MACBETH Act I – Study Questions Answer using complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper. Support your answers by using quotes (proof) from the text. Act I, Scene I 1. What is the rhyming couplet of this scene which sets the mood of the play and establishes the theme of unnatural order (be sure to list 2 lines of poetry since one line does not create a “couplet”)? Act I, Scene II 2. How does the Captain describe Macbeth in his speech to Duncan? 3. What honor does Macbeth receive for his glorious feats on the battlefield? Act I, Scene III 4. What is Macbeth’s first line as he enters the play? What lines does it echo from scene I? 5. Why is it both a “foul and fair” day? 6. What two new prophecies do the witches make for Macbeth? 7. What do they prophesize for Banquo? 8. What does Macbeth mean when he asks “Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?” (NOTE: The concept of ill-fitting garments is a repeated motif in Macbeth.) 9. What is Banquo’s warning to Macbeth?
Explain what he means 10. With what decision does Macbeth end scene III? Act I, Scene IV 13. The King sadly mourns “There’s no art to find mind’s construction in the face; he was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust.” Who is the king talking about? 14. What is the King admitting about himself in the above lines? 15. Who does the King name as his successor? Act I, Scene V 16. What does Lady Macbeth see as her husband’s weakness? 17. What does she hope the spirits do for her? 18. What are Lady Macbeth’s dominant traits? Act I, Scene VI 19. How is the atmosphere outside Macbeth’s castle described? 20. Why is Duncan’s speech ironic? 21. Why has Duncan come to Macbeth’s castle? Act I, Scene VII Macbeth’s soliloquy 22. How does Macbeth want the murderdone? 23. What fear does he have for his heinous act of murder? 24. What are his three arguments against killing the King? 25. What is his primary motivation to murder? Lady Macbeth rebukes Macbeth for his hesitation
26. What are the words she says to “spur, incite” her husband to action? 27. What is Lady Macbeth’s plan to murder Duncan? MACBETH – Study Questions Act II Act II, Scene I 1. Who does Macbeth meet just before he goes to perform the murder? How does his increase the dramatic tension of the scene? 2. The “dagger speech” is a famous soliloquy Find three different ways in which the dagger appears to Macbeth. 3. What does Macbeth’s seeing the dagger indicate concerning his reactions to the deed he is about to perform? Act II, Scene II 4. Why did Lady Macbeth say she did not commit the deed herself? What does this speech show us about her character? 5. How is Macbeth “taking it”? What king of repercussions concerning the deed does he anticipate? Act II, Scene III 6. What is the purpose of the drunken porter scene? What does it do to the horror of the prior scene? 7. Why did Macbeth kill the grooms? Was it a wise move? 8. How does the flight of Duncan’s sons play into
Macbeth’s hands? Act II, Scene IV 9. Give three examples of the disturbances, in various orders of creation, as a consequence of Macbeth’s evil deed. 10. What events regarding Macbeth and Duncan’s sons are relayed in this scene? 11. Where is Macduff going? MACBETH – Study Questions Act III Act III, Scene I 1. What does Banquo say which shows his suspicion of Macbeth? 2. How does Macbeth describe Banquo? What fear does he have concerning Banquo? 3. Macbeth provokes the emotions of the murderers against Banquo What blame does Macbeth put on Banquo to incite the murderers into action? 4. How is Macbeth defying fate and exercising free will? 5. How has his course of action become more evil? 6. How has his partnership in crime with Lady Macbeth changed? Act III, Scene II 7. Lady Macbeth reveals her unhappiness What comparison does she make to show this unhappiness? 8. How does Lady Macbeth admonish/rebuke her husband in this scene? How does this show her practical/pragmatic
approach to life? Act III, Scene III 9. How does Macbeth’s plan go astray? 10. Why is the murderers’ failure to “complete the task” the turning point (climax) of the play? Act III, Scene IV 11. Who has taken Macbeth’s “place reserved” at the table? 12. How does Macbeth show his guilt? 13. How does Lady Macbeth explain Macbeth’s agitation? 14. Macbeth notices is missing from the banquet What does Macbeth plan to do? FEAR becomes the dominant topic in this scene. The word is mentioned 42x in the drama to show Macbeth’s guilty conscience and wild imaginings. Act III, Scene V 15. Why is Hecate angry with Macbeth? 16. How does Hecate plan to trick Macbeth? Act III, Scene VI 17. What events are summarized in the opening speech? 18. What have been Macduff’s activities? MACBETH Act IV – Study Questions Act IV, Scene I 1. What is the couplet repeated by the witches in their chant? How does this affect the mood of the scene? The three apparitions are very
important. Analyze them for Macbeth’s point of view 2. 3. 4. 5. What is the first apparition and what does it indicate? What is the second apparition and what does it predict/imply? What is the third apparition and what is the impossibility it pictures for Macbeth? What is the fourth apparition that the witches do not what to show Macbeth and what is the implication of this appearance? 6. How do these apparitions build up Macbeth’s feelings of secutity? 7. What is Macbeth’s plan for revenging Macduff’s disloyalty? Act IV, Scene II 8. How does Lady Macduff feel about her husband? 9. Why does Shakespeare have Lady Macduff and her son joke around just before they are cruelly murdered? 10. Why is that rawness left you wife and child,/Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,/Without leaving taking?” 11. Malcolm uses the above accusations as evidence of what? 12. Malcolm is testing Macduff’s motives and loyalty What are Malcolm’s 3 arguments against his de-throning
Macbeth and putting himself on the throne? a) : meaning he would threaten the b) : meaning he would take c) : Which Malcolm would use to “uproar the universal peace.” 13. What does Macduff say which finally sways Malcolm to joining Macduff in fighting Macbeth? Why are these words significant? 14. The doctor enters to inform the men that King Edward of England is “touching” sufferers in order to help make them well. How does this report of the goodness of the King of England contrast with the nature of the King of Scotland? 15. What news does Ross bring to Macduff? 16. Malcolm incites Macduff to seek revenge on Macbeth for this evil deed However, Macduff responds . MACBETH Act V – Study Questions Act V, Scene I 1. What is Lady Macbeth’s strange behavior? 2. What is the significance of “out, damned spot,” and “hand ne’er be clean”? This attitude refutes what lines in Act II? 3.
The line “What’s done cannot be undone” contrasts with her earlier comment, “What’s done is done.” What is the difference in the meaning of the two lines and what does this reveal about Lady Macbeth? Act V, Scene II 4. What does Angus bring? What is meant when it is said Macbeth’s army is one which moves only “in command”? 5. What is the line spoken here which echoes back to Act I? What does it reveal about Macbeth’s appearance? What is Shakespeare indicating about the concept of guilt? Act V, Scene III 6. Give two reasons why Macbeth does not fear the reports of the huge enemy forces? 7. What does Macbeth seem to realize in his speech beginning “I have lived long enough”? 8. How does Macbeth react to the news of Lady Macbeth’s illness? Act V, Scene IV 9. What does Malcolm command his men to do? Which apparition/prophecy of the witches does this recall? Act V, Scene V 10. What two images describe life and death in Macbeth’s “candle” speech? What is
Macbeth’s attitude towards life and death? 11. What news is brought by the messenger at the end of this scene which enrages Macbeth? Act V, Scene VI 12. What does Macbeth mean when he says he won’t play the Roman fool? 13. What is the meaning of “Macduff was from his mother’s womb/Untimely ripped?” How does this relate to the witches’ prophecy? 14. What is indicated by Macbeth’s words “Lay on Macduff?” Whose death in Act I is recalled and why? 15. Which of the witches’ prophecies has not come true by the end of the play? What do you make of this?