Name Date Macbeth Reading Comprehension Questions Act 1 Scene I 1. What are the witches planning at the beginning of the act? (i,1-8) 2. Explain the meaning of the line, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” (I, 10) Scene II 3. What does the Sergeant report to Duncan about the battle? (ii, 8-42) 4. What title is given to Macbeth for bravery in the battle? (ii, 63-66) 5. What happened to the original Thane of Cawdor and why did he lose his title? (ii, 48-66) Scene III 6. What titles do the witches greet Macbeth with after the battle? (iii, 48-50) 7. What do the witches mean when they say, Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. Not so happy, yet much happier Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none? (iii, 65-68) 8. What news is brought by Ross and Angus? (iii, 89-107) 9. What words of caution does Banquo speak to Macbeth about the witches’ prophecies? (iii, 120-127) 10. Despite the good fortune foretold to him by the witches,
why is Macbeth not feeling so good? (iii, 130-142) Scene IV 11. What happens that causes Macbeth to realize he will have a major obstacle to becoming king? (iv, 34-53) 12. To where has Duncan proclaimed that he shall travel to honour Macbeth? (iv, 42-43) Why does Macbeth rush ahead of them to get there? (iv, 45-46) Name Date Scene V 13. After reading Macbeth’s letter, summarize what Lady Macbeth worries will keep her husband from achieving the honours the witches predicted for him? (v, 14-29) 14. After the messenger leaves, summarise what Lady Macbeth wishes for in her soliloquy? (v, 40-53) 15. Upon Macbeth’s arrival and announcement that Duncan will arrive tonight, what does Lady Macbeth declare must be done to the King? (v, 59-68) Scene VI 16. Why does the King come to Macbeths castle? (vi, 10-14, 20-24) Scene VII 17. In his soliloquy, summarise what Macbeth reveals about his feelings for the plan to murder Duncan? (vii, 1-27)
18. After Macbeth declares that he will not go through with the murder plan, how does Lady Macbeth convince him to change his mind? (vii, 35-59) 19. What details does Lady Macbeth explain to convince Macbeth that her plan cannot fail? (vii, 59-77) Name Date Act 2 Scene I 1. What does Macbeth ask of Banquo at the beginning of Act 2? (i, 25-26) 2. Summarise what Macbeth explains in his soliloquy. (i, 33-64) Scene II 3. Who does Lady Macbeth believe has announced that death is occurring? (ii, 3-4) 4. What does Lady Macbeth state stopped her from killing Duncan herself? (ii, 12-13) 5. How does Macbeth feel after committing the murder and what does he proclaim he could not do? (ii, 26-64) 6. What does Macbeth wish the knocking could do? (ii, 73-74) Scene III 7. What does the Porter pretend to be the gatekeeper of? (iii, 1-18) How is this symbolic? 8. Based on his response to Macduff’s question about drinking, what other
purpose does the Porter seem to serve in this play? (iii, 24-31) 9. What is the first reaction to the Kings death and whos is it? (iii, 64-65) 10. What does Macbeth do to the supposed murderers and why? (iii, 116-129) 11. What symbolism does Lady Macbeth’s fainting have, and how is it ironic? (iii, 130) 12. Why do Malcolm and Donalbain decide to flee? (iii, 134-139, 153-165) Where do they decide to go? Scene IV 13. What unnatural things do Ross and the Old Man mention have happened since Duncan’s murder? (iv, 1-20) 14. What does Macduff tell us about the current fortunes of Duncan’s sons and Macbeth? (iv, 24-32) 15. What is the meaning of the line, Gods benison go with you, and with those that would make good of bad, and friends of foes!? (iv, 40-41) Name Date Act 3 Scene I 1. Why does Macbeth fear Banquo and want to have him killed? (i, 48-71) 2. How does Macbeth persuade the murderers that Banquo is an enemy to them all? (i,
75-83) How does Macbeth then persuade the murderers that they should kill Banquo? (i, 84-107) 3. What does Macbeth tell the murderers is the reason that he cannot kill Banquo himself? (i, 117-125) What do you think is the real reason Macbeth hires murderers to kill Banquo? 4. At this point, how does Macbeth feel with his new found power? 5. When and where has Macbeth decided that Banquo must be murdered? Who has Macbeth decided must also be murdered at the same time? (i, 130-138) Scene II 6. What do Lady Macbeth and Macbeth state about their current standing as king and queen based on what they have done to get it? (ii, 4-26) 7. What does Macbeth say he envies about Duncan? (ii, 22-23) 8. What symbol does Macbeth use for the tool that will help him carry out his plan of murder? (ii, 45-56) Scene III 9. What is unexpected about the murderers that wait to kill Banquo and Fleance? (iii, 1-4) 10. What happens when the murderers try to kill Banquo and his son? (iii, 19)
Scene IV 11. What is Macbeth’s reaction first to the news that Banquo is dead and then to the news that Fleance escaped? (iv, 18-26) 12. Why doesn’t Macbeth sit in the seat reserved for him at the feast? (iv, 46-50) Name Date 13. What does the ghost of Banquo do to Macbeths paranoia? 14. How does Lady Macbeth explain Macbeth’s odd behaviour to the guests? (iv, 54-59; 99-100) 15. What similar thing does Lady Macbeth recall regarding her husband’s behavior? (Macbeth has not told her of this in the dialogue of the play, so we must suppose he has told her between scenes.) (iv, 62-63) 16. What does Macbeth reveal about his beliefs in the supernatural in his soliloquy on page 118? (iv, 76-84) 17. Who do we learn has not attended the feast despite being invited? (iv, 130) 18. What has Macbeth decided he must do in order to continue on with his plans of action? (iv, 141, 142) 19. How does Lady Macbeth make her husband feel better
after seeing the ghost? (iv, 143) 20. What does Macbeth mean when he says, “We are yet but young in deed”? (iv, 144-145) What does this suggest about his future conduct? Scene V 21. Who is Hecate and what does she think of the witches involvement with Macbeth? (v, 1-13) 22. What is Hecates strategy for Macbeth? (v, 14-33) What literary device is used here to allow the audience to learn of this plan before Macbeth does? 23. What does Hecate say is man’s ‘chiefest’ enemy? (v, 32-33) Scene VI 24. How does Lennox feel about Macbeth and the recent killings? (vi, 1-23) 25. What does the Lord tell us about the whereabouts of Macduff? (vi, 26-31) 26. What was Macduff’s reply to being summoned by one of Macbeth’s messengers? (vi, 40) Name Date Act 4 1. What are the witches doing at the beginning of this act? 2. What three things does Macbeth learn from the witches and apparitions and how does he react to them? 3. How does
Macbeth react to Macduffs departure? 4. How does Macduff react to the news that his family has been slaughtered? 5. What action is taken by Macduff and Malcolm? Act 5 1. What significance does the doctor have? 2. Why wont the doctor or the gentlewoman tell anyone what they have seen or heard? 3. What is Macbeths current psychological condition? 4. How is the prophesy of Birnam Wood moving to Dusinane Hill fulfilled? 5. Why doesnt Macbeth put his armour on when he goes out to do battle? 6. What is said that frightens Macbeth before he is killed by Macduff? 7. Who decides who becomes king and who does he choose?