Answer any two questions from Act III, any two questions from Act IV, and any two questions from Act V.


  1. What is similar or different in the ways that Banquo, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth view concept of fate?
  2. How does Macbeth convince the murders to kill Banquo?
  3. Macbeth makes a choice after worrying about the witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will be kings. What is this choice? What makes this decision ironic?
  4. Macbeth ends Act III, Scene II with the line, ”Come seeling night, scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day.” Why does Macbeth want it to be night? What does Macbeth hope the night will bring?
  5. How do Macbeth and Lady Macbeth feel about their position? What do the phrases: ”doubtful joy” and ”sorriest fantasies” reveal about their moods?
  6. How does the outcome of the murderers’ efforts relate to the witches’ prophecy about Banquo?

Act IV

  1. How does Macbeth feel about himself after his meeting with the three witches?
  2. Why is Macduff away from his family? How does Lady Macduff feel about his absense?
  3. What does Macbeth do to Macduff’s family? Why?
  4. What does Shakespeare achieve with the conversation between Ross and Lady Macduff?
  5. What suspicion of Macduff does Malcolm voice? What makes him suspicious?
  6. How does Malcolm test Macduff’s honesty? How does Macduff nearly fail this test? What finally convinces Malcolm of Macduff’s honesty and true character?

Act V

  1. Why does Lady Macbeth repeatedly wash her hands?
  2. What three things does Lady Macbeth recall out loud? How do the doctor and her lady in waiting react to her recollection?
  3. What are the conditions in Scotland under Macbeth’s reign?
  4. How does Macbeth feel about his future? Why?
  5. What do Menteith and Lennox reveal about the English forces coming to depose Macbeth? Why is this important?
  6. What is ironic when Macduff reveals “[he] was from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped”? What kind of irony is it? What does Shakespeare achieve by giving the reader this information at this point in the narrative?

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