MACBETH Act 1, scene 4 and 5
LESSON OBJECTIVE At the end of this lesson we will have studied the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in more detail.
STARTER Appearances are decieving To what extent do you find this statement true or false? Be sure to explain your response.
ACT 1, SCENE 4 The following roles will need to be read for this scene: Duncan Malcolm Macbeth Banquo
QUESTIONS When Macbeth enters the scene it is immediately after Duncan expresses his dismay over being betrayed by the former Thane of Cawdor, saying he was a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust. How is this an example of dramatic irony?
QUESTIONS Macbeth already shows a difference in his outward speech and inward thought. Consider what he says… in lines 44 - 47 in lines 49 - 53 How is Macbeth’s outward appearance different from the reality?
Consider what you know about Tudor society. How would the typical woman be expected to act? ACT 1, SCE NE 5 The introduction of Lady Macbeth
ACT 1, SCENE 5 For this scene we will need the following roles: Lady Macbeth Attendant Macbeth
QUESTIONS This is Lady Macbeth’s first appearance in the play. Based on the way Shakespeare has her speak, how do you visualise her? (age, costume, phsyical apperance, etc)
QUESTIONS Lady Macbeth states that she will pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crowned withal. What does this tell us about the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?
IMPORTANT QUOTES ACT 1, SCENE 5 “Yet I do fear thy nature / It is too full of the milk of human kindness” – Lady Macbeth is concerned that Macbeth is not evil or malicious enough to take action to kill Duncan. “That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, / And chastise with the valour of my tongue/ All that impedes thee from the golden round” – Laday Macbeth is going to nag and push Macbeth into doing what he must to become King. This inverts typical gender roles of the time. “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it” – In this simile and metaphor Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to act innocently while planning the evil act in secret.
QUESTIONS Consider Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy on lines 36 – 52 What can we pull from this speech that makes it almost like a witch’s spell?
TRANSLATION As a group translate Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 5 into modern English. Remember there is a word bank on the opposite page to help you out! “Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, […] To cry, “Hold, hold!””
TRANSLATION Come, you spirits that help with murderous thoughts, make me less like a woman and more like a man, and fill me from head to toe with deadly cruelty! Make my blood thick and clog up my veins so I can’t feel remorse, so that no human compassion can stop my evil plan or prevent me from accomplishing it! Come to my female breast and turn my mother’s milk into poisonous acid, you murdering demons, wherever you hide, invisible and waiting to do evil! Come, thick night, and cover the world in the darkest smoke of hell, so that my sharp knife can’t see the wound it cuts open, and so heaven can’t peep through the darkness and cry, “No! Stop!”
QUESTIONS Consider how Lady Macbeth’s lines here could have dual (murderous) meaning…. He that’s coming Must be provided for, and you shall put This night’s great business into my dispatch, Which shall to all our nights and days to come Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom. (lines 64 – 68)
QUESTIONS What does Lady Macbeth tell her husband he must do, in order to get what she feels he deserves? How does Shakespeare show us that Lady Macbeth does not trust that he husband is man enough to murder Duncan? What sort of relationship do Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have?
PLENARY What have we learnt about Lady Macbeth in this scene? What type of woman is she?