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Reading Comprehension Macbeth Literature & Language Essay (Essay Sample)


Reading Comprehension STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS - Act I
Answer each question thoroughly and in complete sentences. Be sure each sentence is grammatically correct.
1. What is the point of the first scene literally and in reference to the whole play?
2. What does Duncan call Macbeth when he hears Macbeth has defeated Macdonwald?
3. Who is sentenced to death?
4. What do the witches predict in I.iii for Macbeth? For Banquo?
5. What news does Ross bring Macbeth?
6. Banquo, like Macbeth, is surprised that the witches have predicted Macbeth's new title. He is,
however, leery. What does he say about the motives of the "instruments of darkness"?
7. Malcolm describes Cawdor's last moments before execution. What is Duncan's reply?
8. Macbeth says, "Stars, hide your fires, Let not light see my black and deep desires." What are
Macbeth's desires?
9. After Lady Macbeth reads the letter, what does she tell us is her opinion of Macbeth, and how
does she plan to help him?
10. What is Lady Macbeth's "prayer" to the spirits after she learns Duncan is coming"?
11. What advice does Lady Macbeth give Macbeth when he arrives home?
12. What are Macbeth's arguments to himself against killing Duncan?
13. What arguments does Lady Macbeth use to convince Macbeth to commit the murder?
14. What is Lady Macbeth's plan?


1. What is the point of the first scene literally and about the whole play?
* In the first scene, the three witches signify the horrible tone of the play and that Macbeth is destined to be doomed from the start and it shows Macbeth’s downfall. This scene represents its theme which depicts evil and darkness as the play will unfold.
2. What does Duncan call Macbeth when he hears Macbeth has defeated Macdonwald?
* Duncan said “Valiant, cousin! Worthy gentleman!” Upon hearing that Macbeth has defeated Macdonwald.
3. Who is sentenced to death?
* As a traitor, Thane of Cowder is the one who was sentenced to death.
4. What do the witches predict in I.iii for Macbeth? For Banquo?
* In scene 3, the three witches hypothesized that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and would gradually be a king. For Banquo, they described their prediction as “lesser than Macbeth, and greater, not so happy yet he will be happier”. They also predicted that descendants of Banquo will become kings in their time but Banquo himself won’t be one.

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