Macbeth Study Guide: Act 1

Why will the witches meet again? To meet with Macbeth.
What do you expect will be happening with an introduction of witches and storms? Something bad or scary.
What do we learn of Macbeth’s skill in battle? He is brave and heroic.
Why are King Duncan’s forces engaged in battle? They are fighting against king of Norway.
What is meant by the expression “foul is fair”? All that was good is now evil and all that was evil is now good.
What do the witches predict for Macbeth? Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King of Scotland.
What do the witches predict for Banquo? His kids will become kings.
What happens to the Thane of Cawdor? He was sentenced to death.
What warning does Banquo give Macbeth? The witches told the good things but they didn’t tell the bad consequences.
What do the first thoughts of murder do to Macbeth? He feels guilty.
“If chance will crown me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir.” Explain. He thinks chance will do it for him.
What is ironic about King Duncan’s statement that you can’t “find” a man’s character in his face? He trusts Macbeth through his face but doesn’t know that in his mind, he is planning to kill him.
Why does Macbeth doubt he will succeed Duncan as king? He named his son Malcom heir to the throne when he became Thane of Cawdor.
How might a movie alter the opening scene with Lady Macbeth reading aloud her husband’s letter?
What is Lady Macbeth’s reaction to the prophecy? She is much more ambitious than Macbeth. She sees the immediate obstacle of King Duncan and his sons.
What characteristic of Macbeth does she fear will make the prophecy never come true? That he won’t be strong enough, or enough of a man to commit murder.
Compare Lady Macbeth with her husband.
What action does Lady Macbeth plan to take during King Duncan’s visit? She plans to kill the king.
How does Lady Macbeth instruct her husband to behave? By questioning his manliness and calling him a coward. She said that she would murder her own child if she promised to him and since he promised to her about killing Duncan and becoming king that he should see through it.
What is ironic about the description of Macbeth’s castle? Duncan is complementing Macbeth and his wife on how lovely their castle is and how good of host and hostess they are.
What arguments does Macbeth give against murder? Duncan has done nothing but honor him, Duncan has been a good king, and if Macbeth kills Duncan people may try and kill him too when he becomes king.
What will be Macbeth’s reason for murdering Duncan? He is the king of Scotland and the witches told him he would end up being king of Scotland. His wife also pressured it upon him.
How does Lady Macbeth convince her husband to do the deed? Lady Macbeth said it would make him a man.His wife guarantees to him that they won’t get caught because everyone will think it was the servants. She also says that if she made a promise, she would keep it, and if he makes this promise he has to keep it.
What is Lady Macbeth’s plan? First, Duncan will fall asleep. Then, his two servants will pass out after drinking too much wine. Finally, she and Macbeth will sneak into the chamber and murder King Duncan (with guards daggers) and blame the guards for his murder. Then smear the guards with Duncan’s blood.
At this point, is tragedy inevitable?

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