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E D I T O R S :




A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth


INTRODUCTION William Shakespeare developed many stories into excellent dramatizations for the Elizabethan stage. Shakespeare knew how to entertain and involve an audience with fast-paced plots, creative imagery, and multi-faceted characters. Macbeth is an action-packed, psychological thriller that has not lost its impact in nearly four hundred years. The politically ambitious character of Macbeth is as timely today as he was to Shakespeare's audience. Mary McCarthy says in her essay about Macbeth, "It is a troubling thought that Macbeth, of all Shakespeare's characters, should seem the most 'modern,' the only one you could transpose into contemporary battle dress or a sport shirt and slacks." (Signet Classic Macbeth) Audiences today quickly become interested in the plot of a blindly ambitious general with a strong-willed wife who must try to cope with the guilt engendered by their murder of an innocent king in order to further their power. The elements of superstition, ghosts, and witchcraft, though more readily a part of everyday life for the Renaissance audience, remain intriguing to modern teenagers. The action-packed plot, elements of the occult, modern characterizations, and themes of import to today's world make Macbeth an excellent choice for teaching to high school students. This study guide offers ideas for presenting Macbeth to a high school class. The activities have been divided into sections: 1. 2. 3. 4. a brief literary overview, including a synopsis and commentary on the play; suggestions…...

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...Macbeth- Shakespeare Caroline Rebry January 8, 2010 Mr. Salciccioli In the Shakespearean story Macbeth, the character Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife, is one of Shakespeare’s most forcefully drawn female characters he has ever created. Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband’s uncertainty. She desires the kingship for him and wants him to murder Duncan in order to obtain it. She is one of the only characters in the play that could persuade Macbeth the way she does. Her sly and cunning plans lead Macbeth to fulfill her desires of becoming King and Queen. As well, her incredible mind tricks cause her husband to continue to achieve their goal as becoming King and Queen. Considering the relationship between cause and effect in the play, Lady Macbeth, through her manipulation, deceptiveness, and mind games, is one of the characters who is more responsible for Macbeth’s crimes in the play.  When we first meet Lady Macbeth, she is already plotting Duncan’s murder, and she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. She seems fully aware of this and knows that she will have to push Macbeth into committing murder. Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband with remarkable effectiveness, overriding all his objections; when he hesitates to murder, she repeatedly questions his manhood until he feels that he must commit murder to prove himself. Lady Macbeth questions,  Was the hope drunk Wherein......

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...correlated in the play of Macbeth since his impulses and desires greatly affect its surrounding especially while having the authority over a country. Macbeth experienced the fall of his very own ambition which granted him his very own demised. Evil describes Macbeth’s human nature and not only does he experience it, he consults with it too. The witches are highly regarded as a freak of nature which promote evil, as for Macbeth they were his advisors therefore he will make his decision based on the prophecies where they are immoral or virtuous. In consequence of Macbeth’s embracement of his best human quality (Evil) he called upon himself a death sentence. Shakespeare reflected greatly on the position of the king discreetly without stirring up too much controversy particularly on the theory of “Divine right of monarchs”. Though Macbeth attained the power of the thrown he did it through an unorthodox way excluding him from the power of God therefore made him susceptible to any pending attacks. Having Macbeth steal the thrown from Duncan in such a despicable manner is an offense to the Almighty and a violation to the natural order. Shakespeare puts great emphasizes on the legitimacy of his current non-fictional king by creating a psychopath of a king called Macbeth. Macbeth tyrannical decisions lead to his dismiss by others mutinying against him in; seem like Shakespeare borrow some inspiration from the actions of the gun powder plot in 1605. Macbeth can certainly relate to......

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...3/17/14 Eng III Essay In the play Macbeth, by Shakespeare, Macbeth’s verge of sanity is lost when given the upper hand which employs how power leads to the flaw of his ambitions and also to his corruption and demise. Macbeth acquiring the wealth and absolute threshold of the throne isn’t the only power that he can taste. The three witches that supposedly help out Macbeth with future truths that persuades his beliefs of having the advantage and full control. Once he has this mindset becoming a lunatic isn’t that hard which then his guilty conscious becomes in the way with hallucinations and no sleep. A perfect phrase fits into this situation and it states that when life gives you lemons you make lemonade. The witches provide truths to Macbeth leading to him overthinking what could be the ending possibility. Thus convincing himself because of the half truths told by the evil witches from the beginning of the play were seen as incredibly beneficial. “Commencing in a truth? I am thane if Cawdor”(I: iii: 140). Throughout his evil desire for power his lady trash talks Macbeth into proving himself otherwise causing a big influence to act on him forcing his actions. She has the chance to be queen as much as Macbeth so persuading him would be the easiest and best way to becoming powerful. Lady Macbeth mocks Macbeth about being a man and not having the guts to do it. Eventually he gives in and kills the king a long with the guards being spread with blood as they were drunk......

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...Logan Bern English 703 Mr. Orr November 11, 2014 The use of Blood in Macbeth Throughout the play Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor, soon becomes the King of Scotland. But the way he goes about becoming King is a little unorthodox. “Thou play’dst most foully for’t.” (Shakespeare 3.1.3). Violence and the bloodshed that results are important symbols in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. While the blood that is spilt is a definite reminder of the outcomes of misused power, it also serves as an image that provokes Macbeth to reflect upon his deeds, even if he does not change his behavior. Macbeth and his wife both become obsessed with the blood on his hands. Unfortunately, this reminder of his guilt does not prevent him from continuing violent acts. Blood is also used to symbolize murder, like when Macbeth sees a dagger floating leading him to Duncan, which was dripping in blood foreshadowing the slaughter of the King. Guilt is a very powerful emotion and we see Macbeth and his wife absolutely tortured by it. After killing King Duncan, Macbeth obsesses about the blood on his hands. “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red.” (Shakespeare 2.3.81-84). Lady Macbeth is never actually seen doing anything evil, other than corrupting Macbeth, but she suffers just as much as he does. “Out, damned spot! Out I say!” (Shakespeare 5.1.34). This is evidence of her guilt, because in this scene......

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...In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth, Macduff, and Banquo were quite similar and quite different from one another, but all three of them still had important roles throughout the play. However, Macbeth, Macduff, and Banquo played either an evil, villainous role or a gallant, heroic role. Macbeth’s prophecy was that he was to become king of Scotland. Macbeth is friends with Banquo and he has a high status, rank, and respect for others. Macbeth and Banquo met the three witches together and they told them both about their futures. Before Macbeth killed the king he thought “If chance will have me King, why chance may crown me, without my stir.”(p.336) He takes a noble action on his prophecy and doesn’t let fate take its roll. Once Macbeth became king he let his power control himself, and treats everyone unfair but his wife. When Macbeth found out that Banquo thought that the witches had told some things, Macbeth started to have visions of the daggers floating in the air before him with the tip of the dagger aiming toward Duncan. He thought he heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep” (p.352) Macbeth tried to grasp the imaginary dagger and failed. After Banquo’s ghost came to haunt him it started to make him suspicious and show that he is the one that killed him. Macduff is loyal to the king and the brave soldier. He is a father who cherishes his children and he is happy with his life. He was always a trustworthy person he never had disloyal or greed within......

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...summary of Act 1 Macbeth is the famous play written by William Shakespeare. The play it takes place in Scotland. The king of Scotland is Duncan, and The Scottish army is at war with the Norwegian army. In act 1, scene 2, Duncan learns of Macbeth’s and Banquo’s trust worth and bravery in a battle against a Scottish betrayer who sided with the Norwegians. As Macbeth and Banquo return home from battle against the Norwegians, they suddenly meet three weird witches. The ugly and foreign witches predict that Macbeth will be thane of Cawdor and king of Scotland one day, and that Banquo will be the father of kings. Which gives Macbeth a lot to think about. After the meeting with three witches, Macbeth gets a new title as thane of Cawdor, as predicted. And therefore Macbeth sees an oppitunity to become king and he begins to contemplate the murder of Duncan in order to realize the witches' second prophecy. Duncan meets Macbeth and announces that he is going to visit him at his castle. Macbeth rides ahead to prepare his household for a big feast. In the meantime, Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth, which says tells her about the witches' prophesy and his new title. The news gives Lady Macbeth strength to lose her of feminine softness and values and thus prepare herself and Macbeth for the murder of Duncan. When Macbeth arrives, Lady Macbeth tells him about her plans of Duncan's murder. Macbeth becomes skeptic of the idea of killing Duncan, but Lady Macbeth taunts......

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