2 Brief Synopsis – Act IVMacbeth resolves to find the witches and demand further assurances.He encounters them on their dismal heath, where they answer him with a procession of ghostly appearances:________________________________Armed Head – warns Macbeth to beware Macduff.Bloody Child – “none of woman born” shall harm Macbeth.Crowned Child Holding Tree Limb – Macbeth will be safe until “Birnam Wood” comes to Dunsinane Hill.8 Kings followed by Banquo’s Ghost, smiling and pointing to his descendants.
3 Brief Synopsis –Act IV continued … Leaving, Macbeth encounters the nobleman Lennox who denies having seen “the weird sisters” and tells that Macduff has fled to England.Vengefully, Macbeth vows to kill Macduff’s wife and childrenA messenger arrives at Fife, Macduff’s castle, to warn her, but it is too late, and Lady Macduff and her children are killed by Macbeth’s assassins.
4 Brief Synopsis – Act IV continued … Malcolm is at the kings palace in England where he tests Macduff’s loyalty to the cause against Macbeth.Satisfied, Malcolm welcomes Macduff as an ally.
5 Brief Synopsis – Act Iv continued … When Ross enters with the terrible news of the massacre of Macduff’s wife and children, Macduff swears to kill Macbeth with his own sword.
7 Study Guide Questions 1What ingredients go into the witches’ stew? What is the purpose of this vile concoction?_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Poisoned entrails“Toad, that under a cold stone days and nights has thirty-one swelt’red venom sleeping got.”Fillet of a fenny snake.Blindworm’s stingEye of newtLizard’s legToe of frogHowlet’s wingWool of batAdder’s forkTongue of dogTooth of wolf
8 Study Guide Questions 2Describe the three apparitions Macbeth sees when he visits the witches. What does each apparition tell him?______________________________________________________________________________________1st Apparition – An Armed Head.Beware Macduff, the Thane of Fife.2nd Apparition – A Bloody Child.None of woman born shall harm Macbeth (i.e. Macduff).3rd Apparition - A Child Crowned, with a tree in his handMacbeth will never be vanquished until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinance Hill come against him.
9 Study Guide questions 3-4 What question has Macbeth come to ask the witches, and how do they answer?__________________________________________Which nobleman does Macbeth plan to murder after talking with the witches? How is his plan foiled?Macbeth comes to ask the witches his future as king.However, because Macbeth is so rude to them the witches saythat Macbeth can hear it from their mouths or their masters.Macbeth plans to kill Macduff, but Macduff has fled to England.
10 Study Guide questions 5-6 At the end of Scene 1, what does Macbeth vow? Describe the way his vow is carried out in Scene 2.__________________________________________According to the conversation between Malcolm and Macduff in Scene 3, what has happened to Scotland during Macbeth’s reign?Macbeth vows to seize upon Fife and kill everyone there.Scotland is no longer a safe haven.
11 Study Guide questions 7-8 What does Malcolm “confess” about his own faults?__________________________________________How does Macduff respond to Malcolm’s “confession”?That he is lustful and covetous and he has no virtues which would entitle him to become King.Macduff states that Scotland has enough wealth for everyone.
12 Study guide questions 9In this act, Macbeth seeks out the witches, just as they took the initiative in approaching him in Act 1. How has his situation changed since he last talked with them? How has his character changed?__________________________________________He is a murderer now.He no longer feels regret, he only wants what he wants.
13 Study Guide Question 10-11Do you think the witches have caused any indirectly? these changes, directly or indirectly? Explain your reasons for thinking as you do.__________________________________________In Scene 1, the eight kings appear in what was called in Shakespeare’s day a dumb show – an interpolated brief scene in which nothing is said. What is the point of this particular dumb show?These are the kings of Banquo’s line and the mirror suggests an infinite number of descendants. Banquo appears last laughing at Macbeth.
14 Study guide question 12In Scene 2, the lines spoken by Macduff’s wife and son illustrate Shakespeare’s great skill at characterization. Using only a few words, he brings the woman and the child to life, showing both the faults and virtues in each. How would you describe Lady Macduff? How would you describe the boy?__________________________________________Lady Macduff is a strong person who loves her family and misses her husband. She appears to have a sense of humor.The son seems happy and close to his parents, and when faced with the murderer he shows bravery by attacking him for saying his father is a traitor.
15 Study Guide Question 13The murder of Macduff’s wife and small son is one of the most pitiful and shocking scenes in Shakespeare’s plays. Why do you suppose he decided to show it onstage, rather than just having it reported after it happens?__________________________________________This scene brings home the horror of the event and the evil to which Macbeth has fallen.
16 Study Guide Questions 14Both the murderer and Lady Macduff herself call Macduff a traitor. In what sense does each mean it? Do you think Macduff is a traitor, in either sense?__________________________________________Lady Macduff calls her husband a traitor because he left their castle unguarded and she is angry with him.The murderer calls Macduff a coward as an offense to Lady Macduff and her son.
17 Study guide question 15In Scene 3, Malcolm deliberately lies to Macduff. Why does he do this? What does this behavior, and the reason for it, reveal about Malcolm?__________________________________________Malcolm is testing Macduff by lying to him.It shows that he knows the “art/to find the mind’s construction in the face” ( ), and uses it to discern Macduff’s true character. Remember: Duncan was deceived twice by traitors.
18 Study questions true/false _____________In response to Macbeth’s questions, the witches call upon the apparitions who answer most of his questions but warn him not to probe too deeply.______________When Macbeth hears that no one born of woman will harm him, he decides to spare Macduff’s life.______________Lady Macduff misses her last chance for escape, which comes when an anonymous messenger warns her to flee.TRUEFALSETRUE
19 Study questions continued… true/false ___________Malcolm pretends that he is too evil to become king in order to ascertain Macduff’s loyalty._______When Macduff receives the news of his family, Malcolm urges him to grieve peacefully.TRUEFALSE
20 Study questions characters & apparitions __________________Who says Macbeth will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood marches to Dunsinane?__________________Who says that Macbeth has killed Macduff’s family?__________________Who says that no man born of woman will harm Macbeth?The crowned childRossThe bloody child
21 Study questions continued … characters & apparitions __________________Who warns Macbeth to beware of Macduff?__________________Who reveals the future kings of Scotland?__________________What lineage do the future kings of Scotland represent?An armed headA crowned childBanquo
22 Act IVWhen the witches say “Something wicked this way comes,” to whom are they referring?__________________________________________What is the first apparition?What does the first apparition say?The witches are referring to Macbeth.An Armed Head.Beware Macduff! Beware the Thane of Fife.
23 Act IV continued … What is the second apparition? __________________________________________What does the second apparition say?What is the third apparition?What does the third apparition say?A Bloody ChildNo man born of woman shall harm Macbeth.A crown Child with a tree in his hand.Macbeth shall never be vanquished until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill comes against him.
24 Act IV continued …What is significant about the line of eight kings, followed by Banquo, that the witches show Macbeth?__________________________________________Who murders Lady Macduff and her children?How does Malcolm test Macduff’s loyalty?The eight kings signifies that they are Banquo’s decedents.Macbeth has murderer’s kill the Macduff family and people.Malcolm test’s Macduff’s loyalty by sharing with Macduff that he is lustful and envious and all things unbecoming.
27 Quiz____ 1. In response to Macbeth’s questions, the witches a. tell him everything and predict the course of his entire life b. call upon the apparitions, who answer most of his questions but warn him not to probe too deeply c. conjure up the ghost of the king, who answers the questions d. attempt to intimidate Macbeth and threaten him with a curseB
28 Quiz continued …____ 2. When Macbeth hears that no one born of a woman will harm him, he decides to a. leave Macduff alone b. kill all the wives of his peers c. kill Macduff anyway d. kill everyone in line for the throne, but spare their familiesC
29 Quiz continued …____ 3. Lady Macduff misses her last chance for escape, which comes when a. an anonymous messenger warns her to flee b. her son suggests a plot for their escape c. Ross defends her husband’s good character d. the murderers make too much noise at the doorA
30 Quiz continued …____ 4. Malcolm pretends that he is too evil to become king in order to a. avoid the responsibilities of ruling Scotland b. ascertain Macduff’s loyalty c. fulfill the witches’ prophecies d. ensure that his brother inherits the throneB
31 Quiz continued …____ 5. When Ross joins Malcolm and Macduff in Scene 3, he says to Macduff, “Let not your ears despise my tongue forever, / Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound / That ever yet they heard.” He means a. do not listen too closely to what I am saying b. I am about to warn you of impending disaster c. please do not hate me because I bring bad news d. do not worry about my next statementC
32 Quiz continued …____ 6. When Macduff receives the news of his family, Malcolm urges him to a. rouse his anger b. grieve peacefully c. stay away from Scotland d. try not to think about itA
33 QUIZ QUOTES ………. a. the crowned child. d. the armed head b QUIZ QUOTES ………. a. the crowned child d. the armed head b. the bloody child e. Ross c. Banquo’s ghost____ 7. Macbeth will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood marches to Dunsinane ____ 8. Macbeth has killed Macduff’s family ____ 9. no man born of a woman will harm Macbeth ____ 10. beware of Macduff ____ 11. the eight ghostly kings are Banquo’s offspringAEBDC
34 Quiz continued …12. Which of the following characters in Act IV arouses the most sympathy? On the lines provided, write the letter of the character you choose, describe the character’s situation in Act IV, and give reasons for your opinion. Use at least one example from the selection to support your ideas. There is more than one possible answer. a. Macbeth b. Lady Macduff c. Son of Macduff d. Macduff
35 POSSIBLE ANSWERS TO 12 a. Macbeth arouses the most sympathy _____________________________________b. Lady Macduff arouses the most sympathyc. Macduff’s son arouses the most sympathy_______________________________________ _.d. Macduff arouses the most sympathy_______________________________________ __.because he is flawed; the witches, who lurehim into evil by using supernatural powers,exploit his weaknesses.because she is an innocent victim.even though he is only a child and is not actively involved in the conflictbecause he loses his family and feels that his flight is the reason for themurders.
36 Quiz continued …13. On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph describing how Macbeth changes from the beginning of the play to Act IV. Is he more good than evil in Act IV? more evil than good? Rate Macbeth’s moral character on a scale of ten, with 1 being absolute good and 10 being absolute evil. Provide at least two examples of Macbeth’s words or deeds that support your answer.
37 POSSIBLE ANSWERS TO 13At the beginning of the play, Macbeth hesitates to kill Duncan and then is tormented by the murder of the king, yet in Act IV, Macbeth coldly decides without hesitation to kill Macduff. Early in the play, the mere sight of blood disturbs Macbeth, yet in Act IV, he easily decides to slaughter Macduff’s wife, children, and any other heirs.
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