MACBETH ACT 1

ACT I ACT I
Scene 1 Scene 1
What characters are introduced in scene 1? The three witches
How would you interpret the line “fair is foul, and foul is fair?” Something can appear to be fair (good) but it is foul (bad) and vice versa
What specific plan is mentioned? The witches will meet again but with Macbeth on the hill after the battle is over at sunset (heath)
Scene 2 Scene 2
What three men are leading troops into battle against Duncan? Macdonwald, Thane of Cawdor, King of Norway (Sweeno)
Who defeated and killed Macdonwald? Macbeth. He cut him open from his gut to his chin and then cut off his head and put it up for everyone to see. This account showed how strong Macbeth was in battle and that he could be a ruthless fighter. (traitor to Scotland)
What is to be the Thane of Cawdor’s punishment for his traitorous activities? Executed and the title will be given to Macbeth
Who will receive the Thane of Cawdor’s title? Macbeth
Scene 3 Scene 3
What revenge does the witch plan for the sailor whose wife wouldn’t give her any chestnuts? The witch, with the help of her sister witches, will control the winds so that the sailor won’t be able to come into port and deprived of sleep. This will leave the wife, who refused to share the chestnuts, lonely and racked with guilt. Witches cannot kill people.
What do the lines 25-26 indicate about the witches’ power? Cannot kill people. Banquo casually tries to bring up the subject of the witches: “I dreamt last night of the three Weird sisters. To you, they have shown some truth” (lines 25-26). It means that the witches are a haunting in his mind.
What predictions do the witches make about Macbeth? That he will become Thane of Glamis, of Cawdor, and King of Scotland
Why does Macbeth react the way he does to the witches’ predictions? Macbeth is surprised and cannot believe what the witches are saying, but he wants to know more
What three prediction do the witches make for Banquo? That his sons will become kings”Lesser than Macbeth, and greater”: This prophecy, spoken by the first witch, means that Banquo will be “lesser” in royal ranks but will be “greater”, because he will be the father of the future kings.”Not so happy, yet much happier”: This is spoken by the second witch who prophesizes the fact that Banquo will not be as happy as Macbeth, since he will not be the king. But simultaneously he will be much happier from another angle, since he will be the father of the future kings.”Thou shall begets kings, thou be none.”: This prophecy, spoken by the third witch, explains the how the first two prophecies will be materialized. Banquo will be the father of the future kings but he himself will not achieve the crown.
Why is Banquo fearful of the witches predictions? He worries that the witches only told half/truths, not the full prediction
In lines 132-141, what is the “horrid image” of which Macbeth speaks? Macbeth speaks of killing King Duncan
Scene 4 Scene 4
What further reward does Macbeth say he hopes to receive from Duncan? The heir to throne as king
Who is named to succeed Duncan to the throne? Title? His son Malcom, Prince of Cumberland
How does Macbeth react to the announcement? He tells Duncan that he’s not happy unless he works for him but thinks that he needs to kill Malcolm to be in line for the crown.
Where is Duncan to spend the night? At Macbeth’s castle (inverness)
Scene 5 Scene 5
What does the nature of the letter reveal about Macbeth’s relationship with his wife? Macbeth thinks of his wife as his equal, his partner in greatness
In lines 15-24, how does Lady Macbeth characterize her husband? She thinks that he doesn’t have what it takes to kill Duncan on the spot because he’s too kindhearted but doesn’t lack ambition.
Why does Lady Macbeth fear that Macbeth cannot do what must be done to win the crown? He is too kind. She fears that Macbeth lacks the cruelty and dishonesty to murder the King.
Why does Lady Macbeth call upon the spirits to “unsex” her? Because she wants to become evil, like a man, but without any remorse.
What warning does she give Macbeth? She wants him to act normal and not be suspicious.”Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under.”
What does Lady Macbeth mean when she tells Macbeth to “deceive people” and “suit you looks for the occasion.” Lady Macbeth wants her husband to hide his murderous plans by acting normally.
Scene 6 Scene 6
What action takes place in Scene 6? Duncan and Banquo arrive at the manor. They meet Lady Macbeth and they go to find Macbeth. Duncan says how beautiful it is.
How does Lady Macbeth greet Duncan? She greets him with a smile, warm and polite. She is the perfect hostess. Says it is a pleasure to have him.
Scene 7 Scene 7
In his soliloquy in lines 1-28, name at least 5 of the reasons he gives for not wanting to kill Duncan. What sole reason does he give for wanting to murder the king? Guilt, consequences, people love him, he is host, kinsmen (loyal subject to king, faithful)
What reason against the murder does Macbeth give Lady Macbeth? 1) Duncan has done nothing but honor him. He is Duncan’s subject and kinsman.2) Duncan has been a good king. This will make his murder even more frightful. 3) If Macbeth kills Duncan people may try and kill him too when he becomes king.
In lines 38-42, what does Lady Macbeth imply about Macbeth’s love for her? She had more love for him when he was a man, he doesn’t love her enough because he won’t kill him
Explain the steps in Lady Macbeth’s plan for killing the King. 1) First, Duncan will fall asleep2) Then, his two servants will pass out after drinking too much wine.3) Finally, she and Macbeth will sneak into the chamber and murder King Duncan (with guards daggers).4) Blame for the murder will fall upon the drunken servants.5) Smear the guards with blood.
What finally causes Macbeth to decide to commit the murder? Lady Macbeth said it would make him a man.His wife guarantees to him that they won’t get caught because everyone will think it was the servants. She also says that if she made a promise, she would keep it, and if he makes this promise he has to keep it.
Questions Questions
Macbeth’s worst character trait? (tragic flaw) Ambition (a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work)
Aside: a speech spoken by a character apart from other characters. It cannot be heard by the other characters on the stage.What do they reveal? Internal thoughts/feelings
Lady Macbeth think her husband is… a coward
The raven symbolizes… death
Stereotypical qualities of men/women: Men: providers, strong, braveWomen: submissive, soft
“Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry “Hold, hold!” Lady Macbeth: “Come, thick night, and cover the world in the darkest smoke of hell, so that my sharp knife can’t see the wound it cuts open, and so heaven can’t peep through the darkness and cry, “No! Stop!”
“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.” Macbeth: “Stars, hide your light so no one can see the terrible desires within me.”
“Fair is foul, foul is fair.””Lesser than Macbeth, but much greater.” Equivocation: saying something that can mean two different things. An ambiguous saying that can have more than one meaning.
“Look like th’ innocent flower, But be the serpent under ‘t.” Lady Macbeth, Paradox
Irony Dramatic: reader knows something that character does notSituational: unexpected event
Macbeth’s Tragic Flaws: Ambitious, flaw in personality that leads to a characters downfall
Compare/Contrast Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Darkness to cover up evil deedBoth have ambitionFirst instinct is to kill the kingMacbeth has more of a heart (Lady Macbeth= heartless)
Persuasive Methods to get Macbeth to kill the King: Says he is taking away his masculinityShe said she would do it for him
“Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it.” Lady Macbeth: “You are thane of Glamis and Cawdor, and you’re going to be king, just like you were promised. But I worry about whether or not you have what it takes to seize the crown. You are too full of the milk of human kindness to strike aggressively at your first opportunity. You want to be powerful, and you don’t lack ambition, but you don’t have the mean streak that these things call for.”
“This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses.” Duncan: “This castle is in a pleasant place. The air is sweet and appeals to my refined senses.”
“Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under.” Lady Macbeth
“…’tis strange; and oftentimes to win us to our harm the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betrays in deepest consequence” Banquo, The “instruments of darkness” are the witches, and he is saying that sometimes they plant the idea of simple things that are or will be true for the purpose of bringing about our downfall.
Malcolm King’s son, next in line for throne

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