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Reading Shakespeare: Macbeth (5) - Macbeth's Dagger Soliloquy (Act II, Scene 1)

In this worksheet, students will analyse the language of Macbeth's soliloquy in Act II, Scene 1 in 'Macbeth'.

'Reading Shakespeare: Macbeth (5) - Macbeth's Dagger Soliloquy (Act II, Scene 1)' 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

In this activity you will look at Macbeth's soliloquy in Act II, Scene 1 in Shakespeare's Macbeth. The soliloquy takes place before Macbeth goes to murder King Duncan. He imagines that he sees a dagger in the air in front of him...

Stiletto, vintage engraved illustration. Dictionary of Words and Things - Larive and Fleury - 1895 - stock vector

Read his soliloquy and then answer the following questions.

 

MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,

She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

Exit Servant

 

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?

I see thee yet, in form as palpable

As this which now I draw.

Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;

And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,

Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,

And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,

Which was not so before. There's no such thing:

It is the bloody business which informs

Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one halfworld

Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse

The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates

Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd murder,

Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,

Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.

With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design

Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,

Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear

Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,

And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives:

Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

A bell rings

 

I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.

Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell

That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

Exit

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