English Macbeth Test

Act 1: Scenes 1-3
What reasons can you think of as to why Macbeth is first introduced to us through the witches? Because he’s power hungry; witches are like omens.
Explain what you think is meant by the paradoxical: Fair is foul, foul is fair. Ying and Yang. Good is bad, bad is good- everything has a consequence.
Paraphrase the Captain’s description of the battle and the part played by Macbeth in securing victory. He’s a brutal and ruthless guy who will do anything to get what he wants.
The Than of Cawdor was obviously a traitor. What does Duncan’s comment: “No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive our bosom interest”, say about Duncan’s former relationship with him? They were friends, but that bond was broken once the Thane of Cawdor betrayed him.
Given the fact that Macbeth was first mentioned by the witches, the idea of fair is foul, foul is fair was introduced in scene one and that Duncan was deceived by Cawdor, to what extent are you prepared to accept at face value the assessment of Macbeth as brave and noble? He’s brave, but not really noble or jumble. He’s not a super great/kind person.
The discussion with the Witches of their revenge on the sailors wife- what does it suggest about their power? They are very powerful (Satan’s power) and can control the four winds.
Macbeth’s entry is a shock because his first words echo those of the witches in scene one. What might this mean in a literal sense? He had never seen such good come out of such bad.
What effect does it have on our initial response to Macbeth? It really makes us lose respect and trust in him.
Banquo’s reaction to this? He wants Macbeth to slow down and see that they’re evil.
What does he suggest about Macbeth’s reaction? It would be treason.
What is significant about his use of the words fear and fair in this context? He sees that Macbeth is startled and is responding to what they said. Its good news to Macbeth.
How does Banquo react to Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor? “What can the devil say true?” He doesn’t want to work with evil.
“Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?” What does this mean? Macbeth is wondering why they are trying to make him something that he is not. He’s trying to get used to his new title.
Why does Banquo warn Macbeth about the prophecies? Because he knows that Macbeth is a little reckless and power hungry.
Paraphrase this warning: Success can cause them harm.
Macbeth’s soliloquy summary: He can’t even say that he’s going to kill the king. Even just the suggestion makes him sick.
What does this soliloquy suggest about his state of mind? He is very conflicted.
What decision does he come to? Wait until Malcolm is the new heir and he has to take matters into his own hands.
Explain Banquo’s use of a clothing metaphor: Being out of place in a new title and clothes.
How does Duncan’s comment: “There’s no art find the mind’s construction in the face” reflect the fair is foul theme? There’s no way to know what someone’s thinking, what is good can be bad. It sets us up for Macbeth’s betrayal.
What does Duncan say to each of Macbeth and Banquo: He says he owes Macbeth and says he plans on planting Banquo and that he will grow into a great man. Macbeth is indifferent because he wants to be king, not just a Thane.
How does Macbeth react to the naming of Malcolm as heir to the throne? He thought it was a road block on the way to becoming king.
What does Macbeth mean when he says: “Stars hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye wink at the hand: yet let that be what the eye fear, when it is done, to see?” He wants to keep his dark desires from the light of day.
Act 1: Scenes 4-6
What does the tone of Macbeth’s letter suggest about his relationship with Lady Macbeth? She is manipulative and he lets her take the reigns in the relationship.
Explain her assessment of Macbeth and his ambition: She thinks he isn’t strong enough to carry out the assasination alone.
How does she see her role? Shes the planner and the “heavy hitter” in the relationship.
What is she attempting to do in her “Unsex me” speech? She wants to strip herself of her gender as well as the “flaws” associated with it. She thinks that if she were a man, it would be easier to kill the King.
What does the soliloquy suggest about her mental state? She is in a very dark place to the point of where she basically wants the powers of Hell to help her go through with the task.
How does she further develop the “fair is foul” theme? They’re going to do something despicable to get something that should be good.
What does Macbeth mean by: It it were done when ’tis done, ’twere well it were done quickly… (etc.) Basically that they will deal with the consequences. He is thinking about how the consequences might surpass the reward.

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