Monday, January 11, 2010

Questioning Macbeth, Act 1

Based on what we have read so far in Macbeth, what are three discussion questions that could lead us to a deeper understanding of the characters, motifs, and/or themes of this play? Feel free to use the "How To Ask a Great Question" guide at the top of the class website.

After you have posted your three questions, please respond a question posted by somebody else. Be sure to reference clearly which question you are addressing.


  1. 1. What do you think macbeth is going to do about not being the heir to the throne?

    2. What influence will lady Macbeth have on Macbeth's choices?

    3. How will the witches influence the rest of the play?

  2. 1. How are the witches linked to Macbeth in the first place?

    2. How does Macbeth expect to kill the heir/king without anyone knowing?

    3.Why is it that the things that the witches said are coming true? Do they really have magical powers?

    In response to JakeL's question "What do you think macbeth is going to do about not being the heir to the throne?", I think Macbeth is going to find a way to kill the heir/king with help of the witches possibly.

  3. 1. How do you think Macbeth feels about the King giving the throne to his son?

    2. Do you think that Macbeth will try to find the witches later on in the play to ask more about his future?

    3. After discussing the picture in class today (with Lady Macbeth and Macbeth), what do you think that ghost-like figures were symbolizing atop Macbeths left shoulder?

    And in response to Jake L’s second question “What influence will lady Macbeth have on Macbeth's choices?” I think that Lady Macbeth is going to have a negative influence on Macbeth’s choices because of the kind of creepy/gory/weird nature of this play, I think that it would make sense if she had a negative impact on Macbeth.

  4. 1. will lady macbeth influence macbeth with some of his choices?

    2. will the witches have any more impact on the play as it goes on?

    3. in the picture we looked at what are the ghosts on macbeth's shoulder showing or symbolizing for what is going to happen in the play as we read further on and discover more characters and events that happen?

  5. 1. Do you think that Macbeth is tampering with his fate, or do you think it is right for him to follow what the witches predicted?

    2. Will Macbeths "bravery" fade once he is actually faced with killing the heir to the throne or will he not even think twice about his actions?

    3. Based off of the picture we looked at in class, Lady Macbeth looked as if she has control over Macbeth. What do you think she is trying to control and does Macbeth trust her?

    In response to Nick's question, "Do you think that Macbeth will try to find the witches later on in the play to ask more about his future?" I think that Macbeth will try and find the witches only if he does go through with killing the heir. I believe that after Macbeth kills him then he will believe that the witches truely did know what he was suppose to do. Because what they said might become true, Macbeth will gain a certain trust in the witches and he would have to find them to find out what to do next.

  6. 1. Has it not occurred to Macbeth that the first part of the witches' prophecy was a coincidence?

    2. Why did Duncan choose the same time he was thanking Macbeth and Banquo to tell them that he was declaring his son heir to the throne?

    3. What is the significance of all the connections between what the characters say? (Example: the witches say something about the battle being lost and won and later Duncan mentions something about "what he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won."

    In response to Jake L's first question, I think that Macbeth will probably end up attempting to kill either the king or his son because he thinks that the witches' prophecy is true.

  7. 1. What role will the witches have in the rest of the play?

    2. What will Macbeth end up doing seeing as he is not the hier to the throne?

    3. What importance do the witches have that they would be the main focus of the first scene?

    In response to jakes third question I beilive that the witches will have a very large but subtle part in the rest of the play.

  8. 1. Would you consider the witches to be beneficial or harming to the play or even to any certain characters?

    2. Are there any symbols so far in the play or any foreshadowing that can lead to further explanation or predictions to the rest of the play?

    3. Can the audience trust Macbeth so far? If we do now, do you think we will be able to later in the play?

    In response to DevonT question 3, I think that Lady Macbeth controls how Macbeth does his work. In the picture her hand on his shoulder showed that she has power over him and the only power she could possibly have over him is the choices he makes when king and in battle.

  9. Why does Macbeth trust the witches so much?

    Why does Macbeth want to be king so much more than he did before the witches told him he was going to be king?

    What is the Purpose of the three witches and why are their three?

    Answering JakeL2012
    I think the witches will make Macbeth seem more agresive and more mean.

  10. What other characters will currupt Macbeth or are the witches corruption enough?

    Why did the former thane cawdor betray scottland for norway could the witches have been involved?

    Will Macbeth kill Malcom as well?

    to answer Travis's third question throughout history the number three always has been a bad number and that bad things are to come when there is three of something.

  11. Do you think that Macbeth will end up killing people that he normally wouldn't due to the witche's influence.

    Will we ever find out what the witches were doing in the beginning of the play?

    Will Macbeth's wife end up being dependant on
    Macbeth, or vise versa.

    In response to kaity i's question, I believe that Macbeth will actually tell people he trusts, like his wife about any plans to kill the king.

  12. 1. Is Macbeths mindset about killing the kill have to do with the witches influencing him?

    2. Is Macbeth truly brave or is he a coward for trying to kill the king?

    3. Do you think Macbeth can be trusted?

    In response to Tarah's second question. I think yes they will have an impact on the rest of the play and we influence Macbeth's decision making throughout the play. They will play a big role.

  13. 1.Through out "Macbeth", the three witches gave a intemidating impression,but have the three witches been a pro rather than a con for Macbeth?
    2. When and if, Macbeth does kill the Heir of the throne, does this show the "true" side of macbeth or is it part of the three witches spell or even Lady Macbeth?
    3. Will the three witches somehow influence more people rather than just Macbeth?

    My response to Jake L. second question -“What influence will lady Macbeth have on Macbeth's choices?” I think that Lady Macbeth will draw in unwanted conflicts and issues between their relationship and between the bloody war.

  14. 1. In what way does Macbeth form the witches predictions?

    2. How does the plot form over the witches riddles?

    3. What does the last passage that we read about Macbeth talking to himself show about his character?

    In response to Erica W. first question I don't think that he realizes it is because I think that they believed the magical side of things more than we do now. I also think he was skeptical at first but when they said so many things that were true he started to believe them and when they said he would be king he wanted to believe it.

  15. I decided to focus all three of my discussion questions on the topic we chose today in class. Bravery.

    1. How was bravery displayed differently among the characters?

    2. Is bravery only defined by physical actions?

    3. Which character displayed the most, or "greatest" bravery?

    In response to Jake's question; Will the three witches somehow influence more people rather then just Macbeth? Yes, the actions of the tree witches will cause Macbeth to do things that reach out and effect others overall.

  16. 1. Do you think that Lady Macbeth will help Macbeth make negative decisions or positive decisions?

    2. Do you think that the witches want bad things for Macbeth or they are trying to help him?

    3. Will Macbeth end up trying to fullfill the witches predictions about his future?

    To Devon T's first question, "1. Do you think that Macbeth is tampering with his fate, or do you think it is right for him to follow what the witches predicted?" I think that if Macbeth tries to change things by himself he is tampering with his fate. But if he lets everything play out without trying to change things, maybe the witches predictions will come true.

  17. 1. How will Lady Macbeth influence Macbeth's decisions (thinking back to the picture shown in class)?
    2. How is Shakespeare portraying trust among the characters?
    3. Why is Macbeth letting the witches control his thoughts and actions from only sharing a prophesy? Does this show that Macbeth thinks only of himself before others?

    In response to Erica W., "What is the significance of all the connections between what the characters say?" I believe that Shakespeare has the characters rephrasing each other to symbolize the importance in the paradoxes. I also think that it shows the two sides to the situation instead of just giving it from one view.

  18. 1. Will lady Macbeth start to influence what Macbeth does in a positive or negative way?
    2. Will the witches have to do more with the play and talk to Macbeth more?
    3. What will Macbeth do about not being the heir to the thrown? and will lady Macbeth "help" him choose?

    In response to Devons 1st question I think that Macbeth isn't tampering with his fate but that the three witches showed him his choices. And from then on it depends on his character in what he thinks is the right thing to do.

  19. 1. How has the play expressed Macbeth so far?
    2. How has the play expressed Duncan so far?
    3 In your opinion, out of all the characters that have been introduced into the play that is the most trust worthy?

    In response to NickK's 2nd question i dont beleive that Macbeth will go out and seek the three wiches but in fact Banquo will be the one who goes out and searches for the wiches. I beleive my prediction will come true because in scene 3 when Macbeth and Banquo stumble upon the three wiches praising them. I believe that Banquo will have sensed the proficies coming true and seek the wiches for more predictions of the future.

  20. 1. Do you think that any of the characters in this play can be fully trusted?

    2. What would have happened if Macbeth had not become Thane of Cawdor after the witches made their prophesy?

    3. What does the passage at the end of Act one scene four, where Macbeth is thinking about ways to become king reveal about this character?

    In response to calebw's first question (which many people referenced in different ways in their questions), I personally think that the witches will not reappere into the story again. I think they were instigators of the beginning havok, but then I think they stand aside and not return into the plot of play. They may be referenced later on and their actions in the begginig may have had play-lasting affects, but I do not think that they will physically return into the play.

  21. 1.Why is Macbeth so quick to turn on king Duncan?
    2.What is the reason behind the witches involvement in the play?
    3. why does Duncan name Malcolm Prince of Cumberland over Macbeth?

    In response to Jake L. question about Lady Macbeths influence on Macbeth's decisions i think that Lady Macbeth will have a very strong opinion about what Macbeth should do and she will be very determined to see that things go the way she wants. My guess is that she will play a big part in why Macbeth becomes the person he will, and i don't think that will be a good thing.

  22. 1. What incentive did the witches have for putting the idea of becoming the king in Macbeth's head?

    2. Is Macbeth going to kill just Malcom, is he going to just kill Duncan, or is he going to kill both of them, or is he not going to kill anyone?

    3. Is Macbeth's wife going to influencing Macbeth in to killing the king in order to become the king?

    In response to Sam W's question: In what way does Macbeth form the witches predictions?
    I think Macbeth forms the witches predictions by thinking to much about what they said, and not just blocking it from his mind.

  23. 1. What does the setting and over all tone affect the readers perception of acts 1-3? 2. Why do you think Sheakspare mademacbeth and King Duncan cousins? Do you think it changes anything? 3. Why do you think Shakespare had the three witches start the play? What purpous do they serve?

  24. In response to EmilyK I think that Nacbeth is so irrational when he was asumong that he would be the next king that when Duncan names Malcom prince he becomes very envious and angry.

  25. 1. Based on what you know determine how the three witches knew that Macbeth would fulfill the thrown?
    2. What do you think Macbeth will do about becoming the king of Scotland, will he make the choice to kill the king or will he let destiny work it out?
    3. Determine how Macbeth’s choices will effect what he will do later in the book.
    In response to Jake’s first question I believe that Macbeth will kill the heir to the thrown so that he could be king. I also think that lady Macbeth has a big influence on what choices that he will make later in the book.

  26. 1. What do you think is going through MacBeth's head right now with all the witches predictions coming true?

    2. Do you think that the predicatiions coming true is just a coincidence or is there another way behind it?

    3. If only one predication comes true do you think MacBeth will do something drastic to make the others come true?

    In response to Sam's question: In what way does Macbeth form the witches predictions?
    I think MacBeth is really thinking about what they said and working for those predictions to come true and thinking to much about it.

  27. 1. Describe Macbeth's Character and how it might change as the play continues.
    2. Who is the trustful person in Macbeth?
    3. Do the witches represent a symbol in the play?
    In response to Dakota's question i think that bravery is not only represented by physical actions but also by courage to say something or choose something. bravery is also defined as making the right decision or helping someone.

  28. 1. What makes the witches tell Macbeth that he is going to be King?

    2. Why do you think that the author compares winning to losing?

    3. What would happen if Macbeth didnt become thaine?

    In responce to Megs first question... I think that he is expecting to become king and that he feels really powerful compared to everyone else.

  29. 1). Will the witches have something to do with him killing the king?

    2). Does Banquo doubt Macbeth? Does he want the throne to himself?

    3). If the Witches were not in this play, would Macbeth still kill the king? or would there be a different outcome?

    To awnser JakeL2012's question, I think that Macbeth will kill to become the king.