Macbeth Act 3 Comprehension Questions

The act opens with Banquo wondering about the witches’ prophecy, and what Macbeth may have done it order to help it come true. Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,As the weird women promised, and, I fear,Thou play’dst most foully for’t
Macbeth asks Banquo what he is doing with his day because of an ulterior motive. Macbeth plans to kill Banquo and Fleance while they are out riding.
In a soliloquy, Macbeth reveals he has a new fear now that he is king. His reasons for fearing this person all stem from this person’s good character, which highlights Macbeth’s own descent into evil actions. Our fears in BanquoStick deep; and in his royalty of natureReigns that which would be fear’d: ’tis much he dares;And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valourTo act in safety.
In the same soliloquy, Macbeth reveals he is angry that he may have corrupted himself in order to make Banquo’s sons kings, as it was prophesied that Macbeth would have no kings in his line. Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,Thence to be wrench’d with an unlineal hand,No son of mine succeeding. If ‘t be so,For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;For them the gracious Duncan have I murder’d;
Macbeth orders two men to murder Banquo, his friend, and Fleance, a child, demonstrating that he is completely ruthless. Fleance his son, that keeps him company,Whose absence is no less material to meThan is his father’s, must embrace the fateOf that dark hour.
Lady Macbeth is not as happy being Queen of Scotland as she anticipated. She hides it better than Macbeth, but the murder is all she can think about. Lady Macbeth feels that their actions have gained them nothing and cost them everything: “Nought’s had, all’s spent”
Macbeth reveals to Lady Macbeth that he too struggles with the murder of Duncan. O, full of scorpions is my mind
Macbeth demonstrates that he still has love and affection for Lady Macbeth, although he no longer includes her fully in his plans despite her asking him “What’s to be done?” about Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth: “Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck / Till thou applaud the deed.”
The murderers attack Banquo and Fleance. Banquo calls to his son: “O, treachery! Fly, good / Fleance, fly, fly, fly! / Thou mayst revenge.” Banquo is killed, but Fleance escapes.
The murderer reports the events to Macbeth which upsets Macbeth, although Macbeth feels there is still time to deal with Fleance. Macbeth responds, “Then comes my fit again” when he hears the deed is partially done but feels Fleance has “No teeth for the present” and returns to the banquet.
In his spot at the banquet table, Macbeth spots an apparition that no one else can see. Macbeth begins to “lose it” in front of his guests. It is the ghost of Banquo. Macbeth says “The table’s full” and asks “Which of you have done this?” He also addresses the vision: “Thou canst not say I did it: never shake / Thy gory locks at me.”
Lady Macbeth tries to manage Macbeth’s image with their guests by claiming that Macbeth often suffers these fits and they’re not a big deal, but also confronts Macbeth about not being manly and being afraid of nothing. Lady Macbeth says to all, “He will again be well: if much you note him, / You shall offend him and extend his passion: / Feed, and regard him not.” To Macbeth she says, “Are you a man?” and tells him that this is only the “very painting of your fear.”
Macbeth’s guests are definitely noting his strange behavior so Lady Macbeth sends them away. One guest asks, “What sights, my lord?” Lady Macbeth says that Macbeth is getting worse and tells everyone, “Stand not upon the order of your going, / But go at once.”
The witches discuss their plan together with Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. Hecate advises the witches to reassure Macbeth when he comes to visit, for she knows that security “Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.”
Macbeth’s people are turning against him. Lennox and another lord discuss the deaths of Duncan and Banquo. Lennox now suspects Macbeth has committed the murders and subtly reveals his thoughts in an ironic speech.The lord also suspects Macbeth, and he tells Lennox that Malcolm has the support of the king of England, and that Macduff has since sided with Malcolm and is gathering an army as they speak. Both hope that Macbeth will be overthrown soon.

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