In previous classes students have been watching the film, Macbeth, and are at the point where Macbeth has just killed Duncan and Lady Macbeth has left the bloody daggers with the sleeping guards to implicate them.

Before we watch any further, make sure you look out for:

  • the occurrence of the supernatural
  • instances of guilt
  • power dynamic and how it shifts
  • antipathy eg. good/bad; fair/foul
  • trail of deception
  • motifs (different to theme – motif is a repetition of a pattern; an emerging pattern; references to something eg the motif of blood which becomes a symbol of guilt)
  • Conscience
  • role of fate
  • dramatic irony
  • symbols
  • paradoxes and equivocation
  • ambition
  • foreshadowing as device
  • sleep: how is sleep related to conscience? something that soothes the mind (the balm)
  • envy/jealousy/ambition
  • winning and losing
  • questioning manliness
  • dominance/power
  • choices (free will)
  • motif of clothes: putting on robes

‘barren sceptre’ – he has no sons to leave his legacy to

His relationship with Banquo has changed already. He wants to rule out any threat that Banquo represents. He is going on the witches’ prophesies. At the beginning of the play Macbeth and Banquo are friends but this is changing.



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