Macbeth: Act I

Scene 1 & 2: What is the function of the opening scene or scenes of a drama? To set the tone.
Scene 1 & 2: What is the meaning of “Fair is foul, and foul is fair?” Foreshadows good vs. evil & loyalty vs. treason.
Scene 1 & 2: What description does the captain give to Duncan of the battle? Doubtful; Macbeth, with his sword, killed a lot of people; cut a guy from his navel to his jaw then beheaded him and stuck the head on a stake.
Scene 1 & 2: What characteristics of the King are evident? Duncan was a very good king, people loved him; treated his people very well.
Scene 1 & 2: Does the report of Ross agree with that of the Captain? No; Wasn’t looking good when the captain was there; Ross came back and said they won.
Scene 1 & 2: What anachronisms are found in Scene 2? Cannons.
Scene 1 & 2: What punishment is pronounced upon the Thane of Cawdor? He will be put to death.
Scene 1 & 2: What reward is bestowed upon Macbeth? Thane of Cawdor.
Scene 3: What new evidence of supernatural power is given by the Witches? The witch can turn herself into a rat without a tail; shapeshifter.
Scene 3: What are the first words uttered by Macbeth and what is their dramatic significance? “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.”; Foreshadows foul things to come.
Scene 3: What three greetings do the Weird Sisters bring to Macbeth? Macbeth, Thane of Glamis; Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor; Macbeth, King here after.
Scene 3: What effect does those messages have on Macbeth? He uses the same words as the witches do; evil forces are at work in Macbeth.
Scene 3: What message do the Weird Sisters give Banquo? He will not be king himself, but he will be the father of kings.
Scene 3: What does Macbeth say to them just before the Witches vanish? Where they got their information and why they stopped to talk to him and Banquo.
Scene 3: What word from the King to Macbeth and Banquo do Ross and Angus bring? Angus is sent to thank Macbeth for the victory; Ross is sent t bestow the title of Thane of Cawdor.
Scene 3: What warning does Banquo give Macbeth? Power of evil often tells small truths only to betray on things of deeper consequences
Scene 3: How is Macbeth affected by the predictions revealed in the four asides? Overwhelmed, but certain about achieving the crown after being informed by Ross that he had been given the title “Thane of Cawdor”.
Scene 4: What description of Cawdor and his death does Malcolm give? He “confessed his treasons, implored your Highness’ pardon, and set forth a deep repentance.”
Scene 4: A) What does the King mean by the lines beginning “There’s no art… He was a gentleman…?” B) What is their influence on the audience? A) Duncan was saying that it is very easy to tell the integrity of a man because you can see it in his face.B) Duncan isn’t a good judge of integrity because the person he trusts is out to kill him.
Scene 4: What public announcement does Duncan make as to his successor on the throne? The King announces that his son, Malcolm, will be his heir to the throne, and he bestows the title of “Prince of Cumberland” upon him.
Scene 4: What is the effect on Macbeth of the announcement? Macbeth decides to take action to bring about his ambition of becoming king.
Scene 4: Where does Duncan now plan to spend the night? Macbeth’s Castle at Inverness.
Scene 5: Where does this scene take place? Macbeth’s Castle at Inverness.
Scene 5: What are the contents of Macbeth’s letter to Lady Macbeth? It tells of witches’ prophecies.
Scene 5: What do you learn of Macbeth’s feelings toward her? He loves his wife and called her “my dearest love”.
Scene 5: What do you learn of Macbeth’s reaction to the prophecy that he would become King? She is determined that he will be king.
Scene 5: What is the meaning of the phrase “milk of human kindness”? Macbeth is too kind. He would prefer to gain his ambitions without doing authority to bring them about.
Scene 5: How does Lady Macbeth further analyze his character? She’s afraid he will falter or hesitate in his quest to be king.
Scene 5: What does her soliloquy further reveal about her character? Her desire for the crown is greater than his and she is willing to do anything to gain the crown.
Scene 5: What is Lady Macbeth’s advice to her husband? Suppress your conscience – commit any crime to bring about the ambition.
Scene 5: From what you have seen of Macbeth, is her advice needed? Yes; he needs to hide his true feelings.
Scene 5: Why does she bid him leave all else to her? She thinks he’ll back out if she doesn’t arrange everything herself.
Scene 6: How does Lady Macbeth greet Duncan? She is really nice, welcomes him, and thanks him for everything.
Scene 6: A)How does the King greet Lady Macbeth? B) Explain the irony here. A) He is very pleasant to her.B) She is plotting to kill him.
Scene 7: What state of mind does Macbeth’s soliloquy reveal? He’s indecisive; shows weakness of character.
Scene 7: What is Macbeth’s chief fault? Incapable of action; he hesitates.
Scene 7: What does Macbeth say is the only spur that drives him to murder? Ambition.
Scene 7: What decision does Macbeth make concerning the murder of Duncan? Duncan is a good king and has done no particular evil; his death would bring great sorrow upon Scotland.
Scene 7: How does Lady Macbeth reproach him? Accuses him of cowardice; taunts him.
Act I: A) What words are present in “Macbeth” frequently and with emphasis?B) What effect is gained by this repetition? A) Foul and Fair.B) Reinforce the tone of the story.
Act I: At what point in Act I is the exciting force or incentive moment? At the thought of becoming king.
Act I: When does Macbeth first think of murder? The three witches prophecies.
Act I: What is the result of the great influence Lady Macbeth has over Macbeth? Convinces him to kill Duncan despite his better judgement and moral opposition.

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