Macbeth Study Guide

This short scene (1.1) is packed with powerful images. Discuss. 3 witches (weird sisters)- supernatural theme; storm- turmoil; battle – internally within Lady Macbeth and Macbeth and externally in Scotland
Address the tone, mood, & setting in 1.1 Tone= dark, foreboding, ominousMood=anxious, intriguingSetting= Scotland
Themes introduced in 1.1 Confusion, turmoil, battle, supernatural, BLURRING OF MORAL LINES
Who is the King of Scotland as the play opens? Duncan
What is Macbeth’s title when the play opens? Thane of Glamis
What literary device is prevalent in 1.1? Foreshadowing
What information does 1.2 impart about Macbeth? Brave in battle, high position in the army (captain), loyal thane to Duncan
How are Duncan and Macbeth related? (1.2) Cousins
What is Banquo’s role? (1.2) Co-captain with Macbeth; same positive qualities as Macbeth, but he is not related to Duncan; acts a foil character for Macbeth
Discuss the irony in Macbeth’s receiving the title of Cawdor. (1.2) The Thane of Cawdor was a disloyal traitor: ironic because that is exactly what Macbeth will become
Who is Malcolm? Eldest son of Duncan; rightful heir to the throne (Donalbain is his younger brother)
What qualities of the witches’ personalities are evident in the opening of this scene? (1.3) The witches are amoral and enjoying causing distress;
Discuss lines 19-22 (1.3) “‘ll drain him dry as hay.Sleep shall neither night nor dayHang upon his penthouse lid.He shall live a man forbid.Weary sev’nnights nine times nine” -first witch wants to make sure that the sailor cannot achieve sleep as punishment for his wife’s behavior-sleeplessness motif/insanity motif/death motif
Discuss lines 25-26 (1.3) “Though his bark cannot be lost,Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.” translation: Although I can’t make his ship disappear, I can still make his journey miserable.
What exactly are witches doing before Macbeth enters. (1.3) They are casting a spell.
Name Duncan’s castle. (1.3) Forres
Explain the significance of Macbeth’s opening line. (1.3) “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” reiteration of the central theme of the play (blurred moral lines)
Explain the witches’ threefold greeting to Macbeth. (1.3) “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!””All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!””All hail, Macbeth, the future king!”-a prophetic greeting
What is the effect of this greeting on Macbeth? (1.3) Macbeth is very intrigued but confused. He demands the witches tell him more about why they greeted him as “thane of Cawdor” and the “future king” when he is simply the thane of Glamis
Explain the witches’ greeting to Banquo (1.3) “Lesser than Macbeth and greater.””Not so happy, yet much happier.””Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” His descendants will be kings but Banquo himself never will be
What is the effect of this greeting on Banquo? (1.3) Banquo is more guarded and skeptical than Macbeth. He isn’t as easily convinced but is still intrigued.
When Macbeth is named thane of Cawdor, what is Banquo’s reaction? (1.3) Banquo doesn’t know if it’s wise to trust these witches. He thinks they might be evil and have an evil plan in store. “But ’tis strange.And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,The instruments of darkness tell us truths,Win us with honest trifles, to betray ‘sIn deepest consequence” ( But this whole thing is strange. The agents of evil often tell us part of the truth in order to lead us to our destruction. They earn our trust by telling us the truth about little things, but then they betray us when it will damage us the most.)
Explain the image of Macbeth’s “new honors” being “strange garments” (1.3) “New honors come upon him,Like our strange garments, cleave not to their moldBut with the aid of use.” Macbeth is not used to his new titles. They’re like new clothes: they don’t fit until you break them in over time.
Discuss the irony in Duncan’s words in lines 9-16. (1.4) Duncan says how he trusted the thane of Cawdor completely and cannot believe that he betrayed him. Ironic because Duncan also trusts Macbeth completely and Macbeth will betray him too.
What picture of Duncan as a king is evident in this scene? (1.4) Duncan is too trusting and naive: this leads to his death
Discuss the significance of “planting” and “sowing.” (1.4) Duncan has planted the seeds of success for Macbeth by making him thane of Cawdor; he says he will do great things for Banquo as well
Discuss the significance of Malcolm’s being named Prince of Cumberland. (1.4) The Prince of Cumberland is the title for the person who is next in line for the throne; Malcolm, being the Prince of Cumberland, stands in the way of Macbeth becoming king
What is Macbeth’s immediate reaction to Malcolm’s new title? (1.4) He realizes that the only way he can become king is he kills Duncan/Malcolm- he knows its wrong and is mad at himself for considering it but he is incredibly tempted
Name Macbeth’s castle (1.4) Inverness
What is the audience’s first impression of Lady Macbeth? (1.5) She gives off a very evil, power-hungry, amoral vibe. he is performing satanic prayers.
What images are conjured in Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy? Cite specific textual references. (1.5) “what though art promised. yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness”-it is not expected for Lady Macbeth to be so murderous because women are expected to be feminine and maternal
What type of relationship between Macbeth and lady Macbeth can the audience infer? (1.5) Lady Macbeth has the upper hand in the relationship. She is ashamed of Macbeth’s reluctance to murder Duncan and convinces him into doing so.
What is Lady Macbeth’s reaction to the news that Duncan is arriving at her home? (1.5) She’s surprised at first because it is such short notice but she’s happy that she is going to have the perfect opportunity to kill Duncan. She is praying to greater powers for the strength to kill Duncan.
What advice is lady Macbeth giving to her husband in lines 73-78? (1.5) She’s saying leave it to me, all he has to do is the actual act. She advises him to appear innocent but be “the serpent” underneath (serpent=sneaky/devil)
Who will handle the details of the murder of Duncan? (1.5) Lady Macbeth
Contrast the image of the martlet (line 5) with the image of the raven in the previous scene? (line 45) (1.6) Martlet: sweet, light, invitingraven: cruel, darkness, evil
What is the overall effect of this scene? Discuss, citing specific textual references. (1.6) The scene is filled with dramatic irony. The audience knows what Lady Macbeth is planning, but Duncan doesn’t. She’s pretending to be the perfect hostess but meanwhile she is planning to kill him.
Discuss Macbeth’s first soliloquy in terms of time, Duncan’s demeanor, and ambition. (1.7) In terms of TIME: If this business would really be finished when I did the deed, then it would be best to get it over with quickly.in terms of DUNCAN’S DEMEANOR: Besides, Duncan has been such a humble leader, so free of corruption, that his virtuous legacy will speak for him when he diesin terms of AMBITION: The only thing motivating me is ambition, which makes people rush ahead of themselves toward disaster.
What does Macbeth conclude at the end of his first soliloquy? (1.7) He decides not to murder Duncan; “We will proceed no further in this business.”
What is Lady Macbeth’s reaction to her husband’s decision? (1.7) She is appalled: she essentially calls him a coward, attacks his masculinity, and says she will only love him if he goes through with the plan. She says she would have murdered her own baby if she had promised Macbeth that she would (mentioning the baby hits home with Macbeth because he is unable to father a child)
What does Lady Macbeth use to change her husband’s mind? (1.7) Attacks his virility; uses her femininity and sex to taunt him
What theme/motif is introduced in this exchange between husband and wife? (1.7) The motif of virility “but screw your courage to the sticking place”
What exactly is Lady Macbeth’s murder plan? (1.7) -Get Duncan’s guards very drunk -When they fall asleep, Macbeth will kill Macbeth with a dagger-Pin the murder on the guards
Discuss the poignancy and the significance of the closing line. (1.7) “False face must hide what the false heart doth know” Translation: Hide with a false pleasant face what you know in your false, evil heart.
How does Banquo act as a foil to Macbeth? (2.1) Foil characters= begin with very similar characteristics but then one of them totally changes; Banquo goes down a totally different path than Macbeth does
Discuss thoroughly Macbeth’s dagger soliloquy. (2.1) First time Macbeth’s insanity is revealed; he is hallucinating and having second thoughts- knows he must murder Duncan before he loses all courage; at the end of the scene he is finally going to do the deed (he hears Lady Macbeth’s signal-the bell ringing)
What theme/motif is so strong in Macbeth’s dagger soliloquy? (2.1) appearance vs. reality
What is Lady Macbeth’s mental state when the scene opens? Cite specific textual references. (2.2) She is very anxious and nervous that Macbeth (being the weak link) won’t successfully murder Duncan; she says she would have just done it herself but Duncan looked too much like her father
What effect is created by the “clipped” exchange between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? (2.2) Shakespeare wants the audience to feel fear, anxiety, and tension
Explain Macbeth’s reference to “sleep” after the murder. (2.2) “Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more!Macbeth does murder sleep'”Macbeth is not going to be able to sleep after what he has done; again, motif of sleeplessness: witches like to use sleep deprivation as a form of punishment)
Explain Macbeth’s inability to pray after the murder. (2.2) Macbeth couldn’t reply “Amen” the guards said “God bless us”; murdering Duncan broke his ties with God; Macbeth disturbed the natural order of Scotland by unseating the rightful king
Contrast Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in 2.2 Lady Macbeth is very composed and doesn’t seem fazed by the guilt while Macbeth is going crazy and is overwhelmed with guilt; LM is also very frustrated with Macbeth because he didn’t leave the daggers in Duncan’s room and now refuses to go back because he doesn’t want to see what he has done
Explain the washing of the hands motif (2.2) “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this bloodClean from my hand? No, this my hand will ratherThe multitudinous seas incarnadine,Making the green one red.” no amount of water will ever be enough to wash the blood from his hands and the guilt in his heart
Explain the importance of the knocking at the end of this highly charged murder scene. (2.2) The knocking brings them back to reality and Macbeth once again realizes the possible repercussions of his actions; Lady Macbeth is still very composed and not worried while Macbeth is extremely anxious
What is the purpose of the drunken porter at the opening of the scene? (2.3) He signifies a devil porter at the gates of hell. Inverness, because of what just occurred there, represents hell. Serves as comic relief
How do the “characters” mentioned by the porter related to Macbeth himself? (2.3) Macbeth is similar to or worse than all the other characters; therefore, he will also be welcomed into the gates of hell. “Who’s there in the name of Beelzebub?” AKA “Who’s there in the devil’s name?”
Discuss Lennox’s words in Lines 61-69. (2.3) Translation: The night has been chaotic. The wind blew down through the chimneys where we were sleeping. People are saying they heard cries of grief in the air, strange screams of death, and terrible voices predicting catastrophes that will usher in a woeful new age. The owl made noise all night. Some people say that the earth shook as if it had a fever.
When earthly elements mimic the plot line: (2.3) pathetic fallacy
Macbeth overplays his part after the murder is discovered. Explain, citing specific textual references. (2.3) After Lennox and Macduff find the body, Macbeth goes on and on praising Duncan. He then kills the guards (not part of the plan)
Who “rescues” Macbeth from himself? How? (2.3) Lady Macbeth pretends to faint as a distraction
What course of action do Malcolm and Donalbain take? Why? (2.3) Malcolm flees to England and Donalbain flees to Ireland; if one of them is found and killed, there will still be one rightful heir left
What is the purpose of scene 2.4? To transition from the discovering of Duncan’s body to the coronation of the new king.
What does the Old Man represent? (2.4) When he was young, these things (murder, crime, etc.) existed but they have become worse. He says the world is much more corrupt than it used to be. He knows this because he is 70 years old (very very old for the time)
Does Macduff reveal any suspicions of Macbeth? (2.4) Yes, he thinks Macbeth’s murdering the guards was sketchy. He does not go to Macbeth’s coronation (goes home to Fife) He thinks Macbeth may have been responsible for Duncan’s death and attending the coronation would be approving the situation.
Identify Scone, Colmekill, and Fife. (2.4) Scone is the royal city where kings are crowned. Colmekill is where Scottish kings are buried. Fife is Macduff’s castle.
Discuss the concluding two lines of the Old Man. (2.4) “May blessings be with you and with those that make good of bad and friends of foes!” Mimicking the blurred moral line theme
What suspicions does Banquo’s opening soliloquy reveal? Cite specific textual references. (3.1) Translation: Now you have it all: you’re the king, the thane of Cawdor, and the thane of Glamis, just like the weird women promised you. AND I SUSPECT YOU CHEATED TO WIN THESE TITLES. But it was also prophesied that the crown would not go to your descendants, and that my sons and grandsons would be kings instead. If the witches tell the truth—which they did about you—maybe what they said about me will come true too.
Discuss the tone of Macbeth and Banquo’s conversation. (3.1) Very tense. Macbeth is being very inquisitive about Banquo and his sons future whereabouts because he wants to come up with a plan to get rid of Banquo’s sons so they cannot steal his throne
Discuss thoroughly the contents of Macbeth’s “To be thus is nothing” soliloquy (3.1) Macbeth is worried that Banquo’s sons will become king. He has no sons so he begins to realize that he killed this man (Duncan) and damned himself to hell for the benefit of Banquo’s sons (he is not thinking rationally-obviously someone else will eventually have to be king)
What is Macbeth’s plan for Banquo and Fleance? (3.1) He hires two murderers to kill them
Who will carry out this plan? (3.1) The two random thugs he hired
What fabrication does Macbeth use to convince these people to carry out his plan. (3.1) He tries to convince them that Banquo is evil and he deserves to die. He is doing exactly what Lady Macbeth did to him (attack their virility) He says that if they are real men, they will do this because they are dutiful and loyal to their king
Why can’t Macbeth carry out his own plan? (3.1) They have too many mutual friends-he can’t afford to lose those connections (he has to pretend to mourn his best friend’s death); he also doesn’t have it in him to actually kill another innocent person again.
Macbeth’s actions in this scene speak directly to his state of mind. Discuss, citing specific textual references. (3.1) He’s manifesting obsessive compulsive behavior- he needs to have control of everything; driven by ambition and the fear of someone else reigning as king
In this scene, the audience sees a much changed Macbeth. Discuss. (3.1) used to be a noble thane, consumed with kindness; now he is a ruthless murderer
In this scene Macbeth seems to be occupied with the concepts of virility. Discuss. (3.1) He was once challenged about his manhood so he does the same to the thugs
In this scene the audience begins to see the role reversal between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Discuss. (3.2) LM begins to think Macbeth is going too far.
Discuss the night/day motif in Macbeth’s closing words. (3.2) Bad things happen at night. He is calling for the night, where all the bad things will kill the good things that happen during the day.
What is the emotion that dominates this scene? (3.2) Tension, anxiety, disagreement
This short scene between husband and wife is less than domestic bliss. Explain. (3.2) Macbeth no longer depends upon Lady Macbeth to spur him to doing evil things; she feels alone and neglected.
How do you, as an audience member, explain the third murderer? (3.2) The third murderer said he was sent by Macbeth. Macbeth was suspicious the first two thugs would not be successful. Shows Macbeth’s insanity.
What scene does the time of night set? (2.1) Makes everything more spooky and mysterious. Magnifies every sound.
What is the result of the murder plan (3.2) Banquo is killed; Fleance escapes. The plan was unsuccessful because Fleance can still someday take over as king.
What effect do time of day and weather produce? (3.2) It is dusk, not completely dark yet. As it gets darker and begins to rain, Fleance is able to escape.
What is the tone/mood of the opening of this scene? What theme/motif is present? (3.4) Lady Macbeth is nervous that macbeth is not going to cooperate: he needs to be a perfect host to present a feign of normality (appearance vs. reality)
What is Macbeth’s reaction to the half successful murder? (3.4) He is relieved that Banquo is dead, but very nervous that Fleance escaped and is now out for revenge.
Of what is Banquo’s ghost representative? (3.4) Representative of the fact that Macbeth is so overwhelmed with guilt and is going mad.
Why does the ghost continue to reappear? (3.4) Macbeth can’t escape his guilt; he says he’s not afraid of anything except the hallucination in front of him
Once again, who publicly “rescues” Macbeth from himself? (3.4) Lady Macbeth; she writes off his fit as a type of mental disorder/seizure thing that he has struggled with since he was young; when macbeth continues to act out, she orders all the guests to leave.
At the end of the scene, who becomes the object of Macbeth’s fear/suspicion? Why? (3.4) Macbeth is afraid that Macduff has caught on to what Macbeth has done, especially because he didn’t come to the coronation
Discuss Macbeth’s practice of strategically planting spies into certain households. (3.4) He is very paranoid and obsessed with discovering who is loyal and who is traitorous. Prevelant to audience because Queen Elizabeth had spies everywhere.
At the end of the scene, what is Macbeth determined to do? (3.4) Translation: Tomorrow, while it’s still early, I will go see the witches. They will tell me more, because I’m determined to know the worst about what’s going to happen. My own safety is the only important thing now. I have walked so far into this river of blood that even if I stopped now, it would be as hard to go back to being good as it is to keep killing people.
Again, the motif of sleep occurs. Discuss. (3.4) Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that he is not thinking clearly because he lacks rest and sleep. He agrees but it does not dissuade him. This is the last time we see lady Macbeth until her sleep walking scene. “You lack the season of all natures, sleep”
Why is Hecate so angry with the three witches? (3.5) She is angry that they did what they did to Macbeth without her consent; she says that she is their boss and should determine what evil they inflict upon people
Why does Hecate refer to Macbeth as a “wayward son” (3.5) He is saying that Macbeth is a spoiled, hateful brat who is only concerned with himself and doesn’t deserve their time
What is the purpose of this scene? (3.6) The commentary between Lennox and an unnamed lord provides insight into the evils that Macbeth has been up to. Informs audience of Macduff’s flight to England to seek help in overthrowing Macbeth
What is the tone of the exchange between Lennox and the Lord? (3.6) they’re fed up with Macbeth’s antics; tone= sarcastic, frustrated, anxious, desperate
Why do you think the Lord is anonymous? (3.6) Because he isn’t really an important character. He is just a soundboard for Lennox to make his point to the audience.
Discuss the use of the word “tyrant” in line 25. (3.6) A reference to Macbeth. The people in the inner circle can see that he is going crazy, and he has an unfair rule. The reality of the situation starts to show.
This scene deals with yet another theme/motif in its discussion of the state of the country of Scotland. (3.6)
Who is the King of England at this time? (3.6) King Edward (Edward the Confessor); he later becomes a saint
Why is the mentioning of him (the king of England) significant? (3.6) Duncan’s son Malcolm is living in the English court; King Edward treats him very well
Why has Macduff gone to England? (3.6) He goes to tell Malcolm that he needs to come back now, or he will have no throne to speak of because the situation is getting so out of control.
Again, mood and tone are important. Discuss. (4.1) the way the witches are laughing and acting adds to the supernatural and eerie tone
What exactly are the three witches doing at the beginning of this scene? (4.1) Making an evil potion
Discuss the effect of Macbeth’s demands on the three witches. (4.1) They are annoyed that he had the audacity to demand anything from them.
Discuss the 3 apparitions, their significance, their prophecies, and their effect on Macbeth. Apparition= armed headSymbol= battle with macduff Prophecy= beware of macduffApparition= bloody childSymbol= Macduff (because his mother had a C Section)Prophecy= nobody born of a woman should harm Macbeth (the witches are giving Macbeth a false sense of security because he thinks no one can harm him-since every man is born of a woman)Apparition= a child crownedSymbol= crowned child is Malcolm (because he should rightfully be king) tree- soldiers are told to camouflage themselves with tree branches (appears as though birnam wood is moving when the soldiers approach Macbeth) OR tree symbolizes sector of powerProphecy= Macbeth will never be harmed until Great Birnam Wood moves to high Dunsinane Hill (another fall sense of security because how can a forest move?)
Still not satisfied with the 3 apparitions, Macbeth demands to know more. Discuss. (4.1) He wants to know is Banquo’s heirs will ever reign in his kingdom; he threatens to place a curse on them if they do not tell him “yet my heart throbs to knows one thing. Tell me, if your art can tell so much: shall Banquo’s issue ever Reign in this kingdom?”-witches show 8 kings (the 8th with a mirror in his hand) and Banquo last– they confirm Banquo’s sons will reign as king
Discuss Macbeth’s comment in line 158: “and damned all those that trust them” (4.1) Macbeth regrets trusting the witches- he is technically damning himself because he trusted the witches and still is trusting them
What news does Lennox bring Macbeth? What is Macbeth’s reaction? (4.1) Lennox tells Macbeth that macduff fled to England; Macbeth becomes anxious and plans to seize Macduff’s castle and murder his family(same with the witches punishing the chestnut woman’s husband and not the woman herself-Macbeth plans to kill Macduff’s innocent family rather than Macduff himself
Discuss Macbeth’s state of mind at the end of this scene. (4.1) insane, blood-thirsty; thinks he can murder away all his problems
Consider the prudence of Macbeth’s speaking his intentions in the presence of Lennox. (4.1) no prudence whatsoever; he shouldn’t have discussed his plans with Lennox
What is Lady Macduff’s reaction to her husband’s “flight” to England? (4.2) She is really mad and can’t believe Macduff would just leave his family unprotected-Macduff is put in a tough position because if he doesn’t do anything, terrible things could happen throughout Scotland; but if he leaves his family, they may be in danger (he has to look at the bigger picture/greater good) -Macduff has made the greatest sacrifice (his family) for the greater good of Scotland
Discuss Ross’s description of the state of Scotland. (4.2) Scotland is a mess- no one knows who to trust; lots of traitors because Macbeth is disliked by many “a wild and violent sea”
Discuss the juxtaposition of the anonymous messenger’s warning to the act about to take place. (4.2) the messenger says goes on and on and about how he doesn’t want to have to break this news to Lady Macduff; he really didn’t warn her in enough time
Characterize Macduff’s young son in this scene. (4.2) He sounds very wise; defends his father, saying he is a noble man; doesn’t believe his mother when she tells him that his father is dead because he knows if his father were actually dead then his mother would be weeping
Discuss Lady Macduff’s comments in lines 82-87. (4.2) She questions why she should have to leave her home; she hasn’t done anything wrong. Then, she realizes that in this “earthly world” harm is commendable so why should she bother saying that has done no harm
How does Malcolm “test” Macduff as this scene opens? (4.3) Malcolm worries that Macbeth has sent Macduff to lead/trick Malcolm into his own destruction; he tests him (first) by accusing him of being loyal to Macbeth (then again later by pretending to be a terrible person)
What literary device is present in Malcolm’s words: “you have loved him well. / He hard not touched you yet.”(4.3) dramatic irony: Malcolm is saying why should you hate macbeth if he hasn’t done anything to harm you; the audience knows that this is not true (macbeth just had Macduff’s whole family murdered)
Of what does Malcolm accuse himself to “test” Macduff further? (4.3) Malcolm says that he is even worse than Macbeth- he possesses all the negative traits that Macbeth does but to an even greater extent; the test= if Macduff says “whatever we still want you to come back” then Macduff is not loyal
Discuss Malcolm’s definition of a good king. (4.3) Justice, verity, temperance, stableness, bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness, devotion, patience, courage, fortitude
Does Macduff “pass” all Malcolm’s tests? How? (4.3) Yes: first test- “I wouldn’t be the villain you think I am even if I were offered all of Macbeth’s kingdom and the riches of the East too.” Second test- he says that Malcolm isn’t even fit to be alive let alone fit to rule Scotland
Why does Shakespeare interject the Doctor’s comments about the King of England? (4.3) The doctor is saying that everything the King of England touches improves (everything Macbeth touches is destroyed)
What is Macduff’s reaction to Ross’s news? Whom does he blame? (4.3) He is so distraught and seeks revenge (Macbeth has no children so Macduff will just have to kill Macbeth himself); he blames himself because he knows that Macbeth was only killing them out of spite
What is the resolve at the end of this scene? (4.3) Malcolm and his troops should make their move back to Scotland to overthrow Macbeth; Malcolm should take over as rightful king
What is revealed in Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene. (5.1) She reveals her involvement in her husband’s treacherous acts
What themes/motifs are echoed in Lady Macbeth’s ranting? (5.1) Washing hands motif, sleeplessness motif
Discuss the significance of Lady Macbeth’s need for constant light. (5.1) She is terrified of the dark because bad things happened in the dark
What is the doctor’s reaction to his patient’s (Lady Macbeth) physical condition? (5.1) He is very concerned but he says the disease is beyond his practice and he can’t physically do anything for her (only God can) “more need she the divine than the physician”
What specifically does the Doctor fear for his patient? Suicide
What literary device is apparent in the Doctor’s fear? Foreshadowing
What is the function of this scene? (5.2) Building tension and suspense for the audience; Scottish forces are joining English forces to rebel against Macbeth
Discuss the significance of the following “Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach. Those he commands move only in command. Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief.” Clothes motif: Macbeth is still not fit to be king; people are revolting in great numbers because no one wants to be under Macbeth’s rule anymore
What is the effect of the last word of this scene- “Birnam”? (5.2) The soldiers are going to move toward Birnam wood; fulfilling the prophecy
In what state of mind is Macbeth in this scene? (5.3) He is giving himself a false sense of security and acting like everything is going to be alright; he thinks he is invincible because of the witches’ prophecy
Discuss Macbeth’s reflection on his life in lines 26-36. (5.3) Translation: “I have lived long enough. The course of my life is beginning to wither and fall away” “The things that should go along with old age, like honor, love, obedience, and loyal friends, I cannot hope to have. Instead, I have passionate but quietly whispered curse”
Is Macbeth aware of his wife’s serious condition? (5.3) He is annoyed that the doctor cannot fix his wife’s problems; he doesn’t realize the extent of her insanity
Discuss the irony in Macbeth’s words: “…If thou couldst, doctor, cast the water of my land, find her disease, and purge it to a sound and pristine health, I would applaud thee to the very echo that should applaud again” (5.3) He wants the doctor to cure Scotland of it’s diseases- ironic because Macbeth is the disease
The prophecies are beginning to come to fruition. How? Discuss. (5.4) The soldiers are camouflaging themselves with tree branches (it appears as though Birnam wood is physically moving toward Dunsinane hill just like the witches prophesied.
What is Macbeth’s reaction to the news of Lady Macbeth’s death? (5.5) He shows a surprising lack of concern; two interpretations: 1) she was going to die at some point so who cares OR 2) this was a very inconvenient time for her to die- Macbeth was busy
Discuss the “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” speech/ (5.5) Macbeth questions the meaning of the life
For what does Macbeth yearn in lines 55-59? (5.5) Translation: I’m starting to grow tired of living, and I’d like to see the world plunged into chaos. Ring the alarms! Blow, wind! Come, ruin! At least we’ll die with our armor on.
What is the significance of Malcolm’s use of “we” in this scene? (5.6) He is using the “royal we”; Malcolm is speaking with authority as the rightful king (Macbeth was not entitled to the use of the “royal we”
Hw does Young Siward acquit himself when confronted by combat with Macbeth? (5.7) Macbeth thinks that the Young Siward is afraid of him; the Young Siward proves otherwise and dies with dignity
Why must Fortune put Macbeth in Macduff’s path? (5.7) To fulfill the prophecy “beware Macduff”; Macduff wants revenge because Macbeth killed his family
A second prophecy is fulfilled. How? (5.8) Macduff reveals that he was technically not born out of a woman’s birth canal and can therefore kill Macbeth
Although he knows he is virtually beaten, Macbeth will not concede defeat. Discuss. (5.8) He wants to fight to the end to salvage any shred of dignity he has left; he also knows there is really no other choice; if he were to surrender, Macbeth says they will put him on display in a freakshow like a deformed animal
How does Macbeth meet his death? (5.8) Murdered by Macduff (loophole in the prophecy)
What is Siward’s reaction to the death of his son. (5.8) He is obviously sad but he’s also proud that his son died in such an honorable and noble manner; the manner gave up his life for the good of Scotland
Why is Siward so concerned that his son “Had…his hurts before”? (5.8) The young siward’s wounds were on the front side of his body, proving that he had fought with honor and bravery rather than turning his back and running away
Explain the significance of Macduff’s comment: “The time is free” (5.8) Scotland is free of Macbeth’s tyranny
What is the suspected cause of Lady Macbeth’s death? (5.8) suicide “by self and violent hands took her life”
What is the third and final fulfilled prophecy? (5.8) Malcolm is restored to the throne as rightful king

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