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Macbeth Lesson Plan
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Teachers and professors: Get the most from your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for Shakespeare's Macbeth. This lesson plan offers clear guidance to Shakespeare's language, comprehensive character analyses, and navigation through the play's primary themes, including the danger of unchecked ambition and the destructive nature of tyranny. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- What is the point of the first scene of Macbeth literally and in reference to the whole play? Literally, the witches are deciding when they shall meet again. This scene sets the mood for the entire play, and introduces several major motifs: the witches (supernatural influences in the play), the idea of fair being foul, and the stormy fate of Scotland. The main character, Macbeth, is also introduced by name.
- What does Duncan call Macbeth when he hears Macbeth has defeated Macdonwald? He calls him "valiant Cousin! Worthy gentleman!" This is ironic, being said to the man who will be his murderer.
- What do the witches predict in I.iii for Macbeth? For Banquo? They predict Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and eventually the king. They predict that Banquo will be "lesser than Macbeth, and greater, Not so happy, and yet happier" and that his descendants will be kings although he will not be one.
- Banquo, like Macbeth, is surprised that the witches have predicted Macbeth's new title. He is, however, leery. What does he say about the motives of the "instruments of darkness"? He says they often tell of good things which may happen without telling the bad consequences.
- Malcolm describes Cawdor's last moments before execution. What is Duncan's reply in Macbeth? You can't tell what is in a person's heart by looking at his face.
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eNotes is pleased to offer Teacher's Pet Publication LitPlans, the most complete literature lesson plans available to teachers and educators everywhere. Since 1989, these lesson plans have undergone extensive development based on the experience and feedback of teachers all over the world. We have more than 115 lesson plans available for download on the most widely-read books and plays, including this lesson plan for William Shakespeare's Macbeth.