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Reading Shakespeare: Macbeth (7) - After the Murder (Act III, Scene 2)

In this worksheet, students read Act III, Scene 2 from 'Macbeth' and analyse how Shakespeare presents his ideas to have an impact on the reader.

'Reading Shakespeare: Macbeth (7) - After the Murder (Act III, Scene 2)' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Pearson Edexcel, Eduqas, OCR

Curriculum topic:   Shakespeare

Curriculum subtopic:   Macbeth

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Read this extract from Shakespeare's Macbeth. It is taken from Act III, Scene 2, after Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have successfully killed King Duncan.

 

LADY MACBETH:

Naught's had, all's spent,

Where our desire is got without content.

'Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

 

Enter MACBETH

 

How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone,

Of sorriest fancies your companions making,

Using those thoughts which should indeed have died

With them they think on? Things without all remedy

Should be without regard. What's done is done.

 

MACBETH:

We have scorched the snake, not killed it.

She'll close and be herself whilst our poor malice

Remains in danger of her former tooth.

But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,

Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep

In the affliction of these terrible dreams

That shake us nightly...


 

In this worksheet you will be asked questions on the extract above. If you need to read the extract again, you can do so by clicking on the Help button above the question.

When Lady Macbeth says: "Naught's had, all's spent" what do you think she means?

She is bankrupt.

She has what she wanted, but she's still not happy.

She is happy with the fact that Duncan is dead.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have, together, successfully killed King Duncan. They are more powerful now and can seek greater influence without anyone stopping them. However, they are not happy. Both complain of "dwelling in doubtful joy" and "terrible dreams".

What message is Shakespeare trying to tell us here? Which of the following proverbs sums it up?

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Be careful what you wish for, because it might come true.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

In the extract, when Lady Macbeth is alone, she admits to feeling depressed and unhappy with the way things have turned out. However, this changes when Macbeth enters. How does she act when Macbeth is there, too?

Choose three phrases which could be a modern version of what she says.

There's no point worrying about the past.

Why are you moping about?

You should talk more about your feelings.

You can't do anything about it now.

I am feeling down, too.

Macbeth thinks that they are in great danger. He fears that people will find out what they have done and try to kill them. He thinks about it all the time and it affects his eating and sleeping.

 

Read this sentence and write the entire missing word in the answer box below:

When people feel like this, we say that they are p______________.

Why do you think that Lady Macbeth hides how she really feels from Macbeth? 

because he is weaker than she is so she has to be strong for him

because he might leave her if she admits she is unhappy

because she always lies to him

Macbeth uses a metaphor. He says: "We have scorched the snake, not killed it"

 

Who or what does the snake represent?

King Duncan

King Duncan's desendants

Macduff

Read this student's work. Which quotation is the best one to fill the gap? 

 

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are suffering as a result of their actions: "_____________________". They thought the murder would be easy, and although it was, they are left with the consequences which will change their lives forever.

What's done is done

We have scorched the snake

Affliction of these terrible dreams

Read this student's work. Which is the best quotation to fill the gap? 

 

Although privately, Lady Macbeth admits that she is struggling with how things are turning out, in front of Macbeth she remains confident: " ___________________". This attitude is designed to convince Macbeth that they have done the right thing and to move forward together.

What's done is done

We have scorched the snake

Affliction of these terrible dreams

Match up the Shakespearian language in the text with a modern day version.

Column A

Column B

naught
nothing
dwell
live
fancies
fall apart
malice
thoughts
disjoint
hatred

Choose three of the following statements which could be applied to the extract we have looked at in this worksheet.

Shakespeare creates complex characters.

Shakespeare hates people with lots of power.

Shakespeare tells us that being rich or powerful won't make you happy.

Shakespeare's women are as important as his male characters.

Shakespeare only creates evil and manipulate female characters.

  • Question 1

When Lady Macbeth says: "Naught's had, all's spent" what do you think she means?

CORRECT ANSWER
She has what she wanted, but she's still not happy.
EDDIE SAYS
Lady Macbeth has had what she wanted, but she's still not happy.
  • Question 2

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have, together, successfully killed King Duncan. They are more powerful now and can seek greater influence without anyone stopping them. However, they are not happy. Both complain of "dwelling in doubtful joy" and "terrible dreams".

What message is Shakespeare trying to tell us here? Which of the following proverbs sums it up?

CORRECT ANSWER
Be careful what you wish for, because it might come true.
EDDIE SAYS
The best proverb is: Be careful what you wish for, because it might come true.
  • Question 3

In the extract, when Lady Macbeth is alone, she admits to feeling depressed and unhappy with the way things have turned out. However, this changes when Macbeth enters. How does she act when Macbeth is there, too?

Choose three phrases which could be a modern version of what she says.

CORRECT ANSWER
There's no point worrying about the past.
Why are you moping about?
You can't do anything about it now.
  • Question 4

Macbeth thinks that they are in great danger. He fears that people will find out what they have done and try to kill them. He thinks about it all the time and it affects his eating and sleeping.

 

Read this sentence and write the entire missing word in the answer box below:

When people feel like this, we say that they are p______________.

CORRECT ANSWER
paranoid
EDDIE SAYS
When people feel like this, we say that they are paranoid.
  • Question 5

Why do you think that Lady Macbeth hides how she really feels from Macbeth? 

CORRECT ANSWER
because he is weaker than she is so she has to be strong for him
EDDIE SAYS
She hides her feelings because he is weaker than she is so she has to be strong for him.
  • Question 6

Macbeth uses a metaphor. He says: "We have scorched the snake, not killed it"

 

Who or what does the snake represent?

CORRECT ANSWER
King Duncan's desendants
EDDIE SAYS
Although Duncan is dead, Macbeth fears that they have left themselves open to attack from his desendants and rightful heirs.
  • Question 7

Read this student's work. Which quotation is the best one to fill the gap? 

 

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are suffering as a result of their actions: "_____________________". They thought the murder would be easy, and although it was, they are left with the consequences which will change their lives forever.

CORRECT ANSWER
Affliction of these terrible dreams
EDDIE SAYS
The best quotation is "Affliction of these terrible dreams".
  • Question 8

Read this student's work. Which is the best quotation to fill the gap? 

 

Although privately, Lady Macbeth admits that she is struggling with how things are turning out, in front of Macbeth she remains confident: " ___________________". This attitude is designed to convince Macbeth that they have done the right thing and to move forward together.

CORRECT ANSWER
What's done is done
  • Question 9

Match up the Shakespearian language in the text with a modern day version.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

naught
nothing
dwell
live
fancies
thoughts
malice
hatred
disjoint
fall apart
  • Question 10

Choose three of the following statements which could be applied to the extract we have looked at in this worksheet.

CORRECT ANSWER
Shakespeare creates complex characters.
Shakespeare tells us that being rich or powerful won't make you happy.
Shakespeare's women are as important as his male characters.
---- OR ----

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