Macbeth Study Guide

Duncan King of Scotland, Murdered by Macbeth
Malcolm Duncan’s eldest son, fleas to England
Donalbain Duncan’s youngest son, fleas to Ireland
Macbeth Thane of Cawdor, kills Duncan to become king
Fleance Banquo’s son
Lady Macbeth Macbeth’s wife
Banquo Macbeth’s friend ; General for Duncan’s army
Macduff Suspects Macbeth of murdering Duncan ; killed Macbeth
Lennox one of Duncan’s sarcastic noble men
Ross Macduff’s cousin, acts as messanger
The Witches predicted Macbeth to be king
Siward earl of Northumberland
Hecate Queen of the witches
What are the witches planning at the beginning of Act 1 ? They are planning on meeting with Macbeth
What does the Captain report about the battle to Duncan? He reports that Macbeth has fought bravely and has defeated the enemy
What title is given to Macbeth for bravery in the battle? Thane of Cawdor
What happened to the original Thane of Cawdor and why did he lose his title? He was executed because he had betrayed his country (Scotland)
How do the witches greet Macbeth after the battle? Greet him as Thane of Glamis, then Thane of Cawdor, then King here after
What do the witches mean when they say, “Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. Not so happy, yet much happier. Thou shalt get kings , thou be none”? Talking to Banquo’ he won’t be king so he’s lesser in rank, but he will be more honorable. Not happy because he won’t be king, but happier because he won’t dishonor himself with killing to attain rank. His sons will be kings even though he won’t be
What news is brought by Ross and Angus? They report that Scotland has to deal with a traitor (Thane of Cawdor) ; they say Macbeth is Thane of Cawdor
What happens that causes Macbeth to recalculate his ease of becoming king? Malcolm becomes the Prince of Cumberland
What is the significance of Lady Macbeth’s “unsex me” scene? She wishes she was a man so that she could have power instead of her husband having it and her having to control him
What has Lady Macbeth schemed to do to the King? Have Macbeth kill the king while he is sleeping, and get the guards drunk so they can pin it on them.
Why does the King come to Macbeth’s castle? to be the new Thane of Cawdor’s guest and congratulate him over dinner
How sure is Lady Macbeth that this plot will succeed? She is so sure that she doesn’t even consider the fact that they could fail
What does Macbeth ask Banquo at the beginning of Act 2? Asks him to help him to fulfill the prophesies
What is Macbeth doing in his soliloquy? trying to convince himself that he is doing the right thing
How guilty does Macbeth feel after committing the murder? he couldn’t say “amen” after his prayers
What does Macbeth wish the knocking could do? Wake Duncan up
What is the first reaction to the King’s death and who’s is it? absolute honor from Macduff
What does Macbeth do to the supposed murderers and why? he kills them because he was apparently “furious and wasn’t thinking”
What symbolism does Lady Macbeth’s fainting have and how is it ironic? She’s horrified of the event ; it’s ironic because she’s the one that planned it all
Why do Malcolm and Donalbain decide to flea? They suspect Macbeth killed Duncan and they fear they’re next
What meaning does this line, “God;s benison go with you, and with those that would make good of bad, and friends of foes!” have? It’s a warning for Ross to be careful when dealing with Macbeth
Why does Macbeth have Banquo killed? he fears his children will take throne for him
Why does Macbeth hire murderers to kill Banquo? he already feels guilty about killing the king
How does Macbeth feel with his new found power? feels very insecure about one of his enemies taking it from him
What happens when the murderers try to kill Banquo and his son? Banquo gets killed and his son fleas
What does the ghost of Banquondo to Macbeth’s paranoia? it makes him insane; he knows he will never be free of guilt for killing his friends
How does Lady Macbeth make her husband feel better after seeing the ghost? She attempts to get him to sleep
What are the witches doing at the beginning of Act 4? Making a brew and waiting for Macbeth
What three things does Macbeth learn from the witches and apparitions and how does he react to them? 1.)Fear Macduff; thankful for the warning2.)He shouldn’t fear any man born of a woman, he rethinks his views of Macduff 3.)Nothing will affect his reign until Birnam Wood moves; he knows that a forest can’t move so he is very secure in the fact that he will reign until he dies of natural causes
How does Macbeth react to Macduff’s departure? He decides he will destroy all that Macduff has so he won’t be threatened by any of Macduff’s kin
How does Macduff react to the news that his family has been slaughtered? he regrets leaving them and not warning them
What action is taken by Macduff and Malcolm? that it was time for a battle with Macbeth
What significance does the doctor have? Sees and hears her confess about the murder
Why won’t the doctor or the gentlewoman tell anyone what they have been or heard? they fear the wrath of Macbeth
What is Macbeth’s current psychological condition? he is near insanity
How is the prophecy of Birnam Wood moving to Dusinane Hill fulfilled? each man cut down a tree branch for cover
Why doesn’t Macbeth put his armor on when he goes out to do battle? he knows he can’t be ruled by man born of woman
What is said that frightens Macbeth before he is killed by Macduff? he is ripped from his mother’s womb at an untimely moment
Who decides who becomes king and who does he choose? Macduff decides that Malcolm should be King since he was next

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