Act I

    1.            Why does Shakespeare open the play by showing the witches? Why is it good for Macbeth not to appear first?



    2.            How does Duncan reward Macbeth for his bravery in defeating the rebels? Comment on the order in which Duncan announces it and Macbeth finds it out.



    3.            Macbeth calls the day of the battle “foul and fair”. Comment on what you think he means.



    4.            When Macbeth is told of his new title, how do he and Banquo react? Can you think of reasons for the difference in reactions?



    5.            Why does Macbeth call Malcolm “a step on which” he “must fall down or else o'er leap”? Which of these alternatives do you expect Macbeth to choose and how might he do it?



    6.            What does Lady Macbeth fear about her husband, after she has read his letter?



    7.            Lady Macbeth tells her husband to “look like the innocent flower/But be the serpent under it”. Explain what she means.



    8.            What is the purpose and effect of Duncan's and Banquo's comments when they approach Macbeth's castle?



    9.            Why, in Macbeth's opinion, is the murder of Duncan so wrong?



10.            How does Lady Macbeth make sure that her husband murders Duncan?