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© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Macbeth Act Three This icon indicates that detailed teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Plot summary exercise – Act Three
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Focus on Act Three, Scene One Banquo: Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all As the weird women promised; and I fear Thou playedst most foully for’t. Yet it was said It should not stand in thy posterity But that myself should be the root and father Of many kings. If there come truth from them, As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine, Why by the verities on thee made good May they not be my oracles as well And set me up in hope? But hush! No more. Banquo suspects Macbeth of killing Duncan. Do Macbeth’s actions bother Banquo? Do you think Banquo is fearful for his own life? Banquo wants his own part of the prophecy to come true.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Focus on Act Three, Scene One Macbeth and his court arrive, and Macbeth invites Banquo to the feast he is holding. Do you think Macbeth has already decided to kill Banquo? Macbeth asks Banquo several questions about his afternoon plans, wanting to know how far he is riding and whether his son goes with him. This is important, as he plans to kill Fleance, too, to prevent the witches’ prediction coming true. Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown And put a barren sceptre in my grip, Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand, No son of mine succeeding. If it be so, For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind… Macbeth is greedy for more – he wants his own children to succeed him.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Questions – Act Three, Scene One Answer the following questions in as much detail as you can, using PEE when appropriate. 1.Why does Macbeth plot to kill Banquo? Can you think of more than one reason? 2.How does Macbeth convince the murderers to kill Banquo? 3.Why do you think Macbeth does not kill Banquo and Fleance himself? 4.How has Macbeth changed since Act One?
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Act Three, Scene Two Lady Macbeth: Naught’s had, all’s spent, Where our desire is got without content. ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy. Lady Macbeth is concerned that becoming king has not made Macbeth content. Why do you think Macbeth doesn’t share his plans with his wife? What images recur in this scene?
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Read Macbeth’s final speech in Act Three, Scene Two. Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse. Thou marvell’st at my words; but hold thee still. Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill. What do these lines reveal about how Macbeth’s mind is working? Do you think Macbeth can now be described as evil? Act Three, Scene Two
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Themes ambition chaos and disorder light and dark Evil is one of the main themes of Macbeth. Can you think of any others? Did you think of these?
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Themes wordsearch
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Ambition Both Macbeth and his wife are deeply ambitious and hungry for power. Lady Macbeth’s ambition is for her husband, but bear in mind that at this time this would have been her only way of gaining power and fulfilling her own ambitions. By Act Three Macbeth’s ambition has overtaken his wife’s. His greed takes over him. While he is tormented by thoughts of his crimes, he continues to do whatever it takes to achieve his ambitions.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Chaos and disorder The evil crime committed by Macbeth and his wife creates disorder in the natural world. The belief was that the death of a king, appointed by God, would cause chaos in nature. The country is thrown into chaos with the death of its king. This disorder is apparent at Macbeth’s banquet, when he sees Banquo’s ghost.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Light and dark Even before Macbeth returns, Lady Macbeth is calling up the night to hide the crime that they will commit: “Come, thick night, / And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell. At the end of Act Three, Scene Two Macbeth calls on the night. In its darkness Banquo’s murder can take place. When Lady Macbeth turns mad, she keeps a candle with her constantly, to keep the darkness at bay. It is as though, with the darkness of night, evil lurks all around.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Evil The crime that Macbeth commits is the ultimate evil: killing a king. It is left to the reader / audience to decide whether the evil is precipitated by the prophecies of the witches, or if these simply wake the evil that was already inside the couple. Once evil takes hold, there is no turning back for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They commit further murders, including the slaughter of Macbeth’s best friend, Banquo, and Lady Macduff and her children. Eventually, the evil that they have done returns to haunt them, both literally in the form of Banquo’s ghost, and metaphorically, in the blood that stains Lady Macbeth’s hands.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Act Three, Scene Four Macbeth is distressed by the news that Fleance escaped, believing ‘The worm that’s fled / Hath nature that in time will venom breed.’ At the banquet Macbeth initially makes a show of pointing out Banquo’s absence, but as he previously imagined a dagger he now believes he sees Banquo’s ghost. What do you think causes Macbeth’s visions? Think about how would you stage this scene in the theatre – would you choose to show Banquo’s ghost? This is the very painting of your fear. This is the air-drawn dagger which you said Led you to Duncan.
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Macbeth’s guests think him mad and Lady Macbeth is left to make excuses for him. Act Three, Scene Six shows Lennox and another Lord discussing the situation. They now believe Macbeth is responsible for the deaths of Duncan and Banquo. Act Three, Scene Six Shakespeare ends both Act Two and Act Three with minor characters discussing events. Why do you think he does this?
© Boardworks Ltd of 16 Act Three – Who said what?
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Dolch Words the of and to a in that is was.
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A. as is a couldn’t does could has wouldn’t.
The people Look for some people. Write it down. By the water So there you are. Who will make it? You and I A long time What will they do?
An introduction to…. Ask yourself the following: Have you ever given in to temptation? Do you believe in prophecies? How do you personally decide what.
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