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Macbeth by william shakespeare book report

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Part I

One

a. The speaker of this quote is Lady Macbeth.

b. Lady Macbeth is speaking to Macbeth.

c. The conversation betweenLady Macbeth and Macbeth is taking place in Inverness, which is Macbeth’s castle, at the beginning of a meal.

d. The hope that Lady Macbeth is referring to is the hope that Macbeth had about killing Duncan. Macbeth had been so sure about it prior to the banquet, but he is slowly losing hope in his ability to go through with the action. Lady Macbeth wants him to kill Duncan, and she has become uneasy that Macbeth might be changing his mind. It would ruin all of the plans they had made if Macbeth decides to back out of the murder plot.

e. Lady Macbeth is upset because she is doubtful of Macbeth’s love for her since he changes his mind about his desires so quickly. If he can change his mind so quickly about killing Duncan, than he can change his mind about his love for Lady Macbeth. In the beginning, Macbeth wanted nothing more than to kill Duncan. Now that he has changed his mind about that, Lady Macbeth is worried that Macbeth might also change the love for his wife. Macbeth’s indecisiveness bothers Lady Macbeth.

Two

a. The speaker of this quote is Macbeth.

b. The event that Macbeth is at when he says this is his banquet.

c. Macbeth had just raised a toast to the whole table and to Banquo, who the others believe to be dead, but Macbeth knows differently – Banquo is dead. Macbeth is merely putting on a show so that the others do not know of Banquo’s passing. Otherwise, if they found out that Macbeth knew something that they did not, then they would assume that Macbeth had a role in Banquo’s death.

d. Macbeth believes that he sees Banquo’s ghost. Since he knows that Banquo is dead, Macbeth is startled by this apparition.

e. Macbeth is unsettled by seeing Banquo’s ghost because he was previously told that he is dead. Even though Macbeth sees the ghost, to him it is no different than if Banquo were there in living form. If Banquo had the ability to make himself known to others, even while being dead, then he could easily tell people how he died. This would reveal Macbeth’s evil plot.

Three

a. The speaker of this quote is Macbeth.

b. The news that Macbeth receives before he speaks these words is that the queen is dead. Lady Macbeth killed herself after being overcome with the emotions of Macbeth’s new murderous personality.

c. The news that Macbeth is told after he speaks these words is that the trees in Birnam Wood are literally moving toward Dunsinane. Macbeth had been told a prophecy that said he could not die until Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane, as it was doing now. Since the forest was moving closer to Dunsinane, then Macbeth’s death was also moving closer.

d. The first image that Macbeth likens “Life” in this quote to is a poor actor in a play. In Macbeth’s imagery, life is nothing more than an actor who says his lines, goes through with his actions, and then disappears. Life consists of actions, words, and then nothingness.

e. Macbeth seems to believe that life is nothing more than illusion in the sense that it is visible but void of all meaning.

Four

a. The speaker of this quote is Macduff.

b. The nation that is referred to in this quote is Scotland, a land that Macduff is so passionately loyal to.

c. The “untitled tyrant” that Macduff refers to is Malcolm. Malcolm is the son of Duncan, which makes him one of the biggest threats to Macbeth’s desired rule. Though Malcolm is part of the reigning family, he is legally capable of taking the throne just yet. Macduff claims that Malcolm is “untitled” because he is not legally entitled to taking the Scotland throne.

d. The “truest issue of thy throne” that Macduff refers to is Duncan, who is the father of Malcolm and the current king of Scotland. Duncan is the truest heir to the throne because he is legally the King of Scotland. Because of Duncan’s position, Malcolm is also in line for the throne, but his time cannot come until his father dies.

e. What Macduff heard that made him so upset was Malcolm listing all of his own vices and negative aspects of his personality. While Macduff tries to deny what Malcolm is saying, he realizes that this greedy and violent person is the future king of Scotland. Macduff cannot bear to hear any more of it. Macduff does not trust Malcolm because Malcolm knows what his faults are. As such, Macduff does not trust Malcolm should he become the next king of Scotland.

Part II:

Five

The scene in Act III, which is a turning point for Macbeth and when all of his plans and actions start going against him, takes place during his banquet. Not only is Banquo dead under Macbeth’s orders but Fleance has escaped being murdered. Macbeth now faces the possibility that his descendants have just lost the opportunity to become kings. Aside from these aspects, matters have only become worse for Macbeth when he believes he has seen the ghost of Banquo sitting in his own chair at the banquet table (3.iv.42-56). Macbeth prattles on about seeing the ghost but Lady Macbeth ushers him from the room before people can properly see how little of his sanity is left. Macbeth feels guilty regretting his decision to have killed anybody, and he feels that he simply cannot stop killing. “I am in blood steeped so far that, should I wade no more, returning where as tedious as go o’er” (3.iv.137-139). Macbeth starts to become unhinged over the weight of his evil doings. Even though Macbeth knew what he was doing as he ordered these people to be killed, he is starting to have regrets and his mentality is paying dearly for his horrific deeds.

Six

a. Macbeth loses his honesty when he turns to dishonest ways to ensure that he or his descendants will have a chance to be a king. He allowed his ambition to lead him to betrayal of the people who looked up to him, such as Duncan, whom he killed (2.ii.14). Also, even though Banquo was unaware of what was taking place, Macbeth’s dishonest actions led to his death. Macbeth became so blinded by the things that he truly desired that he lost touch with one of the most important aspects of being a potential king: honesty. Furthermore, by being dishonest, and even though the people of Scotland did not know of all of Macbeth’s evil plans, Macbeth was still setting a bad precedence by being dishonest.

b. Macbeth forfeited his sense of right and wrong when he discovered from the witches that he, or one of his own, were to become a future king of Scotland. Macbeth did everything he could, most of which was primarily murder, to make sure that his bloodline was eligible for the throne. Instead of letting the future pan out for him in accordance to the witches’ predictions, Macbeth took it upon himself to make sure that he gets to be on the throne. He neglected the right actions (letting the future happen on its own accord and allowing people to live) and turned instead to wrong actions (killing many of his men). He let go of his morality when he realized it would only stand in the way to the throne.

c. Macbeth destroyed his sense of duty to relatives and friends when he started to believe that some of them stood in the way of his being king. Macbeth had two of his companions, Duncan and Banquo, killed for his sake, and also attempted to have Fleance murdered. In his downward spiral, Macbeth also forgot about his loyalty to Lady Macbeth, who dies as a result of Macbeth’s behavior (5.v.17). Instead of tending to the needs of those close to him, he shunted them aside or had them killed. He lost his loyalty when he gained his ambition. Instead of viewing his family and friends as individuals that he was close to, he either ignored them or began to view them as enemies or obstacles to him claiming the throne.

d. Macbeth lost his basic human empathy when he began to have his companions murdered, and eventually came to the conclusion that he could not stop killing anymore, and when he neglected to change his behavior for the sake of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth did not care that these people had his best interests at heart; he had those killed that stood in his way and, despite his wife’s reservations at his newfound behavior, he opted to ignore her than change his ways. Macbeth became so blind by power that he failed to comprehend how he was behaving and treating the people that he was supposed to be protecting.

e. Macbeth destroyed his devotion to his country when he became more concerned for his own future than for the future of his people. Instead of taking the information from the witches and trying to become the best king for Scotland, Macbeth became so caught up in his ambitions that his actions led to Malcolm becoming king. Malcolm had the best intentions for his people; this could have been Macbeth’s rule, but his ambition caused him to care more for himself than his people. If Macbeth had lived to see himself become king, he would not have been as devoted to his country as Malcolm was because he would not have won the throne fairly. Instead of caring for and being devoted to his country, Macbeth would have continued to be more devoted to his personal power.

Part III:

Seven

a. “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red (2.ii.59-62).”
“By th’ clock ‘tis day, and yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp. Is ‘t night’s predominance or the day’s shame that darkness does the face of Earth entombing when living light should kiss it (2.iv.6-10)?”

b. Simile – “[…] And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling, showed like a rebel’s whore (1.ii.14-15).”
Metaphor – “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (5.v.23-27).”
Personification – “Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak (3.iv.122).”

c. “But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in […] (3.iv.23).”
“Take thee that too (2.i.5).”
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air (1.i.10-11).”

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