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LESSON TWELVE

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  1. LESSON TWELVE

  2. YOUR STARTER Based on what they have done in the play, what do you think should happen to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth at the end? Why? TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  3. READ ACT 5, SCENE 2 In this scene, Malcolm, Macduff, Siward and the English army approach Macbeth’s castle. We learn that many people ‘say he’s mad; other’s that lesser hate him/ Do valiant cry fury’ and that soldiers only obey him out of fear that they will be killed. What is the significance of this quotation: ‘does feel his title/Hang loose about him like a giant’s robe/ Upon a dwarfish thief’ (lines 20-22)What important information do we learn from this? What language could you zoom in on? TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  4. Significance of ACT 5, SCENE 2 Shakespeare moves us from the prospect of action at the close of Act 4 to the actual ‘hurly-burly’ of war – plans, preparations and advances. The rapid nature of the scene also structurally supports the idea of the battlefield. Shakespeare uses this scene to add tension in the build up to the climax We learn how desperate Macbeth’s situation is – nobody supports him Shakespeare’s mentions of Birnam Wood and Dunsinane remind the audience of the prophecies We see that the Scots as well as the English are involved in cleansing Scotland.

  5. READ ACT 5, SCENE 3 2. What does Macbeth expect instead of the things that old people wish for? What does this tell us about him? 1. In this speech, Macbeth lists four things that people hope for in old age. What are they? Why doesn’t he have them? Macbeth receives news that his army is deserting him. He recalls the witches prediction, and says ‘let them fly all; till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane,/ I cannot taint with fear’. He is not the face of calmness though, as he knows that the coming battle will either make or break him. He says that he’ll ‘fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked’. I have lived long enough. My way of life Is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf, And that which should accompany old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but in their stead, Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath Which the poor heart would fain deny, And dare not. 3. What does the language of this speech suggest about Macbeth’s outlook on life by this point in the play?

  6. Significance of ACT 5, SCENE 3 Shakespeare depicts Macbeth as fearless but also desperate – he has come to depend on his prophecies as his sole source of information and support. Shakespeare perhaps includes this as a warning to any would be usurper –he is tired of life as evidenced in his soliloquy: life has ‘fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf.’ He has lost his reason for living, meaning his life is withering and falling away like a leaf in Autumn. We see how Macbeth’s reign of terror extends to all those around him. His contempt for his servant and the doctor explain how his brutality has led to a lack of support. Shakespeare’s use of the doctor character suggests that Scotland itself needs healing.

  7. READ ACT 5, SCENE 4 Meanwhile, Malcolm orders the army to use branches from the trees to camouflage their approach to the castle.Why is this important, and what does it mean for Macbeth? TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  8. YOUR TASK: ACT 5, SCENE 5 At this point in the play, Macbeth’s hubristic nature is fully realised. What quotations can we pick out from the first lines of the scene that show Macbeth has lost all sense of fear? TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  9. YOUR TASK – ‘TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW’ What does Macbeth’s reaction to the news of his wife’s death tell you about how he is feeling at this point? MACBETH: She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. What is Macbeth saying about how the days pass? Is there a symbolic meaning to the ‘brief candle’ Macbeth mentions? Macbeth says life is an ‘illusion’ here. What does he mean? What is Macbeth saying about life? What is the metaphor Macbeth uses here? What does he compare life to?

  10. READ ACT 5, SCENE 6 Malcolm and his army approach the castle. He orders them to throw down their branches and storm the castle.Siward: Fare you well. Do we but find the tyrant’s power tonight, Let us be beaten if we cannot fight. TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  11. READ ACT 5, SCENE 7 In this scene, Macbeth is on the battle field and easily kills all who oppose him. He is confident and believes he cannot be killed. TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  12. READ ACT 5, SCENE 8 Macbeth’s ‘charmed life’ meets its end in this scene. How does Macbeth react to hearing that Macduff ‘was from his mother’s womb untimely ripped’? TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  13. READ ACT 5, SCENE 9 YOUR TASK In the final scene, Macduff arrives at the castle with Macbeth’s head and hails Malcolm the King of Scotland. Let’s talk through and highlight the key quotations… Pick apart Malcolm’s final speech, which closes the play. What are your thoughts? This is a tragedy, but is it a positive ending after all? TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  14. TO FINISH Who is more to blame for the events of the play, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth or the witches? Write your answer as a paragraph, ensuring you use quotations. Explain your ideas in depth and detail. TODAY’S KEY QUESTIONS: Can I read, understand and respond to texts? Can I consider the social and historical context of ‘Macbeth’ and discuss its significance? Can I analyse the language in a scene and explain its significance?

  15. RESOURCES

  16. MACBETH: She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. MACBETH: She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

  17. She would have died later anyway. That news was bound to come someday. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. The days creep slowly along until the end of time. And every day that’s already happened has taken fools that much closer to their deaths. Out, out, brief candle. Life is nothing more than an illusion. It’s like a poor actor who struts and worries for his hour on the stage and then is never heard from again. Life is a story told by an idiot, full of noise and emotional disturbance but devoid of meaning. She would have died later anyway. That news was bound to come someday. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. The days creep slowly along until the end of time. And every day that’s already happened has taken fools that much closer to their deaths. Out, out, brief candle. Life is nothing more than an illusion. It’s like a poor actor who struts and worries for his hour on the stage and then is never heard from again. Life is a story told by an idiot, full of noise and emotional disturbance but devoid of meaning.