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Act Four

Summary and Questions

Predictions About the Third Murderer

-Questions-
1) What does the first apparition tell Macbeth?
- An armed head telling him to beware of Macduff.
 
2) How does the prophecy of the second apparition seem to contradict that of the first?
- Because in the second apparition its telling him that nobody can harm him and in the first its telling him to fear Macduff.
 
3) What does the third apparition promise?
- It says that he will not be conquered until Birnam Wood comes to fight aganist Macbeth at Dunsinane and Birnam Wood is a forest and Macbeth feels safe.
 
4) What question do the witches refuse to answer?
- Will Banquo's children ever rule in Scotland?
 
5) What vision do they parade before Macbeth?
- 8 kings in a row with the last carrying a mirror signifying a reflection that Banquo's children will go on and on for some time and rule not only in Scotland but Englan as well.
 
6) In his conversation with Macduff, why does Malcolm pretend to have all of Macbeth's vices and more?
- Malcolm is testing him to see if he is loyal to Scotland
 
7) What convinces Malcolm that Macduff is trustworthy?
- Upon hearing of Malcolms vices, Macduff says he can't support him in his ruling of Scotland.
 
8) What good news about "gracious England" does Ross bring Malcolm?
- Ross tells Malcolm that England has provided ten thousand soldiers to fight aganist Macbeth.
 
9) What bad news does Ross bring Macduff?
- Ross tells Macduff that his family is dead- all of them.

 
10) Why does Macbeth readily accept the predictions made by the second and third apparitions?
-Because he knows that the first apparition came true.
 
11) In the witches' procession of kings, why do some kings carry double and triple scepters?
- to represent the fact that England, Scotland, and Ireland are going to be united.
 
12) Why does Banquo carry a mirror?
- To signifying that Banquo's children will go on and on for some time and rule not only in Scotland but England as well.
 
13) What is Macbeth's reason for killing Macduff's wife and child?
- Because Macduff had went to England to convince Malcolm to return to Scotland.
 
14) How do these murders differ from the previous ones?
- The first murders he had to kill to gain power, but these murders are simply for revenge.
 
15) How would you describe Macbeth's character at this point in the play?
- He has been taken over by greed- if he wants to stay on the throne he must kill anyone who gets in his way. He is mentally unstable.
 
16) How is Malcolm's character revealed in the dialogue with Macduff in scene iii?
- He mentions his character fouls but kind and caring then he becomes a warrior.
 
17) Based on Macduff's reaction to the murder of his wife and son, how would you describe Macduff's character?
- He behaves nobely. He is devasted and upset and he wants to be face to face with Macbeth. He is very brave and wants to kill Macbeth.

-Summary-

The three witches prophesied Macbeth becoming King in Act I, and here they tell of his downfall with the three apparitions. The first tells Macbeth to fear Macduff. The second reassures Macbeth that no one born of a woman can hurt him, and the third tells Macbeth he has nothing to fear until Birnam wood, a forest comes to Dunsinane after him. Macbeth decides to kill Macduff to protect himself and takes the witches’ words to mean he is safe from all men since they are all born naturally. Macbeth then forcefully requests to know the future of Banquo's descendants. His bubble is bursted finding out his sons still won’t be king. After realizing that he Macduff is nowhere to be found, Macbeth kills his entire family instead. Ross kindly goes to Lady Macduff and tells her that her husband is dead and was a traitor. She is warned that Macbeth is after her, but before she can get herself and her son to safety, Macbeth's murderers succeed in killing her son. Lady Macduff flees in hopes of saving her life. Malcolm and Macduff discuss how Scotland under Macbeth's rule has brought great despair. Malcolm tests Macduff's integrity and is pleased with his loyalty and honesty. Macduff tells Malcolm that like Macbeth, he too is not fit to rule Scotland. Malcolm then explains that he was lying and decides to help Macduff with his army.

Macbeth