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Macbeth   William Shakespeare
Review Questions for Act I

1.What happened to Malcolm during the battle? (9)

2. What two things did Macbeth do in the battle? (9, 13)

3. What two decisions did Ducan make at the end of the battle? (13)

4. How do the witches act when they feel they have been wronged? Give an example? (13-15)

5. What are Macbeth’s first words in the play? What do they signify? (17)

6. What three names do the witches call Macbeth? (17)

7. What does Banquo demand from the witches? What do they tell him? (19-21)

8. How does the message Ross brings from Duncan help Macbeth believe in the witches? (21)

9. Prove that Banquo is a cautious man. (23)

10. What emotional and physical reactions does Macbeth have when the witches’ first prediction comes true? What does he seem to imagine? (21-25)

11. What surprise announcement does Duncan make after the battle? (29)

12. How does Macbeth react to Duncan’s announcement? (29)

13. Why does Lady Macbeth worry about Macbeth achieving his ambitions? (31)

14. How does Lady Macbeth tell Macbeth to act around Duncan? (35)

15. What is ironic about Duncan’s comments when he looks at Macbeth’s castle Inverness? (35)

16. List four reasons Macbeth gives for not killing Duncan. (first soliloquy)

17. What is Macbeth’s only reason for killing Duncan. (first soliloquy)

18. What reason does Macbeth give his wife for not killing Duncan? (41)

19. What does Lady Macbeth suggest as a plan for killing Duncan? (43)

20. Prove that in his last speech in Act I Macbeth is thinking much like Lady Macbeth was in your answer to question 14. (45)





Macbeth’s First Soliloquy – Act I, scene 7
If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well

It were done quickly: If the assassination

Could trammel * up the consequence, and catch                                        tie

With his surcease* success; that but this blow                                           finish, death

Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

But here, upon this bank and shoal* of time                                              reef

We’d jump* the life to come. But in these cases                                       risk

We still have judgment here; that we but teach

Bloody instructions, which being taught, return

To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice            10

Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice                                 cup

To our own lips. He’s here in double trust;

First as I am his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,

Who should against his murderer shut the door,

Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties* so meek, hath been                                         authority

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against

The deep damnation of his taking off*;                        20                     murder

And pity, like a naked new-born babe;

Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed

Upon the sightless* couriers* of the air,                                              invisible/messengers

Shall blow that horrid deed in every eye,

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition which o’er leaps itself

And falls on the other.







Macbeth    William Shakespeare
Act I Quotations

Identify the speaker. Explain the meaning and importance of the following quotes from Act I. Be sure to mention any literary techniques used in the quotations.

1. scene 1  - “ Fair is foul and foul is fair.”

2. scene 2 – “No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive our bosom interest; go  
pronounce his present death, and with his former title greet  Macbeth.”

3. scene 3 – “ And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness
                      tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray us in     
                     deepest consequence."

4. scene 3 – “ If chance will have me king, why chance will crown me without
                      my stir.”

5. scene 4 – “ There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.”

6. scene 4 – “… we will establish  our estate upon our eldest, Malcolm.”

7. scene 5 – “ Yet I do fear  thy nature. It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness
                       to catch the nearest way.”

8. scene 5 – “ Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thy ear.”

9. scene 5 – “Come, spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and
                     fill me, from the crown to the toe, topful of direst cruelty.”

10. scene 5 – “ … look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.”

11. scene 6 – “This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air nimbly and sweetly
                       recommends itself unto our gentle senses.”

12. scene 7 – “I dare do all that may become a man. Who dares do more is none.”

13. scene 7 – “Bring forth men-children only, for thy undaunted mettle should
                       compose nothing but males.”


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