Macbeth Act V

Act V
Brief Synopsis - Act V
 At Dunsinane, Lady Macbeth has begun walking in her
sleep. She enters in this state while her doctor and a
waiting lady watch in horror. As she walks, unconscious
of the others, she gives vent to her guilt and anguish over
the crimes she and her husband have committed.
 Macbeth is deeply agitated over her disorder but is
frenziedly preparing for the attack by the English invaders
under Malcolm and the Earl of Northumberland, who
have joined with rebellious Scottish forces.
Brief Synopsis - Act V continued …
 Malcolm has his soldiers cut boughs from Birnam Wood to
carry as camouflage in the assault. Thus, the prophecy
“Till Birnam forest comes to Dunsinane” begins to be
 Macbeth simultaneously learns that Lady Macbeth has
died, possibly by suicide. In despair, he goes forth to
battle and kills Young Siward, son the the Earl of
Brief Synopsis - Act V continued …
 Macbeth then encounters Macduff, who destroys his last
confidence by admitting that he was “from his mother’s
womb untimely ripp’d” – “he was not of woman born.”
(caesarean) With this part of the prophesy no longer the
protection it seemed, Macbeth dies at Macduff’s hands.
 Macduff brings the head of Macbeth to Malcolm and
hails the son of the murdered Duncan as the new King of
Quote 27
 “My way of life is fall’n into the sear, the yellow leaf, and
that which should accompany old age, as honor, love,
obedience, troups of friends, I must not look to have; but,
in their stead, curses not loud but deep, mouth-honor,
breath, which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare
 Speaker ____________________
 Explanation _______________________________________________
He will die early because of his evil deed.
He will not have the friends and rest of old age.
Quote 28
 “She should have died hereafter; there would have been
a time for such a word.”
 Speaker _________________________________________________
 Explanation ______________________________________________
If she would have died later, they would have
at least had one more conversation together. OR If she
would have died earlier, Lady Macbeth would have
spared this pain.
 “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this
petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of
recorded time; and all out yesterdays have lighted fools
the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but
a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his
hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a
tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying
 Speaker___________________________________________________
People live and try to make meaning of their
 Explanation_______________________________________________
lives, but they are just players in the game for awhile and
they have no significance afterwards.
Quote 30
 “Of all men else I have avoided thee. But get thee
back? My soul is too much charged with blood of thine
 Speaker __________________________________________________
 Explanation _______________________________________________
Because he has killed his family he didn’t
want to fight him.
 “Yet I will try the last. Before my body I throw my warlike
shield. Lay on, Macduff!”
 Speaker __________________________________________________
 Explanation_______________________________________________
He finds out Macduff is not born of woman
and fights him in battle.
Study Guide Questions 1-2
 Why, according to the doctor, is Lady Macbeth walking
in her sleep?
She has a guilty conscience. “…Unnatural deeds do breed
 __________________________________________________________
_unnatural troubles.” (lines 61-62)
 In Scene 2, what opinion of Macbeth do the Scottish
he is mad, greedy, and a murderer.
 __________________________________________________________
Study Guide Questions 3-4
 Describe HOW and WHY Lady Macbeth dies.
Lady Macbeth dies because of her guilt. The popular
 __________________________________________________________
opinion is she killed herself. OR She may have slept walked
off the balcony.
 Describe Macbeth’s plan for dealing with the attacking
troops. He says that he would prefer to deal with the
troops in a different way: why has he been forced to
choose this plan instead?
Macbeth is forced to await the enemy in his castle
 __________________________________________________________
_because all of his troops have sided with Malcolm and
Macduff and are attacking him. He would rather have met
them on the battle field.
Study Guide Questions 5-6
 In Scene 5, Macbeth describes changes in his own
personality. What are those changes?
He no longer feels fear and his conscience has hardened
 __________________________________________________________
with his murderous thoughts and deeds.
 In the speech in Scene 5 that begins, “Tomorrow, and
tomorrow, and tomorrow …” (lines 19-28) how does
Macbeth describe life? What metaphors does he use?
walking shadow,” “a poor player,” and “a tale told by
 “A
_ idiot” which all refer to life. This relates to the theme of
false appearance within his character.
Study Guide Questions 7-8
 In Act IV, Scene 1, the first three apparitions shown
Macbeth by the witches all referred, in reverse
chronological order, to events in Act V. Find the things in
Act 5 that correspond with the three apparitions in Act IV.
 ________________________________________________________
Macbeth would fall when Birnam Wood marched;
Macduff is not born of woman (no man born of woman
can harm Macbeth) ; Macduff kills Macbeths. (Beware
 At the end of the play, what has become of Macbeth?
Macbeth dies by Macduff’s sword.
 __________________________________________________________
Act V
 What does Lady Macbeth do while walking in her sleep?
 __________________________________________________________
She puts on a nightgown, unlocks her closet, takes
paper, folds it and writes upon it. She then reads it and
then sets it aside and returns to bed. She washes her
hands “Out, damned spot!”
 What does Macbeth do when he learns of the invading English
 __________________________________________________________
He disregards the danger because he doesn’t know
Birnam Wood has marched.
it is
 What is the doctor’s response to Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking?
He says she has a guilty conscience.
 ___________________________________________________________
Act V continued …
 How does Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane Hill?
The soldiers have camouflaged themselves by hiding
 __________________________________________________________
_behind Birnam wood.
 When he hears of Lady Macbeth’s death, how does
She would
have died after the battle anyway and life has
little meaning anyway.
 __________________________________________________________
 When Macbeth learns that Birnam Wood seems to be
to suspect
He begins
to believe
that the
him false with ambiguous answers.
 __________________________________________________________
Act V continued …
 When Macbeth realizes that most of his men have
deserted him, he kills a man called Young Siward.
 True or False
 What was unusual about Macduff’s birth?
He was born via caesarean birth.
 __________________________________________________________
 Once Macbeth hears about Macduff’s birth and
Macduff aggressively pursues Macbeth, what does
to do?and fights Macduff.
goes ahead
 __________________________________________________________
Act V continued …
 What does Macduff do at the end of the play?
 __________________________________________________________
Macbeth dies and gets his head cut off.
 Why does the gentlewoman in Scene 1 refuse to repeat
to the
there are
no witnesses
confirm her story.
 __________________________________________________________
Study Questions 1-3
 How does Macbeth try to reassure himself?
Macbeth tries to reassure himself by remembering the
 __________________________________________________________
_witches prophesies.
 As Macbeth’s anxiety grows, what does he command
doctor to
the doctor to cure her. (purge her, use
drugs, scour the English for a cure.
 __________________________________________________________
Study Questions 4-6
 Why does Macduff declare that he must kill Macbeth?
Macbeth kills Macduff’s family.
 __________________________________________________________
 What reward will be given to those who were loyal to
The thanes
be earls, the first ever in
Scotland to have this title. Bring back all those who were
 __________________________________________________________
_exiled during Macbeth’s reign.
Study Questions 7-9
 Who reveals that Lady Macbeth has hallucinations?
The Gentlewoman.
 __________________________________________________________
 Who reveals that Lady Macbeth is dead?
 __________________________________________________________
 Who reveals that Birnam Wood is approaching the
A messenger.
 __________________________________________________________
Study Questions 10-11
 Who is Scotland’s new and lawful king?
 __________________________________________________________
 Who is the thane of Fife?
Macduff is the thane of Fife.
 __________________________________________________________
Act V - Quiz
Act V Quiz
1. The gentlewoman in Scene 1 refuses to repeat Lady
Macbeth’s sleep-talk to the doctor because
 a. the words are mumbled and impossible to understand
 b. Lady Macbeth forbade her to reveal the murders to
 c. there is no witness to confirm the truth of the
gentlewoman’s words
 d. she thinks that only the doctor will believe her
Act V Quiz continued …
D 2. The “damned spot” to which Lady Macbeth refers is
 a. Macbeth’s predicament
 b. a beleaguered castle
 c. Birnam Wood
 d. Duncan’s bloodstain
Act V Quiz continued …
D 3. Macbeth tries to reassure himself that Malcolm and
Macduff are not a threat to him
 because they
 a. are far away in England
 b. do not have the military power that he has
 c. have fled because of fear
 d. are both “of woman born”
Act V Quiz continued …
B 4. As Macbeth’s anxiety grows, he commands the
doctor to
 a. let Lady Macbeth rest for a few days
 b. cure Lady Macbeth
 c. medicate Lady Macbeth with hemlock
 d. analyze Lady Macbeth’s rambling
Act V Quiz continued …
A 5. Macbeth’s reaction to his wife’s death shows that he
 a. thinks life is a meaningless path to death
 b. is anguished because he cares about her deeply
 c. expects to win the battle without her support
 d. understands why she incited him to murder and then
went mad
Act V Quiz continued …
C 6. Macduff declares that he must kill Macbeth because
 a. the witches predicted that he would
 b. no one else can conquer Macbeth
 c. he must avenge his family members’ murders
 d. Macbeth otherwise will win the battle
Act V Quiz continued …
D 7. Macbeth finally realizes that the witches and
 a. told him the truth
 b. were figments of his imagination
 c. were committed to his best interests
 d. deceived him with ambiguous messages
Act V Quiz continued …
D 8. The play ends with the thanes acknowledging who as
Scotland’s new and lawful king?
 a. Macduff
 b. Ross
 c. Donalbain
 d. Malcolm
Act V Quiz continued …
A 9. All of the following images occur repeatedly in the
play except
 a. eggs
 b. daggers
 c. woods
 d. children
Act V Quiz continued …
C 10. Which of the following quotations from the play
contains figurative language?
 a. “Look, how she rubs her hands.”
 b. “Of all men else I have avoided thee.”
 c. “Life’s but a walking shadow.”
 d. “Of this dead butcher and his fiendlike queen . . .”
Act V Quiz continued …
B 11. reveals murders of Lady Macduff
a. Seyton
and the King
b. Lady Macbeth
D 12. reveals that Lady Macbeth has
c. the Messenger
d. the Doctor
A 13. reveals that Lady Macbeth is dead e. Malcolm
C 14. reveals that Birnam Wood is approaching
the castle
15. reveals that his supporters will be made
Act V Quiz continued …
16. Are the deaths of Lady Macbeth, Young Siward, and
Macbeth in Act V inevitable? Choose one of these three
characters. On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph
describing the circumstances of his or her death, and explain
whether you think the death was or was not inevitable and
Act V Quiz continued …
Possible Answers to 16:
•Lady Macbeth is driven mad by her guilt
and dies;
•Macbeth hears women wailing over her
death, and then
• Seyton tells him the queen is dead.
• Young Siward dies a noble
death; he is slain while
fighting and is an admired,
fearless Soldier.
•Macduff slays Macbeth in
the field after revealing that
he, Macduff, was “untimely”
taken from his mother’s

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