MACBETH

When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain? Act 1, Scene 1 – First witch – Pathetic fallacy – connections to dark weather – dark imagery – supernatural – dark exposition – tragedy – conspiracy
Thunder and lightning Act 1 Scene 1 – Witches stage directions – pathetic fallacy
When the hurly burly’s done When the battles lost and won Act 1, Scene 1 – Witches – paradox – supernatural
fair is foul and foul is fairHover through the fog and filthy air Act 1, Scene 1 – Witches – paradox – supernatural – alliteration
For brave macbeth-well he deserves that name Act 1, Scene 2 – Captain – complimenting macbeth as a hero of Scotland
Go pronounce his present death.And with his former title meet Macbeth Act 1 scene 3 – Duncan
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel,Which smoked with bloody execution Act 1, Scene 2 – Captain – shows how brutal macbeth can be – foreshadowing his own death
O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman Act 1, Scene 2 – Duncan – bloodshed is revelled in – brutality a virtue
What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won Act 1, Scene 2 – Duncan – evidence of witches involvement
Thunder Act 1, Scene 3 – Witches stage directions – pathetic fallacy
So foul and fair a day I have not seen Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth – opening line – paradox similar to witches – connection to the influence of the witches
Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more. Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth – clearly had thoughts of becoming king before – curious
You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so Act 1, Scene 3- Macbeth – Witches = supernatural and transgressive of gender
Thou shalt get Kings, though thou be none Act 1, Scene 3 – Third Witch – prophecy – Banquo
Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. Act 1, Scene 3 – First Witch
Why do you dress me in borrow’d robes? Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth to Ross – disbelief of prohpecy becoming true – theatrical imagery
The instruments of darkness tell us truths Act 1, Scene 3 – Banquo – less trustworthy of witches – calm and sceptical
Speak, I charge you! Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth – imperative – witches fail to obey – lack of control? – argues against supernatural powers
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hairAnd make my seated heart knock at my ribsAgainst the use of nature? Present fears Act 1 scene 3 – Macbeth – although only a fantasy shakes entire being – Physical fear
Two truths are told ,As happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial theme Act 1 scene 3 – Macbeth soliloquy – he anticipates a mighty drama on the theme of kinship
Theres no art To find the mind’s construction in the face. Act 1, Scene 4 – Duncan – Old thane went against his trust. Foreshadowing Macbeth’s actions. Explains how he finds it hard to trust people – appearance and reality
Or have we eaten on the insane root Act 1 scene 3 – Banquo
The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Act 1 scene 3 – Banquo
Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires Act 1, Scene 4 – Macbeth (aside) – realises what he must do. Asks the stars to not shine light on his plans
Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – similar to witches – supernatural relations – transgression of gender – imperatives – urgency – desperation – recurrence of ‘un’: cannot undo actions
Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – light/dark imagery – Hellish imagery – guilt – shroud for dead bodies – concealment – conspiracy – relates to Macbeth’s ‘Stars hide your fires…’
It is to full o’h’milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – Openly admits how she knows Macbeth is to honourable to kill
Come, you spiritsThat tend on mortal thoughts unsex me here Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – Provokes bad spirits to help her carry out the deed in which she believes cannot be done by ‘weak’ women
Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – religious imagery – Adam and Eve – sin against God – simile – hiding true meaning – euphemism
This castle hath pleasant Sweetly recommends itself Act 1 scene 6 – Duncan – irony – Duncan feels welcomed at macbeth’s castle – but audience know whats to come
And his great love, sharp as his spur Act 1 scene 6 – Duncan – irony – Wasn’t love that made macbeth rush home quickly but his desire to plot duncans murder
Clear in his great office Deep damnation Act 1 scene 7 – Macbeth soliloquy – Knows duncan is a good king and killing him would lead to regret and guilt
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague h’inventor this even-handed justice Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice To our own lips. Act 1 scene 7 – Macbeth soliloquy – fears moral consequences – psychological state – fears if he kills duncan he may be killed himself
Vaulting ambition Act 1, Scene 7 – Macbeth soliloquy – Gothic ambition – fatal flaw of tragic hero – only motive to kill – realises it is untrustworthy – like a horse trying to jump to high and falling on the other side
and mock the time with fairest show False face must hide what the false heart doth know Act 1, Scene 7 – Macbeth – witches prophecies active again – Rhyming couplet
you would Be so much more Act 1, Scene 7 – Lady Macbeth
There’s husbandry in heaven; Their candles are all out Act 2, Scene 1 – Banquo – Religious imagery – dark imagery – symbolises the evil macbeth is about to do
Give me my sword Who’s there? Act 2, Scene 1 – Banquo – doesn’t feel safe in macbeths home
But still keep my bosom franchised and allegiance clear Act 2, Scene 1 – Banquo – will keep heart free from obligation and so as i don’t loose honour towards King
Is this a dagger which I see before me Act 2, Scene 1 – Macbeth – visions – horror image – two interpretations: dagger of Macbeth’s imagination OR conjured by the Witches to spur on Macbeth to kill Duncan – ambiguity of supernatural
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still Act 2, Scene 1 – Macbeth dagger soliloquy – contradictions like the Witches
Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t Act 2, Scene 2 – Lady Macbeth – indicates she has some conscience – not purely evil
I could not say ‘Amen’ Act 2, Scene 2 – Macbeth – Amen means ‘so be it’ in Hebrew – cannot ask for anything given his sin – guilt
The devil himself could not pronounce a title more hateful to mine ear Act 5, Scene 7 – Young Siward – religious imagery – hatred for Macbeth publicly known
‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep’, the innocent sleep, Sleep Act 2, Scene 2 – Macbeth thinks he heard a voice cry ‘sleep no more!’ – accepts danger of sleep when he is to be king – insomnia – erratic and tyrannical behaviour
My hands are off your colour but i shame to wear a heart so white Act 2, Scene 2 – Lady Macbeth
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Act 2, Scene 2 – Macbeth
strange screams of death, Act 2 scene 3 – Lennox
fruitless crown, barren sceptreunlineal hand Act 3 scene 1 – Macbeth
Doubtful joy Act 3 scene 2 – Lady Macbeth
make our faces vizards to our hearts, Act 3 scene 2 – Macbeth
O, full of scorpions is my mind Act 3, Scene 2 – Macbeth – the fact Banquo and Fleance still live is like the sting of a scorpion
We have scotch’d the snake, not killed it Act 3, Scene 2 – Macbeth – worried about threat (Banquo) – snake is the threat to his kinship – religious imagery – snake tempts
These terrible dreams that shake us nightly Act 3, Scene 2 – Macbeth
It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood: Act 3 scene 4 – Macbeth
There the grown serpent lies; the worm that’s fled Hath nature that in time will venom breed, Act 3 scene 4 – Macbeth
Beware Macduff Act 4, Scene 1 – First apparition – possible threat of Macduff
None of woman born shall harm Macbeth Act 4, Scene 1 – Second apparition (Bloody child) – comforts Macbeth but has double meaning – Macduff born Caesarean – Macduff can kill him
until Great Birnham wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him Act 4, Scene 1 – Third apparition (crowned child) – branches cut down and used as camouflage used by the English led by Siward and Malcolm, Duncan’s son
Something wicked this way comes Act 4, Scene 1 – Second witch – their own creation – Macbeth now comes LOOKING FOR THEM – supernatural
secret, black, and midnight hags! Act 4, Scene 1 – Macbeth – arrogant command to the Witches – contrasts Act 1, Scene 3 where he addresses them with shock and surprise
Alas, poor country! Almost afraid to know itself. Act 4 Scene 3 – Ross
Out damned spot: out I say Act 5, Scene 1 – Lady Macbeth – sleepwalking scene – manifestation of Duncan’s blood – guilt – madness – like madwoman in the attic in Jane Eyre and Lucy’s inability to sleep in Dracula
The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now?— Act 5, Scene 1 – Lady Macbeth
like a giant’s robe Upon a dwarfish thief. Act 5 scene 2 – Angus
To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds. Make we our march towards Birnam Act 5 scene 2 – Lennox
I have lived long enough: my way of life Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not. Seyton! Act 5 scene 3 – Macbeth
She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Act 5 scene 5 – Macbeth
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets Act 5 scene 5 – Macbeth
I have supp’d full with horrors; Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts Act 5 scene 5 – Macbeth
Mother’s womb untimely ripp’d Act 5, Scene 8 – Macduff confirming threat
This dead butcher and his fiend like queen Act 5, Scene 8 – Malcolm – butcher: someone who kills with no remorse or regret or reason – fiend – evil and immoral, capable of enchanting victims into a false sense of security
How does Duncan link to KINGSHIP? In Macbeth’s soliloquy, Duncan is described as ‘meek’ and ‘virtuous’. He has the interests of Scotland at heart and is portrayed as a rightful king.
How does Macbeth link to KINGSHIP? Macbeth is not worthy to be king. He was not properly chosen to be next in line to the throne and is portrayed as evil. At the time kings were supposedly chosen by god, yet Macbeth is described as the opposite and ‘devilish’. He contrasts to King Duncan
How does Malcom link to KINGSHIP? Malcom was originally chosen to be the next in line by King Duncan. In Act 4 scene 3, he describes how a good king should be ‘verity’ ‘ temperance’ ‘courage’ .. vs what a bad king (Macbeth) is ‘false’ ‘deceitful’ and avaricious’. Malcom is portrayed as a good king.
How does ambition link to KINGSHIP? M and LM see the crown as the ultimate goal – it is what drives them.
How does Banquo link to KINGSHIP? Macbeth sees his crown as ‘fruitless’ and his sceptre as ‘barren’ as he has no children to take the throne after he dies. The witches prophecy suggested that Banquo will be father to a line of kings. Macbeth feels threatened by this fact- and that Banquo would make a good king.
“And fixed his head upon our battlements” Captain – Macbeth beheads and traitor on the battlefield. This foreshadows his own death later in the play.
“Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe” Captain – At the beginning Macbeth is praised for his bloodthirsty behaviour. This is ironic because his violence eventually causes his downfall.
” I myself have all the other, and the very ports they blow, all the quaters that they know I’th’shipmans card, I’ll drain him dry as hay” Witches – They curse a sailor and send a storm to stop him sleeping. This foreshadows the way in which Macbeth will be made sleepless with guilt and worry.
“All hail Macbeth!Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor” Witches – This is an example of dramatic irony – the audience already knows this part of the witches prophecy has come true.
“Wither are they vanished” “Were such things here as we do speak about/ or have we eaten on the insane root, that takes the reason prisoner” Banquo – He and Macbeth repeatedly ask questions. This shows their confusion- they can’t believe what they’ve seen.
“He is so full valiant” “It is a peerless kinsman” Duncan – Praising Macbeth. Duncan is portrayed as a generous, grateful king which makes his murder seem even more treacherous.
“yet I do fear thy nature, it is too full o’th’milk of human kindness” Lady Macbeth – She assumes that Macbeth will hesitate over killing Duncan. This suggests that at this point Macbeth isn’t totally evil.
“Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor, Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter” Lady Macbeth – Her greeting echoes the witches language from Act 1 scene 3.
“Those honours deep and broad wherewith your majesty loads our house” Lady Macbeth -She flatters Duncan and thanks him for his generosity. This contrasts with the previous scene, showing how false Lady Macbeth is.
“Duncan hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office” Macbeth – he recognises that Duncan is a good king. Duncan’s righteousness makes Macbeth feel even more guilty about his plan to murder duncan.
“Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out” Lady Macbeth – Her image of a mother murdering a child emphasises how evil she is.
How does Banquo link to LOYALTY? Banquo is extremely loyal. He says ‘alliegence clear’ which suggests his loyalty to Duncan is more important to him the the crown or social status. He reacts entirely differently to Macbeth based on the witches prophecy.
How does Macbeth link to LOYALTY? Macbeth’s loyalty is what almost stops him from killing Duncan. He is his ‘kinsman and his subject’ which suggests Duncan has full trust in Macbeth’s loyalty. Macbeth feels he owes loyalty toDuncan ‘the service and loyalty I owe’.
How does King link to LOYALTY? The thanes in Macbeth are loyal to their king,but only if they are a good king. Macbeth offers ‘service and loyalty’ by fighting for Duncan. The Thane of Cawdor was killed after betraying his king.
How does country link to LOYALTY? Macduff is loyal to Scotland. He chooses to travel to England to protect his country instead of staying to look after his family. Macbeth is killed because he wasn’t loyal to his country.
How do beliefs link to LOYALTY? Banquo is loyal to his beliefs. He believes that being loyal is more important than getting the prophecies. He won’t let them affect him.
How does reality and appearance link to LOYALTY? The Macbeth’s appear loyal to Duncan.Duncan himself finds it hard to tell whether the people closest to him are loyal ‘he was a gentlemen on whom I built an absolute trust’.
How do punishment and rewards link to LOYALTY? Macbeth was made thane of Cawdor for loyalty which contrasts with the execution of Thane of Cawdor and Macbeth for betrayal.
How do the writers techniques link to GOOD VS EVIL? .This emphasises the conflict of good and evil through religious imagery.Macbeth is portrayed as ‘cursed’ and has a name ‘more hateful’ than the devil.In contrast, Young Sidward is ‘God’s soldier’ for fighting a tyrant
How does Macbeth link to GOOD VS EVIL? Macbeth can be good and evil. He finds it hard to kill Duncan which suggests he is a good person. However, he later becomes evil after killing Duncan. When Macbeth kills for the good side e.g in battle – it is easy for him however, when he kills for evil reasons – he struggles with his conscience.
How does the supernatural link to GOOD VS EVIL? The supernatural is used to suggest a character is evil. For example, the witches are evil for trying to tempt Macbeth into murder and other evil acts. Lady Macbeth also links to supernatural in Act 1 Scene 5, however, she uses the supernatural to become evil. Evil characters also see supernatural views which reflect their guilt.
How does gender link to GOOD VS EVIL? In Macbeth, it is suggested that only men can be evil. Men use physical force to be evil. Before Duncan’s murder, LM calls on spirits to ‘unsex me here’ to give her the power to be a part of the regicide.The witches gender is ambiguous and they rely on manipulation.
How do battles link to GOOD VS EVIL? The battles ‘Macbeth’ are between good and evil, Macbeth originally fights on the good side and later on the evil.
How does language link to MURDER? Macbeth uses euphemisms eg ”these deeds” or ”if it were done when tis done, then t’were well” this suggests Macbeth can’t even say it due to his guilt. However, after the murder, they mention “murder” and they are covered in blood.
How does guilt link to MURDER? Following the murders, the Macbeth’s see visions e.g LM sees blood on her hands and Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost and a vision of a dagger.
How does Macbeth link to MURDER? Originally, Macbeth is praised and rewarded for his murder. The audience sees his violent capability in A1S2 “unseam’d from the nave to the chops’ but later Murder causes Macbeth’s downfall. He is a murderer at the beginning and the end of the play, but the murders of Duncan etc. disrupted the natural order of the world.
How does Banquo’s murder link to MURDER? As Banquo’s death occurs later on in the play ( Act 3)we can see that Macbeth has changed. He acts alone and Lady Macbeth is not involved. He also tells murderers to kill Banquo for him which hints at his newly gained power.
How does Act 4 Scene 3 link to KINGSHIP? Malcom creates an image of what a good king should and shouldn’t be. In line 40 – he suggests Scotland is failing under Macbeth’s rule.
How do writer’s techniques link to KINGSHIP? Under Duncan’s rule, the country is peaceful and ordered. Macbeth’s tyranny is reflected in the overturned natural order.
How does ambiguity link to FATE AND FREE WILL? The audience never really knows whether the decision Macbeth made as free will, so it is ambiguous. Technically, it is free will but Macbeth doesn’t have much choice. He cracks under pressure.
How does Banquo link to FATE AND FREE WILL? Unlike Macbeth, Banquo is aware that the witches may be playing them and he lets fate happen rather than acting on the Witches’ prophecies.
How does Macbeth link to FATE? Macbeth does realise that fate could happen ‘chance may crown me/without my stir’. LM also believes fate could act ‘ fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have crowned thee withall’ however, he believes he must also act to make it happen.
How does Macbeth link to FREE WILL? ‘Disdaining fortune’ suggests it was against the odds that Macbeth killed Macdonald. Macbeth made his own decision on the influence of LM and the witches, despite trying to fight it. His hamartia (fatal flaw) is his vaulting ambition.
How do the witches link to FATE AND FREE WILL? It isn’t clear if the witches are messengers of fate or if they inspire Macbeth’s bad choices.
Structure – suspense The audience doesn’t find out if Macbeth decides to kill Duncan until Act 2.
Structure – tradgedy Macbeth has a circular structure – begins and ends with a battle to kill a ‘tyrant’. It builds up to the murder and then deals with the consequences.
Structure – varied scene length Short scenes speed the play up and make it exciting e.g in Act 5. Long scenes explore the characters e.g Act 4 Scene 3 which explores Macduff’s character.
Structure of Scenes Shakespeare structure the scenes specifically in order to set the mood eg. Act 2 Scene 1 which sets a dark mood or to emphasise themes e.g Act 1 Scene 1 which hints at the supernatural.
How does setting link to MOOD? The witches are always located in spooky places with ‘thunder and lightning’ which sets a spooky and supernatural mood. Macbeth’s castle reminds the audience they are nobles.
How does the supernatural link to MOOD? Visions reflecting characters guilt are tense aand uneasy. Unnatural events follow Duncan’s murder.
How does language link to MOOD? Describing the atmosphere is important as at the time, sets and props were limited. Short lines and questions create panic and confusion. ‘Candles are out’ – dark mood’Fog and filthy air’ – gloomy
How do senses link to MOOD? Senses make the play more vivid, especially as at the time, there weren’t many props. Lennox hears ‘strange screams of death’ which create a dark mood. ‘Distray your sight’ emphasises Macduff’s horror at seeing Duncan is murder.
How does humour link to MOOD? The drunken porter in Act 2 Scene 3 provides light releif and also increases the tension due to the delay before Duncan’s body was found. In Act 4 Scene 2, Lady Macduff and her son provides the audience with some light relief, but increases suspense as Macbeth ordered their murder in the previous scene.
How does Shakespeare portray Duncan as a good king? Shakespear uses plant imagery e.g. ‘I have begun to plant thee’ which suggests he nurtures his subjects. Macduff calls him a ‘most sainted king’. In Act 4 Scene 3, Malcom describes a good king ‘stableness’ ‘mercy’ and ‘justice’ – qualities Duncan has.
How does Shakespeare portray Duncan as trusting? Duncan’s only flaw is his trust. He doesn’t suspect Macbeth or the Thane of Cawdor to be betraying him e.g. ‘A gentlemen on whom i built an absolute trust’. However, he can also be firm such as by ordering the execution of the Thane of Cawdor.
How does Shakespeare portray Duncan as kind? Duncan rewards loyalty from the nobles. ‘Let me enfold to thee/ and hold thee to my heart’. He is also described as having ‘virtues will plead link angels’.
How does Shakespeare portray Lady Macbeth as cruel? At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is dominant and confident. She doesn’t mind killing in order to get what she wants. She is dominant and persuades Macbeth. ‘ Fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty’
How does Shakespeare portray Lady Macbeth as clever? LM knows Macbeth is afraid of being seen as a coward and she uses that to manipulate him. She also comes up with the murder and is able to cover it up e.g by fainting when the murder is discovered.
How does LM link to gender and power? Lady Macbeth is very ambitious, though she can only actually achieve her ambitions through Macbeth as it was a patriarchal society at the time. She also believes women are made weak by maternal instincts ‘come to my women’s breasts/take my milk for gall”
How does Shakespeare portray Lady Macbeth through her language? In the beginning – she speaks confidently in verse.In the end – she rambles and speaks in repetition.
How does Shakespeare present the Macbeth’s marriage? At the beginning of the play, the Macbeth’s love is intense and passionate and Macbeth calls LM ‘my dearest partner of greatness’. She also dominates Macbeth and has power in the relationship. Later, the power shifts and he later reveals less about his plans.
How do the witches link to the SUPERNATURAL? The witches are associated with chaos and impose an unatural order on the world. The drive the action of the play . Macbeth was influenced by them to make bad choices. Their ability to predict the future gives them power.
How do writers techniques link to the supernatural? The supernatural elements add to the atmosphere and make the play darker and more frightneing.
How do visions link to the SUPERNATURAL? In Act 2 scene 1, Macbeth sees a dagger which suggests his guilt of what he may do.In Act 3 Scene 4 Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost which suggests Macbeth’s guilty conscience.In Act 5 Scene 1, LM is driven mad by visions blood on her hands ‘ will these hands ne’er be clean’.
How does nature link to SUPERNATURAL? In Act 2 Scene 4, Lennox describes strong winds, strange cries and horses eating each other. The natural world is disrupted by the murder.
How do wicked thoughts and actions link to the SUPERNATURAL? The withes encourage Macbeth to commit wicked actions. However, it is suggested that perhaps his wicked thoughts are the worst part. He can’t even mention what he’s thinking but he can mention it once he has done it. Once Duncan’s murder has taken place, a line was crossed and Macbeth finds it easier to commit these acts again.
How does Duncan link to reality vs appearance? Duncan trusts Macbeth and the thane of Cawdor – “He was a gentlemen on whom I built an absolute trust” and describes the Macbeth’s castle as having a “pleasant seat”which is ironic because the audience knows the Macbeth’s are actually planning on murdering him in the castle.
How do the Macbeths link to reality vs appearance? – LM encourages Macbeth to ‘look like th’innocent flower but be the serpent under’t”.- Macbeth needs a ‘flase face’ to conceal the regicide but after Banquo’s murder, his face is “the very painting” of his fear.
How do the witches link to reality vs appearance? – The withes speak in paradoxes “nothing is/but what is not” which creates uncertainty. – In Act 1 Scene 1, the witches suggest ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’ which suggests things appear good when they are actually evil.- They tell Macbeth that ‘ none of woman born shall harm Macbeth’ which is technically true, as Macduff was born through cesarean, but it gives Macbeth false hope and is used to trick him.- Macbeth trusts the witches and this leads to his downfall.
Soliloquies -Soliloquies show the audience how a character is truly feeling. -Act 1 Scene 5, LM’s soliloquy whist reading Macbeth’s letter and planning to kill Duncan. We learn how evil LM is and how Macbeth is a good person and this causes LM to think he will be unable to commit the murder.-Act 2 Scene 1, Macbeth’s soliquy pre- killing Duncan. This shows his guilty conscience about what he’s about to do.-Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth’s soliloquy when deciding he doesn’t want to kill Duncan. This suggests Macbeth begins as a good person and thinks highly of Duncan
Blank verse – 10 or 11 syllables per line- 5 beats per line-LM talks in prose when sleepwalking, suggesting she has lost all control.-Lines don’t rhyme-Porter speaks in prose
Witches – form – speak in rhyming couplets, sounding like chants or spells and emphasises the difference of them to other characters.- there are 7 or 8 syllables per line-4 beats per line
Pace -Long words and sentences slow the pace down e.g “whose murder yet is but fantastical”Act 1 Scene 3- Macbeth sounds deep in thought-Short words and sentences speed things up e.g. “all my pretty ones? Did you say all?” Macduff is upset and his speech is rushed.
Puns -Puns were very popular language techniques at the time of writing- they can be clever wordplay-e.g. “and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty” LM references crown and means head but this pun could show her desire to become queen.
Paradoxes and Oxymorons -Heighten tension-“When the battles lost and won” Act 1 scene 1, the audience don’t know if they can trust what the witches say.-“Lies like truth” What the witches say sounds impossible.
Dramatic irony – In Act 2 Scene 3 the porter refers to the castle as “hell gate” the audience knows Macbeth has killed the King so what the porter says is actually quite truthful.- Duncan refers to the Macbeth’s castle as ‘pleasant’ which is ironic as the audience know the Macbeth’s are plotting his death.
Natural Imagery – Duncans regicide disrupts the natural order of the world.-In act 5 scene 2, “Dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds” this metaphor refers to Macbeth as a weed which must be killed and Malcom as a flower who must be supported in his growth.
Similes – “Like a giants robe upon a dwarfish thief” Angus suspects Macbeth or stealing the crown. He also suggests that Macbeth isn’t the proper king – he doesn’t fit the title.- “I had else been perfect/ whole as marble” Macbeth suggests that before the murder he was strong and grounded – perhaps he regrets doing it ?
Dark imagery – On the night of Duncan’s murder, Banquo says “the candles are out” which sets a sinister scene for the murder and it is unnatural – further enforcing the idea that the murder disrupted the natural order of the world.- “Signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine” – light is portrayed as a positive force and Duncan compares the noblemen to stars.
Health and disease imagery – Images of disease and injury highlight scotland during Macbeths rule.- “Find her disease and purge it into a pristine health” Macbeth doesn’t realise he is Scotland’s disease.- “Meet we the med’cine of the sickly weal” Malcom is the medicine to rid Scotland of Macbeth.
Personification – “lifes but a walking shadow” suggests life is pointless and brief- “the earth was feverous and did shake” the earth is personifies as ill to show that Duncan’s death was unnatural.
Metaphors -“There the growth serpent lies;the worm that’s fled” Banquo is a snake and Fleance is a worm. This shows Macbeth’s anger and fear as he sees Fleance as a threat.- Serpents are an extended metaphor, usually used to describe betrayal.
Blood and water imagery – Macbeth wonders if “all great neptunes ocean ” is enough to wash the blood from his hands.- Blood suggests guilt- LM sees visions of blood on her hands when she sleepwalks “out damned spot!” and “will these hands ne’er be clean?” – Contrasts with her calm ” A little water clears us of this dead”
Imagery of masculinity -“When you durst do it, then you were a man” LM bullies Macbeth by questioning his masculinity.- Masculinity symbolises violence- “unsex me here” LM can’t be evil as a woman- Malcom tells Macduff to “dispute it like a man” and take revenge on Macbeth.-“Feel it as a man” Suggests Men should show compasssion. This contrasting view allows the audience to question what makes a man.
Siward – English lord who helps Malcom deafeat Macbeth in Act 5-He is glad young Siward died honour by fighting againt tyranny “God’s soldier be he!” “They say he parted well and payed his score”
The Noblemen -Lennox, Rosse ,Mentieth, Angus and Caithness.- Act 3 Scene 6, Lennox comments “was that not nobly done? Ay, and wisely too” which suggests the Nobles are suspicious of Macbeth.- Act 5 Scene 2 “to give obedience where’ tis truly owed” they will be loyal to who deserves it.-Rosse represents a Noblemen who comments on the action but is reluctant to put himself in Danger. He warns Lady Macduff “cruel are the times” but he makes an excuse to leave “it would be my disgrace and your discomfort”
The Porter – The porter is used as a comic character toprovide light relief in a darker part of the play but he also increases the tension.-“I’ll devil-porter no more” he pretends to be a porter of hell, but it is actually truer than he knows.- He is drunk in Act 2 Scene 3
The Murderers -The Murderers Kill Banquo, but Fleance escapes. They also kill Macduff’s family-Macbeth is ruthless but unwilling to commit murder-LM has nothing to do with them-“Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men” Macbeth’s language mirrors LM’s speech in act 1 scene 7.
How do Malcom and Donalbain link to the theme of reality vs appearance? -They are more suspicous of others than Duncan was.-“All things foul would wear the brows of grace”
How do Malcom and Donalbain learn from Duncan? -Malcom tests Macduffs loyalty-Macduff gives Malcom confidence-They are aware they are at danger from those closest to them. “there’s daggers in men’s smiles”
How aren’t Malcom and Donaldbain impulsive? -They don’t immediately react to their fathers murder.- Malcom asks Donalbain “why do we hold our tongues”
How is Malcom portrayed as a good leader? -He rewards those who fought with him against Macbeth-He leads the army to victory and he is smart through disguising them with branches.-The scottish thanes will ‘give obedience where tis truly owed’
How is Banquo portrayed as honourable? – He is ambitious but he doesn’t act on the predictions.-He isn’t corrupted by ambition-He thinks before he acts “a wisdom doth guide his valour”-“Noble Banquo that hast no less deserved”
What does Banquo not acting to protect himself suggest about his character? – Macbeth sees Banquo as a threat and says there’s no one other than Banquo “whose being I do fear”- He suspects Macbeth killed Duncan but he doesn’t act on it.
Banquo doesn’t trust the witches -he admits dreaming about them-“fantastical instruments of darkness”-He tells them that he “neither beg nor fear/ your favours”-He questions if they are real
Hecate -Hecate is angry at Macbeth’s behaviour and so gives him a false sense of fear “None of woman born shall harm Macbeth”
How do the witches link to mood? They are often accompanied by thunder and lightning which sets a dark mood.
How do the witches tantalize Macbeth? – The speak in paradoxes which is confusing, and allows them to keep control.-They make prophecies but they dont explain how they will happen and therefore provoke Macbeth, he doesn’t know if it is fate or if he must act to make it happen-They never tell Macbeth what to do, just predict things which provoke him to do it.- They cause trouble without reason.
The witches’ supernatural -They are able to make prophecies-They’re called the weird sisters – which comes from “wyrd” meaning fate. This suggests they are instruments of fate- They speak in Rhyming couplets whcih sounds like they are chanting spells.
Macbeth – Ambition – His tragic flaw ( hamartia)-He wants to be king and will do anything to make it happen and to keep that position.”I have no spur/ to prick the sides of my intent,but only / vaulting ambition”
Macbeth – guilt -Macbeth sees visions which reflect his guilt e.g Banquo’s ghost or the dagger. He also hears someone say “sleep no more ; Macbeth does murder sleep”-He asks a lot of questions when he is feeling guilty “Whence is that great knocking”
How is Macbeth portrayed as a Brutal murderer? – His ambition causes his to kill Duncan-He has Banquo and Macduff’s family killed so he doesn’t lose his position.-Macduff: “Hell hound” Young Siward :”Abhored tyrant” – His actions lose him noble characteristics
How is Macbeth portrayed as easily influenced? -He doesn’t wan to be “cowardly” so when LM uses this to manipulate him, it works well.- He’s easily influenced by LM-He is influenced by the supernatural “two truths are told” and follows the dagger to kill Duncan.After the actual murder – he acts alone.
How is Macbeth portrayed as a brave hero? – He doesn’t have aconciencse on the battlefield-“Brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name”-At the beginning he is described as a “valiant warrior”-He dies in battle- but fights “bear like” till the end and says “I will not yield”

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