Macbeth English quiz

ALL How is pathetic fallacy used in Act 1, Scene 1? Thunder – creates an ominous and frightening atmosphere, reflective of the evil nature of the witches.
ALL Explain the relevance of the quotation ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’? Good and bad/right and wrong don’t exist – they are subjective concepts.
What technique is used in ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’? Chiasmus
ALL A captain tells Duncan about how Macbeth ‘unseamed’ his enemies ‘from the knave to the chops’. Recall another quotation for how Macbeth is described in Act 1, Scene 2. ‘brave Macbeth’, ‘noble gentleman’, ‘valiant’, ‘worthy cousin’.
ALL What does Duncan learn about the Thane of Cawdor in this scene? That the ToC betrayed Duncan.
ALL What proclamation does Duncan make about the Thane of Cawdor and Macbeth? That ToC will be executed and Macbeth will become new ToC.
ALL Where is Macbeth already the Thane of? Glamis
ALL In Act 1, Scene 3, when Banquo presses the witches for a prophecy, what do they tell him? Quotation required. ‘thou shall get kings though thou be none’, ‘lesser than Macbeth but greater’, ‘not so happy, yet far happier’.
Who arrives to tell Macbeth that he has been named Thane of Cawdor? Ross and Angus.
ALL After hearing he is Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth speaks of an suggestion that ‘doth unfix [his] hair’ and make his ‘seated heart knock at [his] ribs’. What is this idea? First thoughts of committing regicide.
Malcolm states that the Thane of Cawdor died begging for Duncan’s pardon and had ‘deep repentance’. Duncan says that he was a man in which he had ‘built absolute trust’. Why is this ironic? Because Macbeth is now ToC and is already also plotting to betray Duncan.
ALL In an aside to the audience, Macbeth states that Duncan’s intention to name Malcolm as his heir is a ‘step’ he must ‘fall down or overleap’. What does this mean? That if Duncan is killed/dies then Malcolm would become king – this is something that obstructs Macbeth’s plan. ‘Step’ is a metaphor for Malcolm.
ALL Macbeth then says: ‘stars hide your fires, let not light see my dark and deep desires’. What does he mean by this? That he intends to hide these evil thoughts. The use of rhyming couplets reflects the Witches’ style of speech, thus hinting at evil plotting.
ALL Where does Duncan decide to go that night? Macbeth’s castle.
With what does Scene 5 open? Lady Macbeth reading a letter from Macbeth where he tells her about the encounter with the Witches.
ALL Why does Lady Macbeth worry about Macbeth? Recall a quotation. ‘without the ambition to attend it’ and ‘I do fear thy nature is too full of the milk of human kindness’.
Recall a quotation for Lady Macbeth summoning the supernatural. ‘Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts’
ALL What does Lady Macbeth mean by ‘unsex me here’? Take all femininity away and make her manly.
How does Macbeth greet Lady Macbeth? ‘My dearest love’
ALL Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to look like the ‘innocent flower’ but be the ‘serpent’ under it. What does she mean by this metaphor? Hide the evil thoughts. Appearance vs Reality/Deception.
ALL In Act 1, Scene 6, Duncan arrives at Macbeth’s castle and compliments Lady Macbeth. How is this an example of dramatic irony? Because Duncan doesn’t know LM’s plan to become queen.
ALL In Act 1, Scene 7, Macbeth delivers a very famous soliloquy in this scene where he deliberates over the grave consequences of regicide. Provide 2 quotations from this soliloquy. Clue.. ‘I am his k_____ and his s_____’. ‘I am his kinsman and his subject’ / ‘vaulting ambition’ / ‘the life to come’ / ‘deep damnation of his taking off’
ALL Why is Macbeth so concerned about ‘the life to come’? Because his eternal soul would be damned to hell forever.
ALL What does Macbeth mean by ‘I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition that overleaps itself’? I have no desire/reason to carry out the murder – it’s only ambition that makes me think about it.
ALL Macbeth makes his mind up that he will not kill Duncan. How does Lady Macbeth respond? She says she feels betrayed, calls him a coward and asks him if he’s drunk
ALL We find out now that Lady Macbeth once had a child. Recall the quotation. Paraphrasing is acceptable. ‘I have given suck and know how tender tis to love the babe that milks me’
ALL How does Lady Macbeth emasculate Macbeth in this scene? ‘coward’ questions his masculinity
ALL How does Lady Macbeth propose to carry out the murder of Duncan? Explain her plan. Drug the guards and murder Duncan – together – frame the guards
ALL Why does Macbeth tell Lady Macbeth to ‘bring forth men children only’? Because she is so manly and evil with strength to carry out terrible deeds – women seen as weaker sex. Possible heir
ALL Macbeth’s final line in the scene is ‘false face must hide what the false heart doth know’. Which key theme does this link to? Appearance vs reality – always the idea that something is hidden beneath the surface
Fleance and Banquo are talking at the beginning of Scene 1. Macbeth enters and lies to Banquo about something. What does he lie about? ‘I think not of them’ about the Witches when Banquo mentions that the ‘weird sisters’ showed Macbeth ‘some truth’.
ALL Macbeth then begins his soliloquy ‘is this a dagger I see before me’. Summarise what ideas Macbeth explores in this soliloquy. Hallucinates ‘heat oppressed brain’, guilt, fear and contemplates the witches – at the end the bell rings – his signal to kill Duncan
ALL The bell rings and the soliloquy ends. What does the bell signal? His call to murder Duncan
ALL We do see the death of Duncan. Why does Shakespeare not describe the death/show it on stage? Too horrifying for the audience – would be seen as sacrilege
ALL In Scene 2, what reason does Lady Macbeth give for not killing Duncan herself? Duncan looked too much like her father
ALL When Macbeth returns with ‘two bloody daggers’ he is frantically ranting about a dream where he couldn’t say ‘Amen’ when two others said ‘God bless us’. Why is Macbeth so troubled about not being able to say ‘Amen’? Because he has damaged his eternal soul beyond repair through the act of regicide – amen is a religious word – no longer connected with God.
ALL Macbeth also keeps repeating ‘Macbeth shall sleep no more’. What do you think this means? He will never rest again/have peace – reference to afterlife
ALL Lady Macbeth pronounces Macbeth mad when she says ‘infirm of purpose!’. What actions does she then carry out? Plants the daggers as Macbeth emerged from the chamber holding them
ALL When Macbeth laments about his guilt, he uses hyperbolic language about the ocean. Can you remember the quotation? Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?
At the very end of Scene 2, they hear a ‘knock’ at the door. What do Macbeth and Lady Macbeth do? Retire to their chamber and Macbeth shouts that he wishes the knocking would wake Duncan
The porter rambles about devils and drunkenness at the beginning of scene 3, how is his speech different to that of nobility? Written in plain prose rather than blank verse
ALL Who discovers Duncan’s body? Macduff
ALL How does Lennox describe the weather of the night of the murder? Quotations please. ‘night was unruly’ ‘earth was feverous and did shake’ ‘strange screams of death [in the air]’
ALL How does the use of pathetic fallacy link to the theme of the divine order? Divine right is almost synonymous with divine order – natural world responding in horror to the death of a divine figure
ALL How does Macduff describe Duncan’s death? ‘Horror horror horror’ and ‘most sacrilegious murder’
When Macbeth explains that he killed the chamberlains, Lady Macbeth interrupts when she faints, saying ‘help me hence, ho.’ Why did Lady Macbeth faint here? It’s fake – she pretends because Macbeth is talking too much
ALL Why does Malcolm go to England and Donalbain go to Ireland? For safety
ALL Ross and an old man are talking outside Macbeth’s castle. What do they discuss? Strange occurrences an owl killing a falcon and horses going crazy
Who delivers news of Duncan’s death and Macbeth’s pending coronation? Macduff
ALL Who falls under suspicion for paying the chamberlains to orchestrate Duncan’s death? Malcolm and Donalbain
ALL In the beginning of scene I Banquo delivers a short soliloquy. What is the focus of this soliloquy? Thou hast it all now… I fear thou playd most foully for it.
After Banquo and the others exit, Macbeth delivers a very famous speech that begins with ‘to be thus is nothing/but to be safely thus’. What do these opening lines mean? Being king is nothing unless the position is secure
ALL Why does Macbeth say that his ‘fears in Banquo… stick deep’? Because Banquo’s sons are to be kings according to the prophecy and realizes that Banquo suspects
ALL Who does Macbeth plot to kill at the end of this scene? Banquo and Fleance
ALL Macbeth hires murderers to carry out these killings. What does this show about how Macbeth is changing? Becoming more cowardly, morally weak because he won’t carry out the acts himself. Murder is becoming normalized.
In scene II, Lady Macbeth says ‘Naught’s had, all’s spent’, what does this mean? Lady Macbeth feels that they still have nothing even though they are now royalty
ALL Macbeth delivers a very famous speech that begins with ‘we have scorched the snake, not killed it’. To what is he referring? The job is only half done because Fleance is still alive
When Macbeth reveals plans to murder Banquo, Lady Macbeth says ‘You must leave this’. At the end of the scene, Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth to be ‘innocent of the knowledge… dearest chuck’. What tragedy term could we use to describe this moment? Peripeteia because there is a role reversal as she was the stronger, more ruthless character before.
ALL In Macbeth’s closing speech he says ‘come seeling night’. What does this remind us of? When Lady Macbeth summons the supernatural Act 1,Sc5 she says ‘come thick night’
There is lots of animal imagery in this scene. Recall two examples. Snakes/Scorpions/Bats
Act 3, Scene 3 is only one page in length. What is the main event that takes place in this scene? Murderers kill Banquo but Fleance escapes
ALL What does Banquo say to Fleance when instructing him to escape? Quotation required. ‘Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly’
The third murderer says ‘who did strike out the light’. Why is this significant? Could be a metaphor – because the light could represent the Banquo family (connection to James I)
ALL Scene 4, Upon hearing of Fleance’s escape, Macbeth says ‘there the grown serpent lies; the worm that’s fled’. How does this relate to imagery in earlier parts of the play? Scotched the snake/innocent flower serpent under it… snake is motif representing eveil plan/problem
ALL During the banquet, as Macbeth criticizes Banquo for not attending the King’s feast, the Ghost of Banquo appears. Where does the ghost sit and why is this significant? Sits in Macbeth’s chair – as according to divine order/rights, Banquo’s family have more right to sit in that chair
Macbeth tells his guests: ‘I have a strange infirmity which is nothing / To those that know me’. What does this mean? I have a disability that prompts these seizures – reassuring the guests that he is sane
ALL When the ghost reappears, Macbeth starts to shout at it. Does the Ghost of Banquo respond in dialogue to anything Macbeth says? No
After the guests leave, Macbeth speaks to Lady Macbeth. He says ‘Blood will have blood.’ What does this mean? Means that Banquo is avenging his own death by coming to haunt Macbeth
ALL Macbeth mentions to Lady Macbeth that he pays servants to spy in all of his thanes’ homes. Who is noticeably absent at the banquet and why is Macbeth worried? Macduff is absent and his servants have tipped Macbeth off that Macduff is suspicious
ALL Worried, Macbeth makes plans for the next day. Where does he say he will go in the morning? To see the Witches for more information
What is the name of the witch that reprimands the weird sisters for meddling too much in Macbeth’s affairs? Hecate
What is the main reason that many people think this scene was not actually written by Shakespeare? Because there is singing and dancing in the scene
Is Scene 5 in any way relevant to the development of the plot? No
ALL Scene 6 – Lennox and a Lord are the only characters. They speak privately about how Macbeth has become a t… ‘tyrant’
ALL Why do Lennox and the Lord suspect Macbeth? 1. because Macbeth benefitted from the deaths 2. Macbeth didn’t appear to grieve the deaths/moved on too quickly
ALL Why has Macduff gone to England? To meet Malcolm and King Edward (the Confessor) and to plot to usurp Macbeth, reclaiming the throne for Malcolm. Basically to plan a war.
ALL How does Act 4 Scene 1 open? What is taking place? Witches are being stereotypical witches and are brewing something in cauldron
ALL With the Witches’ next prophecy, an apparition appears with each of the three parts. What is the first prediction and apparition? ‘Beware the Thane of Fife’ and an apparition appears from the cauldron of a severed head.
ALL What is the second prediction and apparition? ‘None of woman born shall harm Macbeth’ said by a bloody child.
ALL What is the third prediction and apparition? ‘Til Birnam Wood come to high Dunsinane’ said by child in a crown holding tree branches.
ALL Macbeth is warned against asking further questions, but does so anyway. He asks ‘shall Banquo’s issue ever reign in this kingdom’. What do the witches show him in response? A line of 8 kings and Banquo’s ghost – the kings resemble Banquo
There is a clear reference to James I in the vision presented by the witches. Can you explain what it is? The King at the end of the line is holding two orbs – James I was crowned he held 2 orbs to represent England and Scotland – shows it was fate he would be King of England – Divine right question etc
When Lennox enters, what news does he arrive with? Macduff has gone to England
Why does Macbeth begin to feel safe again? ‘Woman born’ – no one can kill him
Macbeth says that, from now on, this is his philosophy: “From this moment / The very firstlings of my heart shall be / The firstlings of my hand.” What do you think this means? He will act upon impulse only and will not consider the consequences of his actions
What does Macbeth resolve to do next? Plans to get Macduff’s family (and Macduff)
ALL Act 4 scene 2 – Macduff’s castle – opens with the news that Macduff has fled Scotland for England. Why does Lady Macduff think Macduff has fled? She thinks he is a traitor to Macbeth
Ross responds with ‘you know not/whether it was his wisdom or his fear’. What does this mean? She does not know why Macduff has left – don’t be angry with him
ALL Act 4 scene 2 is primarily a playful conversation between Lady Macduff and her young son. Think about Lady Macbeth now. What dramatic technique has Shakespeare used with these two characters? Dramatic foils – characters that contrast each other to emphasise characteristics
ALL A messenger arrives – what does he inform Lady Macduff? Tells her to flee as danger is approaching
ALL How does the scene end? Lady Macduff and kids are murdered by people Macbeth hired.
ALL Act 4 scene 3 opens outside King Edward’s castle with a conversation between Malcolm and Macduff. Malcolm is testing Macduff. Why does he test him? To test his loyalty as he suspects Macduff may be working for Macbeth
Regarding Macbeth, Macduff says ‘not in the legions of horrid hell can come a devil more damned in evils to top Macbeth’. Can you recall any other words used to describe Macbeth in this scene? ‘devil’, ‘tyrant’, ‘smacking of every sin’, ‘malicious’, ‘deceitful’
Malcolm explains to Macduff that King Edward, a true King, has a ‘heavenly gift’ to cure disease. How does this relate to James I? James I claimed to have Christ-like powers of healing – because he was chosen by God. Showing deference to James I.
ALL Ross enters and explains that Macduff’s wife and children have been killed. Malcolm tells Macduff: “Dispute it like a man” Macduff answers, “I shall do so, / But I must also feel it as a man”. What does this show us about Macduff? That he is sensitive and compassionate – he is ruled by his heart and is not threatened by ideas of masculinity
Can you remember the very famous quotation from Macduff to describe his family ‘all my pretty…’ chickens and their dam! In one fell swoop
ALL Act 5, Scene 1 features Lady Macbeth, a Doctor and a Gentlewoman. Lady Macbeth has gone mad. How has her speech changed in this scene? Now speaks in broken prose, used to speak in iambic pentameter to show sanity/control
Recall three quotations from Lady Macbeth in this scene. ‘wash your hands’, ‘out damned spot, out I say’ ‘will all the perfumes of Arabia sweeten this little hand’, ‘the thane of fife had a wife, where is she now’
ALL How do you interpret Lady Macbeth’s final words: ‘to bed, to bed, to bed euphemism for death? Thinks she’s talking to Macbeth? A child?
ALL A group of Scottish lords meet in Act 5, Scene 2. Where do they plan to bring their armies? Birnam Wood
In Act 5, Scene 3, Macbeth hears that 10,000 soldiers are on their way to his castle. How does Macbeth respond? Feels quite safe – repeats prophecies – puts armour on just in case
In Act 5, Scene 3, the Doctor tells Macbeth about Lady Macbeth’s condition. Doc says she is ‘troubled with thick coming fancies’. What does this mean? She’s getting worse – hallucinating a lot
ALL Act 5, Scene 4 returns to the plans of the Scottish Lords for how to attack. What plan do they form? Disguise the army using branches of trees from Birnam Wood – wood is on the move
Act 5, Scene 5. Lady Macbeth has died. How does Macbeth find out that Lady Macbeth has died? Hears women screaming
Beginning of a very famous speech from Macbeth ‘she should have died hereafter’. What does this mean? She would have died anyway
ALL ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour on the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ What are Macbeth’s thoughts about life and death in this passage? Life is full of emotion and noise but is ultimately pointless and meaningless
In Act 5, Scene 6 the army arrive outside Dunsinane. In Act 5, Scene 7, who enters, challenges Macbeth and is promptly slain? Young Siward
ALL In Act 5, Scene 8 Macduff enters. Recall the quotation for Macduff informing Macbeth that he was not of woman born. ‘untimely ripp’d’
ALL How does Macduff exit this scene? Carrying Macbeth’s dead body after killing him.
ALL In Act 5, Scene 9, Macduff enters parading what part of Macbeth’s anatomy? Head
ALL Who is crowned king after Macbeth’s murder? Malcolm
ALL Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are described by Malcolm in this final speech as ‘dead butcher and fiend like-queen’. How is this an example of tragic waste? Because they were sophisticated, high ranking, noble people to begin with – all of these talents/attributes were lost in the pursuit of power.
How does the ending of Macbeth satisfy the tragic structure? Protagonist died – his actions have led to his death – his death was inevitable. Order is restored.
ALL List three reasons why people might have questioned James I’s right to rule. 1. he was Scottish 2. was not a direct descendant 3. mother was Catholic.
ALL The ‘divine right to rule’/’divine rights of kings’ was based on the theory that there is a natural or divine order in the world. Explain how this order is broken in Macbeth. The divine/natural order is broken because Macbeth takes fate into his own hands and kills the monarch, who was selected by God.
ALL How does the earth respond to the death of Duncan? (Quotation) ‘earth was feverous and did shake’ – description of the storm the night Duncan was murdered.
ALL How and why is the character of Banquo linked to James I? Banquo is an ancestor of James I, his sons were not direct descendants of Duncan; however, it is prophesized that will become kings, like James I argued.
How did the mood of the country change from the reign of Elizabeth to the reign of James? People went from being firm royalists to becoming fearful of the whims of James I.
Explain the peripeteia in Macbeth. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth switch roles. After the death of Duncan, Macbeth becomes ruthless and Lady Macbeth is consumed by guilt.
Why is Macbeth’s death considered a tragic waste? Because prior to the murder, he was a virtuous, high-ranking and honourable man.
The tragic hero brings about their own downfall because of a fatal flaw in their personality. What is Macbeth’s harmartia? His ambition, his arrogance and succumbed to his wife’s demands too easily (manipulated.)
Name three terms for describing the structure of a play. (Posh for beginning, middle and end.) Exposition, Climax and Denouement.
ALL The internal conflict suffered by the tragic hero is a huge moral dilemma. Describe what a moral dilemma is and explain Macbeth’s. Moral dilemma is a clash of values and Macbeth’s clash of values are his loyalty to his king and to his wife. Or loyalty vs. ambition.

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