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Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

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Mitch Burey

on 13 March 2017

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Transcript of Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

Shakespeare's tragedy:

Studying Macbeth
In the next 5 weeks, you must:
1. Have an understanding of the plot of the story.
2. Can successfully make links to historical context of the play.
3. Comment/analyse language and structure in parts of the script.
Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from others and suspicion. 

Reading Act 1-
Scenes 3.
Act 1, Scene 3
We need to start writing analytically about this scene. What you should have so far is: plot of Scene III/quotes given to you from me.
Act 1, Scene 3
Watch the version of Macbeth and comment on how Macbeth changes when hearing his prophecy.

In order to do this well, you will:
- complete all homework responses.
- Ask questions where you need to.
- Reflect on responses to make sure you know the keys to success.

Some Contextual Points.
1. Written by William Shakespeare
2. Shortest play.
3. Written in 1606, about the reign of James I.
4. The play is a tragedy.
Summary of Act 1.
Act 1, Scene 1:
Witches enter. From the beginning, this play shows that they have much control over the events in the story. They discuss their next meeting, with Macbeth.
Act 1, Scene 2: The battle is introduced between Scotland and Norway. Macbeth's bravery and victory is noted. He is noted as Thane of Glamis
Act 1, Scene 3
Please read the excerpt given to you and write down the major plot points that happen in this scene. It is our first scene for deconstruction and we will spend at least 2 more lessons on it, before moving on.
Focus on Macbeth in this scene:
1. Do the witches have the power of prophecy (to see the future) or are they toying with Macbeth's ambition for power?
2. Is Macbeth weak for listening to the Witches, and taking their advice?
3. Essentially, was Macbeth's downfall because of the Witches, or himself?
Read through and take two quotes from the Scene that can be discussed.
"Why do you start and seem to fear things that do sound so fair?"

Juxtaposition between fear and fair: we fear the witches because they are a representation of the Devil/corruption (so they have to be evil), but they are saying things that sound so tempting and fulfiling to Macbeth's ambition.
Disconnected between the two characters.
"He seems rapt withal" / "Look how our partner's rapt"

"rapt'd": in a trance or under some kind of spell.
Are the witches in control of Macbeth from the beginning; they control him as he walks in. Even other characters notice his disconnection with them, in this scene.
"The instruments of darkness tell us truths"
- it is clear that Macbeth and Banquo know the witches are evil, as they mention they are only messengers of the Devil, or a darker power.

"Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more"
Already Macbeth is impatient with the Witches, which shows his ambition and corruption. He is clearly powerful and gets what he wants. As such, his impatience to ask more of the supernatural is a big mistake!

"My dull brain was wrought with things forgotten"
Dull insinutes that Macbeth's brain was still powered by the Witches and that he was not in control of his own actions. Maybe Macbeth is a good person but he has been manipulated by the supernatural power of the witches?
Q: How is Macbeth Presented in this scene - is he an innocent person manipulated by witches, or guilty.... Please refer to the quotes and explanations given, as well as one more quote in the play.
P.E.E (100-150 words)
Polanski vs. Gould
What are the differences between the two clips? What do you understand about Macbeth?
Let's look at the first part of the simple handout on Macbeth, which is given to you.
Act 1, Scene 3 Analysis
How is Macbeth presented in Act 1, Scene 3?
Two P.E.E styled paragraphs.
Focus heavily on your analysis...word choices should be taken and pulled apart.
In Act 1, Scene 3, Macbeth is considered to be innocent, as the witches show their power of him.

P (for 2): However, Macbeth, being a character of ambition, took the prophecies given to him from the witches as truths.
If you are having trouble starting, here is a sentence starter for each paragraph.
1. Use the sentence starters.
2. Evidence some examples given to you.
3. Use the analysis in your workbook as well as our discussions, to structure two paragraphs that show the two interpretations we have discussed.
Act 1, Scene 5
Read the Scene together in "No Fear, Shakespeare.
Read a little more of the plot in your handout.
This clip is the from the same story you watched last lesson - in Nazi Germany.
Write down 5 plot points on what happened in this scene: you can do this as we read, or after. Share some points with the class.
Act 1, Scene 5
"Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it..."
(Lady Macbeth reading Macbeth's letter)
"Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness"

"Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.
Stop up the access and passage to remorse"

"Look like th' innocent flower, But be the serpent under ’t."
"Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires".
Listen to my analysis/points of each and take notes to the corresponding quotes.
Act 1, Scene 5
Points of Analysis for you:
1. Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits - to be more a man. In context, gender inequality was very apparent, considering no women were allowed on stage. It was men that had the most power.
2. By calling on the dark spirits to do dark deeds, it's clear that LM is guilty and evil.
3. Some say that at this point, LM could be a witch herself?
4. Did LM successfully call the spirits? If they answered, and did fill her to the tip-toe full of direst cruelty", then that would explain her coming out of her trance at the end of the play and realising the horrible deeds that have occured.
5. Macbeth shows hesitation and doesn't wish to talk about this/flakes it off. LM instead pushes it - guility because of this, or does she only do what is best for her husband.
Watch and analyse together.
How is Lady Macbeth presented in this scene?
1. Comment on two-three quotes.
2. You must bring in one historical context point.
3. P.E.E (use your Macbeth Act 1, Scene 3 paragraph to help you structure.
Ext: Think collectively about LM and M in the two scenes that we have completed. Use the notes and your knowledge of the play thus far to answer this: How is power presented so far in the text: 1 A4 page is required.
Contextual Points so far:
1. James I has just succeeded to the throne of England. He was already King of Scotland, but now rules both Scotland and England. It is therefore apt that "Macbeth" is a Scottish play.
2. James was a big part of the theory called "Divine Right": he believed that he was ruler by the rule of God, and God ruled through him.

3. The Great Chain of Being is in reference to everything having a specific place in the world, which supports Divine Right.
4. Witches were considered evil; working/conversing with them suggests that the characters work for evil too. Audience members in the Elizabethan times would have been shocked to see Witches and their main, brave character talking to them!
Lady Macbeth's power is unwarranted. Given the gender inequality at the time (where boys played the roles of women on stage, and were considered "supportive" to their husbands), Lady Macbeth is out of line with her power struggle with Macbeth.
Act 1, Scene 7
We will read Act 1, Scene 7 together.
Complete 5 bullet points on what happens in Act 1, Scene 7 in your own words - you may wish to do this as we read through.
Act 1, Scene 7
1. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is clearly shown here, when they argue about killing Duncan.
Quotes of use:
"I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on th' other" (Macbeth)

"We will proceed no further in this business."

"When you durst do it, then you were a man."

"We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail." (Lady Macbeth)

"False face must hide what the false
heart doth know." (Macbeth)
What type of relationship do Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have in Act 1, Scene 7?
How's it shown?
Some ideas to help you Write:
Macbeth shows doubt; Lady Macbeth manipulates him/or supports him (your analysis) to completing the deed; She attacks his masculinity, shows "no remorse"; Macbeth hesitates based on all the power he has already received; At the end, Lady Macbeth ends up convincing Macbeth, which leads to "false face doth..."
She has already planned out the murder.
Lady Macbeth and Macbeth show a power struggle between them in Act 1, Scene 7.
Macbeth has been distant these past few scenes. When Lady Macbeth enters during the celebrations, he states to her that “we will proceed no further in this business”. This word choice of “business”…..
However, Lady Macbeth, who has already planned out the murder of King Duncan, does not accept this. She starts, “Was the hope drunk when you dressed yourself?” By using personification of “hope drunk”, it suggests that the hope Macbeth once had has now become drunk/has become slippery, in what was once ambition. Lady Macbeth continues be stating quite aggressively: "When you durst do it, then you were a man." By….
To finish, we can see Macbeth been subdued by the black widow
that is LM, based on him ending the scene content: (quote).
Therefore, we can see that Lady Macbeth shows
more power in this scene.

Act 2,
Scenes 1&2
We need to group these two scenes together.
Use your textbook for this activity.
• What is Macbeth talking to himself about in this scene (3 points, with quotes to support please)
• Take two quotes (in Shakespearean) – look at the modern text to help you – that show that Macbeth is conflicted by the pressure of power.

o Example: “Is this a dagger I see before me?” By seeing a dagger floating in the air, we could question Macbeth’s state of mind at this moment, where the pressure to kill King Duncan against is against what he believes is right; it's starting to send him mad.

Act 2, Scene 2
Let's read Act 4, Scene 1
Act 4, Scene 1 -
Return to the Witches
Macbeth returns to the Witches after killing Banquo. He has become corrupt and paranoid about holding the throne; he seeks their guidence.
Quotes of interest:
"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes". (pg. 75, Line 45)

"Answer me to what I ask you" (Line 59)
"But one more word - "
"My heart throbs to know one more thing" (Line 99)

These two scenes show Macbeth's fall as he becomes a corrupt murderer. The power of the witches and his own ambition has ruined him.
Act 3, Scene 2.
Macbeth has just sent out the murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth is in his room, Lady Macbeth enters. She questions why he keeps to himself and isn't revelling in being King.
"What's done, is done" (Lady M, pg. 75, Line 12)
"We have scorched the snake, not killed it" (Line 13)
"O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife" (Macbeth, Line 36)

In these quotes we see that Macbeth is starting to fear Banquo/Fleance. He hides away, showing his paranoia for anyone that can take the crown from him. LM tries to reason, but even she now is seeing how corrupt he has become.
After the death of Duncan.
After the death of Duncan, it is said throughout the text that Scotland itself starts to die. Why is this?
Lennox states in Act 2, Scene 3:
"The night has been unruly: where we lay, our chimneys were blown down, and, as they say, lamentings heard in the air, strange screams of death....some say, the earth was feverous and did shake".
Again, how is nature looked at in this section, but also in the whole of Macbeth?
Act 5, Scene 1:
LM's Madness
Lady Macbeth is now seen - for the first time after the banquet
scene (where Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo). She has now gone mad, with what we assume is from how corrupt Macbeth has become; she has created a monster and a tyrant, and this has sent her into madness.
1. Read the scene.
2. Take the quotes that you believe are important in this scene, and show how power has now corrupted Lady Macbeth.

The question, to complete in the lesson:
How is Lady Macbeth presented in this scene? How has she changed from the beginning of the play?

Act 5, Scene 1
"Out, damned spot!
Power has corrupted Lady Macbeth.
Has the spell she cast on herself been lifted, to show now remorse and guilt, or did Macbeth's power corrupt her?
Taking a small scene from Act 2, Scene 2,
You are going to rewrite the scene, in your own words.
Firstly, highlight all the words that you think are important in each line.
Secondly, using those words, attempt to try and piece together what the character is saying.
Thirdly, use this information to help rewrite the section.
Act 4, Scene 1
How is Macbeth shown as an anti-hero, in this scene?
Brainstorm first.
Responding to Q1.
Macbeth is a character that is at the mercy of the witches.

Read Act 1, Scene 3 again.

Brainstorm your thoughts on the above statement

Take two quotes to help answer the question.
To finish, answer the question based on the whole text. How was Macbeth at the mercy of the witches throughout the play? Refer to parts of the play that you remember.
Q2: Lady Macbeth's scene.
Read through the extract of when LM "unsexes herself". It could be said that Lady Macbeth is hungry for power and she is the character that spurs on Macbeth.
Look at this scene and discuss and then the whole text, to discuss her power over him.
1. Find 4 quotes (two in the extract and two in the whole play - to help you)
2. PLAN out the response
3. Use the scaffold of Act 1, Scene 3 given to you today to help you write this response.
Peer Marking
Does the student have a section in regards to the extract and a section in regards to the whole text?
Does the student discuss key lines in the extract with explanation/analysis?

Does the student embed a quote throughout her work?

Does the student talk about at least two areas of the whole text that answer the question?

Does the student introduce and conclude appropriately.
Changes in
Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change after the murder of Duncan.
Draw a table in your workbook; two columns.
Macbeth - Before the Murder - After the Murder
Lady Macbeth - Before the Murder - After the Murder
Use the play and work together to find quotes and word choices that show Macbeth and Lady Macbeth before the murder.

Do the same thing for after the murder of Duncan.
Write a response that shows how ONE of the characters has changed over the whole text.
Extended Question
Focus your attention on Act 2, Scene 2.
Plot point (5) what happens in Act 2, Scene 2.

Macbeth is a famous warrior and is used to killing people in battle. Why is he so frightened and distracted now? P.E.E

We do not see the murder. Wouldit have been more horrifying to see the murder on stage?
The Murder: LM takes over.
How is juxtaposition shown in Macbeth +
How is symbolism shown in Macbeth?
An Alternative Ending!
O: to use your knowledge of Macbeth to explore a different ending.
This is a hypothetical task.

Shakespeare has hinted towards Macbeth having an alternative ending.
At the end of the text, Macbeth is killed by MacDuff and Malcolm is hailed as the new King of Scotland. But what if that wasn't the end. What if, there was one more scene/or a change of the last?
Use your knowledge of Macbeth and the ending and work in groups to produce this alternate ending scene. The scene must be: planned, written in play form (it doesn't have to be Shakespearean).
Do the witches come back? Return of Fleance? Did Banquo actually die? Lady Macbeth's funeral? THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
Remember, in that time, Macbeth had to die: it was a tragedy and he was flawed from the beginning.
1. Discuss/plan; 2. Write a script on paper provided (Act 5, Scene 8)
3. Type it up!
4. Present it!
Looking at Act 3,
Scene 4
Look at the Banquet Scene and plan out/discuss and write about the following...
Macbeth has murdered Banquo and is sitting the Feast. The ghost of Banquo sits at the table and sends Macbeth mad.
Some say Macbeth is now being punished for his actions.
What are your thoughts on this statement?
Respond by first discussing the scene and then discussing the whole play, focussing on Macbeth's decline into death.
Act 4, Scene 1
O: Use the feedback from your last response to plan and respond to a different question.
Look at the feedback from your last response (Act 4, Scene 4 - The Banquet Scene)
1. Using a green pen, reflect with three areas of improvement that you are going to focus on, for the next response.
2. Become familiar with Act 4, Scene 1 - Return to the Witches
3 a: Macbeth, in this scene, is a character that believes he is powerful.
3b: How is power shown in the whole text from different characters?
Push these together to create one response.
Plan the response together, then structure it out indivi
PowerPoint Activity.
TASK: You are a budding stage director and have been told that The Globe Theatre is looking for someone to direct "Macbeth" this summer. To apply for this rare opportunity, you must devise a PPT. that clearly conveys HOW you will direct the play.
Use Act 4, Scene 1 to plan how it will look on stage.
You will present the pitch, with the following ideas in mind:
1. Costuming, 2. Set Design, 3. Props, 4. Atmosphere and Mood, 5. Sound effects, 6. Key quotes.
Due: end of tomorrow, Period 4.
Finale to Macbeth
O: being able to try and deconstruct language and structural devices within Shakespeare texts
To structure your response for your exam, you know that you must write: a breakdown of the extract (Part A) and then a breakdown of the whole play (Part B)
2. In pairs, work through Act 5 and create a detailed bullet point on the plot of the story - 1 per. scene.
3. Read this extract from Act 5, Scene 3
Bring me no more reports. Let them fly all.
Till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane
I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm?
Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:
“Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of woman
Shall e'er have power upon thee.” Then fly, false thanes,
And mingle with the English epicures.
The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
Work through the extract and rewrite in Modern English.
In the extract, how does Macbeth show that he is fearless (that he fears nothing)?

Part A: look only at the extract; discuss key words and language/structural techniques used.
In the whole play, comment on particular areas where characters DO show fear of some kind.
Part B: focus on AT LEAST two areas of the text. Discuss particular scenes and analyse them, through P.E.E. Be sure to evaluate by linking back to text.
Plan out, in depth, your response for this question.

You will write out this response - in 40 minutes - next lesson.
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