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Essay and Discussion Questions
1. What arguments does the play make about leadership? What makes a good leader, and why?
Does Macbeth have any leadership qualities?
2. Shakespeare explores the theme of free will vs. destiny throughout the play. In the end, for which side does he argue? How does the character Macbeth try to utilize both?
3. Macbeth devolves from an ambitious warrior to an impassive murderer. Describe three key moments in the text that lead directly to his downfall.
4. What is the connection between guilt and madness in Macbeth? Are the two linked in our world today?
5. Even before he kills Duncan, Macbeth fears repercussions from Scotland’s people. What role does Macbeth’s paranoia play in his downfall? Can you think of other leaders or public figures who have been afflicted by the same paranoia?
6. What roles are women and men supposed to play in the world of Macbeth? How do they resist those roles, and why?
7. Examine the play’s pacing. How does it change from Act One to Act Five, and what effect does the change of pace produce?
8. Macbeth is often associated with the colors red and black. Where are each of these colors introduced into the play? What might they represent?
9. What is the motivation...
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