Macbeth terms

antagonist the character of force that opposes or blocks the protagonist, or main character, in a narrative
apostrophe a figure of speech in which a speaker directly addresses an absent or dead person, an abstract quality, or something nonhuman as if it were present and capable of responding
aside private words that a character in a play speaks to another character and that are not supposed to be overheard by others onstage
Renaissance A French word meaning rebirth, used to designate the period in European history beginning in Italy in the 14th century and ending in the 17th century when scientific truths challenged religious beliefs
paradox an apparent contradiction that is actually true
soliloquy a long speech in which a character who is usually alone onstage expresses his/her private thoughts or feelings
tragedy a play, novel, or other narrative depicting serious and important events, in which the main character comes to an unhappy end
Main events in Act I (Exposition) Opening scene: witches///King is informed of Macbeth’s courage in battle, Duncan makes Macbeth Thane of Cawdor///Witches prophecy in front of Macbeth and Banquo///Macbeth is informed he is Thane of Cawdor///Lady Macbeth introduced///Lady Macbeth trying to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan
Main Events in Act II (Rising Action) Dagger speech///Macbeth kills Duncan///Lady Macbeth plants daggers on guards///Porter comes to the door///Macduff enters, distraught about the death of Duncan///Macbeth kills guards///Lady Mb faints///Old man scene
Main events in Act III (Crisis) Banquo begins to suspect Macbeth///Macbeth announces the feast he will hold at his castle///Macbeth informs his wife of his plan to have Banquo killed///murderers kill Banquo, Fleance escapes///Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo///Witch scene with Hecate///Lennox suspect Macbeth
Main events in Act IV (Falling Action) Witches chanting around the cauldron, Macbeth visits them///Apparitions:Armed head, bloody child, a child crowned with a tree in his hand, 8 kings (banquo’s descendants)///Macbeth declares that he will seize Macduff’s castle in England and kill all his family///Lady Macduff and son killed///Malcolm tests Macduff to see if he can be trusted///Ross comes and eventually informs Macduff of his family’s death
Main events in Act V (Catastrophe) Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking, saying “Out, damned spot!”///Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, and soldiers assemble against Macbeth///Macbeth is in his castle, being rude to his servant and thinking he is invincivble///Troops march toward Dunsinane disguised as trees from Birnam wood///Macbeth prepares to fight///Lady Macbeth kills herself///Macbeth slays young Siward///Macduff enters, they fight, Macduff says he was born by C-section///Macbeth doesn’t back down or give up, but is killed by Macduff
Characteristics of a tragic hero Born a noble birth, faced with a dilemma and must make a choice, makes wrong choice, disaster follows, suffers, sees the light
William Shakespeare’s different roles/titles poet, actor, director, writer (sonnets)
examples of paradox from Act I When the battle’s lost and won; Fair is foul and foul is fair; lesser than Macbeth but greater
Tomorrow speech Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow/Creeps in this petty pace from day to day/To the last syllable of recorded time:/ And all our yesterdays have lighted fools/ The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!/ Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/ And then is heard no more. It is a tale/ Told by and idiot, full of sound and fury,/ Signifying nothing.
Armed head “Beware Macduff, the thane of Fife”— He thanks the head for the warning, b/c he already knows to fear Macduff— He is duped because Macduff ends up killing him
Bloody Child “Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth”—Macbeth says he’s not afraid of Macduff, he won’t kill him, he won’t feel concern or guilt—Duped b/c Macduff was born by C-section
Child crowned w/ tree “Be lion mettled, proud, and take no care who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are: MB shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him.”—Macbeth becomes confident, b/c how could a forest move? Asks one last question: Will Banquo’s sons ever reign as king?—Duped b/c the troops used the trees from Birnam wood to disguise themselves

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