Tuesday, May 24, 2011


1. What misgivings does Macbeth have and why? Note where they appear, by Act, scene, and line number(s)?
2. Why is Fleance's presence on stage so important in the play in Act II, i?
3. How does Banquo, in lines 15-20, 24-26, 33, 36-39, intensify the dramatic action of Act II,i?  (These are on page 51.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Virtuous Macbeth (Act I)

Post what you have found in Act I that reflects admirably on Macbeth's character.
Include who says the words, as well as the page and line number(s) on which they appear.
You may wish to go to youtube, and watch the interview with the porter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MACBETH Act I, v, vi, vii

Below:  John Singer Sargent's
Who is this woman?
Why does she say what she does in her soliloquy?
Why does she speak to her husband the way she does?
What does she think are Macbeth's vulnerabilities?
Discuss this woman's affect upon her husband.
Why does Macbeth refuse to do what his wife asks?
Why does he change his mind and commit himself to her planned regicide?
How have the Weird Sisters influenced Macbeth's decision?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

MACBETH Act I, iii, iv

Macbeth: Speak, if you can. What are you?
Witches:  All hail, Macbeth!
(click on for larger image)

    I, iii
      Explain what has annoyed the first witch? 
How does she get her revenge?
With what mythological women might the three “weird sisters” be   
  compared? (Note that the Anglo-Saxon word, “wyrd,” meant “fate.”) 
Explain the significance of Macbeth’s first line in the play.
Compare this line with the witches’ second last line in scene one.
What three titles do the witches apply to Macbeth?

Glamis Castle
Ruins of the Ancient Inverness Castle
According to Banquo, what is Macbeth’s reaction to these titles?      
Why does Banquo request something from the weird sisters?
What is a “paradox”?  Explain the paradoxical answers which the witches
What else does Macbeth ask the witches?  Why does he ask this?
Why does Macbeth remind Banquo that his children shall be Kings?   
What news does Ross bring Macbeth?  Name two things. 
What is indicated about Banquo’s opinion of the second part of Ross’  
   news, by his words, “What, can the devil speak true?”
Why was the first Thane of Cawdor stripped of his tile
What does Banquo suggest about the nature of the witches’ prophecies?
Paraphrase Macbeth’s aside speech, which begins, “Two truths are told”
    and ends, “…chance may crown me/ without my stir.”
Identify the line which shows Macbeth may have previously thought of
    being King?
Explain the book imagery in Macbeth’s second last speech in the scene.
What excuse does Macbeth provide for his inattention to the other men?
   I, iv
     What concerns Duncan at the beginning of the scene? Why?
     What did the Thane of Cawdor do before he died?
     Paraphrase Duncan’s comment, “There’s no art…face.”
     What does Duncan mean by “More… can pay”?
     How does Macbeth respond to Duncan’s gratitude? 
     Explain the imagery in Duncan’s next speech (to Macbeth).
     What important announcement does Duncan make about Malcolm?  Why
    is this of concern to Macbeth? 
     Why is Duncan going to Inverness?
     Why does Macbeth say he will go there at once?
     Contrast Macbeth’s attitude toward the third prophecy at the end of    
          Scene 4 with his attitude at the end of Scene 3.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MACBETH Act I, i , ii

Act I, i
1. When does the power of a witch increase? Why?
2. When do the three witches plan to meet again?
3. With whom and where will this meeting take place?
4. Why does Shakespeare employ verbal opposites in this scene?
5. How is the natural order of things treated in the witches' incantations?
6. What mood do the witches, what they say, and the and thunder and  lightning establish at the outset of the play?   
7. Why do you think this scene is so short?
Act I, ii
1. What do we learn from the bloody captain?
2. Who is Macdonwald and what has he done?
3. What has been done to him, and by whom?
4. What do we learn from Ross and Angus?
5. Name the rebel, the traitor, and the foreign king causing King Duncan problems. 
6. How does King Duncan reward Macbeth for his services to the crown? (What are these services?)
7. What words (almost epithets) are used to describe Macbeth?
8. Why do you think there is such extensive conversation about Macbeth before he appears on stage?
9. Why is Duncan himself not involved in the fighting?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Get to bed early
Get to school by 7:00 AM and go to room 440
Conserve your energy for Part Two of the Exam
Keep track of time
Read and follow the instructions
Mark up the Exam Booklet as you read it
Pay attention to the literary devices you are told to comment on
Have confidence in your thoughts
Make citations from the texts to support your thoughts
Write about what you understand in detail
Keep you pen moving and write like an angel

A VERY DIFFERENT TIGER in the poetic tradition

         The Tygre
               William Blake 1794
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies                         5
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?             10
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet? 

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp                 15
Dare its deadly terrors clasp? 

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?       20

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?               


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" CONNOTATION

Aunt Jennifer's Tigers  by Adrienne Rich

Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.

Aunt Jennifer's fingers fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand.

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.

How is the poem structured? (stanzas 1,2, and 3) What happens in each?
Why is the personae of Aunt Jennifer's neice used as a voice?
Which words have pregnant meanings beyond the text?
How are we made to understand the relationship between Aunt Jennifer and her husband?
What do these tigers represent?
What is this poem's subtext?
Why is both the object Aunt Jennifer created as well as Aunt Jennifer the sunject of this poem.
Why is the poem entitled "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers?
How do the the rhyme scheme and other poetic devices such as alliteration contribute to the poems' effectiveness?