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Writing Assignments
Critical Review

Act I

3. a) What does the Captain tell King Duncan about Macbeth's battlefied deeds?
- That he is brave and showed leadership while in battle.
     b) What does the king learn from Ross about the Thane of Cawdor's activities?
- That he was a tratior and was defeated in battle.
      c) What reward for victory does Macbeth receive almost immediately from the king?
- He was given the title of Thane of Cawdor.

4. What do the three witches predict (a) for Macbeth and (b) for Banquo?
     a) Macbeth will be the Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King.
     b) Banquo will be the father of kings.
5. a) What happens to the Thane of Cawdor?
- He is killed for his misdeeds
     b) Why, despite the witches' predictions, does Macbeth have reason to doubt he will succeed Duncan as king?
- The king's son, Malcom, is air to the throne.
6. a) How does Lady Macbeth first learn of the witches' predictions regarding Macbeth?
- Macbeth writes her a letter.
     b) What in Macbeth's personality does she fear may thwart his ambition?
-Macbeth is too kind.

9. Macbeth and Banquo respond differently to the witches' predictions.  (a) After becoming Thane of Cawdor, how does Macbeth react to the thought of becoming king?
-Ambition searches through Macbeth filling him with possibility that he could wear the crown.
     b) How does Banquo view the witches's predictions?
-He believes they are trying to decieve him.
10. In Scene vi, what is the irony in the description of the air surrounding Macbeth's castle?
-The castle had a pleasant and inviting atmosphere, just as a murder was being planned.
11. Why is Macbeth indecisive about killing the King?
-He doesn't want to kill his guest.
12. How does Lady Macbeth's understanding of her husband's character help her to convince him that the murder plot should be carried out?
-She questions his manhood.

Act II
# 1-11

1. Who do you think bears the greater responsibility for the murder of King Duncan- Macbeth or Lady Macbeth? Explain.
- Lady Macbeth because it was her idea and she was the one who talked Macbeth into it.
2. a) Why, according to Lady Macbeth, did she not kill the king herself?
- Because she thought the king looked like her father.
b) What does Macbeth do with the daggers after the murder?
- He gives them to his wife.
c) Why does this bother Lady Macbeth?
- Because he will spoil their plan and they will get caught.
d) What action does she take?
- She covers the servants in blood and put the dagger in their hands.
3. a) What does the drunken porter imagine he is doing in response to the knocking at the door?
- He is knocking on the gates of hell, asking for the devil.
b) What does Macbeth wish the knocking could do?
- Awaken Duncan as if it were a dream.
c) Who is doing the knocking? Why?
-Macduff and Lenox because they have something to tell the king.

4. a) Who first learns that a murder has taken place?
- Macduff
b) What action does Macbeth take against the grooms?
- He kills them
c) Why do Malcolm and Donalbain leave Macbeth's castle?
- Because they are afraid they will be the next to be killed.
5. a) Who does Macduff say has killed King Duncan?
- Malcolm and Donalbain
b) Why do Malcom and Donalbain fall under suspicion, according to Macduff?
- Because they fled.
6. What does Macbeth mean by saying he has "murdered sleep"?
- He has murdered Duncan, but he can't sleep because of his guilt.
7. What is ironic about Lady Macbeth's remark "A little water clears us of this deed"?
- Physically it washes off the blood, but mentally the guilt will be there forever.
8. a) Why do you think critics consider the porter's speech to be comic relief?
- It sways the story from horror to comic.

   b) How do the porter's comments on the people arriving at "hell gate" mirrow Macbeth's dilemma?
- Liars and cheats and thought they could get away with their misdeeds, but in the end they had to repay.
9. What do you think causes Lady Macbeth to faint?
- She is trying to sway the attention of the murder away from them to her fainting.
10. a) Why does Ross have doubts about accepting the grooms as the murderers?
-The murderers have nothing to gain.
      b) Why is Macduff concerned that "our old robes" may fit "easier than our new"?
-With information that they think Macbeth could be the murderer.  They could be killed too if they don't watch what they do or say.
11. In his soliloquy in Scene i, Macbeth speaks of "vaulting ambition." (a) How can vaulting ambition bring with it great success?
-Because nothing ventured is nothing gained.
     b)How can it bring with it destruction?
- Anytime you take risks there is a risk of failure.


2. a) In Scene i, what are Banquo's thoughts about the witches' prophecies?
- He thinks they are crazy, but then they start to come true.
     b) What are Macbeth's thoughts about the prophecies?
- He didn't believe them until they began to happen.
3. a) What two people are the murderers tole to kill?
- Banquo and Fleance
     b) Why is it necessay to kill both?
- Because as long as one of them are alive they will be king, not Macbeth.
4. What goes wrong with the murderers' plans?
-Fleance escapes.
5. a) Why does Macbeth want to see the witches again?
-To find out what will happen next.
    b) What does Lady Macbeth think Macbeth needs most?
- Sleep
6. a) In Scene vi, what reason does Lennox give for Macduff's being in disgrace?
- He didn't attend the banquet.
     b) What is Macduff trying to accomplish in England?
-He is trying to put together an army.

7. Macbeth's soliloquy in Scene i shows that his attitude toward those who stand in his way has changed.  Recall the soliloquy prior to Duncan's murder.  What change or changes have occurred?
- At the beginning, he was brave and couragous, now he's killing them; there is a moral decline.
8. How does Macbeth's technique of persuading the murderers resemble  Lady Macbeth's earlier method of persuading Macbeth?
- She talked him into killing Duncan, and he talked the murderers into killing for him.
9. How has the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth changed?
-He has become withdrawn from her.
10. Events at the banquet show that Macbeth can no longer pretend to be innocent.  What evidence is there that he will continue to kill those who threaten him?
- He is in too deep and can't turn back now.

Act IV

2. a) What does the first apparition tell Macbeth?
- The first apparition tells him to beware of Macduff.
     b) How does the prophecy of the second apparition seem to contradict that of the first?
- It says that no one born of a woman could harm him.  Macduff can't hurt him because he was riped from his mother's womb.
     c) What does the third apparition promise?
- He will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood meets Dunsiane Hill.
3. a) What question do the witches refuse to answer?
- What was in his future.
     b) What vision do they parade before Macbeth?
- Eight kings, the last one holding a mirror.
4. a) In his conversation with Macduff, why does Malcolm pretend to have all of Macbeth's vices and more?
- Malcolm is testing Macduff for his loyalty.
     b) What convinces Malcolm that Macduff is trustworthy?
- He said the Malcolm couldn't be king because he is lustful and greedy.
5. a) What good news about "gracious England" does ross bring Malcolm?
- The King of England gave him 10,000 soldiers.
     b) What bad news does Ross bring Malcolm?
- His family has been killed.
6. Why does Macbeth readily accept the predictions made by the second and third apparitions?
-Macduff is born of a woman and trees can't move.

7. a) In the witches' procession of kings, why do some kings carry double and triple scepters?
- It stands for England, Scotland, and Ireland which were united in 1603.
     b) Why does Banquo carry a mirror?
- Shows images of more kings.
8. a) What is Macbeth's reason for killing Macduff's wife and child?
- He killed them so there is nothing to fear from them.
     b)  How do these murders differ from the previous ones?
- No logical reason.
9. How would you describe Macbeth's character at this point in the play?
- He is mentally unstable.
10. How is Malcolm's character revealed in the diaglogue with Maccduff in Scene iii?
- Although he clains to be greedy and lustful, he is a good and caring man and when he finds out about Macduff he shows great strength and courage.
11. Based on Macduff's reaction to the murder of his wife and son, how would you describe Macduff's character?
- Admirable; he behaves noble.

Act V

3. a) While Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking, to what three prior events does she refer?
- The death of Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff's family.
     b) To which event does she keep coming back?
- The death of Duncan.
4. a) What news does Seyton bring Macbeth in Scene v?
- Lady Macbeth is dead.
     b) What in the messenger's report makes Macbeth fear that the apparitions' second prophecy is coming true?
- He sees the woods moving.
5. a) In Scene viii why does Macbeth tell Macduff he does not wish to fight him?
- He has enough of his family's blood on his hands.
     b) What does Macduff tell Macbeth concerning the apparitions' third prophecy?
- He was ripped from his mother's womb.

6. a) Whom does Macbeth kill in the encounter with the English forces?
- Yound Siward
     b) Whom does Macduff kill?
- Macbeth
     c) At the end of the play, who is to be crowned King of Scotland?
- Malcolm
7. Why do you think it is an "accustomed action" for Lady Macbeth to wash her hands while sleepwalking?
- She was trying to wash the blood off.
8. a) Why does Macbeth remain confident of surviving the battle with Malcolm's army despite his own troops' desertion?
- He couldn't think of anyone else who was not born of a woman.
     b) Judging by the way Macbeth behaves in Scene iii, describe his state of mind.
- He is struggling with his emotions.
9. What changes in his personality is Macbeth describing in Scene v, lines 9-14?
- He has no more emotions.
10. Why does Macbeth say, " She should have died hereafter," upon learning of the death of Lady Macbeth?
- She would have died anyways.
11. Macbeth, mad and murderous though he is, shows certain admirable traits to the very end.  What are some of his better traits?
- He shows courage and bravery by fighting to the end.

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