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Macbeth Act III study guide

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Evan Doi

English 4

1-6-05

Period 2

 

 

Study Guide questions Homework Act III

1.Act Three begins with a soliloquy by Banquo. 
-In what ways does this speech show that Banquo is 
a threat to Macbeth? 
The speech shows that Banquo is a threat because it shows that Banquo has some sort of guy feeling that Macbeth had something to do with the death of Duncan.

2.Read Macbeth's soliloquy :
"To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus-"
-Paraphrase the soliloquy.
-What assumptions underlie Macbeth's fears?
3.Given Banquo's earlier soliloquy, to what extent do you feel his fears are justified? I believe that Macbeth’s fears toward Banquos knowledge is justifiable because he knows Banquo was there when the witches spoke to him and he knows that anything that might make what the witches said come true might look suspicious in the eyes of Banquo.
4.Why is it interesting that Macbeth employs professional cut-throats to kill Banquo? Its interesting because instead of confronting his fears head on he hires people to do it for thus falling back on how Macbeth has little honor.

Scene Two 

5.In what ways do each of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth show that the crown has not brought peace of mind?
6.In what ways has Macbeth changed since the murder? Macbeth has become less weary of the fact that he is committing treason and murder. He’s mind set is to please his wife.
7.In many ways the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth 
have been reversed. Show how their relationship has altered. Pay particular attention to the way the "fair is 
foul " theme is used to emphasize this change. There relationship has become altered because know Macbeth is the one committing and devising the murders while Lady Macbeth is somewhat seeing the foulness in their plans.
 

Scene Four 

8.This is the scene in which Banquo's ghost appears. 
-In many of his plays Shakespeare uses ghosts. However, usually the ghost is seen by a number of characters.
-What does the fact that only Macbeth can see this ghost suggest about the nature of the ghost? It suggest that the ghost is Macbeths own mind in how it might not guide him to do the right things but guides him in doing what he is thinking of during the time.

9.How does Lady Macbeth respond to his "fit" ? She responds to his fit by making fun of him and demeaning him.
10.Once again there is a shift in their relationship. Explain
this shift.
11.Once Banquo's ghost has finally gone, Macbeth appears to be more settled. Why do you think this is so? I think this is so because he seems to think that his troubles are behind him and that he doesn’t have to worry about it.
12.Why do you think Macbeth decides to visit the witches again?   
I think he decides to visit the witches again because he wants to make sure that what he has done will still lead him to the crown.

13.Examine the following lines:
For my own good
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped so far that, should I wade no more, 
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
Strange things I have in head that will to hand
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.

Explain what Macbeth means here. What Macbeth is saying that with all the murder that he has committed his soul is covered in blood and by being covered in blood if he were to go on his soul would not go with and that he is stuck with the blood of the dead on him.
 

Scene Five

14.Read Hecate's speech closely. She is the Queen of witches.
- What does she suggest about the witches' plans for Macbeth? 
- In many productions of the play, this scene is left out. 
15.What effect does leaving the scene out have on our understanding of the role of the witches in determining Macbeth's actions?

Scene Six. 

16.Scene six provides us with an insight into Macbeth's reign and the way in which he is viewed by the Thanes.
- Briefly describe these views. 

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