Macbeth

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Macbeth is among the best-known of William Shakespeare's plays, and is his shortest tragedy, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1606. It is frequently performed at both amateur and professional levels, and has been adapted for opera, film, books, stage and screen. Often regarded as archetypal, the play tells of the dangers of the lust for power and the betrayal of friends. For the plot Shakespeare drew loosely on the historical account of King Macbeth of Scotland by Raphael Holinshed and that by the Scottish philosopher Hector Boece. There are many superstitions centered on the belief the play is somehow "cursed", and many actors will not mention the name of the play aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish play." (From feedbooks.com)
Curriculet Details
66 Questions
23 Annotations
11 Quizzes

This digital curriculum contains questions, quizzes, annotations, videos designed to support your juniors and seniors as they decipher difficult language, understand character motivation, and uncover important themes, symbols and motifs at work in this bewitching play. This free and interactive unit contains video clips from a few different version of the movie, along with clips discussing gender, alliteration, mythological references, and foreshadowing. The Common Core aligned questions and answers in our free online curriculum will increase student engagement in the book while building reading comprehension.

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Act 1- Scene I-III

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This play starts with three witches talking during a storm, with the sounds of thunder and lightening in the background. This creates a ___________ mood. 
Watch this video to learn about alliteration: (This annotation contains a video)
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Which of the following lines does NOT contain a simile? 
"Thane" is a Scottish title of nobility. 
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What does Ross tell Duncan about the war? 
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The First Witch is upset that a sailor’s wife wouldn’t share chestnuts with her. The witch plans to get revenge on the wife by 
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Which of the following do we NOT learn about the witches from this passage? 
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In Macbeth’s statement (his first line in the play) “So foul and fair a day I have not seen,” the term “foul and fair” exemplifies which of the following literary devices?  
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What do the witches foreshadow? 
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What do you think about the witches… Are they messengers of truth, or are they leading Macbeth toward uncertain doom? Explain your answer using evidence from the text.  
Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1-3 Quiz 

Act 1- Scene IV-VII

They are not really cousins. Cousin here means “kinsman.” 
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“I have begun to plant thee, and will labor to make thee full of growing” means 
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In this aside, Macbeth shows his 
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What is the interpretation of this line: “Come to my woman’s breasts, and take my milk for gall”?  
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What reasons does Macbeth give that it’s wrong for him to kill Duncan (hint: Macbeth refers to them as “double trust”)?  
Watch this video to hear Macbeth's metaphor explained:  (This annotation contains a video)
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What is Lady Macbeth doing in this passage? 
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Please describe how ambition motivates Lady Macbeth. 
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Please explain what the following lines have in common: “Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.” / “That my keen knife see not the wound it makes." 
Why are prophecies so important in the plot? (This annotation contains a video)
Macbeth Act 1 Scene 4-7 Quiz 

Act 2- Scene I-III

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Which line exemplifies foreshadowing?  
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This is the third reference to eyes and seeing (or not seeing) in Macbeth. What is going on in Macbeth’s soliloquy here?  
An actor performs this part of the play. (This annotation contains a video)
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In this scene, Macbeth is _______________, and Lady Macbeth is _______________.  
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How is Macbeth different when he enters the room with Lennox and Macduff?  
In Greek mythology, the Gorgon was a terrifying female creature. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful."  (This annotation contains an image)
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Macbeth’s response to the “news” of Duncan’s death follows: “Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time, for from this instant there’s nothing serious in mortality. All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead. The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees is left this vault to brag of.” Do you think Macbeth means what he says here or is he acting/performing in order to seem upset and mask his guilt? Please explain your answer. 
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What does the conversation between Duncan’s sons, Donalbain and Malcolm, tell us? 
Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1-3 Quiz 

Act 2- Scene IV, Act 3 - Scene I

What do weather and nature symbolize in Macbeth? (This annotation contains a video)
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Several unnatural events followed Duncan’s murder, according to the Old Man. Which of the following is NOT one of the unnatural events that occur?  
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What is Banquo saying in his soliloquy?  
The video below shows a film adaptation of this scene. (This annotation contains a video)
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What is Macbeth coming to realize in this soliloquy?  
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What technique is Macbeth using to convince the Murderers to kill Banquo?  
Macbeth contains some very intense female characters. Lady Macbeth and the three witches are more wicked than the men in the play, which is notable for Shakespeare. Macbeth is tightly bonded to these women and ends up doing much of their evil work himself. 
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How has Macbeth changed over the course of the play? 
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Where and when was the play written? How can you tell?  
Macbeth Act 2 Scene 4-Act 3 Scene 1 Quiz 

Act 3 - Scene II-III

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“Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!” expresses the idea that 
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This speech marks a change in Macbeth. What has changed?  
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Do you think Banquo knew, as he was dying, who set him up to be murdered? Explain your answer using examples from the text.  
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Is Macbeth less responsible for the murder of Banquo since he hired someone to do it rather than doing it himself, or does he share the same amount of culpability?  
What does blood symbolize in this play? (This annotation contains a video)
Macbeth Act 3 Scene 2-Scene 3 Quiz 

Act 3 - Scene IV

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Which of the following lines is an example of a simile?  
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Lady Macbeth is shaming Macbeth here for seeing visions. How is she shaming him?  
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What is Macbeth saying here?  
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Is Macbeth going crazy because of the murder? Please explain your answer using examples from the text.  
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“We are yet but young in deed” foreshadows 
Watch this video to learn about an instance of foreshadowing in Act 3, Scene 4. (This annotation contains a video)
Macbeth Act 3, Scene 4 Quiz 

Act 3 - Scene V-VI, Act 4 - Scene I

Click here to learn more about the goddess Hecate. (This annotation contains a link)
The Acheron is a river in Greece. In ancient Greek mythology, Acheron was known as the "river of pain." 
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What is Hecate mad at the witches about?  
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Lennox is being sarcastic in his speech here. Which of the following accurately summarizes what he is saying?  
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Which of the following is revealed in the conversation between Lennox and the other lord?  
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What do the witches put in the pot?  
Watch a cinematic interpretation of the scene below. (This annotation contains a video)
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How does the setting change before each apparition enters the scene? 
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Take a look at this painting of Act 4 Scene 1 by Henry Fuseli:http://www.folger.edu/imgdtl.cfm?imageid=100&cid=919 What does the painting tell you about the people, place, or events of this scene that you can’t learn from the play?  
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You have been given a lot of foreshadowing in the reading for today, so you’re in a place to make some predictions yourself… What do you think is going to happen as this play unfolds? 
Macbeth Act 3 Scene 5-Act 4 Scene 1 Quiz 
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What does Macbeth resolve to do at the end of Scene 1?  

Act 4 - Scene II & III

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Summarize what Lady Macduff is saying here.  
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Which word best describes the conversation between Lady Macduff and her son? 
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Whose son is killed in this scene?  
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Act 4, Scene 3 starts Malcolm telling Macduff, “Let us seek out some desolate shade and there weep our sad bosoms empty.” This line is a surprising departure from the usual tone of the conversations in this play because it’s 
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“This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues, was once thought honest” refers to whom?  
Which characters are the most influential in this play? Watch the video and learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
Macbeth Act 4 Scene 2-3 Quiz 

Act 4 - Scene III, Act 5 - Scene I

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In his speech on this page, what does Malcolm do?  
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Macduff says “Such welcome and unwelcome things at once ‘tis hard to reconcile.” What does he mean?  
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The phrase “Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever” exemplifies which of the following literary devices? 
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What “medicine” does Malcolm suggest Macduff use to help cure his heartache over losing his family?  
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What is Macduff’s motivation for going after Macbeth at the end of Act 4?  
A taper is a candle. 
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What are the Doctor and the Gentlewoman describing?  
Watch an actress portray Lady Macbeth in the clip below. (This annotation contains a video)
This video includes a short exploration of gender in Macbeth. (This annotation contains a video)
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The Doctor says of Lady Macbeth, “Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles.” What does he mean by this?  
Macbeth Act 4 Scene 3-Act 5 Scene 1 Quiz 

Act 5 - Scene II-V

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Birnam Wood is mentioned here. What do you remember hearing about Birnam Wood?  
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Is Donalbain with Malcolm?  
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Who is Macbeth quoting in this passage?  
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What is Macbeth’s attitude now?  
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What is Malcolm commanding when he says, “Let every soldier hew him down a bough andbear ‘t before him. Thereby shall we shadow the numbers of our host and makediscovery err in report of us.”  
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Which of the following accurately summarizes Macbeth’s comments here? 
How does the video compare to what you picture as you are reading? (This annotation contains a video)
Have you noticed a chain of events that has been set in motion? (This annotation contains a video)
Hamlet Act 5, Scenes 2-5 Quiz 

Act 5 - Scene VI - VIII

Have you noticed any themes emerging in the play? (This annotation contains a video)
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Based on the events thus far, which character is most likely to win the battle?  
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“The castle’s gently rendered” means 
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What do we find out at the end of this scene? 
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“My voice is in my sword” is an example of 
What is most tragic about this tragedy? (This annotation contains a video)
Macbeth Act 5 Scene 6-8 Quiz