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Macbeth Act 1 and 2 Questions

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Act 1

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

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




3. Who is named heir to the Scottish throne?

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

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

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

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

8. In what ways is Banquo “lesser than Macbeth, and greater”?

9. What impression do you form of Lady Macbeth Act 1?

10. How is Macbeth feeling in his soliloquy in the beginning of Scene 7? What is his state of mind?

11. Shakespeare ends Act One with Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plotting the murder of Duncan. How exactly do they plan to kill him?

Act 2

1. What is Macbeth’s hallucination before he murders Duncan? What does this mean?

2. What reason does Lady Macbeth give for not committing the murder herself?

3. Why do Duncan’s sons decide to leave Scotland?

4. In Scene 2, why couldn’t Macbeth say “Amen” when a voice said “God bless us”?

5. The images of blood and water are interwoven at the end of Scene 2. What does each suggest?

6. How do the different attitudes of Macbeth and his wife to their bloodstained hands serve to point up the basic difference in their characters?

7. What is ironic about Macduff’s replying to Ross’ question, “Those that Macbeth hath slain”?

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