Suggested Essay Topics

Act I
1. Macbeth struggles with his conscience and the fear of eternal damnation if he murders Duncan. Lady Macbeth’s conflict arises when Macbeth’s courage begins to falter. Lady Macbeth has great control over Macbeth’s actions. What tactics does she use to gain control over him? Cite examples from Act I. Does she solve her conflict through her actions? Cite examples from Act I.

2. Shakespeare begins Macbeth with Witches talking on a barren stretch of land in a thunder storm. This creates a certain atmosphere and mood. What images contributed to the evil atmosphere? Do you feel this mood continues through Act I? Did the actions and dialog of the main characters reinforce this atmosphere?

Act II
1. The Witches are characters that have a powerful impact on the play, but have very few lines. Banquo says that he cannot sleep because he is thinking about them. Macbeth says that he has not thought about them at all. How do the characters of Macbeth and Banquo differ and what influence have the Witches had on each character?

2. Macbeth is alone while Lady Macbeth returns the bloody daggers when he says, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red.” Lady Macbeth returns will blood on her hands as well. What does the blood symbolize? Cite examples from the play.


(The entire section is 472 words.)