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Aesthetic Examination Questions on Macbeth

1. What do you understand the "Weird Sisters" in Macbeth to be?

2. How do you reconcile Macbeth's prompt murder of the grooms with his horror at the mere thought of killing Duncan, and his refusal to carry the bloody daggers back to the chamber?

3. Is Lady Macbeth's swoon, on hearing of the murder of the grooms, real or feigned - and the grounds of your opinion?

4. How do you explain the difference in Lady Macbeth's manner towards Macbeth after the Banquo ghost scene (III.iv), as compared with her bearing after the murder of Duncan (II.ii) ?

5. Do you regard Lady Macbeth as a suicide? And what do you consider the causes of her death?

6. What effect does Lady Macbeth's death have upon Macbeth, and upon our feelings toward him?

7. Describe the character of Macbeth in brief and compare Macbeth to Hamlet.


More to Explore

 Macbeth: The Complete Play with Annotations and Commentary
 The Metre of Macbeth: Blank Verse and Rhymed Lines
 Macbeth Character Introduction
 Metaphors in Macbeth (Biblical)

 Soliloquy Analysis: If it were done when 'tis done (1.7.1-29)
 Soliloquy Analysis: Is this a dagger (2.1.33-61)
 Soliloquy Analysis: To be thus is nothing (3.1.47-71)
 Soliloquy Analysis: She should have died hereafter (5.5.17-28)

 Explanatory Notes for Lady Macbeth's Soliloquy (1.5)
 The Psychoanalysis of Lady Macbeth (Sleepwalking Scene)
 Explanatory Notes for the Witches' Chants (4.1)

 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 1 and 2)
 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 3, 4 and 5)

 The Curse of Macbeth
 Shakespeare's Sources for Macbeth
 Macbeth Q & A
 What is Tragic Irony?

 Macbeth Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
 Quotations from Macbeth (Full)
 Top 10 Quotations from Macbeth

 Characteristics of Elizabethan Tragedy
 Shakespeare's Workmanship: Crafting a Sympathetic Macbeth
 Temptation, Sin, Retribution: Lecture Notes on Macbeth
 Untie the winds: Exploring the Witches' Control Over Nature in Macbeth

 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Influence on Other Writers
 Hamlet Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
 Hamlet: Q & A

Notes on Macbeth: Out, out, brief candle!

"There is a magic in the expression "brief candle" which I have never known any one to deny. What is the secret of it? A candle is a commonplace enough object; in itself it is not a poetical thing; it is something useful, something with regard to which the idea of use and ownership naturally arises; it stands low down, as an inanimate thing, on the scale of images which culminates in man. Yet, as Shakespeare has used it, it is a central image in a consummate bit of poetry. What has he done to give it such distinctive worth? He has personalised. Here lies the main secret of the worth of this expression." Arthur Fairchild. Read on...