Name: ( /10) English 11/ Macbeth Questions: Act 1

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1 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Macbeth Questions: Act 1 1. Describe the three witches that we meet in Act 1. In what sense are they familiar to you? 2. Why does Shakespeare open the play by showing the witches? Why is it good for Macbeth not to appear first? 3. How does Duncan reward Macbeth for his bravery in defeating the rebels? Comment on the order in which Duncan announces it and Macbeth finds it out.

2 4. Macbeth calls the day of the battle foul and fair. Comment on what you think he means. 5. When Macbeth is told of his new title, how do he and Banquo react? Can you think of reasons for the difference in reactions? 6. 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? 7. What does Lady Macbeth fear about her husband, after she has read his letter? 8. Lady Macbeth tells her husband to look like the innocent flower/ But be the serpent under it. What sort of poetic device is this? Explain what she means.

3 9. What do Duncan and Banquo say as they approach Macbeth's castle? Discuss the affect of these words. 10. Why, in Macbeth's opinion, is the murder of Duncan so wrong? 11. How does Lady Macbeth make sure that her husband murders Duncan? 12. Discuss how each of the following themes are addressed in Act 1: Ambition Good and Evil Power and Politics the Supernatural

4 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Macbeth Questions: Act 2 1. Comment on Banquo's speech beginning There's husbandry in heaven... and ending...in repose. Remember that this play would originally have been performed in the daytime, using natural light. 2. After his servant leaves him (Act 2, scene 1, line 33 and following) Macbeth imagines he can see something (in some film versions the audience may be shown this, too). What is it? Explain why, you think, Macbeth sees this, especially at this time and in this place. 3. When Lady Macbeth says, That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold, what does she mean? Who are them and why should she want them to be drunk?

5 4. Sometimes Shakespeare shows killing onstage (mostly at the end of a play). Why, in your view, is the killing of Duncan not shown, but understood to happen offstage? 5. How is Macbeth's mind affected by the murder of Duncan? 6. Who is more composed and level-headed after the killing, Macbeth or his wife? Can you think of reasons for this? 7. The scene featuring the porter makes a great contrast with what goes before and after it. Can you explain why Shakespeare should use comedy at this point in an otherwise not very comical play? (This is sometimes explained by the phrase Comic Relief )

6 8. After Duncan's death, Macbeth says, All is but toys. Explain what you think he means by saying this. He is, of course, concealing his part in the murder, but do you think he is sincere when he makes this statement? Why? 9. How do Malcolm and Donalbain react to the murder of their father? Is this a wise course of action? Give reasons in favour of this and against it. Reasons to Run Away to England Reasons to Stay in Scotland 10. Can you think of any other things they might do in this situation? 11. An old man tells Ross about a mousing owl that killed a falcon and about Duncan's horses turning wild and eating each other. What might be the point of this speech? Comment on the idea of things being unnatural at this point in the play.

7 12. Create a pie chart which assigns a percentage of blame for the murder of Duncan to different characters. To what extent is Lady Macbeth to Blame? What about Macbeth? What about Banquo, Duncan, or the Witches? 13. Discuss how each of the following themes are addressed in Act 2: Ambition The Supernatural

8 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Macbeth Questions: Act 3 1. Why does Macbeth ask Banquo so many apparently casual questions about where he is riding? Why should Macbeth be worried about Banquo (think about what he knows and about his character)? 2. How does Macbeth persuade the murderers to help him? Is his explanation convincing? Explain. 3. What does Macbeth say that he envies about Duncan (in scene 2)? 4. How successful are the murderers in following Macbeth's instructions? Comment on what happens to Fleance, and why this matters to Macbeth.

9 5. How does Lady Macbeth react when her husband sees (or believes he sees) Banquo's ghost? What similar thing does she recall? (Note: Macbeth has not told her of this in the dialogue of the play, so we must suppose he has told her between scenes.) 6. What does Macbeth mean when he says, We are yet but young in deed? (Act 3, scene 4) What does this suggest about his future conduct? 7. Who or what is Hecate and what does she think of the witches' involvement with Macbeth? 8. What is Hecate's strategy for Macbeth? Comment on the way the audience learns of this before Macbeth does.

10 9. In Act 3, scene 6, Lennox comments on Macbeth's actions. In your own words, try to explain what he says directly and what he really thinks or hints at. Why might he not want to say directly what is really in his mind? 10. The lord's reply to Lennox contains some interesting information about Macduff. What is this, and how might it affect things in Scotland? 11. Discuss how each of the following themes are addressed in Act 1: Ambition Truth vs. Deception Power and Politics

11 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Macbeth Questions: Act 4 1. How do the witches lull Macbeth into a false sense of security? 2. How does Macbeth feel after his second meeting with the witches? What things might reassure him, and what things might trouble him? 3. When Macbeth says (Act 4, scene 1) that the flighty purpose never is o'ertook/unless the deed go with it, what does he mean in general, and in the particular situation in which he says it? 4. How does Lady Macduff feel about being left alone by her husband? Why does he ignore her? 5. When Ross comes to see Lady Macduff, how does he behave and why?

12 6. Briefly explain Macduff's description to Malcolm of the state of affairs in Scotland (Act 4, scene 3). What does the audience know which makes Macduff's account even more painful? 7. Why might Malcolm be suspicious of Macduff? Does he know as much as the audience does about why Macbeth and Macduff are enemies? 8. Malcolm pretends to be even more evil than Macbeth. Why does he do this? What does he discover by doing so? 9. In Act 4, scene 3, there is an account of the miraculous healing powers of the English king - what is the purpose of this? What effect does it have on the audience? 10. When Macduff asks Ross about his family, Ross replies,...they were well at peace when I did leave 'em. Explain why he gives this answer and what it might mean.

13 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Macbeth Questions: Act 5 1. How does Lady Macbeth's behaviour in Act 5, scene 1 affect the way the audience sees her? Her Behaviour This shows that 2. Angus says that Macbeth's royal title is...like a giant's robe/upon a dwarfish thief (Act 5, scene 2, lines 21-22). Explain, in your own words, what this simile means, and whether it is a fair description of Macbeth. 3. Why does Macbeth say (Act 5, scene 3) that he must not look to have...that which should accompany old age? What are these things and what does he expect to have in their stead? 4. Why does Malcolm order his soldiers to cut boughs from the trees of Birnam Wood?

14 5. Explain the ways in which the audience and (later) Macbeth see more in Malcom s order than Malcolm has intended. 6. Macbeth claims that he has almost forgot the taste of fears. Is this a convincing claim? Give reasons for your answer. 7. Perhaps the most famous speech in the play is the one that begins Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. In your own words, summarize the main points that Macbeth makes in this speech. 8. When Macbeth fights young Siward he is very confident of the outcome? Why is this? Is he right to be so confident?

15 9. Macduff believes that he alone should kill Macbeth. Why does he think this? What other reason emerges, when he speaks with Macbeth, for his being the only person who should do this? 10. How does Macbeth feel about fighting Macduff? Why does she finally agree to fight Macduff? 11. How does old Siward feel about the death of his son? He makes a joke at this point - does this suggest that he doesn't care, or that he is controlling his feelings?

16 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Theme and Message in Macbeth 1. Identify themes and read between the lines: Theme Examples of where it is addressed in the play Shakespeare s message concerning each theme Power and Ambition Good and Evil

17 Theme Examples of where it is addressed in the play Shakespeare s message concerning each theme Appearance vs. Reality Natural vs. Supernatural Justice vs. Injustice

18 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Literary Devices in Macbeth Literary Devices Examples in the Play Purpose or Effect Metaphor/ Simile Foreshadow Symbolism

19 Literary Device Example in the Play Purpose or Effect Irony Mood

20 Symbolism- "Out, damned spot!" cries Lady Macbeth in her sleep. The spots of blood Lady Macbeth dreamed she saw on her hands were symbolic of her guilt, showing that even though she tried to rid herself of her emotions and feelings of compassion ("Unsex me here"), the crime she helped to commit (The murder of Duncan) truly did affect her. In fact, it drove her to insanity. Irony- The previous Thane of Cawdor betrayed him (The battle in the first seem of Macdonwald and the king of Norway), so he gave the title to a man he thought to be most noble and worthy, Macbeth. Only a short time later, Macbeth murders him when he is a guest in his castle. Another example is when Lady Macbeth says to Macbeth after he has murdered Duncan, "A little water clears us of this deed". However, she later as hallucinations of a spot of blood that cannot be washed from her hand with any amount of water. Foil- Banquo is used as a foil to Macbeth to contrast and highlight their character differences. Banquo is put in the same situation as Macbeth; the witches have predicted a great future for him, telling him he will "father a line of kings, though he will be none himself". Banquo is more valiant and worthy than Macbeth, for he is content to wait for this fate to take place, while Macbeth continues to hurt those he thinks stand in his way. This includes killing Banquo. Pathetic Fallacy: The weather in the play often mirrors the goings-on. This is because in Elizabethan times, people believed that the state of the universe could be disturbed but a horrible act of treason, such as the murder of a good king. On the night of Duncan's murder, a thunder and lightning storm raged outside. Ross and an old man conversed about strange goings-on they had noticed. The use of pathetic fallacy has the effect of making the scenes of fear or violence more intense. The audience realizes the severity of the situation. In the first battle scene, the witches discribe "fog and filthy air", which is representative of mystery, and of how things are not how they should be (the natural order is reversed, as suggested by the line "fair is foul and foul is fair") Mood: The mood in Macbeth is created mostly through the weather (afore mentioned), but also through the use of the supernatural. The world of Macbeth is one of malicious witches, hallucinations, ghosts, and visions. This creates a sense of fear and uncertainty in the audience. Metaphor- Many examples of metaphors are present in Macbeth. Lady Macbeth says "Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it" to Macbeth when requesting that he act normally in front of Duncan and his court so as not to reveal their true intentions.

21 Name: ( /10) English 11/ Character Analysis in Macbeth 1. Banquo is a character foil for Macbeth; his redeeming qualities serve to highlight the weaknesses that develop in Macbeth s character. a) Create a diagram to compare and contrast these two characters. b) Identify the most important differences between Banquo and Macbeth. Give examples to illustrate these differences. Most important Differences Examples from the Play

22 2. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are dynamic characters who change greatly during the course of the play. Describe them both at the beginning and near the end of the play. Use examples from the text to support your description. Macbeth At the start At the end Description Examples Lady Macbeth At the start At the end Description Examples

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