Macbeth Act 5 Study Guide

What do the doctor and gentlewoman see Lady Macbeth doing? What do they decide to do?
She is sleepwalking and talking about the murders. The doctor decides his best move is to not mention that he heard anything, and he tells the woman to keep an eye on Lady Macbeth.
•This is rather ironic, considering she was the one who told Macbeth to wash his hands and forget about it. She had no problem with these actions then, but now her conscious has caught up with her!

What three things does she recall while she is doing this?
murder of Duncan, murder of Banquo, murder of Lady Macduff and her children

What does Macbeth want the doctor to do for his wife?
He wants the doctor to ease her suffering, to give her something to make her oblivious to her weighty troubles.

What do we learn about the English forces opposing Macbeth from Menteith and Lennox at the beginning of scene two? (such as the leaders, the reason they fight, the age of the troops)
led by Malcolm, Old Siward, & Macduff
•fight for revenge (for their country & countrymen (and Macduff for his family)
•”unrough youths” = beardless — They’re young and inexperienced soldiers. (This point is important to note because it makes the audience assume they will not be much of a problem for Macbeth and his troops.)

In scene two, Caithness and Angus reveal what the people and the troops think of Macbeth, as well as how he is handling his position . What are they saying about him (especially lines 12-22)?
Most think he’s crazy; those who support him think his anger is justified. It is well known that he must be responsible for the murders, and that he has been unable to fill the role of king. (clothing motif: belt & giant’s robe comparisons)

What trick does Malcolm use to hide the number of men in his army?
He has his men cut off tree branches and use them as camouflage.

Malcolm says, “And none serve with him but constrained things Whose hearts are absent, too.” What does that mean?
Macbeth’s armies are there in body only, not in spirit, and there should not be any serious opposition.

What is Macbeth’s state of mind before he hears Birnam Wood is moving?
frenzied, boastful, fearless—He believes nothing can harm him based upon the witches prophesies.

What is Macbeth’s reaction to Lady Macbeth’s death?
He takes it very calmly, saying she would have died sooner or later, anyway.

10. What comparison to life does Macbeth make in the “Tomorrow” soliloquy as he reflects Macbeth’s life?
to a player on stage whose part is soon over and forgotten (We play our parts, but when that part is over, there is no more and no purpose to our lives.)

What is Macbeth’s reaction to the news that Birnam Wood is moving?
Arm, arm, and out!” He’s going to fight to the bitter end and take down the whole universe with him, if necessary.

Who first fights Macbeth? What happens?
Young Siward fights Macbeth and is slain.

Macbeth says to Macduff, “But get thee back, my soul is too much charged With blood of thine already.” To what is he referring?
Macbeth doesn’t want to fight Macduff; he has already killed Macduff’s family.

When does Macbeth know he’s in trouble?
He knows this is his end when Macduff tells him he was taken from his mother’s womb instead of being “born of woman.”

How does Macbeth die? Does he retain any admirable characteristics? Explain.
Macduff fights him and beheads him. He dies fighting like a soldier, instead of giving up, even though he is aware the prophesies have turned against him. In that way, he retains some of that which made him great in the beginning of the play.

How does Lady Macbeth die?
She commits suicide. (learn this in the final speech, not when Macbeth hears news of her death)

Who will be King of Scotland?
Malcolm will be king.