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MACBETH: Lesson 1

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Amanda Martin

on 19 December 2014

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Transcript of MACBETH: Lesson 1

The Tragedy of Macbeth
Comprehension Questions
When do the Witches plan to “meet again” (line 1)?

Whom do they plan to meet, and where?

What do the Witches mean in line 12 by: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”?

What do you notice about the syntax of the dialogue in Act 1.2, compared to the syntax of the Witches’ dialogue in Act 1.1?

Think back to our sonnets!
The lines in Act 1.1 and 1.2 differ metrically.
Meter: the measured and rhythmic pattern of a line of poetry
Iambic pentameter (5 Iambs)
Iambic tetrameter (4 Iambs)
Mood and Tone
What effect do the Witches’ interactions have on the mood of this scene?

MACBETH: Lesson 1

• heath (n.) – area of land that is covered with grass and small shrubs
• merciless (adj.) – very cruel or harsh
• valor (n.) – courage or bravery
• foul (adj.) – very bad or unpleasant; morally bad
• fair (adj.) – not stormy or cloudy; pleasing to the eye or mind
• spent (adj.) – exhausted
• thane (n.) – title used in Scotland as the equivalent of “baron” (a man who is a member of a low rank of British nobility)
• revolt (n.) – violent action against a ruler or government
• king (n.) – male ruler of a country who usually inherits his position and rules for life
• captain (n.) – military leader
• traitor (n.) – a person who is not loyal to his or her own country, friends, etc.
What information can you gather from the full title of this play?

What information about the play can you gather from the list of Characters in the Play?

Vocabulary: Act 1.1 and 1.2
Mood differs from tone. Tone refers to an author’s attitude toward his or her subject.

Mood refers to the atmosphere of a scene.
the rules and patterns of sentence structure
Find an example of each!
What is the effect of having some characters speak in a different meter than the rest?
What information does Duncan want from the “bloody man” (line 1)?

In the image in lines 10–11, what do “spent swimmers” do to one another? What does spent mean?
What does this image suggest about the progress of the “revolt”?

What words does the Captain use to describe Macbeth (lines 17–25)?

Who is “the slave” in line 22?

According to the Captain, what did Macbeth do to “deserve” the name “brave Macbeth” (lines 21–25)?

What does Ross report about the battle against Norway (lines 59–66)?

How does Ross describe the Thane of Cawdor (lines 60–61)?

What does Duncan plan to do with the Thane of Cawdor (lines 73–75)? Why?

What has Macbeth “won” that the Thane of Cawdor has “lost” (line 78)? Why?
What bloody man is this??
The Last 4 lines...
Reread the last four lines of the scene. What do you notice about the meter and rhyme of these lines?

What is the effect of the meter and rhyme of these last four lines?

What is the impact of Shakespeare’s choice to introduce Macbeth through the dialogue of other characters?
How do the interactions in Act 1.1 and 1.2 develop Macbeth’s character?
Use your annotations to find evidence.
Use this lesson's vocabulary wherever possible in your written response.

Read Act 1.3 for homework.
Full transcript