Macbeth Act I Quiz

When are the witches planning to meet again and for what purpose? When the battle is lost and/or won to see the sunset with Macbeth.
Describe the setting of this scene. How might it be significant considering this is the first scene of the play? What sort of mood does it create? The scene is eerie and it creates a dark and gloomy mood. In the scene it says, “Hover through the fog and filthy air”, which elaborates on my answer.
The witches say together, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” This is one of the most famous line in Macbeth. What do you think it means? It may have to do with perception. We may think something seems good, but it actually turns out bad. You can think of it in terms of people. One thing can be good for someone, but bad for another. Or someone might think something is fair, but another might think that that “fair act” is unfair or not right.
What line from the play sets the theme? “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”(paradox)
What does the Captain specifically report about Macbeth? What does this news reveal to you about Macbeth’s character? The captain reports that things aren’t going well in the battle and it seemed that fortune was against them, however, brave Macbeth too matters into his own hands. It reveal that Macbeth is brave and courageous.
What does it mean when “alarum” is said? trumpets – king is coming
What is Macbeth’s relationship to King Duncan? Their relationship is good. Duncan respects Macbeth. The King is giving Macbeth the title; the Thane of Cawdor.
Who had Macbeth and Banquo been fighting? They were fighting the Norwegian Army (Norwayians)
The Captain uses many similes to describe the battle. Identify 2. “As two spent swimmers, that do cling together,””Like valor’s minion carved out his passage…”
What does Ross mean when he calls Macbeth “Bellona’s bridegroom?” Bellona is the goddess of war. Macbeth, who is a great soldier, is called her mate.
What does King Duncan instruct Ross to do and why? He instructs Ross to go execute the Thane of Cawdor, so that the King can give the title to Macbeth and the Thane of Cawdor has been disloyal to the King.
Who are the thanes? – Macbeth- Banquo- Ross- Angus- Lennox- Macduff- Menteith- Caithness
What does the First Witch plan to do to a sailor and why? What does this tell you about the 3 witches? The 1st witch curses the sailor because his wife wouldn’t give the witch a chestnut. Also the witch wants to curse the man so he can’t sleep so all he can do is think of her (the ugly witch). The witches are malicious and take delight in other people misery.*Witch tries to indirectly sink his ship
When Macbeth says, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen,” what does he mean? What other line of the play does he echo? What could be the dramatic irony of the line? As Macbeth’s first words of the play, how might this line be significant? He means that he won a battle, which isn’t a wonderful experience. it echoes line 10 in Act I scene I, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” The first words of the play are related to the witches words.Dramatic irony because we know the witches said this. It is significant because it foreshadows what happened near the end.
Describe the physical appearance of the Witches. Witches are ugly and “scabby creatures”.- beards- crazily dressed
What prophecies do the Witches make regarding Macbeth? How does he react based on what Banquo says? 1. Thane of Glamis2. Thane of Cawdor3. “shall be King here after…” (King of Scotland)Macbeth seems fearful and surprised.
What metaphor does Banquo use to ask the Witches about his future? What do the Witches predict for Banquo? How does this prediction relate to the King of England at the time Shakespeare was writing? If you gave him his (Macbeth’s) prophecies than why don’t you give me mine. (“If you can look into the seeds of time…”)- “Lesser than Macbeth, and greater”- “Not so happy, let happier”- “Thou shall get kings, thou tho be none.”Related to King of England because Banquo is the 8th steward King descendant of Banquo. King James is a descendant of Banquo.
Shakespeare has the Witches speak in language that is frequently contradictory. Point out an example of where that occurs in this scene. – “Thou shall get kings, thou tho be none.”- “Not so happy, yet much happier…”
How likely does Macbeth think it is that he will become Thane of Cawdor or King of Scotland? How is this an example of dramatic irony? Macbeth is really hesitant and doesn’t think anything is going to happen. When Ross tells him he is going to be the Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth gets cocky. This is an example of dramatic irony because the audience knows Macbeth is crowned Thane of Cawdor, & audience know Lady Macbeth kills Duncan.
What is a soliloquy? happens when character is alone on stage, talking to no one but himself
What is an aside? a side conversation/side thought, everyone not part of the conversation go about their business**soliloquy can be a monologue, but a monologue can not be a soliloquy
How do Banquo and Macbeth question their experience with the Witches? They question why/how the Witches vanished and who will be king- wondering if they were real- Banquo= voice of reason
What news does Ross bring to Banquo and Macbeth as they are discussing the prophecies? The witches may be trying to trick you Macbeth. They may kill the King so Macbeth can have the title.
What does Banquo mean when he says, “What can the devil speak true?” Can the devil, being the Witches, really speak of the truth because they were right about Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor.
Why does Banquo warn Macbeth about “the instruments of darkness?” What type of literary device is this? How does this comment tie into the “fair is foul, foul is fair” theme? Banquo warns Macbeth about the Witches because he knows only bad can come from them. This is an example of monotony. What the witches say seem good, but it can actually be quite bad. It relates because what the witches are saying sound fair, but why have they given you these prophesies; their bad.*Witches are agents of the devil. They will tell truths to trick you.
As the others talk, what does Macbeth’s aside reveal about his drinking? What does he fear? How is this moment a significant turning point for Macbeth? Macbeth is aside reveals that he is going to get greedy and try to think of ways to get rid of Duncan. He fears murdering Duncan and this is a turning point because he realizes that his must happen in order for him to achieve anything.
What is the difference between how Banquo reacts to the fulfillment of the first prophecy and how Macbeth reacts? Why might their reactions be significant? Banquo is happy because according to the prophecy he is still prosperous; Macbeth however is excited because the Witches told him he is going to rule Scotland and be rich. They are significant because they foreshadow what is going to happen to Banquo and Macbeth.
What common human feeling is Macbeth expressing when he says, “My thought…./ Shakes so my single state of man that function/ Is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is/ But what is not”? How does the quote relate to the “fair is foul” theme? Macbeth is feeling hostile/aggressive because he wants Duncan dead. This relates to the theme because by not necessarily wanting what is right but in order to do what’s “right” he must commit murder. Macbeth is confused on the situation and he is unsure, but he is starting to become focused on the unknown things aren’t always what they seem.
What is the Law of Tanistry? passing successionKing Duncan –> MacbethMacbeth –> MalcomMalcom –> son
FOIL – Banquo is a foil for Macbeth Macbeth Differences- surprised- excited- believes witchesBoth- soldier- thanes- prophecies = changes their paths drastically- honorable- friendsBanquo Differences- skeptical- cautious- suspicious
How does Malcolm describe Cawdor’s execution? How does Duncan respond? Cawdor died nobally. Duncan trusted him completely. He says he died better than he lived; Thane of Cawdor repented and confessed for crimes. Duncan says something that shows he is gullible.
How does Duncan regard what Macbeth has done for him? What does Macbeth think about the services he has provided? He is very appreciative of what Macbeth has done. Macbeth thinks that he might actually get the throne.
What metaphor does the King use to describe how he will nurture Macbeth? “I have begun to plant thee, and will labor…”Take care of the person as if you were taking care of a plant.
How does Banquo further this metaphor? What earlier comment do his words echo? Banquo extends this metaphor by saying, “There if I grow, the harvest is your own.”if you good to me, I will use it to serve you (prove loyalty)
What is the significance of Duncan naming Malcolm the Prince of Cumberland? By doing this Duncan broke the law of Tanistry and broke the law that a minor cannot take the throne. He just cut Macbeth out succession.
How does Macbeth react to the announcement in his last speech in this scene? What does he reveal? Macbeth is angry. He reveals that he is going to do something bad.
After Lady Macbeth finishes reading the letter, she says Macbeth, “shalt be”, what he has been promised, meaning King of Scotland. Why is this comment significant? She says, you will be the King because she is thinking about killing somebody.She is willing to do anything to make prophecies come true.
What is Macbeth’s tragic flaw? ambition
After Lady Macbeth finishes reading the letter, what concern does she express about Macbeth? He has the potential to do this, but his kindness is getting in his way.
Why does Lady Macbeth want her husband to hurry home? She is going to yell at him and convince Macbeth on what to do to become King.
How does the news about King Duncan’s impending arrival affect Lady Macbeth? What is she planning? She is first shocked, she wants to kill Duncan. She hears Duncan is coming for dinner and shes like, “good lets kill him”.
What does unsex mean? to take away feminine qualities
Why does Lady Macbeth pray to be “unsexed”? How else does she asked to be altered and why? What does this say about Shakespeare’s view of the nature of masculinity and femininity? She doesn’t want to feel remorse for what she is going to do. She wants her feminine qualities to be taken away, so she can be more masculine and taken more seriously. Shakespeare sees women as being the mother figure, like taking care of children. She asks for her milk, in her breasts, to be turned to bile because it shows that she wants every last feminine quality to be removed. She believes men are cruel and she wants to kill King Duncan and feel no regret. Shakespeare was more a feminist and wrote many complex feminine characters.
When Macbeth enters, how does Lady Macbeth again echo the words of the Witches? “Great Glamis! Worthy Cawdor! Greater than both, by the all hail hereafter!”She repeats the prophecies of the Witches.
What instruction does Lady Macbeth give to her husband? What simile does she use to describe her advice? What role has Lady Macbeth adopted in his relationship? She teaches him how to look like the part of a murderer. “Your hand, your tongue: look like th’ innocent flower/ But be the serpent under it…” Lady Macbeth has become the leader in the relationship.
How do Duncan and Banquo regard Macbeth’s home? How are their comments an example of dramatic irony? Macbeth’s home is beautiful and pleasant. Dramatic irony because they have no clue that Lady Macbeth’s plan is to kill King Duncan. She acts very welcoming and innocent when in reality her plan says otherwise. Example of dramatic irony because we know what is happening inside the castle with the plan.
How does Lady Macbeth’s behavior in this scene contrast with what we know of her from the last scene? What does this indication about her character? Lady Macbeth innocent and welcoming when in reality her plan is to kill Duncan. It reveals that she is evil and kinda demented.
What arguments does Macbeth raise for not committing the murder? What does Macbeth mean when he says that Duncan is “here in double trust”? – getting caught and karma behind it * consequences * we get what we deserve- he is related to him (cousin)- he has pledged his loyalty to him- he should be protecting his guest, Duncan*no good reason to commit murder, but his ambitionHe is his kinsmen and host
Macbeth indicates that Duncan has been a great ruler. According to Macbeth, what qualities make Duncan a good King? Macbeth says that Duncan has not abused his royal powers. Duncan has used these power to make him a great ruler. Duncan is a strong and humble and virtuous person.
What resolution does Macbeth communicate to Lady Macbeth? He is not going to murder Duncan, but then Lady Macbeth changes his mind.
What does Lady Macbeth say in an attempt to goad her husband into committing the murder? How do her comments tie into her earlier characterizations of masculinity and femininity? If you’re really a man than you will do it. She is acting very feministic, assuming rules to each gender. She is saying that men should be tough and help out women and do the dirty work.
Macbeth’s response to his wife, about what a man may dare, is frequently quotes: What does he mean? A man wouldn’t do this because it is not honorable.
What is the point of the baby imagery that Lady Macbeth uses? Note the many times images of babies and mothers are presented in the play. Lady Macbeth has a child, but they don’t have a child. She is willing to kill her child.
Lady Macbeth reveals the details of the murder plot. What are they, and how does she convince Macbeth that the plan will work? When Duncan sleeps she gets guards drunk, take daggers, stabs Duncan, and wipes blood all over them; making others think that the guards killed Duncan.
Why does Macbeth believe his wife should “bring forth men-children only”? Has her plan convinced him to continue in the scheme? Macbeth believes this because he doesn’t want girls to end up evil like Lady Macbeth is. Her plan has convinced him to continue in the scheme.

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