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

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