macbeth acts 4 and 5

4: (1) 1. What are the witches doing in the opening of the scene? They are conjuring the apparitions for macbeth. When the scene opens, the witches are on stage, speaking in rhymed couplets and dancing around a cauldron.
4: (1) 2. What effect is Shakespeare creating by presenting the witches as he does? Shakespeare establishes the witches are other-worldly, that they are not to be trusted. The sing-song rhyme of their speech makes them seem almost childlike and silly, yet the language in their rhymes is grotesque. Their language emphasizes the fact that they intend to charm macbeth into a false sense of security.
4: (1) 3. Describe the three apparitions and the significance of each/what the apparition means. 1. First Apparition This apparition appears in the shape of an armed head and it warns macbeth to beware of macduff. The fact that the apparition is wearing a helmet, which one would wear for a battle, indicates that macduff poses a military threat to macbeth. The fact that it is only a ahead and not a full body may be significant later in the play.2. Second Apparition This apparition takes the shape of a bloody child and tell macbeth to be bold because none of woman born will harm him. Macbeth hears that no one can harm him. Macbeth feels comfortable and emboldened by this apparition. 3. Third Apparition This apparition takes the shape of a child crowned with a tree in his hand, which tells macbeth that he will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth feels as if he is, again, safe from harm, as he considers it an impossibility that a forest could move, yet look at the language of the prophecy: the apparition does not say that he won’t be vanquished unless the forest moves, it states that he will not be vanquished until the forest moves.
4: (1) 4. After hearing the apparitions, what does Macbeth resolve to do regarding Macduff? Macbeth thinks macduff cannot harm him, since a woman gave birth to him, but macbeth decides to kill him anyway.
4: (1) 5. Pleased with the information he receives, what one further piece of information does Macbeth desire to know, and what is the answer he gets? He wants to know whether Banquo’s heirs will ever be kings of scotland. The weird sisters warn him to seek to know no more but macbeth is insistent – this is the one prophecy he wants to but cannot thwart. Eight kings appear. Banquo is also present and points at the others asif claiming them as his heirs. The eighth king has a mirror that reflects a line of kings.
4: (1) 6. What is the significance of the subsequent scene to the play and historically? The parade of kings does not advance the plot, does not develop character, and offers on new information. HOwever, Hames I was the 8th Stuart king of scotland. The stuart dynasty claimed descent from both duncan I and banquo. Therefore, the pageant is shakespeare’s attempt to flatter his king. The 8th king in the parade would represent James I, and the mirror would indicate the continuation of the dynasty far into the unpredictable future.
4: (1) 7. What news does Lennox give to Macbeth? Lennox tells Macbeth that Macduff went to England
4: (1) 8. What is his resolve at the end of this scene? How is this decision different that previous actions? Macbeth decides to murder all of Macduff’s family. There is no reason for this slaughter, other than frustration, anger and an evil nature. Macbeth states that he will no longer think about his decisions before he acts. Previously, at least, Duncan’s murder had been motivated by ambition, and Banquo’s by paranoia and envy. Macbeth’s character is becoming increasingly evil.
4: (2) 1. What does Shakespeare achieve with the conversation between Ross and Lady Macduff? Unlike lady macbeth in acts 1 and 2, lady macduff knows nothing of her husband’s plans. She seem to not know where he has gone or for what reason. Shakespeare also emphasizes for the audience how bad the situation is in scotland under macbeth’s reign. There is nothing but fear, doubt, insecurity – and not even the certainty of whom and what to fear. Ross states,
4: (2) 2. What is the purpose of the exchange between Lady Macduff and her son? This witty exchange does not offer any exposition, does not advance the plot, and develops only briefly a character who is going to die in the same scene. It is a moment of comic relief.
4: (2) 3. What effect is created by the Messenger’s entering to warn Lady Macduff and her son? The suspense and anticipation of some impending horror, begun at the beginning of the scene with ross, is intensified.
4: (2) 4. Why does Shakespeare show the son’s murder on stage? The son has been a recurrent issue in the play since the witches prediction to banquo. Macbeth has no son in the play and this disturbs him deeply. Duncan named his son, malcolm, heir to the throne instead of macbeth. Macbeth succeeded in killing banquo but not banquo’s son, fleance. Thus, the onstage death of macduff’s son is something a climax to this thread. Macbeth has succeeded in destroying someone else’s lineage. The image of macduff’s dying, bleeding son might echo the bloody child in the second apparition.
4: (3) 1. What additional evidence does Shakespeare give his audience that Macbeth is a tyrant? Macduff tells malcolm that every day “new widows howl, new orphans cry,” indicating that men – presumably those whom macbeth would consider traitorous – are doing or being killed every day in scotland
4: (3) 2. What suspicion of Macduff does Malcolm voice? He asks how can he be sure that macduff didn’t come to england. Malcolm questions whether macduff has come to england to lure malcolm back to scotland and his death
4: (3) 3. What is it that makes Malcolm suspicious of Macduff’s motives? he abandons his wife and children and flees to scotland
4: (3) 4. How does Malcolm test Macduff’s honesty? he lies about his character, telling macbeth that he is lecherous and greedy, possessing none of the traits of a good ruler.
4: (3) 5. How does Macduff nearly fail the test? He seems too eager to bring malcolm back to scotland. Macduff excuses away every sign of which malcolm accuses himself.
4: (3) 6. What finally convinces Malcolm of Macduff’s integrity? Macduff finally despairs and announces that he will remain exiled from scotland if their only choice of ruler is macbeth or the vile person malcolm is pretending to be. Macduff’s response indicated to malcolm that macduff is not interested in merely replacing macbeth with any ruler; he is truly invested in the welfare of scotland and wants a king who has integrity and honesty.
4: (3) 7. Who arrives with news from Scotland? What does he tell Macduff and Malcolm? Ross arrives and reaffirms to malcolm, macduff, and the audience the poor state of scotland. Sadly, ross also needs to tell macduff that macbeth attacked his castle and killed his wife and children
4: (3) 8. How does Macduff receive this news? Macduff is, understandably, shocked by this news. Once the shock of Ross’ announcement wears off, Macduff’s steely resolve is evident
4: (3) 9. At the end of the scene, what does Macduff resolve to do? he plans to kill macbeth
5: (1) 1. Explain why this entire scene is ironic. Think about what has caused Lady Macbeth’s madness and refer to comments she made to Macbeth in Act 2 scene 2. Lady macbeth warned macbeth not to dwell on his feelings of guilt, “these deeds must not be thought/ after these ways; so, it will make us mad” (2.2 44-45). It is finally her repression of her guilt has made her mad.
5: (1) 2. What is ironic about Lady Macbeth’s constant “hand washing”? In act 2 scene 2 after she takes the bloody daggers back to duncan’s room and has the blood on her hands as well. It now seems as if she will never truly clean of the deed. She and macbeth may have cleaned the physical blood from their hands, but the stain of their deeds cannot be so easily purged.
5: (1) 3. What does the Gentlewoman mean when she replies to the Doctor, “She has spoke what she should not, I am sure / of that. Heaven knows what she has known” (5.1.43-44)? In lady macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, she is muttering aloud references to past murders; duncan, banquo, lady macduff and her children’s. While other scottish noblemen have mentioned the suspicious circumstances of the deaths of duncan and banquo, this is the first time the audience hears about the deaths of these characters spoken aloud to other characters who were not involved in the murders.
5: (1) 4. What does the Doctor’s “Foul whisperings are abroad” speech echo? It is reminiscent of macbeth’s comment in act 3 scene 4 when macbeth says that the murderers will eventually be brought to light. The doctors comments reflect the fact that lady macbeth’s mind is troubled by unnatural deeds which do breed unnatural troubles; she is subconsciously confessing hers and macbeth’s horrid deeds.
5: (2) 1. Whose side are Lennox, Angus, Menteith, and Caithness on? Malcolm’s against macbeth
5: (2) 2. What do they say about the men that Macbeth commands? They aren’t completely loyal to macbeth and only fight because they were commanded
5: (2) 3. What does Angus insinuate when he states “Now does he feel / His secret murders sticking on his hands” (5.2.19-20)? The nobles are voicing what they had been insinuating in prior conversations: they know macbeth had direct involvement with the murders of duncan and banquo.
5: (3) 1. How would you describe Macbeth’s behavior in this scene? How does he treat his Servant? Macbeth is still overly concerned with the three apparitions the weird sisters have shown him in act 4 scene 1. His obsession with the second and third apparitions have inspired frenzy-like behavior in macbeth. For instance, he speaks unnecessarily cruelly to the servant. When the servant enters to speak with him, macbeth is very crass and rude to him, calling him names. When he speaks to the doctor about lady macbeth’s condition, he wants an easy fix for his wife, even though the doctor tells macbeth that she needs to cure herself. The one logical point macbeth makes in this speech is when he recognizes that what plagues lady macbeth is her guilty memory.
5: (3) 2. What is Macbeth’s lament in his “My way of life / is fall’n into the sear…” speech? (5.2.25-26). He knows he will not hace honor, love, respect, family, etc. as one would expect to have at this point of his life. Instead, he has curses and false honor
5: (3) 3. What is Lady Macbeth’s condition, and how does Macbeth believe it could be cured? Many thick coming fancies plague her and keep her from resting. Macbeth, quite accurately, believed that if her guilty memory could be purged, she would be well again.
5: (4) 1. What tactical strategy does Malcolm take? He disguises his army with his burnam wood
5: (4) 2. How is this reminiscent of the Weird Sisters’ Apparitions? The third apparition tells macbeth that he will not be vanquished -until- the birnam wood moves to dunsinane hill. The image of the soldiers marching towards dunsinane hidden behind tree branches will look like a forest moving towards dunsinane.
5: (5) 1. What happens to Lady Macbeth? she kills herself
5: (5) 2. When Macbeth hears this news, he delivers his most famous soliloquy (lines 19-30). What does it mean? What is his analysis about the purpose of life? The soliloquy is macbeth’s lament about the meaninglessness of life, and in particular his life. He and his wife had a strong relationship and they did seem to love each other. Macbeth has now lost everything he thought he wanted in life: a crown and his wife.
5: (5) 3. What news does the Messenger bring Macbeth? Birnam wood is coming to Dunsinane
5: (5) 4. What does Macbeth now realize and how does his realization fit with the “fair is foul” theme? He sees what seems to be the army marching towards dunsinane hidden behind the branches, he realises that the weird sisters might not have been completely honest with him. Nothing is what it seems to be, and macbeth is coming to the realization that the third apparition was not meant to reassure him like he had thought it was meant to do. While he does understand that the prophecies the weird sister made are true, he took them as assurances when they are merely enigmatically- worded statements of destiny.
5: (6) 1. What is about to begin, and how does the audience know this? Malcolm, macduff, and their army are about to engage macbeth and his men in battle. In the opening few lines malcolm directs the army to throw down the branches they are holding and tells siward to lead the first battle
5: (7) 1. As bleak as events now look for Macbeth, why does he still scorn his opponents? He naively continued to believe the weird sisters and their promise in the second apparition that no man born of woman shall hurt him.
5: (7) 2. What effect is Shakespeare creating between Macbeth and Macduff in this scene? Macbeth and macduff enter and exit the scene at different times, enhancing the excitement of the battle and apprehension as to when they will finally meet for their own battle
5: (7) 3. What is the meaning of Siward’s statement that Macbeth’s men “on both sides do fight”? (5.6.30). He is now changing sides and is fighting against macbeth
5: (8) 1. What information does Macduff tell Macbeth that makes him frightened during their fight? How is this connected to the Apparitions? He was a C section when born therefore not technically born of a woman. The second apparition tells macbeth that none of woman born shall harm macbeth.
5: (8) 2. What is Macbeth’s response? He has the same reaction as to when he learned about his error in judgement about the third apparition’s; prophecy. The audience can hear and see the frustration and defeat in macbeth’s words, even when he tells macduff that he won’t fight him.
5: (8) 3. Why does Macbeth quickly change his mind about fighting Macduff? At his core, macbeth is a soldier. He would rather die in battle that go through the humiliation of being taken prisoner and out on public display.
5: (8) 4. What is the result of the battle between Macbeth and Macduff? How is this connected to the Apparitions? Macduff kills macbeth, and when he meets malcolm, ross, siward and the other soldiers at the end of the scene, he comes back on stage holding macbeth’s head. The first apparition tells macbeth to beware macduff, and appears as an armed head, no body. The moment foreshadows macbeth’s eventual end.
5: (8) 5. Why is it important to Siward to know how his son died? It is a point of honor for siward and for his son’s memory to know that his son died respectively while fighting face to face
5: (8) 6. What information/decisions does Malcolm relay at the end of the play? He will now bestow the english the title of earl on his loyal thanesHe will call back all who have been exiledHe will now be crowned king at scone
5: (8) 7. On what note does the play end? Malcolm’s speech suggest that law, justice, and stability have returned to the once-troubled scotland.

You Might Also Like