Act IV Macbeth resolves to find the witches and demand further assurances. He encounters them on their dismal heath, where they answer him with a procession of ghostly appearances: Armed Head – warns Macbeth to ________________________________ beware Macduff. Bloody Child – “none of woman ________________________________ born” shall harm Macbeth. Crowned Child Holding Tree Limb ________________________________ – Macbeth will be safe until “Birnam Wood” comes to Dunsinane Hill. 8 Kings followed by Banquo’s ________________________________ Ghost, smiling and pointing to his descendants. Leaving, Macbeth encounters the nobleman Lennox who denies having seen “the weird sisters” and tells that Macduff has fled to England. Vengefully, Macbeth vows to kill Macduff’s wife and children A messenger arrives at Fife, Macduff’s castle, to warn her, but it is too late, and Lady Macduff and her children are killed by Macbeth’s assassins. Malcolm is at the kings palace in England where he tests Macduff’s loyalty to the cause against Macbeth. Satisfied, Malcolm welcomes Macduff as an ally. When Ross enters with the terrible news of the massacre of Macduff’s wife and children, Macduff swears to kill Macbeth with his own sword. What ingredients go into the witches’ stew? What is the purpose of this vile concoction? Poisoned entrails _____________ that under a cold stone days and nights has thirty “Toad, ________________________________________ one swelt’red venom sleeping got.” Fillet of a fenny snake. Blindworm’s sting _________________________________________ _________________________________________ Eye of newt Lizard’s leg _________________________________________ Toe of frog Howlet’s wing Wool of bat _________________________________________ Adder’s fork Tooth of wolf Tongue of dog ___________________________________ Describe the three apparitions Macbeth sees when he visits the witches. What does each apparition tell him? _________________________________________ 1st Apparition – An Armed Head. _____________________________________________ Beware Macduff, the Thane of Fife. 2nd Apparition – A Bloody Child. _________________________________________ of woman born shall harm Macbeth (i.e. Macduff). None _____________________________________________ 3rd Apparition - A Child Crowned, with a tree in his hand _________________________________________ Macbeth will never be vanquished until Great Birnam _____________________________________________ Wood to high Dunsinance Hill come against him. What question has Macbeth come to ask the witches, and how do they answer? Macbeth comes to ask the witches his future as king. __________________________________________ However, __________________________________________ because Macbeth is so rude to them the witches say that Macbeth can hear it from their mouths or their masters. Which nobleman does Macbeth plan to murder after talking with the witches? How is his plan foiled? Macbeth plans to kill Macduff, but Macduff has fled to England. __________________________________________ At the end of Scene 1, what does Macbeth vow? Describe the way his vow is carried out in Scene 2. Macbeth vows to seize upon Fife and kill everyone there. __________________________________________ According to the conversation between Malcolm and Macduff in Scene 3, what has happened to Scotland during Macbeth’s reign? __________________________________________ Scotland is no longer a safe haven. What does Malcolm “confess” about his own faults? he is lustful and covetous and he has no virtues which That __________________________________________ would entitle him to become King. How does Macduff respond to Malcolm’s “confession”? __________________________________________ Macduff states that Scotland has enough wealth for everyone. In this act, Macbeth seeks out the witches, just as they took the initiative in approaching him in Act 1. How has his situation changed since he last talked with them? How has his character changed? __________________________________________ He is a murderer now. He no longer feels regret, he only wants what he wants. __________________________________________ Do you think the witches have caused any indirectly? these changes, directly or indirectly? Explain your reasons for thinking as you do. __________________________________________ In Scene 1, the eight kings appear in what was called in Shakespeare’s day a dumb show – an interpolated brief scene in which nothing is said. What is the point of this particular dumb show? are the kings of Banquo’s line and the mirror suggests an These __________________________________________ infinite number of descendants. Banquo appears last laughing at Macbeth. In Scene 2, the lines spoken by Macduff’s wife and son illustrate Shakespeare’s great skill at characterization. Using only a few words, he brings the woman and the child to life, showing both the faults and virtues in each. How would you describe Lady Macduff? How would you describe the boy? Lady Macduff is a strong person who loves her family and misses __________________________________________ her husband. She appears to have a sense of humor. __________________________________________ The son seems happy and close to his parents, and when faced with the murderer he shows bravery by attacking him for saying his father is a traitor. The murder of Macduff’s wife and small son is one of the most pitiful and shocking scenes in Shakespeare’s plays. Why do you suppose he decided to show it onstage, rather than just having it reported after it happens? scene brings home the horror of the event and the evil This __________________________________________ to which Macbeth has fallen. Both the murderer and Lady Macduff herself call Macduff a traitor. In what sense does each mean it? Do you think Macduff is a traitor, in either sense? Lady Macduff calls her husband a traitor because he left __________________________________________ their castle unguarded and she is angry with him. murderer calls Macduff a coward as an offense to Lady The __________________________________________ Macduff and her son. In Scene 3, Malcolm deliberately lies to Macduff. Why does he do this? What does this behavior, and the reason for it, reveal about Malcolm? Malcolm is testing Macduff by lying to him. __________________________________________ It shows that he knows the “art/to find the mind’s construction __________________________________________ in the face” (1.4.11-12), and uses it to discern Macduff’s true character. Remember: Duncan was deceived twice by traitors. TRUE _____________In response to Macbeth’s questions, the witches call upon the apparitions who answer most of his questions but warn him not to probe too deeply. ______________When FALSE Macbeth hears that no one born of woman will harm him, he decides to spare Macduff’s life. ______________Lady TRUE Macduff misses her last chance for escape, which comes when an anonymous messenger warns her to flee. TRUE ___________Malcolm pretends that he is too evil to become king in order to ascertain Macduff’s loyalty. FALSE _______When Macduff receives the news of his family, Malcolm urges him to grieve peacefully. The crowned child __________________Who says Macbeth will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood marches to Dunsinane? Ross __________________Who says that Macbeth has killed Macduff’s family? The bloody child __________________Who says that no man born of woman will harm Macbeth? An armed head __________________Who warns Macbeth to beware of Macduff? A crowned child __________________Who reveals the future kings of Scotland? __________________What lineage do the Banquo future kings of Scotland represent? When the witches say “Something wicked this way comes,” to whom are they referring? The witches are referring to Macbeth. __________________________________________ What is the first apparition? An Armed Head. __________________________________________ What does the first apparition say? Beware Macduff! Beware the Thane of Fife. __________________________________________ What is the second apparition? A Bloody Child __________________________________________ What does the second apparition say? No man born of woman shall harm Macbeth. __________________________________________ What is the third apparition? A crown Child with a tree in his hand. __________________________________________ What does the third apparition say? Macbeth shall never be vanquished until Great Birnam Wood to __________________________________________ high Dunsinane Hill comes against him. What is significant about the line of eight kings, followed by Banquo, that the witches show Macbeth? eight kings signifies that they are Banquo’s decedents. The __________________________________________ Who murders Lady Macduff and her children? Macbeth has murderer’s kill the Macduff family and people. __________________________________________ How does Malcolm test Macduff’s loyalty? test’s Macduff’s loyalty by sharing with Macduff Malcolm __________________________________________ that he is lustful and envious and all things unbecoming. B ____ 1. In response to Macbeth’s questions, the witches a. tell him everything and predict the course of his entire life b. call upon the apparitions, who answer most of his questions but warn him not to probe too deeply c. conjure up the ghost of the king, who answers the questions d. attempt to intimidate Macbeth and threaten him with a curse C ____ 2. When Macbeth hears that no one born of a woman will harm him, he decides to a. leave Macduff alone b. kill all the wives of his peers c. kill Macduff anyway d. kill everyone in line for the throne, but spare their families A ____ 3. Lady Macduff misses her last chance for escape, which comes when a. an anonymous messenger warns her to flee b. her son suggests a plot for their escape c. Ross defends her husband’s good character d. the murderers make too much noise at the door ____ 4. Malcolm pretends that he is too evil B to become king in order to a. avoid the responsibilities of ruling Scotland b. ascertain Macduff’s loyalty c. fulfill the witches’ prophecies d. ensure that his brother inherits the throne C ____ 5. When Ross joins Malcolm and Macduff in Scene 3, he says to Macduff, “Let not your ears despise my tongue forever, / Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound / That ever yet they heard.” He means a. do not listen too closely to what I am saying b. I am about to warn you of impending disaster c. please do not hate me because I bring bad news d. do not worry about my next statement A ____ 6. When Macduff receives the news of his family, Malcolm urges him to a. rouse his anger b. grieve peacefully c. stay away from Scotland d. try not to think about it ____ 7. Macbeth will not be vanquished until A Birnam Wood marches to Dunsinane ____ 8. Macbeth has killed Macduff’s family E ____ 9. no man born of a woman will harm B Macbeth D ____ 10. beware of Macduff C ____ 11. the eight ghostly kings are Banquo’s offspring 12. Which of the following characters in Act IV arouses the most sympathy? On the lines provided, write the letter of the character you choose, describe the character’s situation in Act IV, and give reasons for your opinion. Use at least one example from the selection to support your ideas. There is more than one possible answer. a. Macbeth b. Lady Macduff c. Son of Macduff a. Macbeth arouses the most sympathy because he is flawed; the witches, who lure _____________________________________ him into evil by using supernatural powers, _____________________________________ exploit his weaknesses. _____________________________________ b. Lady Macduff arouses the most sympathy because she is an innocent victim. _____________________________________ c. Macduff’s son arouses the most sympathy even though he is only a child and is not actively involved _______________________________________ in the conflict _. d.because Macduff arouses the sympathy he loses his family andmost feels that his flight is the reason for the murders. _______________________________________ __. 13. On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph describing how Macbeth changes from the beginning of the play to Act IV. Is he more good than evil in Act IV? more evil than good? Rate Macbeth’s moral character on a scale of ten, with 1 being absolute good and 10 being absolute evil. Provide at least two examples of Macbeth’s words or deeds that support your answer. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth hesitates to kill Duncan and then is tormented by the murder of the king, yet in Act IV, Macbeth coldly decides without hesitation to kill Macduff. Early in the play, the mere sight of blood disturbs Macbeth, yet in Act IV, he easily decides to slaughter Macduff’s wife, children, and any other heirs.