Macbeth Act 5

Describe Lady Macbeth’s actions in this scene (Scene 1) In this scene, Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking, plagued by guilt. She wrings her hands together in axiety and yells at invisible spots plauging her hands.
What vision plauges Lady Macbeth? The invisible spots, probably ‘blood’, on her hands, and she seems to be speaking to an imaginary Macbeth.
How does Lady Macbeth’s behavior differ from Macbeth’s at this time? Lady Macbeth’s behavior expresses extreme amounts of guilt, while Macbeth, who only continues to kill, feels numb to the evil he is doing.
What significance does the doctor have in this scene? (1) The doctor is there to enunciate upon Lady Macbeth’s guilty and deranged mind. Because sleepwalking was considered unnatutal and even supernatural, the doctor diagnoses lady Macbeth’s conditioin as a sympotom of guilt.
Why won’t the doctor or gentlewoman tell anyone what they have seen or heard? Because telling people about Lady macbeth’s odd condition would basically be telling people that Lady Macbeth and her husband have murdered their way to the throne, something everyone suspects but no one dares to admit.
What is ironic about Lady Macbeth’s constant “handwashing”? Dramatic irony; she is apparently washing her hands, but the audience knows she is washing away the metaphorical spots of blood from her involvement in/guilt from the King’s murder.
Explain how this entire scene is ironic? (1) The audience knows that Lady Macbeth’s condition is a result of her guily mind because she was the persuassion that made Macbeth murder King Duncan. The other characters onstage, however, are not aware she is why Duncacn is dead. (They suspect, but do not know what to do).
What does the Doctor’s “Foul whispering are abroad” speech do? The Doctor’s speech echoes the theme of natural and unnatural, order vs disorder, and the power of the supernatural. Evil rumors are spreading around that the Macbeth’s killed King Duncan, so the doctor is implying that the unnatural act of murder is what has led Lady Macbeth to the supernatural/unnatural/disorderly condition she has. Unnatural acts have led to unnatural conditions.
What effect is Shakespeare creating with this sequence of short scenes which follow one another so closely? It shows the chronological passing of time, and builds up the suspense for the batlle the sudience knows is coming.
Who/What is assembled for battle against Macbeth? The English army
What does Macbeth’s opening speech reveal to us? Macbeth is incredibly overconfident. He doesn’t care that no Thanes fight alongside him, and he lets all of his confidence rest on the witches prophecy. Because he thinks Macduff was born from a woman, he has no fear.
What does Macbeth’s speech to Seyton reveal to us? Macbeth knows that his battle will either make or break him and that in his old age his life basically sucks. He would kill himself, but can’t bring himself to do it.
What does Macbeth tell the doctor to do? To cure Lady Macbeth of her illness, and also Scotland of its illness.
What does Macbeth resolve to do? Why? Macbeth resolves to fight because he thinks he can’t be defeated until Birman Wood moves of Dunsinane, anyways.
Why doesn’t Macbeth doesn’t put his armor on when he does out to battle? He does put on his armor, but then takes it off and has Seyton bring it with. It seems like Macbeth thinks he doesn’t need it because he can’t be killed/is indestructible.
What is Macbeth’s current psychological condition? He is insanely overconfident, but maybe also suicidal?
How is the prophecy of Birnam Wood moving to Dursinane Hill fulfilled? The English soldiers break off branches from Birnam Wood and hold it in front of them. The purpose of this is to provide cover for when they head to Dunsinane Hill to fight. So though the actual Birnam Wood doesn’t march, it metaphorically is, so the prophecy is fulfilled.
What does Malcolm say about the men that Macbeth commands? That they are not truly loyal to him. They’re forced to fight for him, but back out at the first given opportunity.
The final soliloquy of Macbeth is one of the most famous passages in the entire tragedy. List 2-4 things which Macbeth compares to life. An illusion, a candle burning out, an actor, and a story devoid of meaning & told by an idiot.
How does Macbeth express the span of life? Macbeth says that life is always just burning low and it is worthless.
How does Macbeth express the futility of life? He says that it is a story told by an idiot, full of noise and emotional disturbance, but devoid of meaning.
What does Macbeth recognize toward the end of this scene, and how does it fit in with the ‘fair is foul’ theme? Macbeth realizes that because of Birnam Wood is marching to Dunsinane Hill and the witches’ prophecy has been fulfilled, he will ultimately be destroyed and the prophecy that seemed fair is actually foul. The witches’, whose words seemed so honest and good and fair, were really deceptive and foul, a lie meant to give Macbeth false confidence.
How does Young Siward die? Why is his dad proud of him? Macbeth kills Young Siward, and his dad is proud of him for dying bravely and as a man should, in battle.
What contrast do you believe Shakespeare was trying to show by having Young Siward face Macbeth? Good, Young, Pure at Heart, Innocent- SiwardEvil, Old and made older by the wear of darkness, cold-hearted, guilty- Macbeth
How does Macbeth retain some of his honor at the end? Instead of committing suicide, Macbeth dies in honor by being killed in battle, by Macduff.

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