Macbeth Act IV Study Guide

When Macbeth meets the witches, he demands answers from them about his future. Identify and explain the tone of the speech. Then, describe his state of mind based upon the evidence in the speech. Macbeth is anxious and desperate, he asks the witches to unleash their dark powers and tell him everything.
Three apparitions appear to Macbeth, each bearing a cryptic message. Identify each apparition. Then, identify and interpret the message associated with it. Apparition 1: tells Macbeth beware of Macduff. (Head with armored helmet)Apparition 2: you will be safe because no man born from a woman can hurt you. (The bloody child)Apparition 3: you are safe until Birnham marches to Dunsane castle. (Child with a crown on his head, holding a tree)
What does Macbeth demand to know after the third apparition disappears? What does he see and how does he react to this vision. Will Banquo’s sons ever reign in this kingdom.
Earlier in the play, Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he intends to act without thought for the consequences of his actions. Quote the lines in his final aside in this scene that expresses the same sentiment. (147-149) “Macduff is fled to England. Fled to England? Ay, my good lord.”(155) ” To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought, and done:”
In this scene, Lady Macduff is distraught over her husbands disappearance. She accuses him of several faults in an effort to explain his actions. Identify these faults. Then, explain why she feels as she does. 1. Macduff has no patience 2. Macduff didn’t love his family.3. He lacks natural instinct to protect his family.
In lady Macduff’s conversation with her son, their positions seem to be switched, she being the child and he being the adult. What wisdom does the son express about the nature of mankind? He’s fine being the scrawny bird because hunters won’t hurt him.
When a messenger suddenly arrives and warns Lady Macduff to flee, they questions his advise but finally conclude that his words may indeed make sense. Why does she reject his advise? What truth does she then acknowledge about life? First Lady Macduff is naive and she claims she is innocent, so she has nothing to fear. Lady Macduff says she is human so sometimes evil is done to good people.
What is the final result of this scene? What does it foreshadow? The murderers kill Lady Macduff’s son, her son begs Lady Macduff to flee. Lady Macduff flees, but the murderers follow her.
When Macduff arrives in England, he meets with Malcolm and urges him to return to Scotland and overthrow Macbeth. Malcolm, being wise, cautious, and intelligent like Banquo, must test Macduff’s loyalty before agreeing to his request. Identify each of the tactics Malcolm uses. Then, identify Macduff’s response to each test. Tactic 1: Malcolm questions Macduff’s loyalty by questioning his motifs and if his motifs are honest.—-Response 1: Malcolm responds I’m not treacherous. Tactic 2: Malcolm challenges Macduff’s words by claiming looking innocent may be a deception. —-Response 2: Macduff says Malcolm is no worse than Macbeth. Tactic 3: Malcolm claims he would be much worse for Scotland than Macbeth because he has many sins. —-Response 3: Macduff tells Malcolm he can satisfy his desires in secret. Tactic 4: Malcolm says Macduff is greedy. —-Response 4: Scotland has enough treasures to satisfy you.
Malcolm lists the vices of mankind. What are they? (Eight) Lust, greed, cruelty, injustice, impatience, arrogance, coward, and weakness.
Malcolm list the virtues of mankind. What are they? (Six) Chastity, honesty, humility, faithful, humble, love for Scotland
Near the end of act IV scene III, Ross arrives in England and brings the news of the Macduff family murders. How does Macduff behave when he hears the news? What advise does Malcolm give him? Why is this advice especially appropriate to be coming from Malcolm? Ross tells Macduff that his entire family has been slaughtered. Macduff finds it extremely difficult to accept and questions it several times. Macduff finally accepts it, and he is heartbroken.

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