here in double trust”? He brings up arguments about how Duncan is his king, and Macbeth is Duncan’s host, so he should be protecting Duncan not killing him. He means that Duncan trusts him because Duncan is king and because he is Duncan’s host. May also have something to do with Macbeth being thane of Glamis and now Cawdor Duncan is the guest of Macbeth and has given him his trust, and additional honors.
How would you describe Macbeth’s mental/emotional state at this point (Act 2 Scene 1)? When he talks to Banquo, he is fine, but when he’s by himself, he is hallucinating, nervous, he is in a very turbulent state.
What does the ringing of the bell indicate to Macbeth? How does Macbeth say the singing relates to Duncan? What kind of poetic form ends the sentence? The bell indicates that Lady Macbeth has his drink waiting for him, Macbeth says that the ringing of the bell summons Duncan to his final resting place, be it heaven or hell. The end of this phrase is a couplet.
Why does Lady Macbeth not commit the murder when she is in the room? Because Duncan looked like her father.
Macbeth enters and describes what he saw and heard. She tells him, “These deeds must not be thought/ After these ways.” Why? Because if they dwell on it, their guilt will drive them insane. non-unique.
Macbeth goes on to describe how he thought he heard a voice cry, sleep no more! Macbeth doth Murder sleep…” What is the meaning of Macbeth’s remarks about sleep? Sleep is a recurring motif that represents peace of the soul, in this case it also references Duncan’s eternal sleep. Macbeth’s lack of sleep is because of guilt and paranoia.
In this scene, how does Lady Macbeth criticize her husband and show herself to be stronger? In what ways is she just as weak? Lady Macbeth asserts herself as stronger by rebuking Macbeth for his paranoia (about believing that his murderous actions had been witnessed.) She shows herself to be just as weak as she was unable to kill king Duncan. Also, they are both extremely weak when it comes to avoiding sin.
What does Macbeth say about cleaning the blood off of his hands? How does Lady Macbeth’s comment about their bloody hands contrast with his? What do their bloody hands symbolize? He moans that his hands will never come clean, Lady Macbeth says that her hands are bloody, too, but she is not as weak-hearted as he is. Their bloody hands symbolize their evil deeds.
At the close of the scene, there is an incessant knocking at the door. What might this knocking symbolize? Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, Mrs. Quinn made some obscure comment about how the knocking was a sign of injustice and the vengeance of Duncan for being silenced. It is likely meant to symbolize death, knocking on the door. That, or the imminent discovery of their deeds. Also, it’s a symbol/metaphor for their guilt that surrounds them and oppresses them from all sides, denying them rest.
How does Macduff question Macbeth’s actions? What does Lady Macbeth do to intercede? Macduff just asks “why did you kill the servants?” Lady Macbeth pretends to sort of faint, drawing the attention away from Macbeth.
In Greek Theater, tragedies focus on the tragic hero. This tragic hero is a great man who has on tragic flaw, which brings about his downfall. As the hero accepts the consequences of his errors, he teaches the audience some truth of life. If Macbeth is a tragic hero, what is his tragic flaw? His tragic flaw is that he is weak willed, susceptible to temptation. However, he is neither Greek nor a hero. He’s also really ambitious.
What further unnatural acts are occurring? What do you think these events are meant to signify? Falcons are being killed by owls, horses stampeded, it is dark during the day. These all signify an act of unnatural evil, which upset the natural balance.
Who is suspected of setting up the murder of Duncan? Why? Malcolm and Donalbain, they are the princes, who could stand to gain the throne after their father’s death. The suspicion falls upon them because the servants would have acted only on another’s orders, and Malcolm and Donalbain flee Scotland after Duncan’s death.
Instead of attending the coronation, Macduff plans to travel home. How might this choice be significant? He is rejecting Macbeth as king, also showing that he has higher priorities.
Look at the dialogue between Macbeth and Banquo; how has their relationship changed now that Macbeth is king? How has Macbeth’s demeanor changed since his last scene? Banquo has become suspicious of Macbeth. Before, they were equals and now they treat each other formally. There is distrust between them. Macbeth has become paranoid of Banquo and angry that his kids will be king. He is power-hungry, and wants to take control of things, despite believing in fate.
How does Macbeth motivate the murderers to kill Banquo? What is Macbeth’s justification for not performing the deed himself? Macbeth fears that if Banquo lives, his children will inherit the throne that Macbeth killed for. Macbeth does not do it himself because he fears that others will disapprove, and that it would be hard to conceal if he himself did it.
What feeling about their security do both lady Macbeth and Macbeth express early in this scene? What does Macbeth say about Duncan to illustrate his point? They feel that these murders bring nothing but fear and worry. Macbeth says, “Duncan is totes dead and now he gets to sleep and be happy while my life is still sucky,” (I paraphrase). Actual lines are 24-25 (Duncan is in his grave; after life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.) He is jealous of Duncan.
What are Banquo’s dying words? How might they relate back to the prophecies? Fly Fleance fly, he is telling his son to flee, his son does and survives. Thus, the sons of Banquo can still inherit the throne.
Upon returning to the banquet table, what does Macbeth see and how does he respond? How do the guests respond? Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo. The ghost represents his lack of sleep and mental disorder. It is also his guilt and troubled mind. The guests are worried for his sake, but otherwise confused by his outburst. The joyful mood is killed.
Why does Macbeth bring up Macduff? What are the implications of Macduff’s actions? Macbeth wonders about Macduff’s loyalty. He has a spy watching him and he doesn’t want Macduff jeopardizing his safety. Macduff refuses to come to the dinner party when Macbeth commands it, which means he may be suspicious or distrustful of Macbeth.
What does Macbeth plan to do next? What grotesque image does he use to describe his current situation? He plans to visit the witches and find out more about what to do. He describes his situation as standing in a river of blood. He believes it would be just as hard to become good as it would to keep killing people.
How does Lady Macbeth describe her sleep? What earlier line does her remark recall? She never says a thing about her own sleep, just that her husband lacks it. It recalls Macbeth’s hallucination of a voice saying, “Macbeth doth murder sleep,”
What comments do Hecate make that suggest Macbeth has free will? What does she say to suggest he is controlled by fate? Will: “Loves for his own ends, not for you.” “How did you dare trade and traffic with Macbeth…” fate: “Unto a dismal and fatal end.” (if anyone else finds some better quotes from this section, feel free to add them)
Lennox seems to be very careful in his speech. Why is he cautious in what he says? What, if anything, could be interpreted as criticism of Macbeth? Because he knows that Macs are superior, and his inferior OS will be crushed by Apple if he speaks incautiously.Linux does not know the loyalty of those around him, and does not want to be killed as a traitor. he says that Macduff is wise for keeping his distance from Macbeth, he also says that Macbeth is a tyrant, that Macbeth has basically screwed up the kingdom (lines 35-40). Basically all of lines 35-54. He really doesn’t seem to be careful in his speech…
What are the three apparitions and what is Macbeth’s response? 1) an armed head, who tells Macbeth to beware Macduff- Macbeth acknowledges that he has doubts about Macduff as well. 2) a bloody child, tells Macbeth that nobody born of woman can hurt Macbeth- Macbeth says that he doesn’t need to kill Macduff then, but he will just to be sure. 3) a child with a crown and a tree, he says that Macbeth need fear nothing until Birnam forest comes to Dunsinane- Macbeth is delighted, saying that forests cannot move.
What is Macbeth’s resolve at the end of the scene? How do his plans differ from previous actions? He resolves to act without thinking things through, and his first impulse is to slaughter the Macduff family. His plans are not to eliminate just his target, but the entire family, this is much more violent and traceable than his other killings.
Why does Lady Macduff think Macduff’s flight was “madness”? How does Ross defend Macduff? Because he didn’t take his family with him. Ross tells her that there was likely some good reason for him to have gone, that or he was scared.
Why does Ross describe the current times as “cruel”? Because so many are accused of being traitors unjustly, and nobody is sure of what is rumor and what is true.
How does Malcolm cleverly test Macduff’s loyalty? What is Macduff’s initial response? What finally indicates to Malcolm that Macduff is truly loyal? Malcolm tests him by asking his story, why he fled, what is going on in Scotland. Macduff initially responds with reasonable answers, but is stirred up into a fervent fury against Macbeth, which convinces Malcolm of Macduff’s sincerity. (may need clarification/verification)
How does Lady Macbeth’s character in this scene contrast with her behavior in earlier scenes? She actually regrets past actions, and is haunted by her murderous deeds. Before she brushed them off as if they were nothing.
Who do Lennox, Angus, Menteith, and Caithness support? Where are they headed, and why is that location significant? They support Malcolm and Macduff, they are headed toward Birnam Wood, which is part of the witch’s prophecy.
How is the plant metaphor begun by Duncan in Act I, Scene IV, continued in this scene? Duncan had referred to “planting” Macbeth, and in this scene Linux says something about purging the weeds that have grown in Scotland.
What are Macbeth’s troops doing? Why does he remain so confident? Macbeth sends out more cavalry. Even though many thanes have deserted him, Macbeth remains confident because the wood has not yet come to Dunsinane, and nobody born of a woman can kill him.
How would you describe Macbeth’s demeanor in this scene? Arrogant, haughty, uncaring. Needs a Snickers. And a hug…
What tactical strategy does Malcolm implement? What is its purpose, and why is it significant to the play? He conceals his forces by using branches of the Birnam forest. This gives him the advantage of knowing the enemy’s forces and his own, while the enemy does not know his forces. This is significant because the forest coming to Dunsinane is one of the signs that Macbeth is nearing his downfall.
In reaction to the news that Lady Macbeth is dead, Macbeth delivers his most famous soliloquy. What is the main idea of his speech? That nothing really matters, everything passes, dies, and is nothing. He tried to become Friedrich Nietzsche.
What does Macbeth now recognize about the prophecies? How does his realization relate to the play’s central theme? He realizes that the only reason they came true is that he believed them. His own ambition and desire for power corrupted him. He realizes things are not as they seem. He realizes that the prophecies were supposed to lull him into a false sense of security, that they were all tricks to manipulate him. The central theme is how unchecked ambition corrupts people.
What information does Macduff reveal about himself that makes Macbeth frightened? He reveals that he was not born of a woman, but delivered by a c-section.
What spurs Macbeth to continue fighting Macduff after he at first indicates he will not? Desperation, wanting to avoid shame for the rest of his life.
What is the final resolution of the play? Macbeth is dead, and Malcolm begins his reign.