Macbeth Suggested Essay Topics
by William Shakespeare

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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.

1. There is a turning point in Act III, Scene 4. What is that turning point and how do you think Macbeth will respond throughout the rest of the drama? Cite examples from the play.

2. Compare and contrast the murders of Banquo and Duncan. How does the murder of Banquo show the change in Macbeth?

Act IV
1. What is the symbolic purpose of each...

(The entire section is 472 words.)