Macbeth Study Guide Honors English 12 Mrs. Danner Here are the essay questions from which you may choose: Choose one of the following essay questions to answer on your own paper. (FYI-These are responses to literature!) 1. Macbeth is a complex man. Discuss how Shakespeare develops his character and personality. Use examples from the play. 2. Who bears the most responsibility for the tragic events in Macbeth, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, or the witches? Explain in what terms you are looking at the question, and then write an essay using examples from the text to support your response. 3. In his essay on Macbeth in Shakespeare, Mark Van Doren says, “For sleep in Shakespeare is ever the privilege of the good and the reward of the innocent.” Discuss whether Shakespeare’s use of the sleep supports this contention. Do you see any other significance to the way Shakespeare uses sleep in this play? Support your argument with examples from the play. You may bring this with you in its completed form. Meaning, go ahead and write it now. In addition to covering basic understanding of the play, there will be questions about the motifs of blood, hands, sleep, night, foul, and fair. These ideas, images, etc. appear repeatedly in the play for a reason. What is that reason? What does each add to the development of the story or the demise of our good friend Macbeth? Think also about Macbeth’s tragic flaw. Regardless of whom you believe to bear the primary responsibility, you have to admit that this is what finally brought about his untimely demise. A tragic flaw is the flaw that leads to a character’s destruction. Sometimes tragic heroes are the topic of such discussions when the hero is dead or destroyed at the end of the story. I don’t think we have to worry about Macbeth’s heroic qualities. If you think he has some, maybe we need to worry more about you. Email me with any questions that you have.
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