Macbeth Acts 4 and 5

What ingredients go into the witches’ stew? What symbolic purpose does this vile concoction serve? intestines, slice of snake, eye of newt, snake tongue, lizard, baby owls wing, etc. the purpose is to show how evil the witches are by their vile ingredients
What has Macbeth come to ask the witches, and how do they answer? He wants to know if he will remain king, they respond by showing him three apparitions
Describe the three apparitions Macbeth sees when he visits the wishes. What does each apparition tell him? 1. a helmeted head – warns him of Macduff2. a bloody child – none of women born shall harm Macbeth3. crowned child holding a tree – Macbeth will never be conquered as long as the Birnam Wood doesn’t come to Dunsinane
Which nobleman does Macbeth plan to murder after talking with the witches? How is his plan foiled? Macduff, he has fled to England
At the end of scene 1, what does Macbeth vow? How is his vow carried out in scene 2? To kill Macduff and his family, those found are murdered
According to the conversation between Malcolm and Macduff in scene 3, what has happened to Scotland during Macbeth’s reign? Scotland has fallen in distress with many sorrows
What faults does Malcolm claim to have? He says he is a womanizer, he is greedy, and would not be a good king
How does Macduff respond to each of Malcolm’s three “confessions”? He claims that they can be arranged around until he mentions he would not be a good king
What effect did the brutal murders of Lady Macduff and her son have on you? Have your feelings for Macbeth changed from the opening of the play until now? How do you account for your reasons? I felt as though these murders were unnecessary and cruel. Macbeth has changed a lot since the beginning of the play, as he has become a darker person, willing to do anything for power
In this act, Macbeth seeks out the witches, just as they initiated the encounter in Act 1. How has his moral character deteriorated? The prophecy for Macbeth has come true, When they first see him, he is a hero, but since then he has become a disgrace to his country.
Do you think the witches have caused any of the changes in Macbeth’s character, either directly or indirectly? Explain. They were responsible for telling Macbeth the prophecies, leading him to murder
In scene 1, eight kings appear in what was called in Shakespeare’s time a dumb show- an interpolated belief scene in which nothing is said. What is the point of this particular dumb show? It shows Macbeth that Banquo’s descendants will become a succession of kings
In scene 2, the lines spoken by Macduff’s wife and son illustrate Shakespeare’s great skill at characterization, Using only a few words, he brings the woman and child to life. How would you describe Lady Macduff? How would you describe the boy?

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