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Reading Shakespeare: Macbeth (4) - Macbeth is Persuaded (Act I, Scene 7)

In this worksheet, students will explore the important themes of Act I, Scene 7 in 'Macbeth'.

'Reading Shakespeare: Macbeth (4) - Macbeth is Persuaded (Act I, Scene 7)' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Set, Plot and Character Awareness

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this worksheet you will explore Act I, Scene 7 of Macbeth. In this scene Duncan is staying in the castle as a guest of the Macbeths but they have planned to kill him. Macbeth, however, needs some persuading...

 

Read the opening speech by Macbeth in which he considers the reasons for and against murdering Duncan. 

 

MACBETH: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well

It were done quickly: if the assassination

Could trammel up the consequence, and catch

With his surcease success; that but this blow

Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,

We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases

We still have judgment here; that we but teach

Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return

To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice

Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice

To our own lips. He's here in double trust;

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,

Who should against his murderer shut the door,

Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against

The deep damnation of his taking-off;

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,

Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed

Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

And falls on the other.

 

What do we call this kind of speech where thoughts are spoken out loud to the audience?

argument

soliloquy

an address

Now re-read the soliloquy again and match the lines with their meaning below.

 

MACBETH: 

 

 

 

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well

It were done quickly: if the assassination

Could trammel up the consequence, and catch

With his surcease success; that but this blow

1

 

 

 

Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,

We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases

We still have judgment here; that we but teach

Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return

5
 

To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice

Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice

To our own lips. He's here in double trust;

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,

10
 

Who should against his murderer shut the door,

Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against

15
 

The deep damnation of his taking-off;

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,

Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed

Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

20
 

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

And falls on the other.

25

Column A

Column B

lines 1-2
If I'm going to murder Duncan then the sooner the ...
lines 2-12
I have so much ambition driving me on.
lines 13-14
I'm worried about what will happen to me after I d...
lines 14-16
As a host I should be protecting Duncan, not killi...
lines 16-20
Duncan trusts me as his kinsman and subject.
lines 21-25
Duncan has been such a good king that whoever kill...
lines 25-28
What I am about to do is so awful that the angels ...

After Macbeth delivers his soliloquy he gets cold feet... Read the next part of the scene and answer the following questions.

 

MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

We will proceed no further in this business:

He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought

Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,

Not cast aside so soon.

 

LADY MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? From this time

Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valour

As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that

Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,

And live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'

Like the poor cat i' the adage?

 

MACBETH:

 

 

 

Prithee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man;

Who dares do more is none.

 

LADY MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What beast was't, then,

That made you break this enterprise to me?

When you durst do it, then you were a man;

And, to be more than what you were, you would

Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place

Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:

They have made themselves, and that their fitness now

Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know

How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,

And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you

Have done to this.

 

What reason does Macbeth give to Lady Macbeth as to why he has changed his mind?

He is too scared.

He doesn't want to become King.

He has been honoured by Duncan and is enjoying all the good opinions people have of him and doesn't want to throw this away too soon.

Lady Macbeth is angry that he has changed his mind and accuses Macbeth of being a coward and of not loving her. 

Read the following quotations from her response to Macbeth and tick the ones where Lady Macbeth refers to being a coward.

"wakes it now to look so green and pale"

"From this time such I account thy love"

"Art thou afeard to be the same..."

"Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st"

"live a coward in thine own esteem"

To convince him to go ahead with the murder, Lady Macbeth comes up with a plan to kill Duncan:

 

MACBETH:

 

If we should fail?

 

LADY MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We fail!

But screw your courage to the sticking-place,

And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep--

Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey

Soundly invite him--his two chamberlains

Will I with wine and wassail so convince

That memory, the warder of the brain,

Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason

A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep

Their drenched natures lie as in a death,

What cannot you and I perform upon

The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon

His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt

Of our great quell?

 

 

Look at the details of the plan below and put them in the correct order.

Column A

Column B

1
They will wait until Duncan is asleep.
2
Lady Macbeth will give the king's guards wine.
3
Everyone will blame the guards.
4
They will pass out through drunkenness.
5
While the guards are asleep, they will murder King...

Lady Macbeth finally persuades Macbeth to go ahead with the murder. What line from his final words in this scene confirm this?

 

MACBETH:

 

 

 

I am settled, and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show:

False face must hide what the false heart doth know. 

I am settled, and bend up...

Away, and mock the time...

False face must hide...

What does Macbeth's final line in this scene mean?

 

MACBETH:

(...) False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

We must show the truth at all times.

We must not show our faces and hide.

We must maintain a false appearance and hide the truth.

Lady Macbeth is making it seem like the murder will be easy. For her plan to work, which of the following things must happen? Which things do not have to happen? 

 Has to happen Does not have to happen
Macbeth stabs the king
The moon shines all night
King Duncan falls asleep
The guards get drunk
The rooster crows
  • Question 1

Read the opening speech by Macbeth in which he considers the reasons for and against murdering Duncan. 

 

MACBETH: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well

It were done quickly: if the assassination

Could trammel up the consequence, and catch

With his surcease success; that but this blow

Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,

We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases

We still have judgment here; that we but teach

Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return

To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice

Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice

To our own lips. He's here in double trust;

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,

Who should against his murderer shut the door,

Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against

The deep damnation of his taking-off;

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,

Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed

Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

And falls on the other.

 

What do we call this kind of speech where thoughts are spoken out loud to the audience?

CORRECT ANSWER
soliloquy
EDDIE SAYS
It is a soliloquy when it is a character speaking their thoughts out loud to the audience.
  • Question 2

Now re-read the soliloquy again and match the lines with their meaning below.

 

MACBETH: 

 

 

 

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well

It were done quickly: if the assassination

Could trammel up the consequence, and catch

With his surcease success; that but this blow

1

 

 

 

Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,

We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases

We still have judgment here; that we but teach

Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return

5
 

To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice

Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice

To our own lips. He's here in double trust;

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,

10
 

Who should against his murderer shut the door,

Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against

15
 

The deep damnation of his taking-off;

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,

Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed

Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

20
 

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

And falls on the other.

25
CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

lines 1-2
If I'm going to murder Duncan the...
lines 2-12
I'm worried about what will happe...
lines 13-14
Duncan trusts me as his kinsman a...
lines 14-16
As a host I should be protecting ...
lines 16-20
Duncan has been such a good king ...
lines 21-25
What I am about to do is so awful...
lines 25-28
I have so much ambition driving m...
EDDIE SAYS
1 - 2 = If I'm going to murder Duncan then the sooner the better.
2-12 = I'm worried about what will happen to me in the afterlife if I commit murder.
13-14 = Duncan trusts me as his kinsman and subject.
14-16 = As a host I should be protecting Duncan, not killing him.
16-20= Duncan has been such a good king that whoever kills him will be damned for eternity.
21-25 = What I am about to do is so awful that the angels will tell everyone what I have done.
25-28= I have so much ambition driving me on.
  • Question 3

After Macbeth delivers his soliloquy he gets cold feet... Read the next part of the scene and answer the following questions.

 

MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

We will proceed no further in this business:

He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought

Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,

Not cast aside so soon.

 

LADY MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? From this time

Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valour

As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that

Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,

And live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'

Like the poor cat i' the adage?

 

MACBETH:

 

 

 

Prithee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man;

Who dares do more is none.

 

LADY MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What beast was't, then,

That made you break this enterprise to me?

When you durst do it, then you were a man;

And, to be more than what you were, you would

Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place

Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:

They have made themselves, and that their fitness now

Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know

How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,

And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you

Have done to this.

 

What reason does Macbeth give to Lady Macbeth as to why he has changed his mind?

CORRECT ANSWER
He has been honoured by Duncan and is enjoying all the good opinions people have of him and doesn't want to throw this away too soon.
EDDIE SAYS
The reason Macbeth gives Lady Macbeth is that he has been honoured by Duncan and is enjoying all the good opinions people have of him and doesn't want to throw this away too soon.
  • Question 4

Lady Macbeth is angry that he has changed his mind and accuses Macbeth of being a coward and of not loving her. 

Read the following quotations from her response to Macbeth and tick the ones where Lady Macbeth refers to being a coward.

CORRECT ANSWER
"wakes it now to look so green and pale"
"Art thou afeard to be the same..."
"live a coward in thine own esteem"
EDDIE SAYS
Correct answers are:
"wakes it now to look so green and pale"
"Art thou afeard to be the same..."
"live a coward in thine own esteem"
  • Question 5

To convince him to go ahead with the murder, Lady Macbeth comes up with a plan to kill Duncan:

 

MACBETH:

 

If we should fail?

 

LADY MACBETH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We fail!

But screw your courage to the sticking-place,

And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep--

Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey

Soundly invite him--his two chamberlains

Will I with wine and wassail so convince

That memory, the warder of the brain,

Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason

A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep

Their drenched natures lie as in a death,

What cannot you and I perform upon

The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon

His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt

Of our great quell?

 

 

Look at the details of the plan below and put them in the correct order.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

1
They will wait until Duncan is as...
2
Lady Macbeth will give the king's...
3
They will pass out through drunke...
4
While the guards are asleep, they...
5
Everyone will blame the guards.
EDDIE SAYS
1 = They will wait until Duncan is asleep.
2 = Lady Macbeth will give the king's guards wine.
3 = They will pass out through drunkenness.
4 = While the guards are asleep, they will murder King Duncan.
5 = Everyone will blame the guards.
  • Question 6

Lady Macbeth finally persuades Macbeth to go ahead with the murder. What line from his final words in this scene confirm this?

 

MACBETH:

 

 

 

I am settled, and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show:

False face must hide what the false heart doth know. 

CORRECT ANSWER
I am settled, and bend up...
EDDIE SAYS
The line that shows he is prepared to go ahead with the murder is: "I am settled and bend up..."
  • Question 7

What does Macbeth's final line in this scene mean?

 

MACBETH:

(...) False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

CORRECT ANSWER
We must maintain a false appearance and hide the truth.
EDDIE SAYS
"False face must hide what the false heart doth know" means we must maintain a false appearance and hide the truth.
  • Question 8

Lady Macbeth is making it seem like the murder will be easy. For her plan to work, which of the following things must happen? Which things do not have to happen? 

CORRECT ANSWER
 Has to happen Does not have to happen
Macbeth stabs the king
The moon shines all night
King Duncan falls asleep
The guards get drunk
The rooster crows
---- OR ----

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