Reading Check

1. Which murders does Lady Macbeth allude to in the sleepwalking scene?
2. What gesture do the Nurse and the Doctor observe?
3. What instruction does the Doctor give the Nurse?
4. Who leads the rebellion against Macbeth?
5. How does Malcolm bring Birnam Wood to Dunsinane?
6. How do Macbeth's followers react to the arrival of the English army?
7. How does Macduff dispel Macbeth's belief that he leads a charmed life?
8. Why does Macbeth refuse to yield?
9. How does Lady Macbeth die?
10. How does Malcolm reward his thanes?

For Study and Discussion
Analyzing and Interpreting the Play
1. In Scene 1, the famous "sleepwalking scene,"Lady Macbeth relives events that have taken place earlier in the play. In her ravings she skips from one event to another but she always returns to the same one. a. Of the three events she broods over, which troubles her most deeply? Why? b. Why is Lady Macbeth obsessed with the idea of washing her hands?
2. In Scene 3, reread lines 22-28, beginning, "I have lived long enough." a. What does this soliloquy tell us about Macbeth's state of mind on the eve of battle? b. What traditional comforts of old age does he realize will not be his? c. Which of Shakespeare's
sonnets on pages 166-169 has a similar theme?
3. Macbeth's final word on the meaning of life is given in Scene 5, lines 19-28. a. How would you describe, in one word, the tone of this soliloquy?
b. What are Macbeth's thoughts on life as expressed in lines 19-23? c. What specifically is the "brief candle" and what is its connection to "a poor player"? Why is it significant that this speech was written for an actor?
4. Macbeth is a brave soldier almost to the end. A. On what occasion in Act Five does Macbeth does Macbeth express his courage? B. Where does his courage momentarily fail him? c. Macbeth is sometimes cited as an example of "the villain as hero." Do you agree? Explain your answer.
5. The play concludes with a public oration by Malcolm, who is about to be crowned King of Scotland. a. What aspects of this speech make it an appropriate conclusion? b. Do we learn anything new in the speech?
6. Tragedy moves an audience to sympathy. If Macbeth were nothing but the story of an evil man and his violent crimes, it would not have the power to move us as it does. The central figure of the play is a tragic hero—a man of imagination and courage, with a fatal weakness, or tragic flaw, in his character. a. What is that flaw and how does it destroy him? b. Does Lady Macbeth share this flaw?