ISC Class 12 Macbeth Assignment Questions

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Assignment Questions

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Assignment Questions

Question 1.
Who is made heir to Duncan’s throne?
a. Macbeth
b. Macduff’s son, Fleance
c. Duncan’s son, Malcolm
d. Macduff

Question 2.
What does Lady Macbeth resolve to do?
a. Talk to the three witches
b. Kill Duncan herself
c. Protect Duncan from Macbeth’s blood lust.
d. Whatever necessary to help Macbeth become king.

Question 3.
What does Lady Macbeth think Macbeth lacks?
a. Modesty
b. The manliness to follow through on his ambitions
c. The ambition to ever become someone notable
d. The intelligence to be a king.

Question 4.
What is Lady Macbeth’s plan for murdering Duncan?
a. Macbeth will pour poison in his ear while he sleeps and blame the King’s brother.
b. Macbeth will hire three murderers to ambush Duncan when he returns to the castle on horseback.
c. Macbeth will stab him in his sleep and plant the bloody evidence on the servants.
d. Macbeth will push him out the window during a tour of the castle.

Question 5.
What happens to the Thane of Cawdor? Why?
a. He is rewarded for his bravery in the battle and promoted
b. He is executed for being a traitor
c. King Duncan takes his land away for being unfaithful
d. He is banished from Scotland.

Question 6.
What are the ways Macbeth sees himself getting the throne?
a. He can wait until King Duncan Dies
b. He can use the witches powers to overthrow the King
c. He can kill King Duncan
d. A and C

Question 7.
What comment does Duncan make about Cawdor’s death?
a. That traitors deserve a horrible death
b. That he died more noble than he lived
c. That Cawdor deserved to die because he ruled ineffectively
d. The mode of execution was fitting for a traitor

Question 8.
Identify the speaker of this quote: “Stars, hide your fires/Let not light see my black and deep desires.”
a. Macbeth
b. Lady Macbeth
c. Donalbain
d. Macduff

Question 9.
Identify the speaker of this quote: “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.”
a. Macbeth
b. Banquo
c. King Duncan
d. Ross

Question 10.
Who does Lord and Lady Macbeth frame for the murder of King Duncan?
a. Duncan’s sons
b. Duncan’s guardsmen
c. Banquo
d. The Witches

Question 11.
Who discovers Duncan’s dead body?
a. Macduff
b. Donalbain
c. Lennox
d. Macduff

Question 12.
In Act 2, Scene 1 of Macbeth, why does Duncan give Lady Macbeth a diamond?
a. Duncan gives Lady Macbeth a diamond because he is attracted to her.
b. Duncan gives Lady Macbeth a diamond because she has recently lost her fortune and he is trying to comfort her.
c. Duncan gives Lady Macbeth a diamond as payment for a horse she lets him take.
d. Duncan gives Lady Macbeth a diamond to thank her for letting him stay at their castle.

Question 13.
In Act 2, Scene 1 of Macbeth, how does Macbeth understand his vision of a bloody dagger?
a. He understands that the dagger means he will be killed.
b. He understands that the dagger is a vision meaning he is fated to kill Duncan.
c. He understands that the dagger is a vision that means he is very angry at Duncan.
d. He understands that he sees a dagger because he has fever.

Question 14.
What advice does Lady Macbeth give Macbeth when he arrives home?
a. He shouldn’t eat too much, because that would make him too sleepy to commit the murder quickly.
b. He should let Banquo in on the plan so that he has more help
c. He must learn to look innocent even when his heart is full of evil.
d. This would not be a good time to murder Duncan. They should wait a few days.

Question 15.
Where does Act 4, Scene 1 take place?
a. in a cave
b. at Macbeth’s castle
c. on the battlefield
d. on a heath

Question 16.
No boasting like a fool, this deed I’ll do before this purpose cool is one of Macbeth’s last lines in this passage. What does this line mean?
a. I will do this deed before Lady Macbeth convinces me to relax and cool my anger
b. Instead of boasting, I will do the deed before I lose my determination.
c. I won’t boast foolishly but will act with coolness and – purpose. No more wavering

Question 17.
Just before his death Macbeth
a. prayed that God would forgive him of all his sins
b. realized that he had been trapped by the witches riddles
c. thanked the witches and his wife for making him king
d. still believed that the witches had been honest and innocent

Question 18.
What is King Edward able to do?
a. heal the sick
b. defeat Macbeth
c. see the truth
d. speak his mind

Question 19.
How does the prediction that Birnum Wood will move to Dunsinane Hill come true?
a. The soldiers build trebuchets out of the trees and take them to Dunsinane hill
b. Strong winds blow the leaves from the woods to Dunsinane Hill
c. The soldiers use tree branches for camouflage as they approach the hill
d. The witches enchant the trees to move to Dunsinane Hill

Unsolved Reasoning Questions For Practice:

1. Referring to the prophecies of the weird sisters or the witches, Macbeth says that these prophecies can neither be regarded as evil nor as auspicious because …………………….

2. The nomination of Malcolm as the heir to the throne is – an obvious obstruction in the way of Macbeth’s ambition because …………………….

3. Kung Duncan’s visit to Inverness would cost him his life says Lady Macbeth because …………………….

4. Lady Macbethscolds her husband for wishing to abandon his resolve because …………………….

5. Macbeth is surprised at the state of his mind which every noise terrifies him because …………………….

6. On hearing the repeated knocking at the gate, the Porter indulges in a monologue describing his reaction to this knocking because……………………..

7. Macbeth tells the two murderers that Banquo is his enemy also and that Banquo’s enemity towards him is of a bloody nature because …………………….

8. In Act III Scene II Macbeth says that they have merely wounded the snake not killed it. The wound will heal up and the snake will become dangerous because …………………….

9. Malcolm, the Prince of Scotland, suggests to Macduff that they should at once go to the English King and ask for his permission to order their army because …………………….

10. Lady Macbeth is suck, and her behavior is abnormal because …………………….

11. According to the doctor, Lady Macbeth cannot be treated by a physician because …………………….

12.  In Act V SCENE III Macbeth compares himself to a yellow leaf because …………………….

13.  Instead of being loved and respected, Macbeth is cursed by people, though he is the king of Scotland because …………………….

14. In Act V scene vi Macbeth finds himself deceived by the prophecies made by the three witches because …………………….

15. Macduff is eager to fight with Macbeth and kill him because …………………….

Unsolved Understanding/ Analysis Type Of Questions:

1. What is a heath? Why is it a befitting place for the witches to meet?

2. Briefly state the importance of the opening scene in this play?

3. What has Macbeth been doing just before the witches meet him? Why is Macbeth introduced to the audience in the opening scene?Give any three characteristics of the witches?

4. What prophecies have the witches predicted in favor of Macbeth and Banquo? Why are the witches referred to as imperfect speakers by Macbeth?

5. Why is the title- Thane of Cawdor conferred on Macbeth? What harm does the conferring of this title bring to Duncan?

6. State in your own words how Duncan praises Macbeth after the latter’s exit?

7. In what way is Macbeth’s face like a book ? What advice does Lady Macbeth give him to help him overcome his surroundings? Give one example from the play where Lady Macbeth shows that she is innocent like a flower, but in reality she is a snake under the flower?

8. How would the relation between the guest and the host be affected, if the murder takes place? State the virtues of Duncan would cry against his murder? What publicity would be given by pity to the murder when it is commanded?

9. Why does Macbeth doubt whether he should go ahead with his plan of murder or not? According to Lady Macbeth, what should Macbeth do so that he would not fail?

10. What does Macbeth say to the dagger? What does the dagger show Macbeth? What does Macbeth say about the nature of the dagger?

11. Explain how Lady Macbeth is going to help her husband in his wicked plans.Why has Macbeth come with two bloody daggers?

12. Summarize Banquo’s feelings on the murder of Duncan? Is Banquo ambitious? Why?

13. How do Macbeth and Lady Macbeth welcome Banquo? What is their motive behind such a cordial welcome?

14. Why does Banquo apparently want Banquo to attend the feast? What was his real motive behind the invitation?

15. What type of insecurity does Macbeth feel due to the existence of Banquo?

16. How does Lady Macbeth explain Macbeth’s unusual behaviour to the guests? What arguments did Lady Macbeth put forward to convince Macbeth that the vision is not real?

17. Why is Hecate annoyed with the other witches? According to Hecate, how should the other witches make amends?

18. Why does Lady Macbeth refer to her son as a poor bird? How does the son outsmart his mother by using a logical argument?

19. What argument does Malcoln give to indicate that he does not trust Macduff ? How does Malcom use the theme of appearance and reality in his argument?

20. What shocking news does Ross give to Macduff? How does Macduff react immediately to the news?

21. How does Malcolm console Macdudd?

22. Comparing Macbeth to a Korean, what does Macduff say? How does the murder of Lady Macduff become the turning point in the play?

23. How does Lady Macbeth betray herself by her speech and actions in Act V scene 1 ? Why do you think that she is rubbing her hands?

Unsolved Higher Order Thinking Questions:

1. “The atmosphere in Macbeth is one of uniform gloom, horror and bloodshed”. Discuss.

2. Consider the theme of conflict between ambition and conscience as presented in Macbeth.

3. The Porter Scene: It’s value and significance

4. Macbeth’s vaulting ambition as the source of tragedy.

5. Equivocation is indeed a principal mode of the operation of evil forces through out the play. Discuss.

6. How far does Lady Macbeth contribute to her husband’s downfall?

7. Examine the use Shakespeare makes of soliloquies in Macbeth.

8. Sketch the character of Banquo paying particular ’ attention to his connection with the witches.

9. Explain the use of dramatic irony in Macbeth.

10. Compare the character of Macbeth to that of Banquo.

11. What happens in the following scenes? What light do they throw on the characters? What purpose do they serve in the drama ?

12. Write a note on the Witch – Scene in the play. How far are the witches responsible for bringing about the downfall of Macbeth?

13. Critically examine the manner in which Shakespeare delineates the decline of conscience in Macbeth. How does he relate it to the theme of evil in the play?

14. What do you understand by poetic justice? Do you find poetic justice in Macbeth?

15. Give a vivid account of the Banquet – scene.

16. Describe the apparitions and their significance.

17. Compare and contrast Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff.

18. What role does Ross play in the drama?

19. Give a vivid description of the Sleep – Walking Scene.

20. How do the prophecies of the Witches mislead Macbeth?

21. Narrate the encounter between Macbeth and Macduff.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Essay Questions and Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Essay Questions and Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Essay Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Describe the first meeting of Macbeth with the witches?
The first meeting of Macbeth and the three witches serve as an important element for the play and it is from there that Macbeth’s decline starts. In fact the third prophecy acts as an instigator for Macbeth and that leads to his downfall. The superhero Macbeth turns into a weakling only after this. It is here that the seeds of overambition gets hold of Macbeth.

Had it not been for this meeting Macbeth itself won’t be there. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the meeting between Macbeth and the three witches serves as the catalyst for the drama. The witches introduce the idea of his being king to Macbeth, or at least make the idea concrete for him. They put fate or destiny on his side.

In other words, it is possible that Macbeth had entertained thoughts of being king before he met the witches. It may even be likely, though there is no concrete or absolute evidence of this. But the witches give him corroboration for his thoughts, if he was having them, and, more importantly, tells him that it is his destiny to be king. That’s all Macbeth, and his wife, for that matter, need to begin devising a plan and putting it into action. And this plan, of course, involves killing the present king.

The meeting, in foul weather and filled with mysteries (the weird sisters seem to vanish, for example), also furthers the theme of appearance and reality and fair and foul. Throughout the play, people and circumstances are often not as they seem. The theme of the supernatural is also furthered.

The problem Macbeth has throughout the play with Banquo is developed here, too—since Banquo is present, he knows the predictions made by the witches, and will therefore naturally suspect Macbeth of treachery when Duncan is killed. And Macbeth knows it. This makes Banquo a threat to him, which will lead Macbeth to order his killing, which leads more and more people to suspect Macbeth.

Question 2.
What role do the witches play in Macbeth?
“Macbeth” is known to be a story about the desire for power of the protagonist and his wife, but there’s a trio of characters that shouldn’t be left out: the witches. Without the “Macbeth: witches, there would simply be no story to tell, as they move the plot.

The witches serve two main functions within the play. Because they are witches, they immediately bring a supernatural element to the play, which furthers the theme of “fair is foul, and foul is fair.” Additionally, they serve as the instruments of fate by delivering their prophecies to Macbeth, who is then motivated to pursue his ambition.

During the play, the “Macbeth” witches make five key prophesies: Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and eventually King of Scotland. Banquo’s children will become kings. Macbeth should “beware Macduff.” Macbeth cannot be harmed by anyone “of woman born.” Macbeth cannot be beaten until “Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane shall come.”

Four of these predictions are realized during the course of the play, but one is not. We do not see Banquo’s children become kings; however, the real King James I was thought to be descended from Banquo, so there could still be truth to the “Macbeth” witches’ prophesy.

Although the three witches appear to have great skill at prophesying, it’s not certain if their prophecies really are preordained. If not, do they simply encourage Macbeth to actively construct his own fate? After all, it seems to be part of Macbeth’s character to shape his life according to the predictions (whereas Banquo does not).

This might explain why the only prophecy not realized by the end of the play relates directly to Banquo and cannot be shaped by Macbeth (although Macbeth would also have little control over the “Great Birnam Wood” prophecy).

In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare introduces an element of fantasy into his tragedy through the characters of The Witches. The Witches are important figures in the play, as their function is both to predict Macbeth’s fate and to signal what is to come. The Witches help focus on important parts of the play where darkness and sinister aspects play a role more than they usually would throughout the play.

Macbeth itself is a dark tragedy however, The Witches seem to be a major role in bringing a dark scary effect to the play. The Witches represent chaos, conflict and darkness, which are features of tragedy. They tell Macbeth predictions that are great and in his favour, but in fact are not and lead Macbeth to his downfall.

The Witches plan to meet again and as they depart say “Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air. (ACT -1, SC-1).” The Witches have already created the tone for the play when the audience later finds out that The Witches have control over Macbeth.

For the rest of the play Shakespeare wants to inform his audience that The Witches are what control the play and the mood of the play. Later Macbeth says to Banquo “So foul and fair a day I have not seen. (ACT-1, SC-3).” Shakespeare creates the illusion that The Witches can control someone before they have met.

However, it is The Witches’ prophecy that first motivates him to consider murder as a way to the throne. Shakespeare might have wanted the audience to think that The Witches are using their dark powers to influence the proceedings but, it is in fact Macbeth’s actions that make The Witches prophecies true. Hecate (the goddess of witchcraft) also influences Macbeth.

She predicts that Macbeth will come to The Witches to leant his future and says that she will use her magic to create apparitions that will push him toward his destruction. Having fully fulfilled the prophecy of The Witches, the relationship between Macbeth and these ministers of evil continues to grow evermore leading Macbeth even closer to his demise: How now, you secret, black and midnight hags. The witches are probably the most iconic and strange characters from this play.

Their strange and off putting presence influences the whole play, especially considering they only have three short scenes. The witches do not command Macbeth to kill Duncan or anyone else. The murder of his king is his decision. This is the only way that he can see to reach his “Ultimate Goal”. One murder leads to another. Macbeth has spun a web that has trapped him in a paranoid mess.

Soon he believes that everyone is out to get him. Traitors are behind every stone in his castle. He has no trusted friends left, and even his wife has fallen into a pit of madness. The only way to deal with this is to kill and kill again. He must know what the future holds for him, and again he turns to the witches. Maybe they can reassure him.

At this stage of the play, Macbeth is in desperate need of some measure of security. The witches are only too happy to oblige. They’ll give him just what he wants –  almost. Hecate has forecasted Macbeth’s weakness when she tells the three witches.

Now they tell him to beware Macduff, that no man born of woman will harm him, and that he will not be beaten until Birnum Woods marches on his castle. Macbeth is reassured. How can a man not be born of a woman, and woods do not walk. He has heard just what he wanted to hear.

The last two warnings are what he thinks about and he all but dismisses the first: “Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth! Beware Macduff. Beware the Thane of Fife!” Had he listened carefully to the first warning, he undoubtedly would have found a way to kill Macduff. But, again the witches have given Macbeth what the witches in “Macbeth” are important because they provide Macbeth’s primary call to action.

The witches’ prophesies also affect Lady Macbeth, albeit indirectly when Macbeth writes his wife about seeing the “weird sisters,” as he calls them. After reading his letter, she’s immediately prepared to plot to murder the kins and worries her husband will be too “full o’ th’ milk of human kindness” to commit such an act.

Although Macbeth initially doesn’t think he could do such a thing, Lady Macbeth has no question in her mind that they would succeed. Her ambition steels him. Time and again, the witches appear in the play. They warn, predict and tempt, but they do not control Macbeth. He is the master of his own fate. He controls his own life. The decisions are his as well as the sins of his deeds.

Thus the Witches exercise is a great influence on the decisions and actions of Macbeth. Without their prophecies, there would be no tragedy. They dominate the whole play in veiled.

Question 3.
Discuss Macbeth as a tragic hero?
A tragic hero must be good but he is not perfect. He has some error in judgement as a result of which he moves from happiness to misery and ultimately dies. Macbeth is an example of Shakespearean tragic hero. He is a person of great eminence. He is a man of noble birth and holds a lofty position in society. Shakespeare has introduced him as a brave general, a bold, resolute man of action.

The tragic hero is neither too good nor too bad. In the character of Macbeth we also find both the good and bad sides. When the Witches prophesy that Macbeth will be the king, he begins to have dark thoughts of becoming the king.

Ultimately, he assassinates King Duncan and becomes the king. He also does many heinous act including ordering the murders of Banquo and Fleance, as well as the slaughter of every single member of Macduff’s family in order to retain the throne.

However, Macbeth is not bad at all. At the beginning of the play, he is lauded as a great and loyal soldier. Macbeth defeated Macdonwald and the Norwegian king in the battle. He is described as the ‘valour’s minion’ and ‘Bellona’s bridegroom’.

Being pleased with Macbeth the king has granted him the title of Thane of Cawdor and decides to honour him by visiting his palace in Inverness. Macbeth’s hesitancy over committing regicide, ‘We will proceed no further in this business….’ is also evidence of the fact that he is not an innately ‘evil’ person.

Macbeth also possesses a fatal flaw in his character. His ambition is his tragic flaw which leads him to his doom. The Witches prophesize that Macbeth will be the Thane of Glamis, and the Thane of Cawdor, and the ‘king hereafter’. Their prophesies make him ambitious.

After the fulfilment of the first prophecy, he becomes restless for the fulfillment of the final prediction of becoming the king of Scotland. This prophecy of becoming king gives birth to the evil in his mind and being inspired by Lady Macbeth he murders Duncun to gain the throne, which is the first and most serious step towards his tragedy.

The suffering the tragic hero arouses pity and fear. But the fall of Macbeth arouses less sympathy than that of other tragic heroes such as Hamlet, King Lear and Othello, because of his unscrupulous ambition. Macbeth is different from other tragic heroes. He forfeits our sympathy after the middle of the play. He begins as a hero but ends as a villain.

From a brave soldier and noble person, Macbeth reaches a state when he is a soulless person and finally slaughtered like a beast. Thus, ambition is the root cause of Macbeth’s downfall, as it planted the seeds of murder, which grew into an uncontrollable monster that eventually destroyed anyone who got in its way.

Question 4.
Describe Macbeth’s state of mind after committing the murder of Duncan?
After stabbing the sleeping Duncan to death, Macbeth return wild and panic-stricken and tells his wife that he has done the deed. He tells her that as he descended the stairs one of Duncan’s two sons who were sleeping in the adjoining room, laughed in his sleep and other cried ‘murder’ in his sleep.

In this way the two sons woke each other up. But the next moment they offered their prayers to God, and prepared themselves to sleep again. He again said that one of them cried ‘God bless us!’ and the other said ‘Amen’.

Hearing their cry of fear, Macbeth tried to say ‘Amen’ but he could not utter the word because the word stuck in his throat. This had terrible unnerved him. When Lady Macbeth tried to quiet him, he said that he also heard a voice warning the sleeper to sleep no more for Macbeth had murdered the sleeping king. The mysterious voice further predicted that Macbeth should sleep no more for he had murdered sleep.

In such a confusion state of mind, he had brought the daggers back. Her wife bade him go and replace the daggers which he refuses to do. Thus, after committing the murder, Macbeth is almost in a state of trance with the horror of what he has done.

Question 5.
Sketch the character of Macbeth?
Macbeth is a tragic hero and the tragic flaw in him is his ambition. It is ambition which brings about his downfall. He has grandeur which Shakespeare’s tragic heroes usually possess. The defect in Macbeth’s character is his excessive ambition, an excessive desire to attain the kingship which the witches have prophesied for him. Macbeth is a military general of extraordinary power. As a warrior, he has covered himself with glory in putting down a rebellion and defeating the foreign invaders.

He is a man who inspires fear and admiration in us at the beginning. He is even favorite to Duncan, the king. But the manner in which Macbeth reacts to the prophecies of the Witches is a clear indication that he has secretly been harbouring an ambition to become the king. The thought of kingship so engrosses him that in an aside he clearly reveals the means which have occurred to him for attaining that position. However he is able to subdue this thought for the time being.

The problem arises in Macbeth when Duncan announces the nomination of Malcolm as the heir to the throne. Macbeth in an aside reveals his ambition still at work in his mind. He realizes the difficulty that has unexpectedly arisen in his way. With the realization of this difficulty comes the thought of the only possible means to the kingship, namely the assassination of Duncan; and that is why in this soliloquy Macbeth calls upon the stars to hide their light so that his ‘black and deep desires’ do not become visible.

When Macbeth returns home and his wife too speaks to him of the assassination of Duncan as the means to attain the kingship, he shows a non-committal attitude by saying, ‘we will speak further’. This means that he is in a state of indecision.

A little later, he reveals in a soliloquy what is going on in this mind. He considers the contemplate crime both from the practical point of view and the moral point of view. At this stage, lady Macbeth plays a decisive role. She launts him on his lack of courage and on not loving her well enough to be able to carry out a task which he had undertaken.

She speaks to him with such intense feeling and she uses such forceful language that Macbeth is overwhelmed and agrees to carry out the The murder of Duncan is the first and most serious step towards Macbeth’s self-damnation. By murdering Duncan, Macbeth has strangled his conscience.

However it does not dry out totally. Macbeth’s mobility to utter the word ‘Amen’ at the end of the brief prayer, his hearing a voice asking him not to sleep are signs of the keen sense of guilt committed by him. It makes him unhappy. The sound of a knocking at the door appeals him.

The blood on his hand, he thinks, cannot be washed away by all the water of the ocean; this blood on the contrary can redden all the ocean water. In fact Macbeth experiences an acute mental torment just after committing the murder.

Having taken the road of self-damnation, Macbeth is unable now to stop. Realizing the danger from Banquo, and thinking of the prophecy that the throne will eventually pass to the descendants of Banquo, Macbeth hatches a conspiracy against that man and has him murdered. Only a little later, he tells his wife about his apprehensions with regard to Macduff.

He also tells her that he will go to the weird sisters in the very next day to know something more about his future. He feels that now it is too late for him to retrace his footsteps because he has already gone too far on the road of evil.

His first act after returning from this meeting with the witches is to order the slaughter of Macduff’s family, an act which shows Macbeth to be a ruthless and unscrupulous criminal. He has become so hard-hearted that even the news of his wife’s death leaves him unmoved.

He also now realizes the futility of his life. His only concern is now personal safety of which he feels confident because of the promises of the witches. Soon he discovers ‘the equivocation of the friend’ and finds that, with Bimam wood moving towards Dunsinane, he cannot rely on those assurances. Finally he meets his end at the hands of Macduff who was not born of a woman in the normal sense.

One thing that must be acknowledged is that Macbeth differs from other Shakespearean tragic-heroes like Hamlet and Othello. Those heroes do not lose our admiration till the end because their essential nobility of character do not suffer any diminution at any state.

Their death commands our pity and fear. As for Macbeth, he certainly retains some of our sympathy but he forfeits our admiration after the middle of the play because of his criminal deeds. Nevertheless, it is shocking that a man like Macbeth, with such potentials falls prey to ambition and meets the tragic end.

Question 6.
Sketch the character of Lady Macbeth?
Is it true lady Macbeth has been called as the fourth witch in the play ‘‘Macbeth”?
Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. When we first see her, she is already plotting Duncan’s murder, and she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. She seems fully aware of this and knows that she will have to push Macbeth into committing murder. At one point, she wishes that she were not a woman so that she could do it herself.

This theme of the relationship between gender and power is key to Lady Macbeth’s character: her husband implies that she is a masculine soul inhabiting a female body, which seems to link masculinity to ambition and violence. Shakespeare, however, seems to use her, and the witches, to undercut Macbeth’s idea that “undaunted mettle should compose / Nothing but males”.

These crafty women use female methods of achieving power that is, manipulation—to further their supposedly male ambitions. Women, the play implies, can be as ambitious and cruel as men, yet social constraints deny them the means to pursue these ambitions on their own.

Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband with remarkable effectiveness, overriding all his objections; when he hesitates to murder, she repeatedly questions his manhood until he feels that he must commit murder to prove himself. Lady Macbeth’s remarkable strength of will persists through the murder of the king – it is she who steadies her husband’s nerves immediately after the crime has been perpetrated.

Afterwards, however, Lady Macbeth begins a slow slide into madness – just as ambition affects her more strongly than Macbeth before the crime, so does guilt plague her more strongly afterward. By the close of the play, §he has been reduced to sleepwalking through the castle, desperately trying to wash away an invisible bloodstain.

Once the sense of guilt comes home to roost, Lady Macbeth’s sensitivity becomes a weakness, and she is unable to cope. Significantly, she (apparently) kills herself, signaling her total inability to deal with the legacy of their crimes is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. She seems fully aware of this and knows that she will have to push Macbeth into committing murder.

Lady Macbeth is not a disgustful woman. We should remember “A creature is neither good nor bad but his deeds make a man wise or ugly” It has been said by one critic that Lady Macbeth is in many ways the dominant figure in the action in the first half of the play. After the murder of Duncan, she begins to fade away in the background. After Macbeth’s second meeting with the witches he and his wife never in any scene appeal together. There is an indefinable sense of coolness and separation.

Lady Macbeth’s over-ambition dominates her personality. She wants to see Macbeth on the royal throne. It is the only object of her life and she is ready to do anything to attain it. First of all she thinks about those factors which may create obstacles in her purpose. She finds that Macbeth’s noble nature is the main obstacle. He will never be ready, to kill his noble king although the witches have predicted that Macbeth will be the king of Scotland.

Lady Macbeth’s strong will makes her more impressive than Macbeth. She decides to provoke Macbeth to kill Duncan and uses all methods to provoke him. She reminds him of his past resolution to kill Duncan. She requests him. When it fails she rebukes him and challanges his manhood. First of all she fills his mind with the thought of murder and asks him to show false respect and love for Duncan.

She claims that Macbeth has ambition to be the king but he is afraid. He is like a cat which wants to eat fish without going into the river. She declares that she would have killed her child who is sucking her milk if she had promis d like Macbeth. She tells him her scheme that she will drug the guards. It may be easy for Macbeth to kill the sleeping unguarded Duncan. It Makes Macbeth determined to do murder.

Lady Macbeth’s practical wisdom helps Macbeth at many places. It is her presence of mind that Macbeth is saved. When Macbeth feels nervous seeing his hands after Duncan’s murder, she asks him to use a little water to wash spots of blood. She asks him to retire to their bedroom because someone was knocking at the gate. When Duncan’s murder is discovered Macbeth kills the guards. Banquo asks Macbeth the cause of this action.

Macbeth fails to give a reasonableMacbeth started off as a valiant and courageous soldier, who would do anything for the king. By the end of the play, Macbeth was a tyrant and a horrible leader who killed those who trusted him to maintain the throne.

It takes many factors to take a strong man and transform him into an evil monster. Macbeth’s downfall was caused by the deception and temptation of the witches and their prophecies, Lady Macbeth’s greed and aspirations for her husband to be king, and Macbeth’s own greed, jealousy and ambition.

The witches played a colossal role in Macbeth’s downfall and ultimately, his death. Since the first part of the prophecy stated Macbeth as being the new Thane of Cawdor, he believed he could continue to become king as well. In knowing his prediction, Macbeth also realized that since the king was in good Health, so he would have to kill the king himself.

For the rest of his prophecy to come true he would have to kill the king for himself. “All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter!”.The witches sparked this greed and ambition in Macbeth that caused him to kill the king answer. To divert the attention of all, she pretends unconsciously.

Lady Macbeth has a complex psychology. According to here behaviour it seems that she is very cruel. She is ready to kill her child for over ambition. Without any fear she enters Duncan’s room after murder, puts bood stained daggers there and paints Duncan’s blood on the guard’s faces. She asks Macbeth to wash his hands with a little water. But it is only an outward show.

Her reality is quite different from it. He asks the evil spirits to change her sex and make her cruel for she is not cruel by nature. She wants to be cruel to help her husband in the act of murder. Lady Macbeth is a great tragic figure. She devotes her whole life in helping her husband as much as possible. She wants to see him happy.

She knows her husband’s weakness that he is killing to be the king but he is afraid. So she removes his fear in various ways. She does not tell him her grief for she does not want to upset him. It is her misfortune that Macbeth has not even two drops of tears to shed on her death.

Question 7.
Write a note on the murder scene of Duncan?
Act 2, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth presents the murder of King Duncan—the key event that propels Macbeth onto greatness as well as doom. In this scene, Macbeth meets in their castle at night, immediately after Macbeth has stabbed the sleeping Duncan to death. The scene is the crisis of the action and is presented with unsurpassed intensity. Boas comments: “It is written with the pen of fire, and we see eye-witnesses of the deed of death though it is transacted off the stage.’’

The murder is off-stage. Its effect upon the protagonists is the dominating impression. The stage is empty for a moment before Lady Macbeth enters ‘fired’ by her imaginative awareness of the murder. There is a shriek and she is still and recognizes the cry of an owl. She has taken wine to nerve herself and cannot enter Duncan’s chamber because Duncan, who is in his sleep, resembles her father.

The hooting of the owl without and the cry of the crickets within suggest Nature’s consciousness of the
moral anarchy in the world of man “I doubt if in all literature there is any silent and whispering fear to be compared with that which thrills the air in this scene when Macbeth descends with his bloody hands, and she welcomes him with question on question and wears away his misery with bold encouragement”.

Macbeth declares in a short stark sentence that he has “done the deed”. Macbeth asks if she has heard any noise. Lady Macbeth replies that she has heard the owl scream and the crickets cry. Macbeth hears noise and words. These are not actual, but his inner voice that speaks out. Macbeth begins his ravings—he is indifferent to what Lady Macbeth says. He is self-absorbed.

He hears one cried “God bless us”, and another “Amen” He could not say ‘Amen’, he hears the voice ‘sleep no more’ —‘Macbeth has murdered sleep’. He sees his hands and the blood plucks out his eyes from the sockets.

Lady Macbeth seems to be practical in contrast, yet she does not see the daggers her husband cries. When she sees them, she tells her husband to carry the daggers to ‘the place’. Macbeth is afraid to revisit the place. Lady Macbeth is not now afraid because the sleeping and the dead are but pictures.
“A little water clears us of this deed”.

Macbeth again sees his hand and cries that all the oceans will not wash his hands clean. There is knocking without. Macbeth hears the knocking within. When he knows that this is the actual knocking at the gate, he wishes Duncan to wake up with the sound of the knocking.

In the murder scene, Macbeth finally realises the gravity of his crime. This is when he realises that the murder was morally wrong, not only illegal, and not simply the only path to power.

The murder of an innocent man is not something to be taken lightly. In act two scene two of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth understands how atrocious murder is, although Lady Macbeth does not comprehend the sensitivity of the matter. Macbeth, like most people, feels pain and sorrow for murdering King Duncan.

This is demonstrated when he states, “This is a sorry sight”. In this context, sorry means a poor or pitiful state. Macbeth is describing the murder scene as disturbing and unfortunate because an innocent man was murdered for egotistical reasons. Macbeth is having trouble coping with what he has done because even though he kills often he does not usually kill the innocent.

Macbeth believes that the murder of King Duncan is life-altering and thus does not deal with his guilt in a rational way. While trying to cleanse himself of the dead Macbeth says, “Will all of great Neptune’s oceans wash this blood clean from my hands” (2.2.78). Macbeth is being very dramatic and irrational. It is very well known that water can easily cleanse blood from hands, but Macbeth is doubtful that all the water in the world could wash away the blood.

The murder of an innocent man is not something to be taken lightly. In act two scene two of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth understands how atrocious murder is, although Lady Macbeth does not comprehend the sensitivity of the matter. Macbeth, like most people, feels pain and sorrow for murdering King Duncan. This is demonstrated when he states, “This is a sorry sight”.

In this context, sorry means a poor or pitiful state. Macbeth is describing the murder scene as disturbing and unfortunate because an innocent man was murdered for egotistical reasons. Macbeth is having trouble coping with what he has done because even though he kills often he does not usually kill the innocent. Since Macbeth was so affected by this murder it conveys through his expressions, how macbeth believes that the murder of king duncan is life-altering for him.

If you have ever cheated on a test or stolen something you would understand how guilt is a constant weight you bare on your shoulders. Evidently, this is how Macbeth feels, but Lady Macbeth does not feel burden. Macbeth is acting with respect to pathos regarding his guilt. Macbeth says, “My hands, they pluck out my eyes”.

Macbeth is overreacting to his fear because he doesn’t want to live with it for the rest of his life. With his eyes, Macbeth is forced to look back on the murder every day, which Macbeth’s whose heart is white like milk, can’t bear. Whereas Lady Macbeth acknowledges that she is guilty of murdering the King but does not feel any regret. She communicates this to Macbeth by saying “My hands are of your colour but I shame to wear a heart so white”.

Lady Macbeth criticizes her husband’s for feeling contrite after taking an innocent life. Any reasonable Each person would feel a sense of compunction after murdering. Consequently, Lady Macbeth is not reasonable; she is different, in a bad way. Macbeth may have a heart that is white as milk, but that is better than having a heart red like the fires of hell. Nevertheless, Macbeth feels guilt, but Lady Macbeth does not show any kind of guilt.

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” is the beginning of the second sentence of Macbeth. All the soliloquies reveals the real or the evil side of the character of Macbeth. Macbeth believes that the murder of King Duncan is life-altering and thus does not deal with his guilt in a rational way. While trying to cleanse himself of the dead Macbeth says, “Will all of Neptune’s oceans wash this blood clean from my hands”. Macbeth is being very dramatic and irrational.

It is very well known that water can easily cleanse blood from hands, but Macbeth is doubtful that all the water in the world could help him. This shows Macbeth is innocent and scared about what the future may hold. He clearly believes nothing can help him. Whiles Macbeth is panicking Lady Macbeth believes that the murder of King Duncan is no big deal. She states, “A little water will cleanse us of this crime” (2.2.68).

Lady Macbeth remains thoroughly composed, level-headed, and rational. The scene is full of dramatic irony, with Lady Macbeth referring to madness (constant brooding will make you mad) and to water cleansing the hands of blood. She is to become mad (V.i.) when the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten her little hand.

Macbeth’s poetic invocation to sleep-representing a peace he will never know again, his hearing a voice (an aural equivalent to the vision of the dagger) his fearing the hand that will pluck out his eyes all are conveyed with dramatic immediacy.

Question 8.
How does Porter act as a comic role in the play?
Porter scene in Macbeth is strategically placed between the murder of Duncan and its discovery. The third scene of the second Act is popularly known as the “Porter Scene”, where a drunken porter appears on stage responding to the repeated knocking in Macbeth’s castle.

The appearance and words of the porter does take away much of the grim intensity of the preceding scene but it certainly adds another element to the play. On one hand it provides comic relief to some extent and on the other, it serves a greater dramatic purpose.

As the scene begins, the porter hears the knocking and begins to imagine himself to be the porter of hell gate. In the medieval mystery plays, hell was represented as a castle and Its gate was guarded by a janitor or porter, and the arrival of Christ who demanded the release of the souls captured by Lucifer was signalled by a tremendous knocking at this gate and a blast of trumpet.

It is interesting because, the name Inverness (Macbeth’s castle) sounds similar to inferno (hell). He imagines sinners knocking at hell’s gate. First, he imagines a farmer, then an equivocator and finally an English tailor. He also says that he had planned to accommodate more people had he not felt that the place was “too cold for hell’’.

These people whom he imagines to bring into hell belong to ordinary level of society, committing petty sins. The farmer was greedy and hoarded his crops for better price but lost everything and hanged himself, the equivocator deluded justice by his double-faced arguments and the English tailor cheated his customers by using less garment to make a French hose (of a tighter fit than English counterpart).

Compared to these sins, Macbeth’s regicide looms large and a thousand times more damnable. On the other hand, all these petty sins, such as greed, equivocation, and cheating are integral parts of Macbeth’s Hubris and his evil actions. It is as if. through these persons seeking admission, the porter is personifying the diverse fragments of Macbeth’s soul into his private hell.

The Porter replies, “nose painting, sleep, and urine” – the first of which is usually taken to mean the red flush that comes across a drinker’s face. The porter scene or the discovery scene (Act – 2, Scene – 3) in Macbeth has attracted many critical commentary and conjecture. It comprises of two climaxes – the comical porter’s apparently irrelevant and tipsy comments and the discovery of the treacherous murder of Macbeth’s guest, King Duncan.

Question 9.
What is Macbeth’s plan for killing Banquo and Fleance? Does it work?
Banquo starts as an ally to Macbeth, but when they visit the Three Witches, the crones prophesy that Banquo’s lineage will inherit the Scottish crown. This makes Banquo and his son Fleance a sudden target for Macbeth since they stand in the way of his ambitions for the throne.

Because of Banquo’s history with Macbeth, Macbeth feels that he cannot kill his friend by his own hand, so he hires two hitmen and then a third murderer to take out Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth’s motive for killing them is that he wants the throne and does not want to risk the Three Witches prophecy that Banquo’s heirs will be kings and not Macbeth’s heirs instead.

Time is of the essence because Banquo is suspicious that Macbeth committed regicide to take the throne, so Macbeth carries out his plan in Act III. The plan half works since Banquo is able to stave off the attacks long enough for Fleance to escape into the darkness. Fleance’s whereabouts are unknown at the end of the play, but it is apparent that he is alive. Banquo spends the last two acts haunting Macbeth as a ghost.

Macbeth convinces the murderers to kill Banquo by persuading them that Banquo is their enemy and his. He lies and tells them that Banquo was responsible for their ruination and downfall. He does this so they have a personal interest in killing Banquo and to try to get them to agree to kill Banquo.

Macbeth’s primary reason for wanting to kill Banquo and Fleance is that Macbeth fears that since the prophecies that the witches made to him have all come true, the prophecy that the witches made to Banquo, “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none”, will also come true. Macbeth orders the murders of Banquo and Fleance to ensure that none of Banquo’s descendants will threaten Macbeth’s reign as king.

Macbeth considers what it is about Banquo that gives him cause for concern. He states that Banquo has a ‘royalty of nature’ or nobility about him which actually makes Macbeth afraid of him. He also acknowledges that Banquo has ‘valour’ (bravery) and ‘wisdom’ without feeling the need to take unnecessary risks.

Macbeth is taunted by two aspects of Banquo, as he explains in Act III Scene 1 lines 48-71. The first, the virtue and strength of character of Banquo, is a rebuke to Macbeth’s weaker character. He does nothing to accuse Macbeth of murdering the king, even though he has reason to believe Macbeth is responsible.

Question 10.
What is the importance of soliloquies in Macbeth with regard to plot development and character revelation?
Soliloquy is a literary device used in drama when a character wants to speak to him or herself. The main purpose of soliloquies is to express the feelings, inner thoughts, personality and mind set of the characters. Soliloquy is different from a monologue.

A monologue is a speech given by a character in the presence of other characters, whereas, the soliloquy is a speech made by a character in the absence of other characters. Macbeth is the best example for using effective soliloquies. Soliloquies are the heart and soul of Macbeth. The soliloquies of Macbeth are more like interior debates, a fascinating aspect of Macbeth’s motivation.

When it is done, then ‘twere well “It were done quickly: If the assassination Could trammel up the consequences, and catch”. With his surcease success ” The human psyche is always like a butterfly. It will create more impact on others. In the same way, Lady Macbeth’s poisonous words after reading the letter from Macbeth make a great impact on the play.

These asides and soliloquies are very significant in regard to plot development and character revelation. Macbeth’s ramblings after hearing the prophecies are in fact soliloquies which amply reveal the secret thoughts of his mind. It was prophesied that Macbeth will be the Thane of Cawdor and the king of Scotland.

When he was conferred with the title of the Thane of Cawdor he says to himself in an aside that “The greatest is behind.” Only a moment later, he utters another aside in which he says that the prophecies made by the Witches cannot be evil and cannot be good.

Macbeth speaks another aside just after Duncan nominates his son, Malcolm as the heir to the throne. The naming of the heir to the throne has become a hurdle in the way of his becoming the king of Scotland. To overcome this hurdle the thought of murder comes in his mind which helps the plot move forwards.

One of the most important of Macbeth’s soliloquies is made when king Duncan has arrived at Macbeth’s castle to stay there as a guest. This soliloquy shows his reflections on the consequences of the murder. Macbeth closes this soliloquy by saying that there is no spur to his intention of murdering Duncan except a soaring ambition. Here we find him hesitating at the last moment, to commit the crime.

Macbeth makes another soliloquy when he is about to murder sleeping Duncan. Here he sees a bloody dagger which is actually a hallucination, an expression of his guilty mind. In his next soliloquy, after committing the murder of Duncan, he is completely overwhelmed by the sense of guilt. Looking at his hands covered with blood, he has a feeling that all the water of the great ocean cannot wash the blood from them; on the contrary, the blood on his hands can redden the whole ocean.

There are two brief soliloquies which Macbeth makes on the battlefield before he is killed. One is when he compares himself to a trapped animal-a bear tied to a stake and baited by dogs. But he expresses the certainty of not being afraid of any man but of a woman. In the other soliloquy, he expresses the determination to go ahead and fight and not kill himself. But in the resulting duel with Macduff, he’s killed.

Just after killing Duncan Macbeth continues to clear his way in the frantic desire for peace of mind enroute evils. Like a true philosopher he now comprehends his present state. Macbeth spinning his dehumanisation utters the most poignant soliloquy:

“I have lived long enough. My way of life Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf…” To conclude we may say that the soliloquy is used by Shakespeare as a means of character revelation, as a means of advancing the plot, as a means of providing information, as a means of deepening an emotional effect, and so on.

Question 11.
Write a note on the importance of the Banquet scene in the play?
Banquets are traditionally held to enhance the prestige of a host, or reinforce social bonds among joint contributors. Modem examples of these purposes include a charitable gathering, a ceremony, or a celebration. They often involve speeches in honor of the topic or guest of honour. The primary purpose of a banquet is to serve as a charitable gathering, celebration or ceremony and is often preceded by speeches in honor of someone special.

Act 3, Scene 4 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is often referred to as “the banquet scene”, and here the consequences of Macbeth’s murder of King Duncan really start to show. Macbeth and his wife throw a banquet – a feast – for their loyal thanes to celebrate Macbeth’s reign as king.

In this scene, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth host a banquet for the Scottish thanes. A murderer tells Macbeth that he has been successful in killing Banquo, but that Fleance escaped. During the banquet, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo sitting at his place at the table.

The Banquet scene in “Macbeth” is one of the most moving scenes; and as far as the tragedy of Macbeth is concerned, it is tremendous in its dramatic impact and intensity. This scene is simultaneously the high point of Macbeth’s reign and the beginning of his downfall.

It records Macbeth’s guilty conscience taking the most horrible form in the shape of Banquo’s ghost. Macbeth’s bizarre behaviour puzzles and disturbs his subjects, confirming their impression that he is mentally troubled. It also shows Macbeth’s gradual overcoming of the qualms of conscience.
The scene (scene IV, Act III) opens at the royal hall of Scotland with the banquet ready celebrating Macbeth’s coronation. The couple is now at the height of double-dealing.

Macbeth’s words and phrases to the thanes, such as “You know your own degrees” and “Both sides are even: here I’ll sit i’ the midst” suggest a renewal of order and symmetry in Scotland, yet the audience knows that this is not the case. Both sides are not even, because Banquo is missing.

Degree, or rank order, has been effectively perverted by Macbeth by his killing of the king and his usurpation of the throne. As in Act I, Scene 6, Lady Macbeth’s words of introduction disguise her true feelings. Once again, the Macbeths act with suspicious confidence.

Fittingly enough, the announcement of the banquet is disturbed and delayed by the arrival of the first murderer at the door. Macbeth’s own supposed invincibility is shown when, at the news of Banquo’s murder, he says that he feels “as broad and general as the casing air,” but on hearing the unwelcome news that Fleance escaped his treachery, Macbeth’s language abruptly changes:

“But now I am cabined, cribbed, confin’d, bound in / To saucy doubts and fears” (25-26). The alliteration of the hard c sounds reveals Macbeth’s sense of constraint, in contrast to the freedom which he claims to have enjoyed previously.

The dramatic irony becomes most effective when the audience watch the bloody ghost of Banquo enter the stage and sit at Macbeth’s appointed chair and Macbeth, unaware of its presence, wishes: “Were the graced person of our Banquo present.” As he becomes aware of its presence, the whole scheme goes awry for Macbeth. Though the queen tries hard to stop the involuntary confessions, the situation goes beyond her control.

In contrast to the urgent horror of Macbeth’s addresses to the gruesome apparition, there are moments of comparative calm. Each time the ghost vanishes, Macbeth’s relief is recorded in softer, more lyrical expression. Indeed, the entire structure of this scene shows a man swinging from one state of mind to another. Thrice Macbeth sees the ghost, and thrice he appears to recover his senses. This alternating structure adds strongly to the impression of Macbeth’s loss of control.

With the departure of the guests, Macbeth appears to regain some of his earlier self-confidence. Macbeth now understands the truth that “.. .blood will have blood”, that is, murder begets murder; but he falsely draws the conclusion to his own purpose, that is, further murders will become necessary to protect his throne.

He announces his decision to visit the Weird Sisters once more, this time of his own accord. Macbeth, however, talks of the dilemma of ambition, which was typical of the Renaissance and is symptomatic of the modern age: “.. I am in blood Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go over:”

And herein lies the tragic appeal of the drama to a modern audience. It is in this scene that Macbeth emerges as a confirmed murdered with “strange things…in head”. In other words, the ghost of Banquo leads Macbeth unwittingly to his tragic downfall. The men are so enticed by the banquet that they act against their better judgement and approach.

Their desires overrule their common sense. Macbeth’s vision of the ghost reveals his guilt over ordering the murder of Banquo and his young son. His sense of guilt is so powerful that he loses his sense of reality and cannot be sure whether he is having a vision or not.

Question 12.
Is Macbeth’s initial ambition to affect positive change as the King of Scotland? What evidence is there that his desire from the beginning is simply to hold power?
When Macbeth first hears the witches’ prophecy, he is somewhat startled and taken aback. He has been greeted by the Weird Sisters with talk of honors and a future so glorious that he’s genuinely at a loss for words.Banquo laughs at the prophecies but Macbeth is excited, especially as soon after their meeting with the witches Macbeth is made Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan, in return for his bravery in the battle. He writes to his wife, Lady Macbeth, who is as excited as he is.

When Macbeth hears the Witches’ final prediction, he is tormented by the vision of Banquo’s children ruling instead of him, but he still doesn’t understand that the Witches are not on his side. Macbeth believes the witches because it is an easy excuse for him to foster his “vaulting ambition.” Considering that ambition is Macbeth’s tragic flaw, Macbeth was not in a situation to further his position more than he had already done before the play began.

“Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am thane of Glamis.
But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman, and to be king Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor.”

The witches told Macbeth that he would be king, and he is worried about his role in making the prediction come true. Macbeth wants the witches to stay longer and to tell him more about where they have gotten the ideas, which seem incredible to him, that he could become thane of Cawdor or king of Scotland. This is a moment of dramatic irony, in which the audience knows what the characters in a play do not.

We know from the last scene that the traitorous thane of Cawdor, who sided with the Norwegians against Duncan, has been put to death. Duncan has already announced he is giving the title of thane of Cawdor to Macbeth to reward him for his valor on the battlefield. Macbeth and Banquo have no idea, however, that any of this has occurred. The witches will not be commanded by Macbeth. They disappear without any explanation.

Question 13.
Sketch the character of Banquo, paying particular attention to his connection with the witches?
Banquo is one of the main characters in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. His full title is Lord Banquo, Thane of Lochaber, and he serves as a foil to the play’s protagonist, Macbeth. Early in the play, Macbeth and Banquo see the Three Witches. who proceeds to give Macbeth a prophecy about him becoming king. They also give Banquo a prophecy that he himself will not be king, but his descendants will be.

Both men are praised by Duncan, the current king of Scotland, and are said to deserve credit for recent military victories, but Banquo lives in Macbeth’s shadow. While not as overly ambitious as Macbeth. Banquo’s prophecy creates fear and paranoia in Macbeth as he realises his own prophecy is coming true and he will indeed become king.

Macbeth, who is Banquo’s friend and ally, worries that Banquo and his heirs might plot against him, so he sends three assassins after him. Banquo’s death, however, sets events in motion that fulfill the Witches’ prophecy.

On their way to Duncan’s camp the two men are stopped by three witches who show that they know who the two are. They predict that Macbeth will soon become Thane of Cawdor and, subsequently, king. They ignore Banquo but he asks them what they have to say to him. They turn to him and tell him that he will not be king but will be the father of a long line of kings.

The two men laugh about it but the idea stays with Macbeth and he is struck with a thought that he can’t bear to allow—that to become king he would have to kill Duncan. Macbeth dismisses the thought but it becomes difficult when he is met by two messengers from the king, telling him that the king has awarded him the lands and title of the recently executed traitor, the Thane of Cawdor.

Macbeth writes to his wife, Lady Macbeth, and tells her about the encounters. That puts the same idea into her mind, that the king will have to be killed, and she quickly decides that she will work on it.
The king greets his two captains and tells Macbeth that he will be coming to spend the night at his castle at Inverness before going hunting the next day.

When a messenger arrives at the castle and tells Lady Macbeth that the king is coming she knows that she will have to persuade her husband to act. Macbeth returns to his castle and Banquo and his son, Fleace— a child— go with him. Lady Macbeth puts great pressure on Macbeth to murder Duncan. At first, he resists but she prevails and he agrees to stab Duncan in his sleep.

After the murder Macbeth is proclaimed king. He and his old friend chat and Macbeth tells Banquo that he had better make sure that he attends the state banquet he and the queen are holding to honour their ascent to the throne. Banquo suspects Macbeth of having murdered the king but expresses his loyalty.

He tells Macbeth that he has to go away on business and will do his best to get back in time. He also tells him that Fleance, will be accompanying him. By this time Macbeth is already sleepless as a result of the guilt he is experiencing. He is already paranoid and is about to embark on a reign of terror, murdering his rivals and opponents. Banquo is to be the first of these.

Macbeth hires some murderers and tells them to attack Banquo on the way back and to make sure that he kills his only son, Fleance, as well. During the banquet one of the murderers arrives and Macbeth is called out of the hall. The murderer tells him that he has killed Banquo but that Fleance has escaped. That throws Macbeth into a state of panic.

But he pulls himself together and returns to the table and begins to make a welcome speech. He says that he wishes that Banquo could be there. There is a figure sitting at a table in Banquo’s place and when he turns to look at the king Macbeth sees the blood-drenched face of Banquo. He starts yelling and cowering away from the ghost.

Lady Macbeth calms him down. He apologises and returns to his speech. When he mentions Banquo again the ghost appears once more and this time Macbeth goes mad. Lady Macbeth dismisses the guests, telling them to leave as fast as they can.

Macbeth becomes increasingly bloodthirsty and Shakespeare gives us the onstage spectacle of one of the murderers killing a young child— a son of Macduff, the man who eventually defeats and kills Macbeth.

We see Banquo once more. Macbeth returns to the witches to ask them to predict the future. Their predictions come in riddles but the last prediction is an image of Banquo wearing a crown and leading an endless parade of his descendants.

Banquo is hardly a character in Macbeth. He has a function rather than a dramatic role in the play. It is his function to be the first victim in Macbeth’s reign of terror and his ghost’s is to pile on to the guilt that is already beginning to unsettle Macbeth. Banquo is kind and caring, loyal and trustworthy. Similar to Macbeth, Banquo seems unable to understand the cost of the Witches’ prophecy will be his life.

In Act III, murderers kill Banquo at Macbeth’s command, and try to kill his young son, Fleance, who manages to get away. Soon after his death, Banquo appears in the form of a ghost at the banquet the Macbeths give at their castle. At play’s end, Banquo’s greatest import remains offstage: his son, Fleance, who could come back to revenge his father’s death and take the throne of Scotland, fulfilling the Witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will one day be king.

We can say he is Macbeth’s ally under Duncan. Banquo receives a prophecy like Macbeth, but the prophecy scares Macbeth and makes him murder his ally, an act that sets a series of events in motion which eventually lead to Macbeth’s death.

Question 14.
Write short notes on :
Macduff, Malcolm, Ross
MACDUFF tMacduff one of the most important minor character of Macduff. It is minor as it appear for a limited action. Macduff too is such a character. He comes to light with the murder of Duncan. He is the first man who in the morning, discovers that Duncan is murdered. He informs others including Banquo and Malcolm. Macduff is faithful to the king of Scotland. He is deeply shocked seeing the dead body of Duncan.

Macduff: O horror! horror! horror!
Tongue nor heart can’t conceive, nor name thee!
He is not able to bear the burden of this heart-breaking news and wants to share it with others. He informs Banquo.

Macduff: O Banquo! Banquo! Our royal master’s murdered!
He tells Maclolm that Duncan is dead. When he comes to know that Macbeth killed the guards appointed in the chamber of Duncan, he asks Macbeth about it.

Macduff: Wherefore did you do?
Unlike the treasonous Macbeth, Macduff is completely loyal to Duncan and his son Malcolm. He discovers Duncan’s body, and he soon becomes suspicious of Macbeth. Fearing Macbeth’s vengeance, he flees to England to support Malcolm in his assault on Macbeth.

Malcolm tests Macduff’s loyalty in the play, which Macduff succeeds in and hence proves to the audience that Macduff is a character to be trusted. Macbeth Macduff is eventually the character who kills Macbeth in the play.

Macduff takes his loyalty to his country to the extreme. He is motivated to kill Macbeth because he feels he needs to rid the country of a dishonourable, destructive king. Throughout the tragic events that have occurred in the play, Macduff serves as a heroic figure through his demonstrations of intelligence, loyalty, and righteousness. Macduff s first loyalty is to his king and country.

He follows Malcolm (the rightful king) to England and becomes his right-hand man supporting him in his bid to regain the throne. Malcolm tests Macduffs loyalty by pretending to be a worse human being than Macbeth himself.

Throughout the play Macduff shows himself to be possessed of great energy. Except when deeply moved, he is a man of very few words. He frequently acts impulsively; but he is thoroughly honest, has great depth of feeling, and is a true patriot.

Macduff is actually a man of few words preferring to get on with things. He could sit around crying about his loss (T could play the woman with mine eyes’) or making great speeches about his intentions (‘braggart with my tongue’). Instead he cannot wait for the moment (‘cut short all intermission’) when he and Macbeth come face-to- face and he can be avenged.

Macduff stands out from a large cast of secondary characters because of the particular harm that Macbeth does to him, and the revenge Macduff takes on Macbeth in turn. At the beginning of the play, Macduff is a loyal and brave noble fighting on Duncan’s side.

He immediately distrusts Macbeth’s claim that Duncan was killed by his servants, and refuses to go to Macbeth’s coronation. The outburst of his emotion on the receipt of the news of the massacre of his family proves that he was not devoid of natural affection.

Once Macbeth understands that Macduff will not be loyal to him, Macduff becomes a particular focus of Macbeth’s anger, guilt, and rabid desire to protect his power. Macbeth arranges for murderers to kill Macduff’s wife and children, after Macduff has already fled to England to seek help from the king for his cause against Macbeth.

Macduff’s decision to abandon his family is never fully explained, and seems hard to justify, given their brutal murders. But Macduff is deeply motivated by his wife and sons’ deaths, and he speaks several times in the play about how he must revenge them. Thus, his mission to place Malcolm on the throne of Scotland is one that reflects his desire to have the true monarch ruling, but also shows his desire for vengeance for his wife and son’s murder.

Like Macbeth, Macduff is also shown as a human being. When he hears of the death of his “pretty chickens,” he has to hold back his emotions. Even when Malcolm urges him to “Dispute it like a man,” Macduff’s reply “I will do so. But I must also feel it as a man” enables the audience to weigh him against Macbeth, an unfeeling man if ever there was one.

In the final combat between hero and anti¬hero, this humanity is recalled once more when Macduff cries out, “I have no words; my voice is in my sword.” It is his very wordlessness that contrasts with Macbeth’s empty rhetoric. He can be seen as the avenging hero who helps save Scotland from Macbeth’s tyranny in the play.

Malcolm: Malcolm is a character in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. He is the elder son of the King, Duncan, who is murdered by Macbeth early in the play. Although the Scotland of the play has an elected monarch Duncan has named Malcolm as his successor. He is dignified and stately, but he may seem stiff and rigid after Macbeth’s destructive energy.

The words ‘Hail, King’. ‘Hail. King of Scotland’resound through the scene with a mounting sense of triumph, as more voices join in the cry and confirm Malcolm’s sovereignty. He is declared as Duncan’s heir at the end of the opening battle, an event that Macbeth sees as an obstacle to his ambitions. Upon Duncan’s death, Malcolm and Donalbain flee from Scotland, fearing that they will suffer a fate similar to Duncan.Malcolm is like his father, whose job it was to punish wrongdoing, reward good acts and keep things going on an even keel.

Malcolm’s words seem deliberately measured and precise after Macbeth’s excesses. He uses financial language, promising not to ‘spend a large expense of time’ (5.9.26) before he reckons up the love of his thanes, and repays what he owes. That is a scene that directors looking for places where they could take something out to shorten a performance, frequently cut, as it has little dramatic effect.

The scene only livens up towards the and when a messenger comes to tell Macduff that Macbeth has invaded his castle and slaughtered everyone – his whole family and all the servants. Although it is an army composed of Malcolm’s troops and those of an English general, there is no personal engagement between Malcolm and Macbeth.

This is definitely not a revenge play in the sense of a son seeking to avenge his father’s murder, although there is an element of revenge on the part of Macduff, who is the one who has the final showdown with Macbeth, defeating him with such commitment that after killing Macbeth he decapitates his body.

Malcolm shows no emotion throughout, not even to express sorrow at what the Scottish people have endured under the tyrannical Macbeth. What we get instead is a steady, unemotional commitment to the restoration of order.

“We shall not spend a large expense of time
Before we reckon with your several loves,
And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen,
Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
In such an honour named. What’s more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time,
As calling home our exiled friends abroad
That fled the snares of watchful tyranny;”

In this closing speech, restoring order to the bleeding Scotland, Malcolm praises those who have helped him, rewarding them with earldoms; he recalls the exiles, and promises to do everything that needs to be done. He is creating a measured, correct, kingdom, as an administrator, although without shedding a tear for those who have suffered.

Here, Malcolm praises his friends; gives them a reward by making them earls; calls back all the exiles; and then, finally, says that he’ll do everything that needs to be done, “in measure, time and place.” He’s reuniting the kingdom, surrounding himself with loyal friends, and promising to take care of the to-do list of all without shedding a single tear.

Ross: Ross is a thane in Scotland. He brings reports of Macbeth’s bravery to King Duncan. Ross visits Lady Macduff to tell her that Macduff has fled to England. Later, he delivers the news to Macduff that his family have been murdered. While he is intellectually smart and can be polite, caring, thoughtful and kind, Ross is often clumsy, oversensitive and socially awkward – taking the characteristics of the stereotypical “loser nerd”.

He also has a dry, sarcastic and witty sense of humor that is second only to Chandler’s. Ross, a Scottish nobleman and Lady Macduff s cousin, is a messenger in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. Ross is a messenger to Macbeth as he delivers news from King Duncan that Macbeth has been named Thane of Cawdor; Ross is a messenger to Macduff with the horrible news that Macduffs wife and child have been murdered; and finally, Ross serves as a messenger to Siward that his young son has been killed in battle. While Ross is labeled a minor character in the play, his actions as a messenger in delivering critical information that significantly advances the plot makes him an important character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

In Act 4 of the play, it is Ross who last sees Lady Macduff, telling her that her husband has fled Scotland. Although he tries to reassure her that Macduff will be fine, Ross is saddened knowing that Lady Macduff and her family are in trouble.

Ross also shows his warmhearted relation to his cousin, Lady Macduff, when Macduff flees Scotland for England in search of help to end the tyrannical reign of Macbeth in Scotland. Again, Ross serves as a messenger when he reluctantly brings news to Macduff that both his wife and children have been murdered at Macbeth’s behest.

When delivering this particularly heartbreaking news to Macduff, Ross hesitates, and first tells Macduff that his family is well before telling Macduff that his wife and son have, in fact, been murdered. Finally, Ross is taxed with the duty of delivering the news to Siward that his son was among those killed in the battle to overthrow Macbeth.

Question 15.
Explain the use of dramatic irony in Macbeth?
Dramatic irony occurs when the audience has more information than the characters. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to amuse the audience and to show the level of deception developed by the main character.

In Act, I, Scene III, the first instance of dramatic irony occurs when the three witches appear, and they greet Macbeth and Banquo. The witches address Macbeth as Thane of Cawdor, which Macbeth takes to be a prophecy.

However, the audience knows that King Duncan has given orders to Ross to have Cawdor placed under Macbeth’s control, as a reward for winning the battle. Another incidence of dramatic irony occurs when King Duncan gives a pleasant speech about his host, not knowing they plan to assassinate him.
Dramatic irony occurs when Macbeth and the lords await the arrival of Banquo.

Macbeth already has information about his murder. The audience is aware of Macbeth’s actions, but the characters are deceived. Macbeth says, “I drink to the general joy o’ the whole table, and to our friend Banquo, whom we miss, would he were here, I to all, and him, we thirst”.

He expresses how he anticipates the arrival of Banquo when he has been told by the first murderer about his death. Another instance of dramatic irony is when Macbeth speaks to Banquo’s ghost, and the guests consider him a disturbed man. They claim he needs to be left alone. The characters are not aware, as much as the audience, that Banquo’s ghost is in their midst.

The audience is aware of Macbeth’s murders when the characters still consider him an honest man. There are other dramatic ironies in the play, such as the plot by the three witches and Hecate to deceive Macbeth. The dramatic ironies are used to emphasize the treacherous plots that the innocent-looking faces conceal. It also creates suspense that keeps the audience anticipating reaction when the truth is revealed.

Dramatic irony implies a contrast between appearance and reality. It is as Maulton says, “A sort of double-dealing in Destiny itself.” The operation of Destiny as exhibited in the plot of Macbeth is throughout tinctured with irony. The element of mockery appearing always in this that apparent checks to Destiny turn out to be the very means Destiny chooses by which to fulfill itself. Macbeth tries to secure himself against the obstacles to the fulfillment of his ambition.

He has Banquo killed for safety, but his sense of insecurity is increased, it contributes to the exactness with which the destiny is fulfilled. The action taken by Macbeth in order to prevent Macduff’s being the instrument of retribution is brought by a mocking fate to impel Macduff to his task at the moment when he had resolved to abandon it out of despair for Malcolm’s alleged incompetence, Thus between Macbeth’s expectations and fulfillment, there always falls a shadow.

This wide breach between what things seem to be and what they really are for Macbeth is the work of mocking fate. This is ironical. There is indeed deep irony when Duncan invites himself to Macbeth’s Castle. He unconsciously chooses the path that leads to his disaster.

The mocking fate plays an impish trick on man. Both Duncan and Banquo are attracted by the calm beauty of the castle, they are full of praise for it. They do not know that death lurks there. So the words of praise have one meaning for them, and another for the audience.

The contrast between appearance and reality makes the situation grim and terrible. The theme of appearance and reality is indicated and illustrated through these dramatic ironies. Macbeth is full of dramatic irony. The irony in Macbeth is there to add to the suspense and the malicious mood of the play.

Question 16.
Compare the character of Macbeth to that of Banquo?
Macbeth and Banquo are two of the finest characters that emerge in the play ‘Macbeth’. This can be considered as one of the greatest works of William Shakespeare. Through the play, Shakespeare portrays the image of a man who succumbs to darkness. The characters of Macbeth and Banquo function as two very different or else contrasting characters.

The key difference between Macbeth and Banquo is that while Macbeth succumbs to darkness as he embraces the prophetic greetings of the three witches, Banquo clearly rejects this emerging as an emblem of light.

Macbeth is a general of King Duncan’s army. He encounters the three witches on his way from the battlefield, where the witches tempt him with prophetic greetings saying Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and as the future king.

Macbeth is stunned by these greetings due to his ambitious nature. After King Duncan promotes Macbeth as the Thane of Cawdor murderous thoughts, enter into Macbeth’s mind. With the assistance of his wife the Lady Macbeth, he becomes king after murdering King Duncan.

Although Macbeth becomes king, he is often tormented by his thought or murder and suspicions. Since Macbeth lives in fear of Banquo, he plans to murder Banquo and his son so that the prophetic greetings of Banquo would not come true. Even after the murder of Banquo, Macbeth is tormented by the future that he goes to the witches again.

The witches warn him of Macduff but create a false sense of security in Macbeth with their prophecies that no man born of a woman can harm him. In the later part of the play, we see both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth suffering due to all the evil plans that they implemented. It is not; only these two characters, but even the country seems to perish at the hands of an evil ruler.

However at the end of the play, it is Macduff, who kills Macbeth and saves the land from the evil hands of Macbeth. Banquo is a general of King Duncan’s army who bravely fights with Macbeth on the battlefield. After the encounter with the three witches, Banquo clearly rejects the prophetic greetings of the witches though the witches prophesied that Banquo will father a line of kings although he fails to be one.

Macbeth, Banquo serves a foil to Macbeth as Banquo’s reason contrast with Macbeth’s ambition, Macbeth represents darkness due to his evil actions whereas Banquo represents light because of his morality, and also Banquo is loyal whereas Macbeth is disloyal and selfish.

The use of contrast is significant because it is an impactful way to focus viewer’s attention on the different aspects of Macbeth’s character that Shakespeare wants to emphasize. Shakespeare also rigorously explore Macbeth’s unlawful rise in authority and his inescapable failure.

Macbeth’s powerful ambition for control causes him to make evil choice Due to Macbeth’s fear of Banquo that he will suspect him of the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth arranges Banquo and his son Fleance to be murdered. As a result, of this attempt, Banquo dies but Fleance runs away.

Even after the death of Banquo, Macbeth has hallucinations of Banquo appearing in front of him as a ghost. Throughout the play, Banquo acts as the contrast to Macbeth’s evilness as he is guided by light. Although, Banquo wants power but he denies to commit horrible crime as he says.

“A heavy summons lies like lead upon me restrains in me the cursed thoughts that nature give away to repose”. In this quote, Banquo is unable to control his imagination as he dreams regarding the prophecy. But Banquo’s strength of character and morality stops him to commit such a crime. Unlike Macbeth, Banquo withstands his sleep so that he could stop thinking about this terrible crime.

This shows that his inner light helps him to overcome the dark desires of his mind. Again, when Banquo is tempted by the witches’ prophecy he says, “Why on the verities on thee made good set me up on hope? But hush no more”. Although, Banquo thinks about the prophecy again but he says that “hush on more”. By this line Banquo means that he will stop himself at all cost because he knows that the result will harm him in the future.

Banquo proves that the lust of power and ambition cannot control him and his decisions. As his strength of principles and values will not allow him. The fact that Banquo heard his inner voice guided him to walk on right path which is full of light. Banquo also asks God for forgiveness that shows how shameful he is on him for even having these thoughts in his mind.Banquo values people around him specially the king as he says, “ I lose none in seeking to augment it I shall be consell’d”.

This quote shows that Banquo will not give up his loyalty for power. Later, when Macbeth murdered Duncan, Banquo had a suspicion that Macbeth might have adapted wrong path in order to be the king but still he remains quiet as he thought Macbeth is a loyal friend so he says that, “ Merciful powers restrain on me the cursed thoughts and give away the repose”. This quote show that Macbeth refuses to commit anything that deprives him from his moral of loyalty.

Question 16.
What is the significance of Sleep-walking scene in Macbeth?
The significance of the sleepwalking scene is that it shows us that the murder of Duncan has serious consequences. Lady Macbeth is in the process of going insane due to the part she played in Duncan’s murder. This foreshadows the disaster that will befall her husband over this own part in this brazen act of treachery. The Sleep Walking Scene is an important scene in Shakespeare’s “ Macbeth.” Lady Macbeth undergoes so much mental torture, after committing many murders, along with her husband, Macbeth.

Though she tries to hide them from everybody, she is not able to do so for a long time. She reveals her secrets unconsciously in this Sleep Walking Scene. The only other people present here are the doctor and the gentle woman.

Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene creates a great deal of irony in the play. Immediately after murdering Duncan, Macbeth feared that he would never sleep peacefully again because he killed the king while the king slept.

The doctor has been watching for two nights with the gentle woman to find out the nature of Lady Macbeth’s ailment. The gentlewoman says that she has found Lady Macbeth walking in her deep sleep, unlocking her closet, taking a piece of paper, writing something on it, sealing it, and then returning to bed. The doctor asks if she has heard Lady Macbeth saying anything at that time.

The gentlewoman says that she will not reveal that. When they are talking, Lady Macbeth enters walking in her sleep with a taper in her hand. Her eyes are open, “but their sense is shut.” She starts rubbing her hands. The gentlewoman says that it has been her usual action continued for a quarter of an hour, symbolizing the washing of her hands from guilt. Soon, Lady Macbeth starts speaking.

She reveals their murder of the old king, Duncan. She repeats her words to her husband earlier, encouraging him to do the act. Then she expresses her shock that the old man had so much blood in him. After that, she reveals that they have murdered the thane of Fife’s wife.

She is in a depressed condition, and questions herself whether her hands will never be clean. She also laments that all the perfumes of Arabia can not sweeten her little hand. Then she talks about Banquo’s murder. She says that Banquo, whom they have murdered, is in his grave, and he can not come out of his grave.

The doctor, who hears everything, is greatly surprised when he finds out the reason for Lady Macbeth’s sleep walking sickness. He observes that infected minds will reveal their secrets to their deaf pillows. He concludes that Lady Macbeth needs the divine more than the doctor. He asks the kind nurse to look after Lady Macbeth, “removing from her the means of all annoyance.” Finally, he leaves the place, saying that he will not talk about this to anybody.

This scene speaks of her guilt, and the way that guilt eats at her. Lady Macbeth enters, carrying a candle, and we soon learn why her gentlewoman is afraid to repeat what she has heard. In her sleep, Lady Macbeth relives the crimes that she has helped Macbeth to commit. First she rubs her hands as though washing them.

The gentlewoman explains that she has seen the lady do this for as much as fifteen minutes at a time. Now, after rubbing her hands, Lady Macbeth looks at them and says, “Yet here’s a spot”. What she is seeing in her trance-like state is a spot of blood that she cannot wash off her hand.

We can see the irony, because just after the murder of Duncan, the lady scorned her husband for staring at his own bloody hands, and she told him that a little water would fix everything. She continues to “wash” her hands until she is interrupted by the memory of the bell that she herself rang to summon her husband to the murder of King Duncan.”

The Gentlewoman and the bewildered Doctor exeunt, realizing these are the symptoms of a guilt-ridden mind. The Doctor feels Lady Macbeth is beyond his help, saying she has more need of “the divine than the physician”. He orders the Gentlewoman to remove from Lady Macbeth the “means of all annoyance”, anticipating she might commit suicide.

Despite his warning, the audience is informed in Act 5, Scene 5, that Lady Macbeth has managed to commit suicide off-stage. The scene is Lady Macbeth’s last on-stage appearance, though her death is reported later in the act.

Write a critical note on the supernatural elements in Macbeth and trace their influence on the course of action of the play.
Belief in the supernatural was wide-spread in the age of Shakespeare. Indeed such belief is universal, though the forms it takes differ from age to age. There are superstitions is our own rational age as they were in the so-called superstitious ages of the part.

And an artistic will be popular if he does not make use of popular beliefs in his artistic creations Shakespeare was a popular and practical playwright. As such we find in his plays all those mysterious powers of good and evil which go under the names of angels, fairies, ghosts, witches, and other supernatural agents.

In Macbeth, the supernatural is an integral part of the structure of the plot. It provides a catalyst for action, an insight into character, and augments the impact of many key scenes. Throughout the play, super natural appeals to the audience in various forms which is represented by the witches, the prophecies, the floating dagger, and ghost. The existence of these supernatural elements in Macbeth foreshadows the evil ambitions and actions possess by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

The protagonist Macbeth is influenced by three main supernatural elements. The witches are the inciting incident in Macbeth they reveal his darkest desires, next Macbeth sees the dagger on the night of Duncan’s murder, and the last supernatural element the Macbeth encounters is the apparitions and prophecies. The supernatural motivates Macbeth comprehensively, to the extent that he murders King Duncan, Banquo and Macduff’s family.

It galvanises him to do things that otherwise he would have thought were ludicrous.The supernatural shows Macbeth’s fear and paranoia, as well as helping to create it. The supernatural creatures presented in the play are witches, ghosts, and spirits. The witches in Macbeth symbolize evil, and the author used them to achieve a haunting effect on the audience or readers. The supernatural elements are the use of the witches, the dagger, Banquo’s ghost and the apparitions in the play.

Firstly, the use of the witches in the play is a key element in the supernatural. When the play was written in 1600, people in those days believed in things like the witches and they also believed thought that the power and knowledge of the future came from the devil.

“Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here. Come to my woman’s breasts for gall” (Act 1 Scene 5), her soliloquy shows that she relied on the supernatural by asking for the spirit to get rid of her natural feelings of concern by making her cruel. The interference with the supernatural might cause her to be possessed by ghost when she goes mad and sees blood on her hands.

As Macbeth awaits for the signal to make his way up to the stairs, he sees floating dagger and said “Thou marshal’st me the way that I was going; and such an instrument I was to use. There’s no such thing. It is the bloody business which is informed in the play.

Here Macbeth begins to question whether his mind playing tricks on him or there is presence of evil that put the dagger which being covered with blood. This shows that there is interference of supernatural that leads Macbeth towards the Duncan’s chamber to do the murder.

The dagger symbolizes the point of no return for Macbeth. If he chooses the path in which the dagger leads, there will be no turning back. Shakespeare uses the concept of supernatural events to control the character and to add a new dimension to the play, and he does it through the use of the witches and the “ghost” dagger.

Thus the supernatural in Macbeth has been used by the dramatist as a sort of comment on, and a fulfilment of, the natural human action of the tragedy. Herein lies the originality of Shakespeare’s use of the supernatural.

Shakespeare makes is abundantly clear that the man is a free agent, in spite of the greatest pressure of the circumstance that may play hovoc with his capacity of taking decisions in critical moments of his life. He is free to choose between good and evil and shape his destiny accordingly.

Question 18.
What are the various factors which bring about the downfall and death of Macbeth?
Macbeth started off as a valiant and courageous soldier, who would do anything for the king. By the end of the play, Macbeth was a tyrant and a horrible leader who killed those who trusted him to maintain the throne. It takes many factors to take a strong man and transform him into an evil monster. Macbeth’s downfall was caused by the deception and temptation of the witches and their prophecies.

Lady Macbeth’s greed and aspirations for her husband to be king, and Macbeth’s own greed, jealousy and ambition. The witches played a colossal role in Macbeth’s downfall and ultimately, his death.Since the first part of the prophecy stated Macbeth as being the new Thane of Cawdor, he believed he could continue to become king as well. In knowing his prediction, Macbeth also realized that since the king was in good health, so he would have to kill the king himself. For the rest of his prophecy to come true he would have to kill the king for himself.

“All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.51). The witches sparked this greed and ambition in Macbeth that caused him to kill the king. Not only did the witches tempt Macbeth, but they also deceived him and.. .show more content…

As soon as she heard Macbeth’s prophecy, she was willing to do anything to get him into the position of king. She was even willing to aid in the murder of innocent people who stood in the way of Macbeth’s ascension to the crown like, King Duncan. Her greed led to Macbeth’s downfall. When Macbeth stated that he was questioning his intentions to kill the king, she pushed him and assisted in the plotting.

“We will proceed no further in this business. / He hath honored me of late, and I have bought/ Gold opinions from all sorts of people” (1.7.31-33). After he said this, Lady Macbeth questioned his manhood. With his manliness being questioned, he pushed himself to kill the king. The greed of Lady Macbeth and her scheming led to Macbeth’s untimely death.

Numerous factors contributed to Macbeth’s ruin, such as his own character flaws and his demanding wife, Lady Macbeth. The Three Witches, however, caused Macbeth the most trouble. First, the sisters stirred his dormant ambitions to be king. In addition to this, the witches’ prophesies gave Macbeth a false sense of security.

Finally, their predictions falsely led Macbeth to believe he would someday be happy. The Witches’ contributed the most to Macbeth’s destruction by first stirring his deep-lying ambitions, also by giving him a false sense of security and finally, by allowing Macbeth to believe he would someday be content.

Naturally, Macbeth was third in line to become King of Scotland. Deep in his heart, he desperately wanted the crown, and all the power that came with it. Macbeth suppressed his feelings, however, until he heard the three witches’ first prophecy. “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter”, were the witch’s words.

When Macbeth heard this, his desperate need for the crown revealed itself because he realized it was possible to take the thrown. When Macbeth’s yearning to be king could not be overcome, he did not let anything stand in his way of being crowned, even if that meant he had to commit murder.

The Three Witches ignited Macbeth’s desire to be king with their prophecy. When the witches told Macbeth that no man born of a woman could harm him, he would not be defeated until the forest came to his castle, and that his only threat was Macduff, Macbeth felt very secure about his kingship. Little did Macbeth know, that all of these foretellings would bring about his demise. Macduff was born out of a dead woman, so he was the only one who could hurt Macbeth.

When Malcolm’s army attacked Macbeth’s castle, they camouflaged themselves with trees, thus giving the appearance of the forest coming to the castle. Finally, Macduff was the only thing that Macbeth had to worry about, because he was not born of a woman, and could kill Macbeth.

Macbeth completely disregarded the Witches’ prophecies because he thought of them as rubbish. Had the three witches told Macbeth the real truth that they ticked him out of believing, Macbeth would not have gotten so cocky as a result of his security.

Question 19.
What is the significance of Birnam Wood in Macbeth?
In Macbeth, the branches of the trees in Birnam Wood are used as camouflage by soldiers as they advance on the king in his castle at Dunsinane. The child wearing a crown is the third of three apparitions shown to Macbeth by the Three Witches.

This forest is celebrated in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as the famous Birnam Wood. The prophecy of Shakespeare’s three witches did come true, with the branches of trees from great Birnam Wood, nearly 1,000 years ago, camouflaging the advancing army against Macbeth.

During the attack against Macbeth, the soldier are ordered to grab branches and pretend to be trees. In this way the Birnam Wood actually moves toward the castle against Macbeth, fulfilling the prophecy So in a way the trees are reacting to Macbeth.

Enraged and terrified, Macbeth recalls the prophecy that said he could not die till Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane. Resignedly, he declares that he is tired of the sun and that at least he will die fighting.In the context of the play, Macbeth hears a prophecy that he will never be vanquished until:

“Great Bimam to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him” Macbeth feels this is a prophecy that he will enjoy a long reign, believing that an entire forest could never “move”. The army that moves against him cuts leafy boughs as camouflage, which causes the wood to indeed appear to come to the top of the hill. His doom is soon to come.

Macbeth has a bad habit of misinterpreting prophecy- like many megalomaniacs he hears only what he wants to-when told “none of women born shall harm Macbeth” he sees it as proof that no mortal man. Yet it is a mortal man that does just that, Macduff was from his mother’s womb “untimely ripped” (delivered by Cesarean section.

The first apparition, a severed head, warns Macbeth to beware Macduff. The second, a bloodied child, tells the king: “No child of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” Macduff later tells Macbeth how he was “ripped untimely” from his mother’s womb. Birname Wood is chopped down at the command of Malcolm by the English army. They carry the branches in order to camouflage their approach to Dusinane.

Question 20.
Relate the circumstances in which Macbeth meets death?
All his thanes left him, his wife is dead. Macbeth feels how hopeless his position is. Macbeth’s downfall was caused by the deception and temptation of the witches and their prophecies, Lady Macbeth’s greed and aspirations for her husband to be king, and Macbeth’s own greed, jealousy and ambition. The witches played a colossal role in Macbeth’s downfall and ultimately, his death.

Since the first part of the prophecy stated Macbeth as being the new Thane of Cawdor, he believed he could continue to become king as well. In knowing his prediction, Macbeth also realized that since the king was in good health, so he would have to kill the king himself.

For the rest of his prophecy to come true he would have to kill the king for himself. “All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king here after’.The witches sparked this greed and ambition in Macbeth that caused him to kill the king. Not only did the witches tempt Macbeth, but they also deceived him. As soon as Lady Macbeth heard Macbeth’s prophecy, she was willing to do anything to get him into the position of king.

She was even willing to aid in the murder of innocent people who stood in the way of Macbeth’s ascension to the crown like, King Duncan. Her greed led to Macbeth’s downfall. When Macbeth stated that he was questioning his intentions to kill the king, she pushed him and assisted in the plotting. “We will proceed no further in this business. / He hath honored me of late, and I have bought/ Gold opinions from all sorts of people”.

After he said this. Lady Macbeth questioned his manhood. With his manliness being questioned, he pushed himself to kill the king. The greed of Lady Macbeth and her scheming led to Macbeth’s untimely damnation. For Macbeth, the fatal flaw is ambition.

Lady Macbeth dies; Macbeth is killed in battle by Macduff, who was “from his mother’s womb untimely ripped” by cesarean section and in that quibbling sense was not “of woman born.” Malcolm becomes the rightful king.

Macbeth is a victim to himself as his brutality and single-mindedness incite him to the utter destruction of the MacDuff family. Macbeth’s deception leaves him in a state of vulnerability and alienation caused by almost everyone he comes into contact with.

Macbeth’s excessive ambition is one of his greatest imperfections. His excessive ambition is fueled by his greed for power. This causes him to commit many murders in order to procure a position of power or to protect his position as a king of Scotland.

Thus, Macbeth can be seen responsible for his own destruction because he murdered a divinely appointed king; the fact that the murder was accompanied by ‘unnatural’ things emphasises the true horror behind Macbeth’s sinister actions.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Short Questions and Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Short Questions and Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Short Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What is the point of the first scene literally and in reference to the whole play?
The first scene details the three witches meeting to discuss their impending plans. They were called together seemingly by. some greater force to plan to meet again once the turmoil is done, they intend and plan to meet with Macbeth, where they will set into motion and ambition that will lead to his downfall.

Question 2.
What does Duncan call Macbeth when lie hears Macbeth has defended Macdonwald?
Duncan calls Macbeth, “Valiant Cousin”, “Worthy Gentleman!” This is ironic, being said to the man who will be his murdere

Question 3.
Who is sentenced to death?
The Thane of Cawdor is sentenced to death.

Question 4.
What do the witches predict in Act 1: Scene 3 for Macbeth? For Banquo?
They predict Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and eventually the king. They predict that Banquo will be “lesser than Macbeth, and greater, not so happy, and yet happier” and that his descendants will be kings although he will not be one.

Question 5.
What news does Ross bring Macbeth?
Ross tells Macbeth that he now holds the title of the Thane of Cawdor.

Question 6.
Banquo, like Macbeth, is surprised that the witches have predicted Macbeth’s new title. He is, however, leery. What does he say about the motives of the ‘instruments of darkness”?
He says they often tell of good things which may happen without telling the bad consequences.

Question 7.
Macbeth says, “Stars, hide your fires, Let not light see my black and deep desires.” What are Macbeth’s desires?
He now desires to be the king, and he realises something will have to be done with the present king before his desires can become reality.

Question 8.
After Lady Macbeth reads the letter, what does she tell us is her opinion of Macbeth, and how does she plan to help him?
Lady Macbeth thinks Macbeth could be a good king, but he lacks the hardheartedness which would allow him to get to the position. She’ll talk to him.

Question 9.
What is Lady’s Macbeth’s “prayer” to the spirits after she learns Duncan is coming?
She wants to be filled with cruelty, given a hard heart and the thick blood necessary to do what has to be done in order to make Macbeth king.

Question 10.
Fair is foul and four is fair. Who says these words? How are these words related to the theme of the play? Do they anticipate any contact with the main character of the play?
These words are uttered by the witches in the first scene of the play, Macbeth. They anticipate the subversion of the values, and are related to the major theme of the novel.

Macbeth will overturn the accepted values by unnatural acts. Macbeth’s first words in the play, “Foul and Fair” are the echo of the words of the witches. It establishes an unconscious contact with the witches, and is dramatically effective, anticipating the blurring of good and evil in Macbeth’s mind.

Question 11.
Are the witches in Macbeth real?
Yes. Macbeth really does see the three Witches in the play. Banquo also sees them and speaks with them. Initially, Banquo questions the Witches about whether they are real or possibly a hallucination he and Macbeth both share, but throughout the rest of the play both men seem to accept the Witches as physical beings. Later in the play, the Witches appear with their Queen, Hecate, in a scene without any human characters. If Macbeth had been hallucinating the Witches, he would need to be onstage for them to be seen.

He is not, which is more proof that in the world of this play, they are real. We can also contrast the treatment of the Witches to Banquo’s ghost. When Macbeth claims he sees the ghost, Lady Macbeth insists she doesn’t see anything, telling Macbeth “When all’s done/ You look but on a stool.” In the play, both Macbeth and his wife have hallucinations which they alone see, but the Witches are clearly visible to more than just Macbeth.

Question 12.
Why does Macbeth think the Witches want to help him?
When Malcom reveals that he was taken from his mother’s womb – or, in other words, delivered via Caesarean section – Macbeth finally understands that the Witches’ prophecies meant his downfall, not his elevation.

Up to the end of the play, Macbeth has confused the fact that the Witches’ predictions always came true with the idea that their predictions were helpful to him. Everything the Witches predict does come true, but everything that happens ends up hurting Macbeth as well. He does become Thane of Cawdor, but that feeds his ambition so he kills Duncan.

He becomes the king, but as a result kills many people, including his best friend. When Macbeth hears the Witches’ final prediction, he is tormented by the vision of Banquo’s children ruling instead of him, but he still doesn’t understand that the Witches are not on his side. He sees their predictions that he can’t be defeated until Birnam Wood moves and that he can’t be killed except by a man not born of a woman as proof that he is protected. He is very wrong.

Question 13.
Does Lady Macbeth commit suicide?
Shakespeare leaves the exact nature of Lady Macbeth’s death ambiguous. When Macbeth is told that his wife has died, no details are given and he does not ask for them. Instead, he talks about how futile and pointless life is.

At I the end of the play, Malcolm tells the noblemen that “’tis thought, by self and violent hands” the Queen killed herself, but the inclusion of the word “thought” implies her suicide is a rumor. Suicide is considered a mortal sin by the Roman Catholic Church, and thus frowned upon throughout England. According to church law, if Lady Macbeth killed herself, she would be eternally damned. Yet the question is never fully answered.

Question 14.
How did Birnam Wood move and why w is Macduff able to kill Macbeth?
When Malcolm, Macduff, Siward and the other nobles are planning to attack Macbeth’s castle and overthrow him, in Act V, scene 4, they are in Birnam Wood, across the fields. Malcolm orders the soldiers to break off boughs from a tree in the Wood and hold the boughs in front of them as they march toward Macbeth. He says that doing so will conceal their true numbers from those watching for Macbeth, who will not be able to report an accurate count to the king.

From Macbeth’s perspective, many yards away, it does look like the Wood itself is moving when the men do this. Although the Witches tell Macbeth he cannot be killed by a man “or woman born,” Macduff reveals to Macbeth that he was delivered by what we call a Caesarean section, cut out of his mother’s body instead of being born in the more usual manner. Thus, Macduff fulfills the Witches’ prediction that a man not born of a woman is the only person who can kill Macbeth.

Question 15.
What convinces Macbeth that the Witches’ prophecy is true?
Macbeth becomes convinced that the Witches’ prophecy is true when Duncan names him Thane of Cawdor, which the Witches prophesied would happen. When the three Witches first approach Macbeth, they acknowledge Macbeth as Thane of Glamis (his current title) as well as Thane of Cawdor.

This puzzles Macbeth since he can’t figure out how he is both. Shortly after, Ross delivers the news that the king has given Macbeth the new title of Thane of Cawdor, since the previous Thane of Cawdor has been executed for treason. This unexpected event causes Macbeth to become convinced that the Witches were telling the truth.

Question 16.
Why does Banquo not trust the Witches?
Banquo is sceptical of the Witches’ intentions and remains unconvinced of the Witches’ prophecy. Banquo warns Macbeth that “instruments of darkness” often tell half-truths “to win us to our harm”. While the Witches have prophesied great futures for both Macbeth and Banquo, Banquo is less inspired and intrigued than Macbeth and would rather leave the matter safely alone.

Question 17.
Why does Macbeth believe he needs to kill King Duncan?
Macbeth believes he needs to kill King Duncan because he sees the king’s son, Malcolm, as a threat to the throne. Macbeth has already felt confused about whether he needs to leave the Witches’ prophecy in the hands of fate or do some “dark” deeds to help their prophecies along. However, when Macbeth hears Duncan declare his intention to make Malcolm his heir, Macbeth becomes convinced he needs to take matters into his own hands and kill King Duncan himself.

Question 18.
How does Lady Macbeth persuade Macbeth to kill King Duncan?
Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to kill King Duncan by preying on his sense of manhood and courage. When Macbeth reveals that he has had a change of heart and is no longer willing to kill King Duncan, Lady Macbeth becomes enraged.

She openly questions whether he is a man who is willing to act on his desires, asking, “Art thou afeard / To be in the same in thine own act and valor/As thou art in desire?”, and further calls his manhood into question by stating, “When you durst do it, then you were a man”. Lady Macbeth’s tactics work: Even though Macbeth is disgusted by his wife’s ruthlessness, he resolves to kill Duncan.

Question 19.
Why does Macbeth kill King Duncan’s two chamberlains?
While Macbeth’s motive is unclear, it is suggested that Macbeth kills King Duncan’s two chamberlains in an act of fear and horror. Lady Macbeth’s original plan is to get King Duncan’s chamberlains so drunk that they pass out and then frame them for King Duncan’s murder by having Macbeth leave two bloody daggers in their hands.

The plan goes well until Macbeth fails to leave the bloody daggers by the drunken men. In a confused manner, Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he thought he heard the chamberlains say, “God bless us!” in their drunken sleep as if they saw him, but it’s not clear whether this is true. Macbeth is notably rattled and has ostensibly murdered the Chamberlains out of fear of being caught and in horror for what he has chosen to be a part of.

Question 20.
Why do King Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee to England after their father is murdered?
Malcolm and Donalbain flee from Scotland to England after their father’s murder because they are afraid that whoever killed their father will kill them next. While such a move would seem logical given the circumstances, some view it differently. Some characters view their escape as a symptom of guilt and wonder if Malcolm and Donalbain are actually the murderers.

Question 21.
Why does Macbeth kill Banquo?
Macbeth kills Banquo because he sees Banquo as another threat to the throne. In the Witches’ original prophecy, they proclaim that Macbeth will be king but that Banquo’s son and descendants will be the future kings, while Banquo will never be king himself.

Macbeth, never fully understanding how the prophecy would manifest, once again takes matters into his own hands. Even though Banquo is his close comrade, Macbeth is now on a single-minded mission to protect himself and his position, and he kills Banquo to maintain the throne.

Question 22.
How does Lady Macbeth’s death affect Macbeth?
When Macbeth hears of Lady Macbeth’s death, he responds that she was eventually going to die anyway— “She should have died hereafter” (5.5.17)—just like everyone else. Macbeth then goes on to comment on the brevity of life: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage” (5.5.24-25). Macbeth might be emotionally numb at this point in the play, beyond the point of sadness or even regret, especially for a wife who has helped bring him to ruin.

Question 23.
What convinces Macbeth that he is invincible over Macduff’s army?
Macbeth believes that he is invincible over Macduff’s army because the Witches and the apparitions prophesied “none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth” and “Macbeth shall never vanquished be until / Great Bimam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill / Shall come against him”. Macbeth interprets such prophecies literally. He reasons that since all men are born from women and woods can’t move, he is invincible.

Question 24.
How does the Witches’ prophecy about Banquo come true?
It can be assumed that Banquo’s son, Fleance, eventually becomes king. This assumption is based partly on the Witches’ prophecy that while Banquo would never be king, his son and descendants would be. When Macbeth sends a group of murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance, Fleance escapes, and the murderers only complete half their task, leaving an open path for Banquo’s line to inherit the throne. The only king actually crowned after Macbeth in the play, however, is Malcolm, Duncan’s son.

Question 25.
Who is Hecate?
Hecate, in Greek mythology, goddess of darkness, and the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria. Unlike Artemis, who represented the moonlight and splendor of the night, Hecate represented its darkness and its terrors.

On moonless nights she was believed to roam the earth with a pack of ghostly, howling dogs. She was the goddess of sorcery and witchcraft and was especially worshiped by magicians and witches. However, The introduction of Hecate is only but a superfluous character who takes no real part in the action of the play.

Question 26.
Was the dagger seen by Macbeth is real?
No, the dagger was a creation of his heat oppressed brain.

Question 27.
Who is ‘Tarquin’?
Tarquin was the last king of Rome, expelled from Rome for high disposition.

Question 28.
What is the importance of Act II – Scene II?
This scene revolves around the murder of King Duncan and it is accompanied by a bell tolling, and the shrieking of an owl. Both these add to the suspense and tension regarding this evil deed.

Question 29.
Who is called the ‘fatal bellman’ by Lady Macbeth?
The owl that shrieked on the night of Duncan’s murder is called the ‘fatal bell-man’.

Question 30.
What is Neptune?
Neptune is the God of the sea.

Question 31.
What is the meaning of multitudinous sea?
It means

  • The entire seas toxin together.
  • The many waves of the sea.

Question 32.
Who is the equivocator?
Equivocator means

  • Jesuit perjurer of law court,
  • one who equivocates i.e. one who speak vaguely or ambiguously, especially in order to mislead.

Question 33.
What is the meaning of the ‘second coex’?
‘The second Coex’ means 3’o clock at night

Question 34.
Where did Malcolm and Donalbain flu after Duncan’s murder?
Malcolm fled to England, and Donalbain to Ireland.

Question 35.
Who said “It is said they ‘ate each other’ – Who are they?
Old man said this to Ross. Here they refer to Duncan’s horses.

Question 36.
Where was Duncan’s body carried?
Duncan’s body was carried to Colmekill, the ancient cemetery the Scottish kings.

Question 37.
What are Banquo’s concerns about the Witches prophecy? What is Macbeth’s response?
He has had bad dreams about the Witches and part of what they said has come true. Macbeth says he has not thought about them. Banquo would like to discuss the matter with Macbeth.

Question 38.
What does Macbeth see when Banquo and Fleance leave and what does he say about it?
He sees a bloody dagger floating before him. He says that it is only a dream.

Question 39.
What was Lady Macbeth unable to do in Duncan’s chamber? Why?
She was unable to kill Duncan because he looked like her father.

Question 40.
What was Macbeth’s reaction when he returned from Duncan’s chamber? What did he say?
He was upset and feeling guilt. He said that “it was a sorry sight.” He also stated that he had murdered sleep and he could not say amen when he needed to.

Question 41.
Who was sleeping in the second chamber? Why did Shakes->peare include that information in the play?
Donalbain was sleeping. This puts suspicion on him.

Question 42.
Macbeth is unable to return to Duncan’s chamber with the bloody daggers. Why do you think he fears going back?
He cannot face the murder that he has committed. He feels too much guilt.

Question 43.
What does Lennox say to Macbeth about the previous night?
Lennox said that there was a bad storm and he has never seen one this fierce in his life.

Question 43.
Who discovers that Duncan has been murdered?
Macduff discovers Duncan’s slain body

Question 44.
Why does Macbeth say he has murdered the guards?
Macbeth says he murdered the guards because felt they killed Duncan. He was so angry and grief stricken he could not control his rage.

Question 45.
Why do Donalbain and Malcolm leave? Where do they say they are going?
Donalbain and Malcolm fear for their own lives that’s why they left Donalbain goes to Ireland and Malcolm goes to England.

Question 46.
How does Lennox describe the night, and what is Macbeth’s response?
Lennox quietly describes the night as rather painful. Macbeth then responds that his tan coloured long sword was too much for lennox to handle and that he told him so.

Question 47.
What is the importance of the Act II – Scene II?
This scene revolves around the murder of King Duncan and it is accompanied by a bell tolling, and the shrieking of an owl. Both these add to the suspense and tension regarding this evil deed.

Question 48.
Where did Malcolm and Donalbain flu after Duncan’s murder?
Malcolm fled to England, and Donalbain to Ireland.

Question 49.
How do you explain the dagger that Macbeth sees? What possible explanations are there for this strange occurrence?
It foreshadows Macbeth murders Duncan. It shows Macbeth that what he must be done in order to get the kingship. The dagger that Macbeth sees can reflect he is overly ambitious nature because at first, he says that he can’t do the murder anymore but after his imagination and supports from his wife, he decides to precede treason.

Question 50.
Macbeth also hears a voice that says “Sleep no more” (2.2.47). Do you believe in conscience? How powerful is it?
In act 2, “Sleep no more” means that Macbeth can’t sleep because he feels guilty. I believe that conscience is really powerful because after Macbeth murders Duncan; he says that he can’t do this anymore and the blood on his hands cannot wash away; the stain will stay on his hands forever. Therefore, I believe that conscience is powerful because even a bad person has conscience, it only depends on how much you have. Conscience can lead you go back to fear meAnswer:

Question 51.
As Act HI begins Banquo is reflecting on what has happened to Macbeth. What three events does he state and what does he hope for himself?
Banquo says that Macbeth was made King, Thane of Cawdor and Thane of Glamis. He hopes his sons will be Kings

Question 52.
What reason does Macbeth give the Murderers for wanting Banquo killed? What reason does he give for not doing it himself?
Macbeth fears for his own life if Banquo lives. Macbeth says that he and Banquo have the same friends and Macbeth would not be able to remain friends with them if he killed Banquo himself.

Question 53.
Why do you think Macbeth does not tell Lady Macbeth about his plan to murder Banquo and Fleance?
Macbeth either feels that Lady Macbeth may try to talk him out the plot, or he wants to have full control and exclude her from this matter.

Question 54.
When Banquo’s ghost enters the banquet what is Macbeth’s reaction?
Macbeth questions who has brought Banquo to the feast and he is very upset.

Question 55.
What does Lady Macbeth say to the guest is the reason for his behaviour?
Lady Macbeth tells them that he has suffered from this affliction his entire life and to ignore his behaviour.

Question 56.
Does Macbeth recognize the ghost? How do you know he does?
Macbeth recognizes Banquo and says to the ghost that he should not blame him for the murder, “Thou canst not say I did it: never shake Thy gory locks at me.”

Question 57.
What does Hecate say she is going to do to Macbeth? Why does she think he will respond to her?
Hecate is going to create a situation that will allow Macbeth to ruin himself. The Witches will make a magic potion that will guide Macbeth’s fate by telling him the future. Hecate says mortal men cannot resist knowing the future.

Question 58.
What does Lennox say about Malcolm, Donalbain, and Fleance?
Lennox says they have been unjustly accused of murder.

Question 59.
Where has Macduff gone and why?
Macduff has gone to England to join Malcolm’s forces to overthrow Macbeth

Question 60.
What does Lennox hope for?
Lennox hopes that Scotland will be peaceful again.

Question 61.
What worries Macbeth about the prophecy pertaining; to Banquo in Act 3, Scene 2?
Macbeth fears Banquo or his children will overthrow or murder him just as he murdered Duncan in order to take the crown. He feels he can’t relax or have peace while – this threat looms over him. Although he does not yet have: any children, he wants any that he might have in the futures to have the opportunity to carry on his legacy.

Therefore: he acts to try to stop the prophesy about Banquo from coming true, just as he acted to make his own prophecy happen. While he was successful in making his own prophecy a reality, he fails when he tries to contradict Banquo’s prophecy.

Question 62.
When the murderers kill Banquo and Fleance escapes in Macbeth Act 3, Scene 3, why does one of them say “we have lost [the] best half of our affair”?
This line emphasizes that Fleance was the real target of their murder attempt because he is the one who will carry on Banquo’s legacy; Fleance will either become king someday or have children who will become king.

Macbeth has emphasized to them that Fleance’s death is as important to him as the death of Banquo. Killing Banquo is not enough. The witches have predicted that he will not become king anyway. His death, of course, prevents him having any more sons, but to stop the royal legacy prophesied by the witches it is crucial that Fleance must die.

Question 63.
Describe how Lady Macbeth fulfills a traditionally feminine role at the banquet in Macbeth Act 3,Scene 4.
Lady Macbeth plays hostess to the assembled noblemen at the feast. Her role here is to be charming and help her guests have a good time. She also shows full loyalty to her husband in public, even as he appears to having a mental breakdown before everyone’s eyes.

She chides his behavior in private, but never within earshot of the other lords. However, she does not seem entirely comfortable with this role, as her excuses sound weak and forced when she attempts to cover for Macbeth. She becomes flustered trying to talk Macbeth out of his panic and get him to behave calmly.

Question 64.
What is the significance of Banquo’s ghost appearing at the banquet in Macbeth Act 3, Scene 4?
Like the dagger in Act 2, Banquo’s ghost may be real or a hallucination. Macbeth does not express or feel any guilt about having Banquo murdered, which could indicate Banquo’s ghost is the real thing. Obviously, the ghost is a manifestation of Macbeth’s guilt, and it also emphasises the fact that Macbeth cannot escape from the things he has done. His deeds will haunt him, literally.

The ghost appears at the banquet specifically, though, because Banquo promised he would be there before he went out riding that afternoon. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were both determined Banquo should promise to attend the feast, and so he does.

Question 65.
When she meets with the witches in Act 3, Scene 5, what does Hecate say that reveals her true plan regarding Macbeth?
Hecate says she will create a magical illusion that will cause Macbeth to “spurn fate, scorn death, and bear/His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace and fear.” Her plan is to use Macbeth’s own weaknesses, his ambition, and his arrogance, against him to cause him to abandon his good sense.

By showing him only a portion of his destiny, she will, paradoxically, move him to exert his own will in an attempt to make that destiny come to pass. His exertions will move him toward his destiny – even though his true fate is something completely different from the one he had envisioned.

Question 66.
Explain what Lennox tells another lord he thinks Macbeth would do to Malcolm, Donalbain, and Fleance if he captured them in Act 3, Scene 6.
Lennox says if Macbeth had “Duncan’s sons under his key/(As, an’t please heaven, he shall not) they should/ find/What’t were to kill a father; so should Fleance.” In his hope Macbeth will not capture the sons Lennox reveals his belief that they are innocent.

At the same time he believes Macbeth would definitely pin the murders on the sons and punish them for it. He also implies that Macbeth would almost certainly issue a death sentence, but it would likely be a torturous death, as might befit a man actually guilty of killing his father. This image of Macbeth issuing gruesome punishment enhances his new image as a human being.

Question 67.
What do the doctor and gentlewoman see Lady Macbeth doing? What do they decide to do?
She is sleepwalking and talking about the murders. The doctor decides his best move is not to mention that he heard anything, and he tells the woman to keep an eye on Lady Macbeth.

Question 68.
What does Macbeth want the doctor to do for his wife?
He wants the doctor to ease her suffering, to give her something to make her oblivious to her weighty troubles.

Question 69.
What trick does Malcolm use to hide the number of men in his army?
He has his men cut off tree branches and use them as camouflage.

Question 70.
Malcolm says, “And none serve with him but constrained things Whose hearts are absent, too.” What does that mean?
Macbeth’s armies are there in body only, not in spirit, and there should not be any serious opposition

Question 71.
What is Macbeth’s reaction to the news that Birnam Wood is moving?
“Arm, arm, and out!” He’s going to fight to the bitter end and take down the whole universe with him, if necessary.

Question 72.
When does Macbeth know he’s in trouble?
He knows this is his end when Macduff tells him he was taken from his mother’s worn instead of being “born of woman.”

Question 73.
Who are the forces joining to fight Macbeth?
Macduff and Malcolm join forces. Macduff meets up with Malcolm in England and the two make plans for how to overthrow Macbeth and take back their kingdom.

Question 74.
How does Macbeth die?
Macduff fights him and beheads him.

Completion Type / Understanding Type / Recall / Reasoning Type Questions :

Question 1.
Duncan means by ‘bloody” bleeding because ………….
He has come from the battlefield and is bleeding certainly due to his fighting with his enemies. It signifies the horrible crime which forms the action of the play.

Question 2.
The witches do not answer to Banquo but answers to Macbeth because ………….
They know Macbeth is already tempted and has ambition.They have already targeted Macbeth where as Banquo is free from ambition. He is lihjt hearted and therefore dismisses them as ” instruments of darkness who tells us truths win us with honest trifles and betray us in deepest consequences.

Question 3.
Macbeth considers the good and evil of the prophesies because ………….
The prophecies have commenced in truths so they cannot
be evil but Macbeth yields to the temptation to win the crown of Scotland.

Question 4.
The Thane of Cawdor gave a better account of himself on the eve of his death than he had done before in his life because ………….
His life was one of sin and shame but his death was honorable. He died as if life had no meaning for him. Thus he cultivated the art of dying.

Question 5.
“Come to my woman’s breast and take iny milk for gal”! Lady Macbeth says these words in her prayers to the murdering ministers because ………….
She makes an appeal to them to come to her breasts and turn her motherly feelings into poisonous feelings of serpent. She wants her womanly feelings smothered so that she can do the cruel act.

Question 6.
Lady Macbeth is awaiting her husband’s return after the murder of Duncan because …………..
She is afraid that Macbeth is confounded by the attempt. She says that the face of Duncan resembles the face of her father and so she could do the murder

Question 7.
Macbeth sees a dagger floating in the air and pointing to Dunan’s chamber. He tries to catch it but cannot succeed. He calls it ‘fatal’ because ……..
it is symbolic of murder. He thinks that either his eyes are wrong and the other senses correct, the vision is an illusion or his eyes alone can perceive, the rest have gone wrong.

Question 8.
Macbeth asks questions to Banquo about the whereabouts of Banquo in the afternoon because…………..
He manages tactfully to elicit from Banquo information about his movements as he plans to murder him. He behaves like a trickster.

Question 9.
Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft reprimands the witches for not keeping her informed of their dealings with Macbeth and tells them to meet her next morning because
She is the queen witches. There is a limitation to the power of the witches. Hecate can also anticipate the conduct of Macbeth.

Question 11.
Chamberlains were delinquent because …………..
They were suborned by ghe two sons of Duncan to murder but Macbeth has managed the affair very cleverly.

Question 12.
Lady Macbeth attributes Macduff’s flight to England to madness because …………..
According to her Macduff has fled out of fear. He has done no treacherous work to Macbeth so he should not have fled.

Question 13.
At ghe banquet, Lady Macbeth behaved gracefully with the guests because …………….
Lady Macbeth feared that the secret of murder would be revealed She managed the guests by presenting Macbeth’s action as an infirmity and thus dismissing them.

Question 14.
Macbeth believes that he is invincible over Macduff’s army because …………..
The witches and the apparitions prophesied that none of woman born shall harm Macbeth and Macbethshall never vanquished be until Great Birnam wood move to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.

Question 15.
In the battleground, Macbeth tries to avoid Macduff because ………………
Of the Apparition’s warning where he was told to “beware of Macduff” but Macduff hadseveral scores to settle with him and attacked him.



ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers


ISC Class 12 Macbeth Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

Act – 1.

Question 1.
Who is the king when the play starts?
a. Duncan
b. Malcolm
c. Cawdor
d. Macduff
a. Duncan

Question 2.
Whom does Macbeth defeat in battle?
a. Duncan’s armies
b. King Edward’s English army
c. The armies of Norway and Ireland
d. Banquo
a. Duncan’s armies

Question 3.
What is the witch’s prophecy?
a. Macbeth will be king and his sons will inherit the throne.
b. Banquo will be king, but Macbeth will be much happier.
c. Macbeth will be king but Banquo will murder him.
d. Macbeth will be king and Banquo’s children will be kings.
d. Macbeth will be king and Banquo’s children will be kings.

Question 4.
What is the weather like in the opening scene?
a. Thunder and lightning
b. Hot and humid
c. Cold and icy
d. Warm and calm
a. Thunder and lightning

Question 5.
What country serves as the setting for Macbeth?
a. Scotland
b. Wales
c. Ireland
d. England
a. Scotland

Question 6.
When do the witches say they will meet again?
a. When the battle is over
b. When the moon is eclipsed
c. When Macbeth is crowned king
d. an illusion
a. When the battle is over

Question 7.
Where do the witches plan to meet Macbeth?
a. In his castle
b. In the graveyard
c. On the heath
d. On the battlefield
c. On the heath

Question 8.
“Fair is and foul is ………….
a. an illusion, a given
b. foul, fair
c. rare, expected
d. random frequent
b. foul, fair

Question 9.
What does Lady Macbeth resolve to do?
a. Talk to tr three witches
b. Kill Duncan by herself
c. protect Ducan from Macbeth’s blood lust
d. Whatever necessary to help Macbeth become king
c. protect Ducan from Macbeth’s blood lust

Question 10.
What does Lady Macbeth think Macbeth kick ?
a. Modesty
b. The manliness to follow through on his ambition
c. The ambition to ever become someone notable
d. The intelligence to become a king
b. The manliness to follow through on his ambition

Question 11.
What do Lady Macbeth’s “unsex me here” mean?
a. She vows not to have sex with Macbeth until he becomes king
b. She wants to set aside feminine sentiments that could hinder bloody ambition
c. She wants her chambermaids to disguise her in men’s clothes
d. She wants to have sex with evil spirits
a. She vows not to have sex with Macbeth until he becomes king

Question 12.
What does Macbeth realise about DuncarTs murder?
a. Other than satisfying his own ambition it will make everything worse
b. It will be a simple and tidy route to achieving all his ambitions
c. Though he will become king, he will lose his hold on Cawdor
d. If the witches are right, he will become a king and immortal
a. Other than satisfying his own ambition it will make everything worse

Question 13.
Why is Banquo up late?
a. He had nightmares about the witches.
b. He stays up late to talk to Macbeth about the witches.
c. He senses something bad will happen to Duncan that night.
d. He was awakened by voices saying, “Macbeth murdered sleep.”
a. He had nightmares about the witches.

Question 14.
What eerie vision does Macbeth have before he kills Duncan?
a. He sees a bloody ghost of Banquo.
b. He sees the witches flying through the night on broomsticks.
c. He sees a bloody dagger floating in front of him.
d. He sees Lady Macbeth hovering over him with a bloody dagger.
a. He sees a bloody ghost of Banquo.

Question 15.
Why does Lady Macbeth say she didn’t kill the king herself?
a. She abhors violence.
b. He looked like her father in his sleep.
c. She tried but he overpowered her.
d. She needed to see if Macbeth was man enough to do it.
a. She abhors violence.

Act – 2.

Question 1.
What does the porter say that drinking causes?
a. Heart disease, liver disease, and kidney problems
b. A red nose, sleep, urination, and impotence
c. Snoring, bad breath, and constipation
d. A lot of knocking on the door
b. A red nose, sleep, urination, and impotence

Question 2.
Who kills the servants who look guilty of the murder?
a. Macduff and Lennox
b. Lady Macbeth
c. Macbeth
d. Banquo
c. Macbeth

Question 3.
How does Lady Macbeth publicly react to the news of the murder?
a. She begins to wail uncontrollably.
b. She says it is horrible and pretends to faint.
c. She laughs gleefully and rubs her hands.
d. She beats her chest and exclaims that she bears responsibility since it happened in her home.
d. She beats her chest and exclaims that she bears responsibility since it happened in her home.

Question 4.
Why is Macbeth named king instead of Duncan’s son and heir, Malcolm?
a. Because Malcolm’s flight makes him look guilty
b. Because Duncan renounced Malcolm and named Macbeth his heir
c. Because Macbeth and Malcom are actually the same person
d. Because Malcom makes a deal with Macbeth to forfeit the throne in exchange for not being murdered
a. Because Malcolm’s flight makes him look guilty

Question 5.
Why do Malcom and Donalbain run away from the court?
a. They too were plotting Duncan’s murder and are spooked that someone else got to him first.
b. They are guilty and afraid of being caught.
c. They know Macbeth did it and are scared.
d. They fear that they are next to be murdered.
d. They fear that they are next to be murdered.

Act – 3.

Question 1.
What does Banquo wonder about the witches’ prophecy?
a. If perhaps they were wrong and he might become king one-day
b. If there is any room for free will in the world or if all is fate
c. If his descendents will really become kings
d. If he could bribe or threaten them into changing the future
a. If perhaps they were wrong and he might become king one-day

Question 2.
How does Macbeth feel about Banquo?
a. He fears that Banquo and his sons will cut short his reign.
b. He believes Banquo to be a loyal friend.
c. He thinks Banquo is planning on murdering him.
d. In his madness, he forgets who Banquo is.
a. He fears that Banquo and his sons will cut short his reign.

Question 3.
What does Macbeth hire three men to do?
a. Protect him from assassins
b. Kill Macduff and his family
c. Find the witches so he can talk to them again
d. Kill Banquo and his son
d. Kill Banquo and his son

Question 4.
Does Lady Macbeth think this murder of Banquo and his son are necessary?
a. No, but she’ll help him if he does.
b. Yes, she thinks the business won’t be done until they are both dead.
c. She’s not sure and wants to err on the side of caution by killing them.
d. She opposes it and threatens to stop Macbeth if he tries.
c. She’s not sure and wants to err on the side of caution by killing them.

Question 5.
Do the assassins succeed in killing Banquo and Fleance?
a. Yes, they kill both of them.
b. They kill Banquo but Fleance escapes.
c. No, they both escape and vow revenge.
d. They kill Fleance but Banquo escapes.
b. They kill Banquo but Fleance escapes.

Question 6.
How does Macbeth feel about Fleance getting away unharmed?
a. It confirms his suspicion that the witches are lying to him.
b. It’s fine because he can blame Banquo’s murder on Fleance.
c. It leaves him vulnerable.
d. It’s not such a big deal.
c. It leaves him vulnerable.

Question 7.
What does Macbeth see when he enters the banquet?
a. The bloody ghost of Banquo
b. The bloody ghost of Duncan
c. A giant falcon sitting on the windowsill
d. Duncan alive and well and eating at his table
a. The bloody ghost of Banquo

Question 8.
How does Lady Macbeth explain Macbeth’s odd behaviour?
a. She says he has been poisoned.
b. She says he is sleepwalking.
c. She says he suffered a shock during a fight to save Banquo from three murderers.
d. She says not to worry because he’s had strange visions since childhood
d. She says not to worry because he’s had strange visions since childhood

Question 9.
What does Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, plan for Macbeth?
a. To lure him into a cavern and have the witches kill him with a potion
b. To give him prophecies that say the opposite of the ones he first received
c. To show him visions that will falsely make him feel secure
d. To appeal to his conscience and make him fully understand his guilt
c. To show him visions that will falsely make him feel secure

Question 10.
Why does Macduff go to England?
a. To ask King Edward for aid in fighting Macbeth
b. To hide from Macbeth
c. To betray and abandon his wife and children
d. To talk to the Prince of Denmark
a. To ask King Edward for aid in fighting Macbeth

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 5 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 5 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 5 Summary

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 1 Summary

This is the famous sleep-walking scene. There is no hint of it in Holinshed. Lady Macbeth suffers from somnambulism (sleeplessness). She walks as she sleeps. She sleeps and keeps awake at sametime. It is a strange illness. Every night she gets up from her bed, dresses herself in a night-gown, and with a lighted taper in her hand passing from room to room, muttering strange fancies to herself. In this scene we have a vivid representation of the sleep-walking Lady.

In Dunsinane castle a doctor and Lady Macbeth’s waiting gentlewoman are discussing Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking. While they talk Lady Macbeth enters, carrying a candle. She tries to get rid of the oppression of her secret by committing it to paper. The doctor explains it as the agitation of the mind. Lady Macbeth enters with a taper. She has light by her continually. Darkness frightens her. She rubs her hand continually in an attempt to wipe away the stain of blood. (Washing mania) Old memories come in a disorderly fashion.

She taunts her husband. She recalls her old words to her husband before the murder. “Who dares receive it?” The sight of Duncan lying in a pool of blood has been a persistent memory with her. She recalls the horror of it even in sleep. She questions her husband about the Wife of Macduff. His hands are always red with blood. Lady Macbeth gives out the secret here.

The same old persistent spot in the hand comes back to her mind. She feels now that the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten the damned spot. She remembers the Banquet scene. She exhorts her husband. The knocking of Act II Scene ii comes back to her mind. She is filled with consternation. She goes back to bed.

The sleepwalking scene shows the broken, shattered lady. She is a shadow of her former self. The resolute, ruthless, fiend-like Lady has been reduced to a pale woman creeping from bed and mumbling incoherently, throwing up dreadful memories. There are however indications of this development of this Lady. Her fierce exterior conceals a soft core.

The sleep walking scene is filled with ironical overtone. It is an ironical travesty by Lady Macbeth of the heroic Lady of the first act. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth says, “Macbeth doth murder sleep”. Lady Macbeth cannot understand what he says. She too murdered sleep. This scene is indeed an ironic commentary on her complacency after the murder.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 2 Summary

This scene tells about the rebel Scottish Lords who prepare to join with Malcolm’s English forces near Birnam wood for a united attack against Macbeth. Malcolm and with English Siward to help them are now on the March towards Scotland; the Scottish nobles are also coming out to join gorges with them. There is significant departure from Holinshed. Shakespeare would have believe us that yhr thanes deserted Macbeth. But this is not what Holinshed tells us. We learn that no one any longer serves Macbeth from a sense of love and loyalty and that Macbeth is finding it difficult to keep his men under control. This scene is purely informative and it emphases Macbeth’s gradual isolation.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 3 Summary

Macbeth is in the castle of Dunsinane.He hears the reports of the thanes falling away from him more and more everyday. But Macbeth is determined to meet the situation bravely because of his strong faith in the prophecies of the witches – that he will have no cause for fear till Birnam wood comes to Dunsinane and that no one “born of woman” will have power to hurt him. In his castle Macbeth, deserted by his former supporters, puts a desperate trust in the prophecies of the witches and apparitions.

A servant, who tries to report the proximity and size of the enemy armies, warns of violent reproof from Macbeth for his pains. Macbeth orders his one remaining officer, Seyton, to scour the countryside and hang all those who take of fear or desertion. He finds no solace in the doctor’s diagnosis of Lady Macbeth’s condition and asks him to diagnose and cure Scotland’s illness.

The materials of the scene are taken from Holinshed. Holinshed tells that Macbeth’s friends asked him to take the help of foreigners, but Macbeth is so confident of his security that he did not do anything. He was sure that he would not be vanquished. Shakespeare however emphasises his mental insecurity and restlessness. He is not at peace with himself. He feels sick and tired, and again he is lashed into fury and desperation.

His language is violent and again there is a tender note when he pines for the loss of ‘honour, love, obedience and troops of friends’. His moods give rise to an ambivalent attitude- even in our disgust and horror, we feel a movement of compassion for the tyrant. Even in adversity he shows his practicality and brutality in having people put to death, but his questioning of the doctor strikes a pathetic note, for his own mind is “diseased” and the care he urges fr Lady Macbeth applies most terribly so himself.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 4 Summary

The English Force led by Malcolm, Macduff and Siward has now reached Scotland, and has advanced as far as Birnam wood. The combined forces against Macbeth is ordered by Malcolm to cut boughs from the trees of Birnam wood to use as camouflage during their movement towards Dunsinane. Malcolm assures Siward that those who remain with Macbeth are acting under duress and have no loyalty to their master.

Imminent battle is the keynote. Tension is mounting with the dramatic and ironic fulfilment of the prophecy brought nearer by Malcolm’s instructions to his soldiers. “The toils of retribution close quickly around him”.

When Malcolm gives order that every soldier shall “hew him down a bough and bear’t before hom”, we are at once aware how the witches’ promise, that Macbeth will not be defeated until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane, is open to a different meaning, and how Macbeth has been beguiled.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5 Summary

Macbeth is waiting in Dunsinane Castle; his castle can endure a seizure. He hears the cry of a woman which announces the fact that Lady Macbeth has taken her own life. He ponders on the nature of existence- everything leads to death. Then a messenger enters to tell him that he has seen Birnam wood move. Macbeth prepares himself for fight. Macbeth can now forder his approaching doom, but with a desperate courage he decides to die fighting.

Macbeth’s mental defence against the odds is now almost shattered. His bravado in the openings of the scene is reduced to emptiness when he is told of his wife’s death. Life does not signify anything to him now. The report of Birnam Wood’s movement confirms to him the deceptiveness of the Witches’ promise. Aware now of the futility of the struggle, he becomes desperate and raises himself to fight to his death. The scene also brings out Macbeth in all glory of his pride and brooding self-analysis. The scene shows the regeneration of Macbeth in his self recovery from delusion and audacity of follies.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 6 Summary

It shows the progress of the battle. The English Force has come close up to Macbeth’s castle. Malcolm, Macduff and old Siward on a plain before the castle, preparing to shed their boughs and fight. Malcolm asks his soldiers to throw down their “leave screens” and gives battle-orders to his commanders. It is a short scene conveying the activity prior to battle.

Macbeth is on the battlefield. He finds himself surrounded by the enemies. Macbeth kills young Siward in a single combat. Evidently, there is no heart for fight among Macbeth’s followers, and the castle is surrendered almost without resistance.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 7 Summary

Macbeth finds consolation in the prophecy that no one born of a woman can defeat him. Macbeth’s bravery is still evident. He will not surrender inside of all the odds against him. But he is no longer Bellona’s bridegroom. Now he fights from instinct, like a wild animal clinging to life. He compares himself to a bear tied to a post and baited with dogs. He cannot fight but still he tries to fight. He still has hopes of success, for he cannot be killed except by a person not born of woman. But there can be no such person.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 8 Summary

There is no scene division in the this point. Most editors follow Pope and Johnson in beginning a new scene. Macbeth will not play the Roman fool (like Cato and Brutus) and commit suicide. Macduff meets Macbeth, and Macduff reveals that he was “from his mother’s womb untimely ripped off. He now realises that the witches are in reality” equivocating fiends”, and none should trust them.

Macduff calls uponMacbeth to surrender and prepare for the humiliation that will be heaped upon him. Macbeth, refusing to suffer such degradation, puts up a fight and is slain in the encounter. They fight, and Macbeth is killed, but not before he has denounced the witches for their double sense’. Thus the prophecy has come true.

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 9 Summary

There is jubilation in the English camp, as Macduff comes from the field with Macbeth’s head held high on a pole for all to see. Their victory has been complete, though they have also suffered heavy losses. Malcolm is hailed by all as the king of Scotland. He makes his trusted Thanes, ‘Earls’, the first-ever in Scotland.

He also promises to reward them all suitably after his coronation at Scone, to which he invites all of them. Thus disorder represented by Macbeth is put down and replaced by order, symbolised by Malcolm, the new king of the country. His victory is the victory of good over evil. The play ends with the re-assertion of legitimate kingship at Scotland and of the normal order of the universe. Scotland is now restored “to a sound of pristine health”.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 4 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 4 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 4 Summary

Macbeth Act 4 Scene 1 Summary

The scene occurs on the morrow of the banquet. The banquet scene concludes with Macbeth’s resolution to meet the witches “I will tomorrow, and betimes I will the Weird Sisters”.

This is the third and last witch-scene in the play. It is laid in a dark cave on a desolate heath and the weather is foul and Marky as usual. In the beginning of the scene three witches are seen dancing round a cauldron, and casting their magic spells. They throw all sorts of loathsome ingredients into the cauldron and the refrain of their wicked song is :

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubbles

Soon their Queen Hecate also joined them. They wait for Macbeth who soon arrives to consult them and seek guidance as to his future course of action. They now his thoughts, and conjure up apparitions who are to tell him what he wants to know. The first apparition which rises out of the cauldron has an armed head. It warns Macbeth that he must fear Macduff, the thane of Fife. The apparition then goes down. It does not yell anything further.

The next apparition is a bloody child. The strange direction which Macbeth gers from this apparition is that he should be “Bloody, bold and resolute” and that, “none of the women born shall harm Macbeth”. The third apparition is a child wearing a crown. It bears a tree in its hand, just as Macduff’s soldiers will do towards the end of the play.

It tells Macbeth that he will not be defeated until Birnam wood moves to Dunsinane Hill. Then arises before him a procession of eight apparitions (all of them Scottish Kings) followed by the ghost of Banquo. This means that Banquo’s sons would be the future kings of Scotland.

The witches deal with vulgar things; they are vulgar and ugly, so their activities and methods are vulgar. They reveal in gross things because their values are opposite to those cherished by men. Macbeth is further tempted and trapped by the witches and prepares him for his damnation. Macbeth walks easily into their tap; he is taken in by their juggling with words.

Macbeth Act 4 Scene 2 Summary

This is a scene of relief from tension and horrors of murder and supernatural manifestations. It is a sweet domestic scene. Macduff has fled to England to join Malcolm there and plan out the strategy for the overthrow of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is alone with her child in the castle. Lady Macbeth is angry with her husband for his rash action and complains that he lacks the natural touch.

Ross knows the purpose of Macbeth’s flight, but he cannot divulge it for fear of spies of Macbeth. He tries to assuage the wronged feelings of Lady Macbeth by saying that her husband is wise, and knows well. Lady Macbeth is not assured.

Ross leaves lest he will give out his mind. Lady Macduff tells her little son that he has lost his father. The son who is precocious says that he will live as birds do. He asks his mother about the meaning of traitor and says wisely that there are few honest men in the world, and so traitors are not hanged. A messenger comes and asks Lady Macduff to fly away.

Lady Macduff is puzzled because she has done no wrong. Murderers come to ask her about her husband. She says boldly that he cannot be found in any place made unholy by their presence. The son reacts sharply when they call his father traitor. The murderers kill her son, and chase Lady Macduff to slay her. The child’s prattle before the murder, and Lady Macduff’s sense of loneliness caused by her husband’s desertion of her offer a pathetic impression of innocence and helplessness.

Macbeth Act 4 Scene 3 Summary

Macduff has arrived in England, and in this scene we have an interview between him and Malcolm, Duncan’s eldest son. In England, Malcolm and Macduff discuss the horror of Macbeth’s despotic reign in Scotland. To test Macduff’s political integrity and patriotism, Malcolm tells him that if he is ever made the king, he will prove far more tyrannical than Macbeth.

Malcolm is at first suspicious and does not trust Macduff, he wants to be satisfied that Macduff is not the enemy’s spy. He wants to test the sincerity of Macduff’s patriotism and loyalty to the throne. He attributes all kinds of vices to himself-lecherous, greed and cruelties.

He tells Macduff that he has no ‘king-becoming graces’. Thus, Macduff feels despondent and completely frustrated. He makes an outburst of his passionate grief. Macduff’s holy anger disarms all suspicions and withdraws all his allegations against himself and places himself unreservedly in Macduff ‘s hands for his country’s service.

Convinced of his honesty and patriotism, Malcolm accepts him and declares his intention to lead an attack on Macbeth. This happy hour is further enhanced by the news that Old Siward with ten thousand English soldiers was already setting forth for Scotland. This leads to the contrast between England holy king with his power of healing and the tyrant of Scotland with his mistake and outrages.

When public affairs for Scotland seem propitious, there comes a private grievance for a man who is to play a leading role in public life. Rosser comes and after initial hesitations breaks the news of the slaughter of the Macduff family by the tyrant. Macduff is at first overwhelmed with grief but gradually grief is turned to anger and resolve to avenge the killing of his wife and his sons. Thus Macduff, who is to play the keynote in the retribution, is inspired by a personal motive for revenge.

Macduff becomes the agent not only of the grand Nemesis which constitutes the whole plot, but also a nemesis upon a private wrong which occupies the latter half of the play. Macduff’s expected reaction to the news of the brutal slaughter of his family creates the right emotional intensity and a sense of urgency for retaliation necessary for advancing the action of the play to the climax.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 3 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 3 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 3 Summary

Macbeth Act 3 Scene 1 Summary

The scene begins with Banquo’s soliloquies. Banquo in this soliloquy suggests his susceptibility to temptation. Macbeth has got what the witches had promised. Macbeth has been crowned as the king of Scotland, and the scene is laid in the hall of his palace at Forres, Scotland. The scene opens with a soliloquy of Banquo which reveals that the poison of the witches is working on him too.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, now arrayed as king and queen. Macbeth makes some enquiry about Banquo’s movements before Banquo leaves to go riding. Macbeth, who fears Banquo for his integrity and noble qualities, arranges for his murder, and the murder of Fleance by two murderers whose minds he poisons against Banquo.

All go away, and Macbeth is left alone on the stage. He has already hired two murderers and now he calls them. He instigated them against Banquo and his son tells them that, if they murder the two, they will only get his friendship, love and affection, but would also be suitably rewarded. They can easily do the deed: as Banquo and Fleance return to the castle by nightfall. The murderers promise to do so.

The scene marks the turning point in the development of the plot. Macbeth launches on a career of murder. His degeneration is suggested. He has developed vices like hypocrisy, falsehood and criminality. He is becoming a villain. The hero is turned into villain. Banquo is also tempted. His degeneration is also shown. He gives way to temptation.

Secondly, he meekly offers loyalty to Macbeth. He becomes an accessory after the murder. He forgets his earlier promise to expose the undivulged pretence of treasonous malice. He forgers his boasts that he will not lose his sense of honour in augmenting it. Macbeth, however exalts him as a man. This characterisation of Banquo is baffling.

Macbeth Act 3 Scene 2 Summary

In another room in the royal palace, Lady Macbeth, aware of her husband’s obsessive involvement with the murder of Duncan, tries to restore his assurance and cheerfulness. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are seen together after the crime of Duncan’s murder. Lady Macbeth is in despair – she knows that they have satisfied their desire without contentment.

They are doomed to live in ‘doubtful joy’. When Macbeth appears, Lady advises him to give up his sorry fancies and not to consider deeply. But she herself cannot get rid of his thoughts. Macbeth shows his desperate mood of destroying the universal order before he eats his meal and sleeps in fear. This shows that he, like Lady Macbeth, lives in doubtful joy. His desperate mood is followed by despondency. He like Lady Macbeth feels that Duncan in his grave sleeps without fear of treason and enmity.

He envies Duncan’s condition because he is living in fear and doubt. Lady Macbeth asks her husband to be jovial among the guests in the banquet. Macbeth wants his wife to pay particular attention to Banquo. He has planned the murder of Duncan but has kept it from his wife. Husband and wife are drifting apart…. The scene is important for psychological reactions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan.

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are distracted by fear and remorse. Macbeth is oscillating between a mood of despair and that of desperation. Lady Macbeth’s misery is gnawing at her heart and making her more and more listless. The easy familiarity and intimacy of man and wife has gone. The troubled soul of Lady Macbeth is revealed by the following words of hers;

Nought’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content
‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy
Macbeth’s soul is equally tortured :
O, full of scorpion is my mind, dear wife :
Thou know’st that Banquo and Fleance, live

But nature’s “copy in them is not eternal”, and before nightfall a dreadful deed would be done which would bring relief to his tortured soul. Of course, he refers to the murder of Banquo and Fleance, though he does not tell so to Kady Macbeth.

Macbeth Act 3 Scene 3 Summary

It is now sunset. The two murderers joined by a third one whom Macbeth has sent on order to see if things are well done take their station little outside the castle where Banquo might be expected to get down in order to follow a footpath across the path across the park. Banquo arrives shortly accompanied by Fleance and a servant carrying a torch. The murderers set upon the party at once and Banquo is slain, but Fleance flies in darkness.

This melodramatic scene in which the murder, unlike Duncan’s is commonly on the stage, is theatrically very effective. The scene also confirms the growing suspicion and insecurity in Macbeth’s mind. Macbeth is getting to trust no one. So, he sends a third murderer to make sure the job is done. Though Banquo is brutally murdered, Fleance escapes. So the task is half done and the escape of Fleance will continue to torture Macbeth.

Macbeth Act 3 Scene 4 Summary

The scene is laid in the banquet hall of Macbeth’s palace at Forces. It is already dinner time, the dinner is sweet, and the guests are all assembled. Only Banquo and Fleance have not yet arrived. One of the murderers arrives to tell him that Banquo is dead, but Fleancw has escaped. Only half of what he had ordered has been done. Macbeth is much agitated and he asks the murderer to go away at the time, but meet him again the next day.

As the banquet proceeds, the murderers come and inform Macbeth of the killing of Banquo and escape of Fleance. Macbeth comes back to the hall and cheers the guests. As he goes to occupy his chair, he finds to his surprise and dismay the ghost of Banquo. He is startled and frightened, and begins his ravings. Lady Macbeth has to use all her energies to save the situation. The ghost disappears for a time and Macbeth regains his composure.

But the ghost reappears, and Macbeth relapses into distraction, and begins his delirium. Lady Macbeth tries hard to compose him, but fails. She at last dismisses the party, saying that Macbeth is not well. The delirious talks of Macbeth disclose his crime. Lady Macbeth requests the guests not to talk to Macbeth but leave them at once without any formality. Thus she saves the situation, though the guests have their own doubts and some idea of the crimes that Macbeth has committed.

The ghost disappears and Macbeth again regains a measure of self control. Macbeth now believes that Macduff is his worst enemy because he stays away from the banquet. He resolves to meet the witches to know the worst means. Now he comes a confirmed criminal.The following speech of his reveals his future plans;

There’s not one of them but I his house
I keep a servant feed. I will to-morrow
(And betimes I will) to the weird Sisters :
More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good.
All causes shall give way; I am in blood
Steep’d in 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. even they may be scanned

Thus he prophesied to launch a career of crimes and murders. The curtain falls as they retire for the night. The ghost in this scene is entirely subjective, for it is seen only by Macbeth, and by none else. He is in a state of extreme agitation and so he has hallucinations. The ghost is as much a subjective phenomenon as the “air borne dagger” which he had seen on the eve of the murder of Duncan. It is a product of Macbeth’s excitable imagination and heated brain.

The scene is laid on a desolate heath. There is thunder and lightning and the witches with their Queen Hecate cast their wicked spells. The witches have made prophecies in Macbeth without consulting her. She rebukes the Witches for not consulting her in their dealings with Macbeth. She takes them to task for their audacity to meddle in such matters, and then departs asking them to meet her again next morning “at the pit of Acheron”, where Macbeth will again come to interview them and where they must be ready with the Chief ingredients of their charm. Their magic,

Shall raise such artificial sprites
As, by the strength of their illusion,
Shall drawcord on to his confusion;
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes, above wisdom, grace and fear;
And you all know, security
Is mortals chiefest enemy

Security is mortals chieftest enemy, and they would make Macbeth feel secure and so hasten his downfall. In the ‘witches’ silent submission to Hecate’s reproof, there is an image of unquestioned authority, which stands in sharp contrast to the proceeding disordered banquet. The last scene of Act III is a choice commentary. The scene is laid outside the palace of Macbeth in Forres, Scotland. It is a “Chorus scene”; it does not further the action of the play, but provides much useful information.

At Forres, Lenox, conversing with another Lord, tells him that all who have contorted closely with Macbeth have suffered for it. People have begun to see through Macbeth, and there are ironic references to his actions. Macduff did not come to his coronation and so Macbeth is angry with him. He may be the next to be taken off. Macbeth has grown a tyrant. and dissatisfaction and revolt against him are mounting.

His Lords have begun to suspect him and Macduff is fled to England. Nemesis will soon overtake Macbeth. The people of Scotland cannot eat and sleep in peace. A king creates a kingdom in his own image and Macbeth, unable to eat and sleep in quiet. has caused the same to be true of his country.

Macbeth’s companion informs him that Macduff has gone to England to enlist the English King’s support for Malcolm against Macbeth. The scene shows how the opposition to Macbeth is steadily building up. His evil deeds are revealing upon him and his downfall is now only a matter of time.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 2 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 2 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 2 Summary

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 1 Summary

It is the continuation of the previous scene. Supper is over and it is midnight; the hour of murder is approaching. As Banquo is crossing the courtyard of the castle in order to proceed to his chamber, he is met by Macbeth. Banquo thinks of the witches, but he restraints his ‘cursed thoughts’. Macbeth prepares himself for his terrible feat.

Banquo admits that he feels uneasy over the thought of the witch’s prophesies, but when Macbeth joins them he talks to him politely and conveys to him Duncan’s compliments. He also passes on to him a diamond, a gift for Lady Macbeth from the king. Macbeth urges Banquo to side with him in future. This contrast between the two is kept up throughout the play. Macbeth, however, adds that they would talk further regarding the matter when they have more leisure. If he acts according to his wishes, adds Macbeth, it shall make honour for him. But Banquo, the honest man, replies ;

So I lose none
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My blossoms franchis’d and allegiance clear,
I shall be counsell’d

Macbeth then sends away his servant to tell his mistress to ring the bell when his ‘drunk is ready’ Left alone, Macbeth’s heated imagination makes him see a bloodstained dagger, which points to the room where Duncan is sleeping. It is merely a hallucination, but it is so real that Macbeth tries to clutch “the aur- borne dagger”. Macbeth’s soliloquy shows that he has the imagination of a poet, that he is suffering from prices of conscience. It is an indication of the disintegration which will overtake his soul, as soon as the murder is done. The ringing of a bell is now heard and the soliloquy and the scene end with the words;

I go, and it is done: the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell

The atmosphere of horror and Macbeth’s imaginative convulsion are Shakespeare’s own.

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2 Summary

The scene is the same, and it follows the previous one. Lady Macbeth is alone on the stage. Her soliloquy tells us that she has taken wine which has “given her fire” and which will enable him to face the foul deed that is seen to be committed. The two grooms sleep soundly, as she had drugged their wine and so they would not come in the way. But she is afraid of the weakness of her husband, and says she would have herself murdered him, “if he had not resembled her father” in his sleep.

She is startled by the faintest noise. Her nerves are in jitters; her mind in wandering. Macbeth has done the deed in a state of frenzy. He is convulsed. He hears voices, he raves. He stares at herbhand and looks aghast. He cannot say ‘Amen’, he regrets he has murdered when he was asleep. Lady Macbeth tries to soothe his mind, but Macbeth does not heed her. He hears the knocking, hebwishesv that Duncin would awake. The repinings and repentance show the panged of his conscience.

Macbeth has murdered the king and his hands are soaked with blood. He tells his Queen that while the two grooms the attendants of the king – could pray and say ‘Amen’ he could not do so. The word stuck his throat. Lady Macbeth advises him not to think of these things in such a way, otherwise, it will make them mad. Lady Macbeth advises him to place the daggers in the hands of the grooms, and smear them with blood.

But Macbeth does not have the courage to donso, so Lady Macbeth herself goes onto the room, and does the needful. On return. she tells Macbeth that a, “little water clears them of the deed”, and so he must not be afraidaof it. The words are ironical, for no amount of water will ever be able to clear them of ghe deed, and it would spell ruin for them.

Loud knocking is now heard at the door, and they go in to put on their night gowns, lest their present dress should show the to be watchers, and create doubts. This is the famous murder-scene, and it seems to be have been written with a pen of fire.

The murder seems to be mirrored in the souls of the two agents – through them it seems to be visible to us. His conscience tells him that he will sleep no more and he wishes that the deed had never been done. But Lady Macbeth is calm and self – controlled and manages the affair with great skill.

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 3 Summary

The scene is divided into two parts – i. Porter’s speech, ii. Discovery of the murder of Duncan. The scene ii ends with the knocking at the door, so there must beba porter to answer the call. The porter has carousel til midnight and he is under the influence of wine. In the drunken state, he sees visions. He admits a farmer, an equivocation and a tailor to his he’ll.

They have committed sins. But as morning air blows and drunkenness passes, the porter comes to his real self and opens the door and Macduff and Lenox enter to awaken the king quite early according to his instructions. Macbeth also arrives, as if awakened by yhr knocking. They go into the room often king to carry out their mission.

They soon return horrified, for ghey have found the king murdered and lying in his own blood. Alarm bell is rung and a hue and cry raised. Macbeth goes into the room to see things for himself and murders the two grooms, as if in great anger. Lady Macbeth faints and has to be taken away. Banquo suggest that they should dress themselves properly, and then assemble to examine the matter in deed.

All go away and Malcolm and Donalbain, the two sons of the king, are left alone on the stage. They are quick to understand the situation and have some inkling of the truth. They realize that it is not safe for them to remain there any longer. They, therefore, decide to flee from the country at once. Malcolm is to go to England and Donalbain to Ireland. There they would able to plan out their future strategy in safety.

The contrast between the porter’s drunken, grumbling return to his normal workday routine after a night’s carousing and the pretence of Macbeth of awakening to ordinary, everyday reality, after his unknown night of horror, is ironic. Even more ironic isthmus fact that the porter ‘s whimsy of being keeper of Hell – gate is more true than he realizes: it is indeed a hell into which the castle of Macbeth has been transformed by his awful deed. His jesting acts as a relief from extreme tension, but it is thematically significant.

The second part of the scene is devoted to the discovery of the murder by Macduff, Macbeth’s gradual degeneration, his acting and his sense of guilty. Malcolm and Donalbain fearing that they also may get killed, decide to run away, Malcolm to England and his younger brother to Ireland.

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 4 Summary

Shakespeare interposes a quiet scene to relieve the tension of the previous scene. The scene is laid just outside Macbeth’s castle. Ross and an old Macbeth, and recount to each other the horrors and unnatural events that they have witnessed during the night. They speak about unnatural Tempest and irrational behavior of the animals.

The unnatural manifestations and behavior indicate the unnatural deed that is done. Macduff enters and reports that it has been accepted that the two guards killed Duncan on the orders of Malcolm and Donalbain who have run away. He also says that, Macbeth has gone to be crowned in Scone.

The oldman represents the common man and the murder is made more macabre by its uniqueness in his experience. The confusion in the natural world magnifies the crime committed by Macbeth. There is disorder in nature and strange and unnatural things take place. This is symbolic of the disorder in the state of Scotland, and the unnatural murder that has been committed during the night.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 1 Summary

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Act 1 Summary

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1 Summary

It is a short scene of twelve lines only. The scene is laid in an open, desolate place in Scotland. The weather is foul, and there is thunder and lightning. Witches are the concrete symbols of evil in human nature. They are the embodiments of the malign forces in Nature and in human nature. They thus suggest the underlying spiritual forces of the play. The witches delight in the reversal of values.

They belong to the world of darkness and mischief (Saturn). The symbolise forces opposite to the moral orders presided over by God. In such foul weather three witches meet in the open place. From their conversation we learn that they intend to meet again on some heath before the end of the day, as soon as the battle which is being fought at the time is over.

They would assemble there to meet Macbeth, on his way back from the battle.The scene is a stroke of genius. It is at once known that in the present play values are all Topsy- turvy, and what is Evil is considered good by its tragic hero, Macbeth. The scene is also dramatically effective for it startles and at

once captures attention. The hostile weather, the “fog and filthy air”, and the loathsome witches croaking out riddles create a world of darkness and foulness in keeping with the sinister designs of Macbeth Macbeth and his wife to be seen later. In Holinshed which is the source of the play, Macbeth, there are ‘certain wizards’ and ‘a certain witch’ besides the weird sisters. For dramatic economy Shakespeare has made three witches do all that the wizards and the witches and the horrible creatures do in Holinshed.

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 2 Summary

The scene is a glorification of Macbeth. The scene is laid in a camp near Forres in Scotland. As the curtain rises King Duncan. his two sons- Malcolm and Donalbainare shown in the camp. A bleeding sergeant comes to tell them the news from the battlefield. He presents Macbeth as the decision factor and Ross gives the same impression from his point of view. We get a remarkable picture of Macbeth as a kind of superman, a fearless, ferocious, almost invulnerable. champion of right of treachery.

The picture of brave Macbeth- “bridegroom and Valour’s minion” – presented in this scene should be compared with our impression of him at the close of the play. The reports stress the heroism of Macbeth, of Duncan’s general’s who killed Macdonwald and then, joined by Banquo, defeated the combined forces of Norway and Cawdor and forced Norway to sue for a truce and to pay an indemnity. Duncan orders the execution of Cawdor and conferment of his title on brave Macbeth.

The scene does not advance the action of the play, but it tells us much about Macbeth, about his loyalty to the king, and of his exemplary courage and heroism. He has fought bravely and defeated the rebels. As a matter of fact there were two vastness, but Shakespeare has telescoped them into one, in the interest of dramatic effectiveness.

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 3 Summary

This part of the scene is a continuation of the opening scene- the witches are waiting for Macbeth. They are the hags of superstition and more than that. They are concrete symbols of the malign forces of the universe. They are also living beings-old withered women with skinny lips and choppy fingers, killing swine for simple amusement and taking cruel revenge on a sailor for denying them the nuts by the sailor’s wife. The three witches meet again on a desolate heath, according to their decision in Act 1 scene of the play.

They wait there to meet Macbeth, who would soon reach the place on his way back from the battlefield. They dance and cast their wicked spells till Macbeth and Banquo arrive. They greet the two and make their prophecy. They greet Macbeth as the Thane of Cawdor and also foretell that he would be the King of Scotland hereafter. They prophesied that Banquo’s sons would be the future kings of Scotland.

The first prophecy is fulfilled soon after as Ross and Angus come to inform Macbeth that the title of Cawdor has been conferred upon him, and the present Thane of Cawdor is to be beheaded shortly for his treachery. The three witches speak in enigmatic language and vanish leaving Macbeth in suspense and expectation.

This is the temptation scene. Macbeth is tempted more by himself than by the witches. “The idea of fulfilling it (the prophecy) of the witches are presented simply as dangerous circumstances with which Macbeth has to deal. The witches do not solicit. They simply announce events. Fascinated by this speedy proof of the witch’s foreknowledge, Macbeth is “rapt” and he begins to speculate to himself upon the prospect of becoming the king in future.

While Macbeth is disturbed and frightened, Banquo remains calm and skeptical. When Macbeth is “All hailed” as “King hereafter”, he starts in the manner of a “guilty thing surprised”. On the other hand, Banquo remains level-headed and conscious of the fact that men can easily be tempted into wrong-doing by such “instruments of darkness”.

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 4 Summary

The scene is laid in Forres in a room of King Duncan’s place. In the royal place at Forres, Duncan hears his son Malcolm relate how the treacherous but penitent Cawdor faced his execution with dignity. Macbeth and Banquo arrive and are warmly welcomed by the king.

Macbeth has thus already become the Thane of Cawdor. Duncan designates Malcolm as heir to the throne that confers upon him the title of Prince of Cumberland. This is an obstacles to Macbeth’s hope of gaining the throne The king out of gratitude decides to visit Macbeth’s castle at Inverness. Macbeth leaves to make preparation for the reception of the king.

Thus Duncan invites himself to his own death. Macbeth may have secret hope that he will be proclaimed their to the throne (Macbeth is the king’s cousin, and he has saved the country from threats to destruction. Moreover. succession in Scotland was not hereditary; it was settled by nomination by the reigning king). This is a step. on which Macbeth must fall or overlap. So his thought of murder is again roused. The trustful generous king invites himself to his own tragedy.

The scene is a departure from Holinshed. En Holinshed there is the creation of Malcolm as the prince of Cumberland. and there is the suggestion of Macbeth’s mental trouble. Holinshed does not say anything about Duncan’s declaration to visit Macbeth’s castle. Holinshed keeps it vague as to whether the king was killed in Inverness or Bothgowanan. Shakespeare suggests how natural relationships, honorable bonds and the political order are soon to be violated.

“There’s no art to and the mind’s construction in the face” which are fully applicable to Macbeth also. His soliloquy at the end shows that he is already thinking of getting throne by foul means :

Thur is a step
On which must fall down, else o’er leap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires,
Let not light see my black and deep desires:
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be.
Which the eve fears, where is done, to see.
It is as if Fate is driving him to his doom.

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 5 Summary

The scene is Shakespeare’s invention. There is no precise original for this scene in Holinshed. Holinshed only tells that in his plan of murdering the king, Macbeth was “great encouraged” by his wife who “lay sore upon him to attempt the thing” she was very ambitious to bear the name of the queen

The scene is laid in Macbeth’s castle in Inverness. In Inverness castle, Lady Macbeth, reading a letter from Macbeth which describes his meeting with the Witches, immediately realises that she must encourage her husband “to catch the nearest way” seize the throne.

The prophecy can be fulfilled only through the murder of Duncan, and now that the king would be their guest for the night, they have a good opportunity to do so. But Lady Macbeth is afraid of the noble nature of her husband who is too “full of the milk of human kindness”, as so unfit from such a task. She says,

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promis’d; yet do I fear thy nature,
It is too full so prime the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way; thou wouldst be great;
Are not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend ot; what thou wouldst highly
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win.

She, therefore, decides to chastise him “with the vapour of her tongue” and remove all obstacles that lie in his way to “the golden round” and thus make the prophecy of the witches a reality. The scene introduces us to the second great character of the drama, Lady Macbeth. She is a woman of iron will and determination and it is she who will goad him on to murder. She does not hesitate like Macbeth, she has no scruples like those of Macbeth. She can concentrate on her task.

She is decisive, determined and cruel. She offers a cntrastto Macbeth who is indecisive, dithering and overwhelmed with the varied aspects and consequences of the murder. She, however, does not understand herself. She cannot appreciate Macbeth’s imagination, his conscience. She mistakes conscience for cowardice, she even over power. herself. She does violence to her feminine instinct and has to pay the penalty for it.

Macbeth’s letter to his wife must have been written somewhere between scene iii and scene iv after his meeting with the witches, and effort his meeting with Duncan. Her soliloquy, after she has read the letter of Macbeth, shows that they had talked on some previous occasion of the possibility of Macbeth getting the crown of Scotland. She would now proceed to make the possibility a reality. So the fate of poor Duncan is sealed.

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 6 Summary

This is a quiet scene interposed between two stormy scenes. It is a magnificent and elaborate specimen of dramatic irony. It anticipates the grim tragedy. The scene introduces the sunshine- the daylight. (Most of the scent: of the tragedy are dark). The scene reveals the tension and emphasis the grimnrss by ironic contrast.

Duncan, his two sons, Banquo, and other attendant Lords arrive at Macbeth’s castle. They are graciously welcomed by Lady Macbeth. They admire the peaceful atmosphere of the place. Lady Macbeth seems almost to overdo her humble greetings but the king suspects nothing.

The appearance of the castle and that of its mistress are both pleasant. But as Duncan himself had remarked earlier, appearances are deceptive. He does not even cream that he is about to enter a den of crime, from where he will never return alive. Lady Macbeth’s appearance as the perfect, loyal hostess constantly reminds us of her advice to Macbeth in the earlier scene,

Look like the innocent flower
But be the serpent under….

and further illustrates the hypocrisy in her character. Also to be noted is the dramatic irony in Duncan’s admiration to the location of the castle where hevis fated to meet his doom.

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 7 Summary

It is night and the scene is laid in the castle of Macbeth. The stage-directions of the mind is revealed here. That the banquet in honour the royal guest has been going on. Macbeth quits the banquet. Fears and scruples shake him. Thus is a very critical point in the action of the play. The scene shows the infinite deeps of the human heart.

Macbeth cannot see his guest at the table. He is overpowered by fears and scruples. He debates the question of murder. He considers the practical consequences as well as the moral issues involved. He sees how he will be alienated from humanity by this “deep damnation of his taking off”. Macbeth’s wide imaginative power is at its best here.

Lady Macbeth however urges him on by reproof, taunts etc and then Macbeth is again led to the resolve on murder. This the sea – saw movement of the mind is revealed here. Macbeth’s soliloquy is the example of his supreme example of visual imagination. Lady Macbeth’s inflexible will and grim determination are shown as contrasts to Macbeth’s indecisiveness and hesitations. Lady Macbeth has single-minded devotion to the task of murder, while Macbeth is distracted by the wider aspects and moral issues involved.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Characterisation by Shakespeare

ISC Class 12 Macbeth Characterisation by Shakespeare 2

ISC Class 12 Macbeth – Characterisation by Shakespeare


Macbeth is a brave soldier, a cousin of King Duncan of Scotland. He is also a brave ambitious General and a man of action. He suppresses the revolt of the treacherous Macdonwald, the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Norway. Shakespeare concentrates on Macbeth’s courage in order to contrasting later with his terror and anguish. He is given many epithet like Valour’s minion’, “Bellona’s bridegroom’ and the King, himself calls him a ‘peerless kinsman’.

He is the first character introduced in the play and at the end of the play he is referred to as the dead butcher by Malcolm. All actions in the play revolve around him, so the play after him. His first engagement in the battle is represented as having been won by his personal powers and generalship.

In Act 1 Scene 2, for example both the sergeant and Duncan praise Macbeth for his courage stressing that he carved out his passage” until he was face to face with the enemy General. He is courageous during the new threat posed by the army of the rebel forces reinforced with terrible numbers by the King of Norway, assisted by the most disloyal traitor, The Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth accepts her challenge.

According to his wife, Macbeth is full of milk of human kindness’ and she sets on to attack this aspect of his character. There is evil within him as he echoes the words of the witches. So fair and foul a day, I have never seen. He is a valiant but he fights Luke a frenzied man. This evil in him comes to the fore with every advance he makes in his bloody career. Halfway, through the play, he gains the title of “tyrant” and “butcher”.

Ambition is the key note of character. He is too ambitious to get the kingship for himself as well as for his progeny. The inordinate ambition turns him from a noble hero to a usurper and murderer of the worst kind. Lady Macbeth uses psychology to tempt her husband to kill Duncan; she dares him to do all that may become a man. Macbeth emerges victorious in the battle. Whenever the prospect of action appears, Macbeth’s courage never fails him. Even after his degradation, he is fears. During the apparition of a bloody child he says,

Then live, Macduff, what need I fear of thee?
But yet I’ll make assurance double sure
And take a bond of fate; thou shalt not live
And sleep in spite of thunder
Macbeth shows his courage till the end against all odds.
He says;
They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly
But bear-like I must fight the course

Macbeth’s ambition, in collusion with other circumstances brings about his ruin. Lady Macbeth is aware of her husband’s ambitious nature.

Thou would be great,
Art flot without ambition, but without
Tite illness should attend it.

His ambition is stimulated by circumstances – by his remarkable success and by being conscious of her own powers. The witches choose Macbeth to be the victim of their deceit because of the over whelming ambition in him. His reaction to their prophecies. his rapt behaviour, his brooding over the prophecy leading to the thought of murdering Duncan are prompted by ambition.

His vaulting ambition turns him into a tyrant. He grows bold and bloody. He dies not hesitate to kill the innocent wife and children of Macduff. Macbeth’s passion for power is so strong that no inward misery could persuade him to relinquish the fruits of crime, or to advance from remorse to repentance.

There is another side to the witches prophecy. According to them Banquo would father a dynasty of kings. Macbeth could not bear this. He decodes to have Banquo and Fleance murdered. But as luck would have it Fleance escapes. The ambition to be the founder of a dynasty of kings goods him to hurry along the career of crime. The nobles and the people are antagonised. Ultimately he meets his doom at the hands of Macduff.

Macbeth is endowed with the gift of imagination which often torments him with honid images. His imagination, controlled neither by moral considerations nor by education made him a ready victim to the tempting voices of superstitions. His poetic imagination makes him have hallucinations. It makes him see the dagger and the ghost. of Banquo. It also tells him that he would sleep no more.

His imagination is easily thrilled by the unknown and the supernatural. What terrifies him is always the image of his guilty heart or bloody deed. The imagination is his finest part. It is his imagination which makes visualise his guilt. It is believed that neither his ambition nor the prophecy of the witches would have made Macbeth critics the murder without the chastisement of his wife’s tongue. Macbeth’s inner suffering continues to be prompted by his fertile imagination throughout the play. In his soliloquy Act II. Scene 2 with his hands that have killed Duncan he says —

No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine
Making the green one red.

It was his superstition that led him to believe in the promises of the apparitions. He was convinced that he was invincible because no man born of woman would eliminate him. Furthermore, he would not be defeated until the Birnam Wood would come to Dunsinane. However, the event proved how equivocal and misleading the prediction of the witches were.

Macbeth confided in his wife. He shared his joys with her — sent her a letter describing the witches’ prophesies. Accepts her guidance and advice and consulted concerning his plans. Even he keeps to himself when planning the murder of Banquo and Fleance so that she will not have to share the strain. His nobility is visible in his character throughout the play.

Though he yields to the evil forces his submission to them takes place always after a conflict with his conscience. After murdering Duncan, he is overwhelmed by fear of the consequences of the murder; he cannot return to the place of murder;

I’ll go no more
I am afraid to think what I have done
Look on’t again I dare not.

Despite his being a brave, heroic soldier, Macbeth is weak of will and is easily carried away by the suggestions and persuasion of others, and acts against his own better judgment. He suffers from a sense of insecurity and fear of retaliation. He is afraid of Banquo for he knows his secret. So Banquo is murdered. But thr murder brings him no peace. Macduff is still alive, but out of his reach. So he wreaks vengeance on his wife and child. Still there is no sleep, no peace. He thinks that he is still ‘young in deed’ and so his fears are the initial fears of a novice.

Macbeth follows the advice of the witches and travelsthe bloody path of crime. He descends lower and lower into the very depths of hell. He becomes a tyrant. But he fights like a hero and dies like a soldier. He fights like a cornered animal. He knows that his life is useless and so worth living.

Actually his life became pointless when he murdered Duncan, when he ceased Tobe a loyal subject. In the banquet scene, Macbeth is led by terror caused by his guilty conscience. The sight of Banquo’s ghost blows away caution from Macbeth and reveals the crimes he has committed. He feels that a friendless man like him who has no honour or love is like a dead leaf. This deep pessimism is revealed when he is told of his wife’s death.

Rather than passively waiting to die. Macbeth had cut off traitor’s head. at the end, his own head is cut off as a symbol that evil has been destroyed.

Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth has been referred to as the fourth witch and she is called the fiend-like Queen by Malcolm. She is the moving force behind Macbeth’s deeds. She chastised Macbeth by the valour of her tongue. overcomes his hesitation and drives him to commit the murder to enable him to become the king. i.e the throne of Scotland. She is ruthless, shows iron will to overcome all the obstacles in the way. Had she not been like this. Duncan would never have been murdered.

When Lady Macbeth makes her first appearance in the play. she is seen reading the letter from her husband. In the letter he calls her as his dearest partner of greatness. and informs her of his success in the battle, the prediction of the witches and their partial fulfillment. She is aware of his weaknesses and uses her strong will to keep him from slipping away from the course he has planned for himself.

She says:
Hie thee hither
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear.
And chastise with the valour of my longue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
To have thee crown’d withal

Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband with remarkable effectiveness overriding all his objections when he hesitates to murder, she repeatedly questions his manhood util he feels that he must commit murder to prove himself. Lady Macbeth remarkable strength of will persists through the murder of the king – it is she who steadies her husband’s nerves immediately after the crime has been perpetrated. She calls upon the superior powers to unsex her, to take away all womanly nature and to fill her from top to bottom with direct cruelty. She seems to be a monster. But as the action develops, it becomes clear that in reality she is a woman with usual feminine weaknesses.

Afterwards, however, Lady Macbeth begins a slow slide into madness – just as ambition affects her more strongly than Macbeth before the crime, so does guilt plague her more strongly afterwards. By the close of the play, she has been reduced to sleepwalking through the castle, desperately trying to wash away an invisible bloodstain.

In spite of her apparent cruel nature, Lady Macbeth has many feminine qualities. She is a devoted wife and a gracious hostess. As a mother she knows how tender ’tis to love the baby that milked her. She is a loving wife. Her motive for the crime was her love for her husband whom she would like to get the throne so that he might achieve his highest ambition. Macbeth is aware of her feminine qualities. So in Act III, Scene 2, he does not disclose to her his plans to murder Banquo and Fleance. He tells her.

Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck. Her fainting spell and the sleep-walking scene bear ample witness to her feminine qualities. Lady Macbeth shows her will power in planning and execution of the scheme to make her husband thr king. With the strength of her will, she influences her husband, guides his action and helps him out of difficult situations. Her will power is shown during her first appearance in the play, when she reacts to her husband’s letter. Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be What thou art promis’d She does not have the brooding imagination like that of Macbeth.

She is determined for the action. She urges Macbeth to murder Duncan with a singleness of purpose. She takes upon herself the direction of affairs, and arranges all the details of the murder. She makes the grooms drunk and suggests that the crime must be ascribed to them.

She tells her husband to was the blood off his hands and then, seeing he has brought out the daggers, she herself takes them back to the chamber. When she returns to hear the knocking at the gate, she has the presence of mind. She decides that they must put on their night clothes so that it will seem that they have been in bed;

She tells him :
Get on your night-gown, lest occasion calls us.
And show us to be watchers – Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts …………..

Lady Macbeth is very resourceful in a crisis situation. Unlike her husband, she does not depend on her imagination but shows her presence of mind to solve a problem. Lady Macbeth has a leading role in the play. After the murder, she recedes to the background. She has behaved in an unnatural way which stifled her conscience and strained her nerves.

She had no emotional relief by expressing outwardly her remorse. In the sleep-walking scene, her mind cannot bear the strain of revealing her true which she had tried to conceal. Disillusionment and despair prey upon her more. Lady Macbeth’s iron will and ruthless determination make her look fiendish.

She instigated her husband to kill the old and gentle king who was their ends. Banquo is basically jonest, while guest for the night. But she also has femininity and, therefore, she takes wines to make herself bold. She succeeds in repressing her womanliness only for some time but when the deed has been done, she gradually breaks down and ultimately becomes pathetic in the sleep-walking scene.

Lady Macbeth has no imagination, therefore she neither understands her husband’s nature nor the consequences of the crime. As soon as the hideousness of their crime comes to her, she begins to sink. She is disillusioned and so full of despair. She becomes a broken and frustrated woman. At the close of the play, we learn that she has probably committed suicide. The strain of keeping up appearances has been too much for her. Lady Macbeth is the most fascinating female character of Shakespeare.


Banquo is a thane in Duncan’s army, and at first a friend of Macbeth. Banquo, like Macbeth, is a brave general and heroic general and heroic warrior. Duncan considers both of them equally worthy of love and regard. But here the similarity ends. Banquo is basically honest, whole there is a germ of evil in Macbeth. He is not startled when it is predicted that his sons will be the future kings of Scotland. He is far more suspicious of the witches than Macbeth is.

Banquo is ambitious but dies not adopt crooked means to realise his ambition. He is essentially a noble man but the prophecy of the witches affects him to corrupt his nature. He knows of the prophecy, suspects Macbeth but does not disclose the secret.

Rather, he accepts Macbeth’s accession, goes to Scone for his coronation and even accepts the theory that the princes have murdered their father. This is so because he has yielded to evil. He fears that Macbeth has “played most foully” for the throne, but still does not speak a word against him.

In Act III murderers kill Banquo at Macbeth’s command and try to kill his young son Fleance, who manages to get away. Soon after his death Banquo redeem his oath. He is also a frank, honest, straightforward man. However his dying words “oh slave! are a condemnation of Macbeth as he realises in his last moment that he has been betrayed by his friend.

As he does, he calls his son, running away from the murderers, to avenge his murder. Banquo throughout the play was well known for his friendship with Macbeth rather than his courageous efforts during the battle he had won alongside Macbeth.


Macduff is a loyal Thane in Duncan’s service (Thane of Fife) and the one not born of woman. Unlike the treasonous Macbeth, Macduff is completely loyal to Duncan and his son Malcolm. He is the most selfless person who is known for his nobility, loyalty and patriotism. He is respected among his countrymen and remains the good Macduff through out the action of the play.

He is hated and feared by Macbeth because Macbeth is aware of his superior nobility and high morality. He suspects Macbeth from the very beginning and so disobeys his command to be present at Scone. He does not attend the banquet hosted by the tyrant.

His behavior is is in sharp contrast to that of Banquo. When Macbeth kills Duncan’s chamberlains. Macduff instinctively begins to suspect foul play and so sternly asks him: Wherefore did you so? Macbeth is annoyed with him and his doubts and fears are confirmed when the witches tell him

Beware Macduff
Beware The Thaize of Fife

Macduff is loyal and patriotic. When he is convinced of Macbeth’s treachery, he sets himself up as an uncompromising enemy to the usurper. Macduff flees to England not out of fear but to help the rightful king of Scotland to free his country of tyranny, leaving his family at the mercy of Macbeth.

He had never imagined that Macbeth would be so cruel to butcher even innocent women and children. This calamity along with his sense of patriotism fires him with a desire for revenge. He convinces Malcolm of his loyalty by the sincerity of his grief when he feels he can no longer condone Malcolm’s confession of faults. Malcolm cannot help being touched by the sincerity with which Macduff expresses his love for his country.

Macduff is a man of action. His secret departure to England and his preoccupation with enlisting aid for the purpose of overthrowing Macbeth points to the immense store of energy in him. Fie is a man of few words. He is shocked and stunned at the news of the mass murder. The reader feels for him deeply. Macduff gives the order for battle. He fights with Macbeth and becomes the most telling cause for the latter’s despair. when he meets Macbeth on the field of battle, he wastes no time in giving empty threats:

I have no words. My voice is in my sword; thou bloodied villain Than terms can give thee out. His actions have origin in his emotions. His emotional nature does not allow him to lose his humanity. In Act IV scene 3, when he is told of the massacre of his wife and children, deep grief interrupts his desire for revenge and reveals a tenderness beneath his violence. It is throug’ him that poetic justice has been meted out to the hero – turned villain.

Banquo keeps his suspicion of Macbeth to himself while Macduff expresses his suspicion and becomes an enemy of Macbeth. Banquo attended the coronation ceremony and the banquet given by Macbeth. Macduff was conspicuous by his absence at both the functions. His absence at banquet made Macbeth turn his anger directly upon Macduff. Banquo is passive against Macbeth’s crimes and is indirectly disloyal to Dunan. Macduff remains loyal to his king and his heirs.

Macduff explains the nature of his birth; a Caesarean operation. This destroys Macbeth’s last hope. Macduff takes over the role played by Macbeth at the start of the play, when he had cut off Macdonwald’s head. He is the trusted man of action. It is through him that poetic justice has been meted out to Macbeth. His intense burning patriotism is above all reproach.

His country is a greater stake to him than his wife and children whom he loves nonetheless as much as anybody can love his wife and children. He loved to see his country free again and his share in the liberation of his country is not an inconsiderable one, for he brings Malcolm from England and kills Macbeth with his own hands, having thus the satisfaction of avenging his family.

King Duncan

Duncan is a dignified, gentle and benevolent king. He is the father of two youthful sons Malcolm and Donalbain, and the victim of well-plotted regicide in a power grab by his trusted captain Macbeth. Macbeth is aware of Duncan’s virtues and understands the enmity of his proposed murder of him :

This Duncan
Hath born his facuties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angles, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking off.

He is always ready to recognise merit in others and reward those who have shown great courage and heroism in winning the battle against the rebels. Duncan praises Macbeth highly and rewards him with the thaneship of Cawdor. He further shows his appreciation of his services by becoming his guest for the night. Duncan has the qualities of a good king.

He has holiness, generosity and sense of justice. He orders the execution of the Thane of Cawdor for his treachery and rewards Macbeth by declaring him to be the new Thane of Cawdor. It is saintly which makes his murder so very heinous and revolting. Duncan keeps his royal dignity and behaves like an ideal guest in Macbeth’s castle.

Give me your hand-
Conducted to mine host; we love him highly
And shall continue our graces towards him,
By your leave, hostess

Duncan’s concern for his people is seen in his first appearance in the play. The reports of his general’s valour do not make him blind to the needs of the bleeding captain. So he commands; Go, get him surgeons,

Dunan is generously in showering praise and rewarding people. He recognises merit in others and rewards the generals who have shown great courage in putting down the revolt of Macdonwald, and in repelling the attack of the king of Norway. Duncan’s welcome to Macbeth and Banquo in Act I, Scene 4, shows his generosity and his awareness of royal responsibility. His decision visit castle as a guest is a proof of his genuine appreciation for Macbeth.

The importance of royal blood that is the inheritance of the divine right to rule, is emphasized when in the final scene, Duncan’s son Malcolm takes the title of king with the words, by the grace of God/ we will perform.


Malcolm is the legal heir to the throne of Scotland. Being practical, he can make quick decisions. It is he who decides that he and his younger brother Donalbain should separate after their father’s murder. It is a wise decision. Malcolm is realistic which is obvious in his handling of Macduff.

He is not to be easily deceived. Then he appears as a shrewd young man when he gently but persistently tries to convert Macduff’s grief into positive revenge. In the beginning of the play Duncan nominated him as his successor.

This fact hastened the resolve of Macbeth to get rid of Duncan and occupy his throne. Malcolm is cautious and practical. When his father is murdered, he is quick to suspect the murderer, and at once decides on leaving for England. He knows fully well that he as well as his brother will share the fate of their father, if they waste a minute in Macbeth’s residence.

This murderous shaft that’s shot
Hath not yet lighted; and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim

If anything, Malcolm is particularly shrewd and intelligent; so he is able to escape all the wiles of Macbeth, for it appears that Macbeth’s custody he declares to Macduff;

Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me

Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me From over-credulous haste Here is the reason why he cannot at first trust Macduff, and why he tries him by self-disparagement, but at last Macduff ‘s passionate wail for the fate of his country wins his confidence and it is then only that he declares that he has none of the vices which a little while ago he has imputed to himself.

Natural goodness alone is not sufficient for a king: he must be realistic. In his handling of Macduff Malcolm shows himself as a realist. Malcolm is not really deceived. He uses his resourcefulness. When, for the good of Scotland, he gently but persistently tries to convert Macduff’s grief into positive revenge, we see Malcolm as a wise, able and shrewd young man.

Malcolm is an intelligent soldier. He orders his soldiers to camouflage themselves with the boughs from Birnam Wood; he thereby fulfils the prophecy and so shakes Macbeth’s confidence in the witches. Malcolm forms a contrast to his father who has been trustful and unsuspecting.

Malcolm is so suspicious that he distrust Macduff and only satisfies himself of the noble Thane’s loyalty after having spoken of his own detracting in detail. Malcolm symbolises basic goodness in man. His religious spirit spirit helps him to keep away from the superstition in the play. While talking to Macduff in Act IV, Scene 3, he describes his religious fervor.

After the victory is won, Malcolm confers new honours on his thanes and kinsmen, and promises to recall those who are in exile and bring to book that accomplices of Macbeth. He has been portrayed as an ideal king in contrast to the tyrannical Macbeth. His coronation restores peace and legitimate kingship to Scotland. His last words in the play show yhe destruction of evil and disorder, and restoration of order, harmony and peace by young and rightful king of the country.

Ross And Angus

Ross and Angus are minor characters. They are known as chorus or mechanical characters, who give general information or comment or things in the play. It is through their comments that the audience comes to know the impact of the tyranny of Macbeth on the people of Scotland.

We know through them that Macbeth is hated, the people have no love for him and in case of Malcolm’s return they would gladly welcome him. They are two honest Thanes of Scotland. They create a larger life of Scotland. It is through their comments that we learn of Macbeth’s tyranny and it’s impact on the common people.

They make their appearance at the beginning and end of the play. They bring the news of victory to Duncan which has been won by Macbeth and they also convey the news to to Macbeth that Duncan has conferred the title of the Thane of Cawdor upon him. They also accompany Duncan to Inverness.

Ross gives in his talk with the oldman, an account of the portents which were witnessed during the night of Duncan’s murder. His account and the oldman’s remarks contribute to the atmosphere of terror in the play. It is Ross again who informs Malcolm and Macduff of the distressing conditions prevailing in Scotland.

He also breaks to Macduff the painful news of the slaughter of his family under Macbeth’s orders. This news makes Macduff more determined to avenge himself upon that man. It also Ross who breaks to Old Siward the tragic news of the death of his son in the battlefield.

ISC Macbeth Workbook Answers