Macbeth Act 1 Quiz

Answer each of the following in a few carefully chosen words.

  1. How does the first witch plan to punish the sailor’s wife who refused to give her chestnuts?
      • Why punish him for her refusal to share chestnuts?
      • Why would she experience pain for punishment to him?
      • Women “need” a husband, she is nothing without him.
        • What freedom do the witches enjoy, that the sailor’s wife doesn’t?
          • witches don’t need a husband
          • witches have power
        • men are the source of women’s power?
          • witches don’t like that
        • How do men get this power over women?
          • women give power to men, witches don’t.
    • the response from the wife : “Aroint thee, witch!” = “Begone, witch!”
      • her attitude is not her own
      • her will is not her own
      • what she says, it what he says
      • she has done nothing deserving of punishment
      • irony : the witches attempt to liberate the sailor’s wife
      • When women do not share with women, men are to blame
      • The punishment is an attempt to help her.
      • The witches have great loyalty to all women, even those who persecute them.
      • Sailor is symbolic of all male hierarchy.
      • Wife is symbol of victim crated by male hierarchy(Peter Peter pumpkin eater)
      • Shakespeare foreshadows feminism of the ’60s.
    • punish the husband
    • “drain him dry as hay”
      • dehydrate, remove his water
      • no drinking water on a boat
    • cursed to never sleep “Sleep shall neither night nor day
      Hang upon his penthouse lid;”

      • wikipedia insomnia: “functional impairment while awake”
    • “Weary se’nnights nine times nine / Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine;” = “Worn out with fatigue for a (81 weeks?) week, and very cross,
      He will waste away, droop in health and spirit .”
    • His ship, while not lost: “it shall be tempest-tost” storm
  2. What do the witches predict for Banquo’s future?
    • Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
      • Macbeth is promised material, title, rank, hierachical power… things, fleeting things. How are these lesser?
      • Banquo has wisdom. What would you give up being King for? Banquo’s name is eternally connected to the monarchy, Banquo becomes immortal
      • Banquo becomes a role model
  3. Aside from promising that Malcolm will be king, what title does Duncan give him?
  4. On whom does Lady Macbeth call to give her the strength of purpose to perform Duncan’s murder?
  5. Macbeth gives three reasons why he should not kill Duncan. Name two of them.
  6. What is Lady Macbeth’s plan for killing the king?
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