Macbeth - Study Guide - Act I

Essay by EggyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2003

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1.Why is Scotland at war at the opening of the play?

Scotland is at war at the opening of the play because Mackdonwald, a rebel, was trying to overthrow Duncan and make a deal with the King of Norway.

2.What three predictions do the witches make in Scene 3?

-Macbeth will be Thane of Glamis

-He will be Thane of Cawdor

-He will be King of Scotland.

3.Who is named heir to the Scottish throne?

Malcom is named heir to the Scottish throne since he is King Duncan's oldest son.

4.What is the "double trust" that makes Macbeth hesitate to kill Duncan?

In Macbeth's first soliloquy, he expresses his doubts about murdering the king. Among the reasons he should not kill the king are his "double bond" as kinsman (countryman) and subject, which should make him oppose the deed he is contemplating.

5.How do the murderers plan to implicate Duncan's grooms?

They will smear the blood of Duncan on the sleeping chamberlains to cast the guilt upon them.

6.What atmosphere and tone are created in the short opening scene?

Macbeth opens with a scene which creates an atmosphere of foreboding and introduces the evil powers which are about to tempt Macbeth to his ruin. The tone of this scene is evil and intimidating.

7.When we are first introduced to Macbeth by the nobleman to Duncan, what is the reader's initial impression?

The reader's initial impression when we are first introduced to Macbeth by the nobleman to Duncan, is a good one regarding Macbeth. Duncan and the nobleman make us picture Macbeth as a brave, victorious general who knew what to do and who saved Scotland from losing the battle. Macbeth seems loyal to his King, Duncan!

8. In what ways is Banquo...