Sunday, September 21, 2008

Macbeth -Act I,Scene VII

(Macbeth - Act I, Scene VII. Questions taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Macbeth published by National Publishing House.Suitable for ISC schools, class XI.If you have a query, please post a comment below.Leave your mail id if you need a personal response, else I will post the response on the blog.)


Lady Macbeth


Q1. Who is Macbeth addressing and where is he?
Here Macbeth is talking to himself. He has left the dinner table to without waiting for the king to complete his meal - which is not good manners. His mind is in turmoil. He does not know whether he should proceed to kill king Duncan or give up the plan. He feels that he should not proceed with the plan. This is because he feels that murdering king Duncan will not end the matter there. He feels that this issue would haunt him for the rest of his life. He also feels that there would be natural justice and he would be punished the same way (ie killed like Duncan). Besides Macbeth feel that as he was a cousin of King Duncan, his subject and his host he was duty bound to protect king Duncan and not put him to any kind of trouble.

Q2.There is a play on the word 'done' in the first line (pun). Explain the different meanings of the world as it is used here.
There is a pun on the word done. The first meaning of the word done refers to the act of killing king Duncan. The completion of the killing of king Duncan is one meaning of 'done'. The other meaning of "done" refers to the consequences of killing king Duncan. Macbeth wonders if the consequences of killing king Duncan would also be 'done' with the completion of the killing of Duncan. Macbeth feels that the consequnce of killing king Duncan would not be ' done ' with the killing of Duncan.

Q3.Explain he line 'could trammel up... success'.
This means that Macbeth thinks that if the consequences of killing king Duncan can be contained then it may be possible to execute the plan to kill him. He also thinks that not only must the consequences of the killing be contained but the plan to kill must be executed without failure.He knows that if his plan fails then the consequences of failure would be very dangerous.

Q4.What does macbeth mean by ' We'd jump the life to come"?
Here Macbeth means that he is not afraid of how he would face god on the day of judgement. He is worried about the time on earth after killing Duncan. He is worried about how people will judge him. He is not only worried about how people will treat him but is concerned that he may be treated the same way that he treats king Duncan, that he too may be killed in a similar manner.

Q5.Later in the speech Macbeth talks of "judgement here". What judgement does he mean?
By judgement here, Macbeth means the judgement of the people of the kingdom. He is afraid that he would lose his respect in the kingdom.Not only that he feels that people may treat him the same way that he treated king Duncan - that is, kill him.

Q1.Where is Duncan and why is he there?
King Duncan is at Macbeth's castle in Inverness. He is there to honour Macbeth for defeating enemy forces. He plans to spend the night at Macbeth's castle.

Q2.What "double trust" is Macbeth talking of?
Macbeth is not sure whether he should carry out his plan to kill king Duncan. He realizes that no only is king Duncan his cousin but he is also Macbeth's subject. Thus Macbeth feels that he should not betray this double trust in any manner.

Q3.Macbeth gives a third reason for not killing Duncan. What is it?
The third reason that Macbeth gives for not killing Duncan is that he is the host for the evening. Being the host, he is bound to protect and not harm his guest.

Q4.Pick out the simile in this speech and elaborate upon it.
The simile in this speech is '.. that his virtues will plead like angels". King Duncan was a virtuous king. He ruled his kingdom well. He took care of his subjects and the official of his kingdom. Therefore, Duncan feels that king Duncan was so virtuous that his virtues wills speak like angels in his favour. These virtues are so strong that it will take a lot of effort to attack king Duncan when he is unarmed and asleep.

Q1.Why is Lady Macbeth angry with Macbeth?
Lady Macbeth is angry with Macbeth because he is now reconsidering his plan to kill king Duncan.

Q2.What does Lady Macbeth consider 'ornament of life?
Lady Macbeth considers the crown of the King of Scotland as the ornament of life.

Q3.What adage is Lady Macbeth talking about? How does it apply to Macbeth?
The adage that Lady Macbeth is referring to is about the cat which wants to fish but does not want to get its paws wet. Lady Mabeth uses this old adage to tell Macbeth that Macbeth is like the cat. He wants the crown but does not want to take the effort in securing the crown for himself.

Q4.What does Macbeth say in answer to Lady Macbeth?
Macbeth answers that there is no man who can dare more than him.

Q5. What do we learn of Lady Macbeth's character from these lines?
From these lines that lady Macbeth has good understanding of a person's character. She knows what will provoke a man to act.She know the weakness of a person and is able to exploit these weaknesses. She knows what a person wants and what will make him act to fulfill those wants.

Q1.With which comparison does Lady Macbeth show Macbeth that she is firm in her intentions?
In order to show Macbeth that she is firm with her intention of killing king Duncan, Lady Macbeth tell Macbeth that if she were firm on her intention, then she would even kill her own new born baby no matter how helpless it was, in order to attain her goals.

Q2.What impression do you form of Lady Macbeth from these lines?
When Lady Macebth says that she would even kill her own new born baby in order to attain her ambitions, it becomes very clear that Lady Macbeth is a heartless woman who is ruthless, cunnning and will stop at nothing to attain here goals. This also means that she would betray anyone in order to get to her goals.

Q3. What is Macbeth afraid of "failing at"
Macbeth is afraid of failing at his attempt to kill king Duncan. Macbeth feels that if he fails in this attempt to kill king Duncan, then he will have to stand a trail by the people of Scotland and that he would completely lose all his standing and good-will in society.

Q4."We fail!" What feeling is Lady Macbeth conveying in this phrase?
The meaning that Lady Macbeth is conveying in this phase is that if they prepare right, they cannot fail.

Q5.Explain "screw" your courage to the sticking place and we'll not fail.
Lady Macbeth tell Macbeth that he must gather the required courage to execute his plans. She says that if he executes his plan courageously then he will not fail in the execution of his plans.

Q6.After listening to Lady Macbeth's brave words, what does Macbeth say?
Macbeth is inspired to carry out his plans after listining to Lady Macbeth's words. He is so inspired by Lady's Macbeths courage and fearlessness that he tell Lady Macbeth that she must give birth to boys only - for the boy's born to her will be manly and will be fearless.

Q1. Critically analyse Macbeth's soliloquy. What reason does he give for not murdering Duncan?
From Macbeth's soliloqy it is clear that Macbeth is not completely convinced that it is the right thing to kill King Duncan. The prediction of the witches that he would be the king of Scotland is weighing on his mind - yet he is not sure that he should hasten the natural course of events. He is not sure whether the murder of king Ducan would have a fallout which could lead to the popular opinion of the people of Scotland going against him. He says that the the king and the people of Scotand have bestowed many honours on him. He want to enjoy this honour and not squander it away. He feels that even though the guards of king Duncan will be blamed for the murder not everyone in the kingdom will believe this explanation. He fears that he may be put on trail for the murder. He think that god would punish him for this murder on the date of his final judgement but the people of Scotland will punish him sooner. He also believes that he too may be treated the same way that he treats king Duncan. Macbeth also realizes that as a subject of king Duncan,his cousin and his host for the night the has the responsibility of protecting king Ducan. Macbeth also realizes that king Ducan has been a just ruler. He has taken care of his people as well as of Macbeth. Thus, there is no real reason for him to kill king Duncan except for his ambition to become king of Scotland.

He thinks that becoming the king of Scotland is not adequate reason to kill the king of Scotland.

Q2.Compare Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in this scene?
In this scene, the behaviour of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is very contrasting. Macbeth initially doubts the correctness of his decision in attempting to kill king Duncan. He is not sure whether the murder of king Ducan would have a fallout which could lead to the popular opinion of the people of Scotland going against him. He says that the the king and the people of Scotand have bestowed many honours on him. He want to enjoy this honour and not squander it away. He feels that even though the guards of king Duncan will be blamed for the murder not everyone in the kingdom will believe this explanation. He fears that he may be put on trail for the murder. He thinks that god would punish him for this murder on the date of his final judgement but the people of Scotland will punish him sooner. He also believes that he too may be treated the same way that he treats king Duncan. Macbeth also realizes that as a subject of king Duncan,his cousin and his host for the night the has the responsibility of protecting king Ducan. Macbeth also realizes that king Ducan has been a just ruler. He has taken care of his people as well as of Macbeth. Thus, he feels, there is no real reason for him to kill king Duncan except for his ambition to become king of Scotland.

We can see in this scene that Macbeth is vacillating in his intention to kill king Duncan. The goodness of Macbeth's character is also visible in places. He is not all evil and ruthless. He is not single minded in his ambition to become king. He is respectful of the fact that king Duncan has treated him and rewarded him well. He does not want to over look this fact.If he could, he wants to give up his plan to kill king Duncan.

However, Lady Macbeth is a complelty contrasting character. She is the evil force which compels Macbeth into executing the evil plan to kill King Duncan. When Macbeth wants to give up his plan she uses her devious abilities to remind Macbeth,
"was the hope drunk wherein you dress'd yourself? She told Macbeth 'screw your courage to the sticking place". She motivated Macbeth by telling him that she would even kill her own new born baby in order to accomplish her objectives.Thus Macbeth was not all evil. He had a moderate side to him. However, Lady Macbeth was the force behind the evil deeds of Macbeth

3 comments:

manju said...

i appreciate all ur question answers for julius caesar
but unfortunately you have not posted the act 2 sc1, 2 and 3
i would appreciate if you could post that too as it is helping me a lot.
also if you could send the answers of the poem KING CANUTE icse std 10th ( whispers of immortality )
i would be highly grateful
my e mail id is varnamaaya@yahoo.co.in
thank you once again

Rama said...

Will try to complete the missing scenes in the next 8-10 days. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Sir i also post answers and topics on Macbeth on my blog iscexamnotes.blogspot.com
I wud like to exchange links wid u for mutual benefit.