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I need to write a report on "Macbeth." May I have some remarkable tips please!?My...

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aessy | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 26, 2009 at 12:49 AM via web

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I need to write a report on "Macbeth." May I have some remarkable tips please!?

My teacher said that I have to write a report and it has to be perfect; she said that there are three things I must keep in mind:

1. A strong beginning.

2. Giving a small summary but has to cover all the main points.

3. It must be really representative.

Please help!

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mrpoirier | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 26, 2009 at 7:07 AM (Answer #1)

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I've taught Macbeth for several years and I think that you should have no problem with this.  Here are my tips.

The short summary should be no problem.  Macbeth starts out as a really great guy.  He's a fearless and loyal subject to the king.  He loves his wife--and she him.  However, when the witches enter the picture, things change.  He is tempted with power and tricked into thinking that the witches' prophecies will come true.  The problem is that they do come true, but not in the way Macbeth or his wife imagined.  The moral of the story has to do with greed and power.  It drives him to kill his best friend and many others for selfish purposes, but it also drives him insane in the process and, ultimately, destroys him.  Not to mention the fact that his wife commits suicide because she can't live with the guilt and can't (metaphorically) wash the blood off of her hands.

As for the body of the paper, I would focus on three main points and discuss how Macbeth changes from a great a loyal subject into a power hungry monster.  Your first paragraph should use quotations from the beginning of the play that speak about his valor and loyalty to the king.  Then, I would take the second paragraph to discuss the witches and the temptations of their prophecies.  This drives him to kill his best friend Banquo.  Finally, in the last body paragraph, I would talk about the witches' last three prophecies.  This is when Macbeth as well as Lady Macbeth truly lose it.

I would conclude with some broad statement about the danger of greed and how it can destroy peoples lives.

I hope this helps.  Remember, include at least one quotation from the text in each body paragraph.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 26, 2009 at 9:34 AM (Answer #2)

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In keeping with mrpoirier's point that you want to explain how Macbeth changes from the loyal subject to the preternaturally ambitious creature, you may wish to focus on the influence of the supernatural world of the witches.  For, in accepting their predictions, Macbeth ignores the warnings of Banquo (I,iii,124) and accepts the powers of darkness, as does his wife, Lady Macbeth who calls upon the supernatural world to "unsex" her (I,v,41).  For, it is once Macbeth gives his alliances with the preternatural world that he commits his tragic mistake, much like Faustus who sells his soul to the devil for ambition and success: "Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself/And falls on th'other" (I,vii,27-28). 

With this main idea in mind, a strong beginning might start with the quote from the witches in Act IV, Scene I as you demonstrate how their chant becomes true: 

Double, double, toil and trouble;/Fire burn and caldron bubble (IV,i,37-38)

Or, you could start with Macbeth's words, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen" (I,iii,38), tying this into the delusion of Macbeth that aligning himself with the preternatural world will bring him success.

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