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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

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1 William Shakespeare’s Macbeth
The tragedy of Macbeth

2 Macbeth A story about lust for power and its terrible consequences.
Shakespeare read a popular novel called Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1587). The novel told about Duncan who reigned from and about Macbeth who reigned from The real Macbeth gained the throne with help of other noblemen who were dissatisfied with King Duncan, a young and ineffective ruler.

3 Macbeth Shakespeare, always fascinated by psychological truth, altered the material to gain dramatic power. In Shakespeare’s hands, Macbeth becomes a tragic hero. Tragic hero: character of high status, who suffers a downfall as a result of a fatal character flaw, errors in judgment, or forces beyond human control.

4 Literary elements Atmosphere: general mood or emotional quality of a literary work. In dramas, atmosphere is created with details such as in the setting.

5 Prediction using ART Look on page 317.
Examine the picture of a painting and predict using your prior knowledge what do you think will happen when Macbeth meets the 3 witches?

6 Questions ACT I After reading scene 1 and 3, what do the lines suggest about the world of this play in regards to atmosphere? What happens to mortals who displease the witches? What may they symbolize or stand for? Why might Macbeth think that he should be named Duncan’s heir? What is ironic about Banquo’s comments about Macbeth’s castle? Who is responsible for the plot against Duncan?

7 ACT II The play was performed first in 1606 after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 which was a conspiracy by Catholic extremist to blow up King James I and his Protestant government on November 5, The plot was uncovered and in the play, one can see that the events affected Shakespeare. Motif: a significant phrase, description or image that is repeated throughout a literary work and related to its theme. Example: the supernatural is associated with the witches

8 Questions ACT II What motifs can you identify in the passage in lines 4-7 on page 338? Why does Lady Macbeth faint? Why does Macduff refuse to attend Macbeth’s coronation? How does Lady Macbeth get blood on her hands? Who is more responsible for Duncan’s murder-Macbeth or Lady Macbeth? Explain.

9 ACT III Macbeth is a study of power of evil.
During the 1500s and 1600s, belief in the existence of witchcraft was widespread King James I even wrote a book on the subject, which he argued that witchcraft and other forms of sorcery were a threat. Foil: a minor character whose attitudes, beliefs, and behavior differ significantly from those of a main character.

10 Questions ACT III Why does Banquo claim that his descendants will be kings? Why does Macbeth perceive Banquo as a threat? Why does the thought of Banquo’s son make Macbeth uneasy? Why does Macbeth begin to suspect Macduff? How does Edward I contrast with Macbeth? How has the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth changed in this act?

11 ACT IV The act opens with the witches with the cauldron which is symbolic for hell. Plot: sequence of events in a narrative work Exposition: intro of setting and characters Rising action: adds complications to conflicts Climax: emotional high point Falling action: logical result Resolution: final outcome is revealed

12 ACT IV What information does Macbeth receive when he meets the witches in the opening of the act? How does Macduff’s escape frustrate Macbeth’s plans? Why did Macduff flee Scotland without telling his wife? Why does Macduff blame himself for the murder of his family? To what extent are the witches responsible for Macbeth’s moral decay? Explain.

13 ACT V The act opens with Lady Macbeth sleepwalking in which the doctor describes as one with infected mind. This indicates that Lady Macbeth is haunted by guilt. Tragedy: a literary work in which the main character or hero suffers a downfall as a result of a tragic flaw, an error in judgment, or forces beyond human control. Tragic hero: high ranking character who ultimately gains some kind of insight into himself even though he faces defeat and most of the time, death.

14 Questions ACT V Why do you think Lady Macbeth goes through the act of washing her hands while fast asleep? What does Angus’s comment reveal about Macbeth? Does Macbeth feel remorse for having murdered Macduff”s family? Explain. How does Macbeth react when he is told that his wife is dead? What is the resolution of this tragedy?

15 Advanced English In an expository, explain the causes of Macbeth’s downfall? Use at least 3 quotes to support your reasons. OR- Explain how Lady Macbeth is a tragic hero, too. Use at least 3 quotes to support your reasons.

16 General English Choose any of the characters and characterize using the provided graphic organizer.

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