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Entire Play
Crossword Puzzle
Act One
Act Two
Act Three
Act Four
Act Five
Background Information
Author Information
Vocabulary Words
Important Quotations

Act One

Summary and questions

Essay Comparing Lady Macbeth & Macbeth

1. What does the captain tell King Duncan about Macbeth's battlefield deeds?
-he was very brave, he killed Macdonwald, and he won the battle
2. What does the king learn from Ross about the Thane of Cawdor's activities?
-he was a traitor
3. What reward for victory does Macbeth recieve almost immediately from the king?
-he was given the title of Thane of Cawdor
4. What do the witches predict for Macbeth?
-he'll be Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and the king
5. What do the witches predict for Banquo?
-he'll be the father of the kings
6. What happens to the Thane of Cawdor?
 -he is killed
7. Why despite the witches predictions does Macbeth have reason to doubt that he will succeed Duncan as king?
-because the king's son is next in line to the throne
8. How does Lady Macbeth first learn of the witches predictions regarding Macbeth?
-Macbeth writes a letter to her telling her what the witches predicted for him
9. What in Macbeth's personality does she fear that may wrath his ambition?
-his kindness
10. What action does Lady Macbeth plan to take during King Duncan's visit?
-she plans to kill him while he is sleeping
11. How does she intend to accomplish this?
-to have Macbeth kill him while he's sleeping, get the guards drunk, and then smear the blood on them so it will look like they did it
12. How does she advice Macbeth to act in King Duncan's presence?
-innocent and welcoming


13. Both the witches and Macbeth make statement about "foul" and "fair". What are two possible meanings for the witches words?
-that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right
14. What does Macbeth mean by his remark?
-he hasn't yet began to see that appearances are decieving
15. Macbeth and Banquo respond differently to the witches predictions. After becoming Thane of Cawdor, how does Macbeth act to the thought of being king?
-he thinks that it might actually happen
16. How does Banquo view the witches predictions?
 -he warns Macbeth of the witches predictions and tells them that they are insane and crazy
17. What is the irony in the description of the air surrounding Macbeth's castle?
-it is nibly and sweet, very soothing but also filled with deception
18. Why is Macbeth indecisive about killing the king?
 -because the king had honored Macbeth with the title of Thane and he was very good man
19. How does Lady Macbeth's understanding of her husband's character help her to convince that the murder plot should be carried out?
-she questions his manhood and she says that he is too kind and convinces him that he is acting cowardly

In the beginning three witches are planning to meet with Macbeth upon a heath. During this scene, the major theme of the play is announced. Appearances are deceiving and it seems that what is bad is good and what is good is bad. Scotland and King Duncan are at war with Norway and King Sweno. Two main characters, Macbeth and Banquo, are introduced and portrayed as very brave, courageous soldiers fighting like mad men. Macdonwald, a no good rebel, is trying to overthrow Duncan, so Macbeth kills him and is considered a hero. The war finally ends and King Duncan has decided that it's time to pass out rewards. For Macbeth's honorable actions, he will be named the new Thane of Cawdor. On the journey home, not knowing he was Cawdor's king, Macbeth and Banquo stopped to see three ugly witches. They greet Macbeth and tell him that he'll soon be the Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and then king. Astonished, Macbeth is speechless, so Banquo steps in and asked for his fortune. The witches ensure him that he will not be king, but father of kings. While happily entertaining themselves, Ross and Angus show up and give Macbeth the news that he has been chosen as the Thane of Cawdor. The men didn't understand how this was possible because the Thane of Cawdor was living. He was alive, but not for long because he had been named a traitor because of his cowardliness in the war. Macbeth continues his trip home to begin preparing his castle to greet the king who has decided to spend the night in his home. Lady Macbeth, Macbeth's wife, had received a letter telling her of her husband's new title and she doubted her husband because he was too kind. When Macbeth arrives back at home, Lady Macbeth tells him that Duncan will not leave her house alive. Macbeth is scared and doesn't think killing King Duncan is a good idea because he has honored him, is his cousin, is a guest in his home, and has been a good king. Lady Macbeth isn't pleased with his doubt and concludes that she has married a coward. To convince Macbeth, she thinks up a plan. She will get the guards dunk, kill the king while he's sleeping, and smear the blood on the guards framing them. Macbeth likes this idea and is probably afraid of his wife, so he agrees to do this horrid deed.