Renaissance/ Macbeth Study Guide

What is the main theme of Act I of the Tragedy of Macbeth? Betrayal
Why is King Duncan so grateful to Macbeth? Macbeth saved Duncan’s kingdom from the rebels
What does an example of stage direction look like? Brackets and often italicized
Elizabethan writers modeled their tragedies on plays from where? Ancient Rome and Greece
Where does King Duncan come to spend the night? Macbeth’s castle
The numbered side notes in The Tragedy of Macbeth help readers understand which aspect of the play? Unfamiliar language
What is one characteristic for those who watched a play at the Globe Theater during Shakespeare’s time? Performed during the day
Why does Lady Macbeth think Macbeth has little chance of becoming king? He is not evil enough
Why does Lady Macbeth drug the servants in scene ii? So they would not remember while Duncan is killed
What is a characteristic of blank verse? 10 syllables with stress on every 2nd syllable
How should you read blank verse to make sense of it? From period to period
Why does Lady Macbeth choose not to kill King Duncan herself? He reminds her of her father
What does Macbeth mean when he says he will “sleep no more”? He won’t be able to sleep because of his guilt
What does Lady Macbeth mean when she says to Macbeth, “My hands are of your color, but I shame/To wear a heart so white”? I have blood on my hands too, but unlike you I am not a coward
What is another name for blank verse? Unrhymed iambic pentameter
Why does Ross and Macduff think King Duncan’s sons have killed their father? They ran away which made them look guilty
At the beginning of Act III, Macbeth learns that Banquo will not be returning to their castle until after dark. Why is this good news for him? More darkness to have Banquo murdered
Why does Macbeth decide to kill Banquo? Knows too much and prophecy his sons will be king
Why does Macbeth begin to act so oddly at the banquet? He sees Banquo’s ghost
The murderer appears at the banquet to report to Macbeth. He says that Banquo is dead, but not his son, Fleance. Macbeth says in as aside, “the worm that’s fled/Hath nature that in time will venom breed,/ No teeth for th’present.” What does Macbeth mean? Fleance is not a danger now, but he will be when he grows up
As a result of his guilt, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo. What literary element does this event illustrate? Dramatic irony
What is one of the external conflicts in this play? Macbeth wants Banquo dead so he hires murderers
At the end of Act III, Macbeth plans to visit the witches once more. What does he want to learn? The rest of the troubles in store for him
How has Macbeth changed from the beginning of Act I to the end of Act III? He no longer hesitates to do bad things to get what he wants
What is the main idea of sleepwalking in Act V? Hard to get over a guilty conscience
At the beginning of Act V, the waiting gentle-woman tells the doctor about Lady Macbeth’s strange behavior. Why does he tell the gentlewoman to “Remove from her the means of all annoyance”? He’s afraid she will try to kill herself
Why does Lady Macbeth kill herself? guilt
When does Macbeth first realize he has been tricked by the prophecies of the witches? When he saw the woods coming up the hill
In her mad scene, Lady Macbeth declares, “Out damned spot! Out, I say!” What spot is she talking about? King Duncan’s blood
As Macbeth awaits the battle of Dunsinane Castle, he demonstrates that he is no longer touched by either fear or terror. Which of the play’s themes does his behavior underscore? Destructiveness of blind ambition
A major purpose of Act IV is to foreshadow events related to the downfall of Macbeth
When the witch says, “Something wicked this way comes,” you know that The witches’ consider Macbeth evil
After visiting the witches, why does Macbeth initially change his mind and decide not to have Macduff killed? Because he knows Macduff has fled to England
Which best describes how Shakespeare portrays Macduff’s son in Act IV? Questioning and courageous
In scene iii, what finally convinces Malcolm that Macduff is loyal? Macduff’s noble despair for his country
What quote spoken by Malcolm best conveys how he really feels about Scotland? “it weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash is added to her wounds”
The end of Act IV foreshadows and important conflict between Macbeth and Macduff
In Elizabethan theater, what was especially important because there were no elaborate special effects, lighting, or sets? Imagery (colorful language)
In Act IV, Macbeth visits the witches because he thinks that Their evil doings can help him keep his power

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