Macbeth-Act 1

what does the description of Macbeth’s action in battle emphasize? He was an extremely skilled and dedicated soldier, one with no mercy for the enemy. He is a military hero.
What other captain is fighting alongside Macbeth? In the battle Macbeth fought with his close friend Banquo.
Point out the irony in the captain’s response to the king’s question about whether Macbeth became dismayed by the army from Norway? Macbeth and Banquo were as frightened as eagles are of sparrows and lions are of rabbits, in other words, not frightened at all.
How is the king going to reward Macbeth for his military success? Duncan is making Macbeth the new Thans of Cawdor, thus bestowing him with both honor and property.
How does Macbeth’s opening line mirror a line in the first scene? Like the witches in the first scene, Macbeth speaks of a mixture of foul and fair.
In what 3 ways do the witches greet Macbeth? How does he respond to each? As Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and king. Macbeth is not surprised to alhiled as Thane of Glamis, a title he inhereted when his father died. He knows the Thane of Cawdor is alive, so he is surprised at that title. It seems impossible that he would ever be king.
What does Banquo ask of the witches? Why? Banquo asks the witches about his own future out of jealousy.
Explain the paradoxes in the witches’ lines to Banquo? The witches say that Banquo is both lesser than and greater than Macbeth, both less happy and happier than Macbeth. While Banquo himself will never be king, his descendants will be kings.
Why is Macbeth jolted by the announcement that he has been named the new Thane of Cawdor? Just moments ago, Macbeth heard a prophecy he did not believe, and now he finds that it is true. This immediately stirs desire for kingship
Banquo observes: “And oftentimes;, to win us to our harm/The instruments of darkness tell us truths,/Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s/ in deepest consequence.” What does he mean? Banquo is aware that people should not trust evil spirits, which can seem friendly by actually be extremely destructive.
Macbeth has several asides in this scene. An aside is a dramatic device in which all or some other characters do not hear the words of the speaker. What do we learn about Macbeth? Macbeth is ambitious and imaginative, he finds himself already thinking about regicide (the act of killing the king)
Who wrote the letter to Lady Macbeth? What does the fact that he wrote it indicate about their relationship? Macbeth wrote her a letter describing his encounter with the witches. This is not medieval marrige of convenience. Macbeth loves his wife and shares information with her.
Whom does the letter not mention? What does this suggest? There is not mention of Banquo. Perhaps he does not want to tell her about the prophecy about banquo’s descendents; perhaps he is just totally focused on his own desire to be king.
What does Lady Macbeth almost immediately start to plan? How far does her plan go? Lady Macbeth immediately sees murdering Duncan as the most expedient way to get Macbeth to the throne. By the end of the scene, she has planned to use a knife to kill the king; she has taken charge.
What does Lady Macbeth criticize about her husband? Lady Macbeth sees Macbeth as too kind and hesitant to do what needs to be done.
What does Lady Macbeth reveal about her own character and personality? Lady Macbeth is resolute (determined), with a firm sense of purpose. She knows how to manage Macbeth. Also, please note, that Lady Macbeth is literate- fairly unusual for a woman to be able to read in medieval times and during the Elizabethan era.
Lady Macbeth advises Macbeth to “look like the innocent flower/But be the serpent under it.” What does she mean? She is telling Macbeth to hide a capacity for cruelty and evil with an innocent appearance. Put on a kind and friendly attitude with Duncan even though there is a plan to murder him.
The scene begins with a soliloquy in which Macbeth contemplates the action of killing Duncan. When Lady Macbeth enters, what decision does he announce? Macbeth tells his wife that they will not proceed with the plan to kill the king.
What reason does he give for this decision? There are number of reasons: 1) Duncan is his kinsman ( a relative)2) Duncan is his quest and as such is expecting Macbeth to protect him within his home.3)Duncan is a good king and has done nothing to deserve to be removed from power 4)Macbeth would be doomed to hell for killing an innocent man, and 5)Duncan esteems Macbeth, as do many other people, and Macbeth wants to enjoy the situation.
How does Lady Macbeth react? Lady Macbeth becomes angry, accuses Macbeth of cowardice, and uses extreme language to indicate her desire to go ahead with the plan. She claims that Macbeth is not a man if he doesn’t go through with the plan.
What emerges as Macbeth’s main concern? Getting caught
Describe Lady Macbeth’s detailed plan for assassination. Drug Duncan’s guard, kill the king, plant their weapons
How does Macbeth respond? Macbeth admires his wife and immediately adopts her plan.
Paraphrase Macbeth’s closing lines in Act 1 I have made up my mind and will do everything in my power to kill Duncan. Meanwhile, let’s make a good appearance. We must keep a pleasant appearance to hide our evil intentions.( This is another version of Lady Macbeth’s “innocent flower” advice)

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