on Banquo's speech beginning “There's husbandry in heaven...” and
ending “...in repose”. Remember that this play would originally
have been performed in the daytime, using natural light.
his servant leaves him (Act 2, scene 1, line 33 and following) Macbeth
imagines he can see something (in some film versions the audience may
be shown this, too). What is it? Explain why, you think, Macbeth sees
this, especially at this time and in this place.
Lady Macbeth says, “That which hath made them drunk hath made me
bold”, what does she mean? Who are “them” and why should she
want them to be drunk?
Shakespeare shows killing onstage (mostly at the end of a play). Why,
in your view, is the killing of Duncan not shown, but understood to
is Macbeth's mind affected by the murder of Duncan?
is more practical after the killing, Macbeth or his wife? Why is this?
scene featuring the porter makes a great contrast with what goes
before and after it. Can you explain why Shakespeare should use comic
relief at this point in an otherwise not very comical play?
Duncan's death, Macbeth says, “All is but toys”. Explain what you
think he means by saying this. He is, of course, concealing his part
in the murder, but do you think he is sincere when he makes this
do Malcolm and Donalbain react to the murder of their father? Is this
a wise course of action? Give reasons in favor of this and against it.
Can you think of any other things they might do in this situation?
old man tells Ross about a “mousing owl” that killed a falcon and
about Duncan's horses turning wild and eating each other. What might
be the point of this speech? Comment on the idea of things being
“unnatural” at this point in the play.