"Nothing is
But what is not."


Chasseriau Banquo


Directions: After reading the lecture, answer one of the main questions, which will appear in bold. This question is due no later than Thursday, April 26. Following that will be other questions, in black, which you should read and think about--they may help you answer the main question. However, you are not required to answer these questions in writing.

Your responses to other students' answers are due by midnight on Sunday, April 29. In order to get the full 20 points, you MUST respond thoughtfully to at least 2 other people's postings.

This set of discussion questions is worth a possible 20 points. Remember: late answers receive 0 points, so post early :)

We will be using the Canvas Discussion Board for this class. Click on the link below to get to the Canvas portal, sign in, and then click on the box for this class. You will find the "Discussions" link on the left side of the screen:

Discussion Board

Macbeth Link

Remember: You are required to answer only one of the "red" questions, although you are, of course, welcome to answer more than one if you wish.

1. What purpose is served by beginning the play with the witches' scene?

2. What motivates Lady Macbeth? Based on Acts I and II, is Lady Macbeth evil?

1. What is the significance of the line, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair"? (I.1.12)
2. Why are we told of Macbeth's bravery in I.2.?
3. What references are made to Fate in Acts I and II?
4. Banquo says to the three witches, in I.3., "Are you fantastical, or that indeed / Which outwardly you show?" What themes do these lines address?
5. In Acts I and II, how is the issue of appearance vs. reality addressed?
6. What warning does Banquo give Macbeth about the witches, in I.3.?
7. In I.4., Duncan says of the executed Thane of Cawdor, "There's no art / To find the mind's construction in the face." What does he mean?
8. In I.4., Macbeth swears his loyalty to Duncan. Is he sincere?
9. Whom does the king name as his heir? What will be his title? (I.4.39ff.)
10. Lady Macbeth says of Macbeth, "What thou wouldst highly, / That wouldst thou holily..." (I.5.20-21) What does she mean?
11. What does Lady Macbeth ask of the spirits in I.5.? Why?
12. What does Lady Macbeth tell Macbeth to do in I.5.?
13. What do Duncan and Banquo say about Glamis Castle as they arrive? How is it ironic? (I.6.)
14. What reasons does Macbeth have for doubting the decision he's made to kill Duncan? (I.7.)
15. Macbeth decides not to murder Duncan (I.7.34ff.). How does Lady Macbeth talk him into going ahead with it?
16. Macbeth says to Lady Macbeth, "Bring forth men-children only" (I.7.82). Why does he say this to her?
17. Whom will they blame for Duncan's murder? (I.7.)
18. Why does Macbeth doubt that the dagger he sees is real? What does this doubt reveal about his state of mind? About the power of imagination? (II.1.)
19. What is Macbeth's state of mind after he murders Duncan? What is Lady Macbeth's state of mind? (II.2.)
20. How does the Porter's speech reflect the themes and events of the play? (II.3.)
21. How did the events of the night, according to Lennox, reflect discord? (II.3.)
22. Are Macbeth's lines mourning Duncan sincere? (II.3.107ff.)
23. Do Malcolm and Donalbain believe Macbeth's version of events? (II.3.140ff.)
24. What do Malcolm and Donalbain decide to do? Why?
25. How do the weather and other odd natural events reflect the fact that the world's order has been disrupted? (II.4.)
26. Who is suspected of Duncan's murder? (II.4.)

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