Drama: Act V- Macbeth

Effects of watching Deeds of one awake
actual performances deeds
meet suitable
guise custom
Close hidden
Sense powers of sight
To accompt into account
go to an exclamation
charged burdened
dignity worth; rank
Think about the definition of tragedy and the events that have unfolded in Macbeth. What would you say is Macbeth’s tragic flaw, and why? Sample answer: Macbeth’s flaw is his excessive ambition, or willingness to do anything (even commit murder) to succeed.
Which of the following incidents does Lady Macbeth recall as she sleepwalks in The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V? Explain your choice, citing lines from the play.a. Duncan’s murderb. the appearance of Banquo’s ghostc. the murder of Lady Macduff d. all of the above d, Explanation: “All of the above” is the correct response. Choice a is applicable as Duncan is the “old man” to whom she refers in line 40. Choice b is applicable since she recalls the appearance of Banquo’s ghost in lines 63-65. Choice c is applicable because she recalls Lady Macduff, the slain wife of the Thane of Fife, in lines 43-44.
What does the sleepwalking scene in The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V, suggest about customs and practices of the past? Explain why each choice is right or wrong.a.Medical knowledge of mental disorders was far more limited than it is today.b.People in the Middle Ages were more prone to sleepwalking than they are today.c.People in Shakespeare’s time knew nothing of emotional distress.d.In the past, servants often knew more about medicine than doctors did. a, Explanation: The doctor himself tells Macbeth that Lady Macbeth must cure herself of her “mind diseased.” Choice b is illogical. The fact that one person sleepwalks does not show that people in the Middle Ages were more prone to sleepwalking than they are today, and it makes little sense that they would be. Choice c is contradicted by the details in the play. Shakespeare’s depiction of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Macduff—among others—shows a vast understanding of emotional distress. Choice d is not supported by any details in the play.
Which of the following incidents in The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V, is most clearly a harbinger of Macbeth’s downfall? Explain your response. a. the gentlewoman’s remark about Lady Macbeth, “She has a light by her continually”b. Macbeth’s calling his servant a “lily-livered boy”c. Macbeth’s remark, “Throw physic to the dogs”d. the messenger’s remark, “I looked toward Birnam, and anon, methought, / The wood began to move” d, Explanation: This answer shows an understanding that a harbinger is a “forerunner,” or “something that comes before to signal something else.” Choices a, b, and c do not show an understanding of the meaning of harbinger.
In a few paragraphs, explain why you think Macbeth has endured over the centuries. You may want to discuss the play’s relevance today in terms of themes or characters and their experiences, or you may wish to focus on Shakespeare’s use of language. Whatever the thrust of your writing, be sure to cite details from the play to support your general statements about it. Students should explain why they think Macbeth has endured as a classic and cite examples from the play to support their opinions. They may focus on what they consider to be the play’s universal themes, on its understanding of human behavior and the universals of human nature, or on its brilliant use of poetic and memorable language.
Choose one of the following sayings, and write a brief essay explaining how it expresses a theme conveyed in Macbeth. Cite details from Acts I-V to support your ideas. a.Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.b. Blood will have blood.c. What goes around, comes around.d.Look before you leap.e. Fair is foul and foul is fair. Students should choose one saying, explain what it means, and then cite examples from the play to show that the idea expressed by the saying is one of the play’s themes. They should recognize that saying (a) focuses on the ideas of excessive political ambition and tyranny, (b) on violence leading only to more violence, (c) on the idea of justice and legal or moral law, (d) on the importance of considering future consequences, and (e) on the ideas that things are not always what they appear to be.
From the battles in The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V, what can you conclude about warfare in Macbeth’s day? Explain why each choice seems correct or incorrect. d, Explanation: Swords are mentioned throughout, including in the close combat between Macbeth and Macduff at the end. Choice a is contradicted by the details. Macduff and Macbeth do face each other one on one. Choice b is contradicted by the details. The attacking army does camouflage itself, with the tree branches—that is how “Birnam Wood” seems to be coming to Dunsinane. Choice c is not supported by the details. The characters seem to rely mainly on human messengers, and these other inventions (in fact, from the nineteenth century) appear nowhere in the play.
Upon completing The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V, write a brief evaluation of Macbeth as a typical tragic hero. Do you think he is an otherwise noble figure with one tragic flaw, or do you find him less noble overall than a tragic hero should be? State your opinions, and be sure to support them with examples and reasons. Students should identify Macbeth’s tragic flaw and then evaluate Macbeth as a tragic hero, considering whether he is a noble enough figure to qualify as a typical tragic hero. Students should support their ideas with details from the play.
In stories, plays, or films, it is always satisfying when villains get what they deserve in the end. In an essay, discuss whether this is the case with Macbeth and Lady Macbeth or whether they might have gotten off too easily. Do you think their fate would have been the same if they’d committed the same deeds today? Use events in The Tragedy of Macbeth, to support your argument. Students may choose to defend either point of view in their essays as long as they support it with examples. For example, students who agree that the villains get what they deserve will say that nothing except death is a worthy penalty for cruel murderers who tear their own country apart. In contrast, some students might feel that because Lady Macbeth chooses to end her own life and Macbeth’s death is quick and brave, these villains do not suffer enough for their crimes. Students might say that the fate of the Macbeths would be the same even today and that in many parts of the world today systems of checks and balances help keep rulers from becoming dictators.
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow / Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, / To the last syllable of recorded time; / And all our yesterdays have lighted fools / The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle! / Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more. It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury / Signifying nothing.”Write an essay explaining what you think this passage means. How does it relate to Macbeth’s situation? Why do you think it has fascinated readers throughout the centuries? Students should give their interpretation of this passage and relate it to Macbeth’s situation, telling why it has fascinated readers. For example, students might mention that in the speech, Macbeth recognizes the inevitability of death, regardless of how great or evil a person is. They may note that Macbeth is also taking the position that life in general with all its ambitions and deeds is essentially meaningless. At this point, he has given up. Students may feel the speech is fascinating because it is an eloquent and vivid summation of an unpleasant, but perhaps not uncommon, feeling about life.
The witches dance wildly around their caldron in a ____ frenzy. clamorous
In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V, when the doctor tells the waiting-gentlewoman to take from Lady Macbeth “the means of all annoyance,” it is because he fears that Lady Macbeth might try to kill herself.
When the doctor watches Lady Macbeth sleepwalking in Act V of The Tragedy of Macbeth, he is completely baffled.
The trees of Birnham Wood moving toward Dunsinane are ____ of Macbeth’s downfall. harbingers
Lady Macbeth’s guilt causes her a great ____ of spirit. perturbation
In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V, Scene i, you can tell that the waiting-gentlewoman is loyal to Lady Macbeth.
Why does Shakespeare have Macbeth display certain admirable traits at the end of The Tragedy of Macbeth? to reinforce the idea that Macbeth is a victim of his tragic flaw

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