Essay Questions For Macbeth Act 3 Scene

Act 3 Scene 1 of William Shakesepare's Macbeth Essay examples

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Act 3 Scene 1 of William Shakesepare's Macbeth


King Duncan, has been murdered by Macbeth, and Macbeth is crowned King of Scotland. Banquo is back in the royal castle of Forres, and we find out, that he has been observing the recent events and is aware of the witches' prophecies. This prompts him to wonder if the prophecy made to him by the witches may also come true. Meanwhile, Macbeth fears that Banquo and his son Fleance may be an obstacle to him and plans their murder, keeping Lady Macbeth in the dark. Lastly, in this scene, Macbeth plans to kill Banquo and his son through hired assassins.


The scene begins with Banquo suspecting Macbeth, and in this short…show more content…

In reply to Macbeth's question about Banquo and his son going riding, Banquo replies, 'I must become a borrower of the night for a dark hour or twain.' This statement of Banquo reinforces the theme of darkness in the play of Macbeth which I shall talk about in more depth later. Macbeth again, pretends to be noble and tells Banquo not to miss the feast. Macbeth also comments on Malcolm and Donalbain, referring to them as 'our bloody cousins' because he wants people to think that they were the ones responsible for the murder of Duncan, which is why they fled Scotland. Also, Macbeth who has killed Duncan, criticises Duncan's sons saying they have filled people's ears with strange inventions, meaning that Macbeth killed Duncan. Soon, Banquo leaves, and a servant enters informing Macbeth that his guests (the assassin) are at the palace gate. When the servant leaves, Macbeth thinks to himself, the reasons why he wants Banquo and his son murdered, letting the audience know what is on his mind. I will now analyse the language and imagery used in Macbeth soliloquy.

Macbeth starts with the reason behind his fears and insecurity

To be thus is nothing… ] ie. "To be king is nothing, unless, as king, you

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1. The fantastical and grotesque witches are among the most memorable figures in the play. How does Shakespeare characterize the witches? What is their thematic significance?

2. Compare and contrast Macbeth, Macduff, and Banquo. How are they alike? How are they different? Is it possible to argue that Macbeth is the play’s villain and Macduff or Banquo its hero, or is the matter more complicated than that?

3. Discuss the role that blood plays in Macbeth, particularly immediately following Duncan’s murder and late in the play. What does it symbolize for Macbeth and his wife?

4. Discuss Macbeth’s visions and hallucinations. What role do they play in the development of his character?

5. Is Macbeth a moral play? Is justice served at the end of the play? Defend your answer.

6. Discuss Shakespeare’s use of the technique of elision, in which certain key events take place offstage. Why do you think he uses this technique?

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