Download Two households, both alike in dignity,

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

The Taming of the Shrew in performance wikipedia , lookup

The Wars of the Roses (adaptation) wikipedia , lookup

Riverside Shakespeare Company wikipedia , lookup

History of the Shakespeare authorship question wikipedia , lookup

Oregon Shakespeare Festival wikipedia , lookup

William Shakespeare wikipedia , lookup

Shakespeare's handwriting wikipedia , lookup

King's Men (playing company) wikipedia , lookup

Ireland Shakespeare forgeries wikipedia , lookup

Shakespeare in the Park festivals wikipedia , lookup

Timeline of Shakespeare criticism wikipedia , lookup

Colorado Shakespeare Festival wikipedia , lookup

Royal Shakespeare Company wikipedia , lookup

Voodoo Macbeth wikipedia , lookup

Avalon Theatre Company
Study Guide
Welcome to Macbeth by William Shakespeare as adapted by
Avalon Theatre Company.
Our touring production of Macbeth, a “play within a play.” Set
in The Globe Theatre in London in 1603, your students will
watch William Shakespeare directing actors who are rehearsing
his new play, Macbeth.
Avalon Theatre’s professional actors, playing multiple roles,
will perform key scenes from Macbeth bringing to life some of
the most famous and powerful language ever written. At the
same time the audience will find much to laugh at as our
professional actors get into all sorts of problems with the story
and with each other.
For students who are learning English we have also included key vocabulary so that
your students will get the most out of our performances. This study guide may be
reproduced and distributed to students. It can be found on our website
Avalon Theatre Company’s Macbeth is an interactive performance and we encourage
your students’ participation and we will be asking a number of your students to join
us on stage.
Avalon Theatre Company welcomes your opinion & suggestions on our
performances and Study Guides, so that we can continue to provide teachers and
students with the finest in-school, educational theatre experience.
We love hearing from students and teachers! Please encourage your students to
leave a comment on our Facebook page (Avalon Theatre Company – Group Page) or write us letters and tell us what
you thought of the show!
Avalon Theatre Company
The Vocabulary and Activities that are highlighted in red are the most important in
ensuring that your students understand and enjoy Macbeth. If you only have a
limited amount of time to prepare your students for the show, we suggest you focus on
these Vocabulary Items & Activities.
All of the Activities in our Study Guide may be copied and given to your students.
The Answer Key for all of the Activities is on Page 23.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE……………………………………..…………………………..4
THE GLOBE THEATRE ………………………………………………………..…..…….....5
MACBETH – Synopsis of the Original Play………………………………………..………6
MACBETH – Avalon’s Adaptation of Macbeth……………………………………………7
THEATRE VOCABULARY………………………………………………………………7
ACTIVITY 1 – Who’s Who in Macbeth……………………………….......………..…….....8
WHO WAS THE REAL MACBETH?……………………………………………….……..8
ACTIVITY 2 – Comprehension……………….……….……………………………………9
MACBETH – Original Text & Modern Translation, Key Points by Act,
Vocabulary……………………………………………………..…...…….……..…………10 – 19
DID YOU KNOW? ..……..………………………………………………….…..………….20 & 21
ACTIVITY ANSWERS………………………………………..…..………………………25
ABOUT THE ARTISTS……………………………………………………………………26
William Shakespeare
For all his fame and celebration, William Shakespeare remains a mysterious figure.
Very few documents from Elizabethan England regarding him have survived and they
tell us little about Shakespeare the man.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, allegedly on April 23, 1564 to
John Shakespeare, a glover and leather merchant, and Mary Arden, a landed local
Scholars surmise that Shakespeare attended the free grammar school in Stratford,
which at the time had a reputation to rival that of Eton and his knowledge of Latin and
Classical Greek would tend to support this theory. What is certain is that William
Shakespeare never proceeded to university schooling, which has stirred some of the
debate concerning the authorship of his works.
In 1582 at the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, age 26, and their first daughter, Susanna, was
born in 1583 and then later they had twins. It is estimated that Shakespeare arrived in London
around 1588 and began to establish himself as an actor and playwright. Shakespeare must have
shown considerable promise since by 1594, he was not only acting and writing for the Lord
Chamberlain's Men (called the King's Men after the ascension of James I in 1603), but was a
managing partner of the troupe which was patronized by royalty and made popular by the theatregoing public.
Shakespeare's success is apparent when studied against other playwrights of this age. His company
was the most successful in London in his day. He had plays published and sold "penny-copies" to
the more literate. Never before had a playwright enjoyed such acclaim to see his works published
and sold as popular literature in the midst of his career. Shakespeare owned shares in both the
theatrical company and the Globe Theatre and his success allowed him to purchase a home and
retire in comfort to Stratford in 1611.
William Shakespeare allegedly died on his birthday, April 23, 1616 and in his will left his
properties to his daughter Susanna, £300 to his daughter Judith and to his wife Anne, "my second
best bed." In 1623, two working companions of Shakespeare from the Lord Chamberlain's Men,
John Heminges and Henry Condell, printed the First Folio edition of his collected plays, of which
half were previously unpublished. His surviving works include 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and several
Often called the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard") his plays have been translated into every
major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. William
Shakespeare's body of work will never again be equalled in Western civilization. His words have
endured for 400 years, and still reach across the centuries as powerfully as ever.
The Globe Theatre
The original Globe was an Elizabethan theatre which opened in 1599 on London’s Thames river.
Owned by a number of actors, including William Shakespeare, it was one of several major theatres
that were located in the area, the others being the Swan, the Rose and The Hope. The Globe was the
principal playhouse of the Lord Chamberlain's Men (who would become the King's Men in 1603).
Most of Shakespeare's post-1599 plays were staged at the Globe, including Julius Caesar, Macbeth,
Othello, King Lear and Hamlet.
In 1613, the Globe Theatre went up in flames during a performance of Henry the Eighth. A
theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and
thatching. According to one of the few surviving documents of the event, no one was hurt except a
man who put out his burning breeches with a bottle of ale. Like all the other theatres in London, the
Globe was closed down by the Puritans in 1642 and destroyed in 1644. Its exact location remained
unknown until remnants of its foundations were discovered in 1989 beneath a car park.
The Globe's actual dimensions are unknown, but evidence suggests that it was a three-story, openair amphitheatre between 97 and 102 feet (29.6 - 31.1M) in diameter that could house up to 3,000
spectators. At the base of the stage, there was an area called the pit, where for a penny, people (the
"groundlings") would stand to watch the performance. Groundlings would eat hazelnuts during
performances (during the excavation of the Globe nutshells were found preserved in the dirt.)
Around the yard were three levels of stadium-style seats, which were more expensive. The Globe’s
stage was raised about 5 feet (1.52m) off the ground and there was a trap door for the actors. Large
columns on either side of the stage supported a roof and the ceiling under this roof was called the
"heavens," and may have been painted with clouds and the sky. Another trap door in the heavens
enabled performers to descend using some form of rope and harness. The balcony housed the
musicians and could also be used for scenes requiring an upper-space, such as the balcony scene in
Romeo and Juliet.
A new Globe Theatre was built according to an Elizabethan plan and opened in 1997 under the
name "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre" and now stages plays every summer.
Synopsis of the original play
Three witches await the coming of Macbeth and Banquo, Scottish generals on their way
home after a victorious battle. At the same time, on a battlefield not far away, Duncan, King of
Scotland, hears of Macbeth’s great courage in battle and rewards him with the title Thane of
When Macbeth and Banquo arrive at the heath they meet the witches who prophesy that
Macbeth (still uninformed of his new title) shall become the Thane of Cawdor and also that he
will be King. They tell Banquo that he will be the father of kings. Later, when Macbeth finds
out that Duncan has made him Thane of Cawdor, it seems as if the witches’ prophecies are
already coming true, and Macbeth begins to wonder if he really could become king. However,
when he reports to King Duncan, the king announces two intentions: first, of visiting
Macbeth’s castle in gratitude of his bravery and, second, of making his own son, Malcolm, heir
to his throne.
Macbeth sends his wife, Lady Macbeth, a letter about the witches prophecy and also that
King Duncan is coming to their castle. As Lady Macbeth reads the letter she decides she wants
to become the queen and plans to murder King Duncan when he visits her home. Lady
Macbeth convinces Macbeth to murder the King, but Macbeth is troubled with doubt when he
sees a supernatural dagger in front of his eyes. Macbeth kills Duncan but forgets to leave the
daggers in Duncan’s room next to the sleeping servants. When the dead King’s body is
discovered the castle is in an uproar and the king’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain flee the
country in terror.
Macbeth is crowned king of Scotland but he is haunted by the prediction that Banquo’s
children are to inherit the throne. Macbeth is also fearful of Macduff, a noble suspicious of
Macbeth’s quick rise to power. Macbeth brutally arranges for the murder of Banquo and his
only son, Fleance. Fleance escapes the attack and flees the country. Macbeth gives a great feast
for the all the noblemen but sees the ghost of Banquo (invisible to the guests), and his frenzied
and incriminating remarks break up the feast and raise Macduff’s suspicions even more.
Macbeth goes to consult the witches. They warn him to beware of Macduff. They also assure him
that no man “born of a woman” can harm him and that he cannot be defeated until Birnam Wood
comes to Dunsinane castle. When Macbeth learns that Macduff has fled to England he orders the
murder of Lady Macduff and her children.
While this is all happening, Lady Macbeth, who before the king’s murder appeared to be stronger
than her husband, becomes completely overcome by guilt, goes insane, and dies.
Macduff and Malcolm meet in England.Malcolm, fearing that Macduff is a spy, tells him that when
he becomes King he will be an even greater tyrant than Macbeth. Macduff is horrified, which proves to
Malcolm that he is loyal and together they raise an army against Macbeth. As the army approaches
Dunsinane, the soldiers camouflage themselves with branches cut from trees, making it appear that
Birnam Wood is coming to the castle. Macbeth’s nerves are shaken, but he takes courage that he cannot
be harmed by any man “born of woman. However, during the final battle, Macbeth learns that his
enemy, Macduff, was born by Caesarian section, thus not naturally “born of woman.” Macbeth realizes
he is doomed but, rather than being captured, fights to his death. Macduff kills him, cuts off his head,
and Malcolm becomes King.
William Shakespeare is going to start rehearsing his new play MACBETH. Before the first
rehearsal he needs to cast actors for the play. He has an audition to choose actors to play
some important roles such as: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Banquo, MacDuff, King
Duncan, The Witches and many others. Shakespeare works with the actors before they
perform a scene from each of the five acts in his play.
The following theatre vocabulary appears in Avalon Theatre Company’s presentation of
Act – a large section of a play
Actor/Actress – the people performing the play
Audience – the people watching a play
Audition – a trial to find actors
Cast – the actors who will perform the play
Director – the person in charge of rehearsing
Dresser – assistant who dresses the actors
Performance – A presentation
Part – role, character in the play
Play – a theatre piece
Playwright – the author of the play
Rehearsal – a session where actors practice the play
Role – a character in a play
Scene – a smaller division of an act
Tragedian – actor who specialises in performing tragedy
To act –to perform a role in a play
To perform – to act in a play
To audition for a play
To cast a play –to choose the actors
To direct – to prepare the play
Match each character in the play with their description of their actions.
1.) Macbeth
a.) tell Macbeth his future
2.) Lady Macbeth
b.) Duncan’s eldest son
3.) Duncan
c.) Banquo’s young son
4.) Banquo
d.) Scottish general, Thane of Cawdor
5.) Malcolm
e.) Duncan’s younger son
6.) MacDuff
f.) a General, Macbeth’s close friend
7.) The Three Witches
g.) Macbeth’s ambitious wife
8.) Fleance
h.) the King of Scotland
9.) Donalbain
i.) a nobleman, loyal to Scotland
Who was the real Macbeth?
There are many differences between Shakespeare's Macbeth and the
MacBeth who ruled Scotland almost a millennium ago. Modern sources
suggest the picture Shakespeare paints of Scotland in 1044 was based on
rumours and the little they knew of ancient Scotland in 1606. However, here
is what we know about the “real” MacBeth.
Duncan I of Scotland was born in 1001. He ascended to the throne at the
age of thirty-three after killing his grandfather. He was a spoiled young man
whose reign was wrought with failed wars and death for his people.
Eventually, the unhappy Scottish lords revolted, including his cousin,
MacBeth, Lord of Moray. MacBeth killed Duncan and ascended the throne,
Duncan’s sons fled the country. Malcolm went to England while Donald
Ban went to Ireland. Both later returned and reigned as kings.
Unlike Shakespeare’s play, the real MacBeth did much for Scotland in his seventeen year reign. Under
him, North and South Scotland were united and he enforced law and order. In 1057, MacBeth’s reign
was cut to an end. Malcolm Canmore, which means “Big Head” in Gaelic, raised an army with the
help of the English and defeated MacBeth. He became King of Scotland under the title Malcolm III.
ACTIVITY #2 – After the Show - Comprehension
After the performance ask students to answer the following questions. We suggest that
this be an in-class discussion.
The actors think Shakespeare wrote a movie. Which movie?
Which two generals defeat the rebels?
What do the Witches tell Macbeth?
What do they tell Banquo?
What title does Duncan give Macbeth?
Why doesn’t the actor Richard Burbage want to come out onto the stage?
When he kills Duncan what does Macbeth forget to do?
Then, what does Lady Macbeth decide to do?
Who runs away, and why?
Which part of the Witches’ prophecy comes true?
Why is Macbeth afraid of Banquo?
Who do the murderers kill?
Which person does not attend Macbeth’s feast?
What does Macbeth see that causes him to go mad?
What happens to Fleance?
Who falls asleep in the theatre?
Why doesn’t Malcolm trust MacDuff?
What terrible news does MacDuff receive?
Which actor plays the part of Malcolm?
What are the signs that Lady Macbeth has become insane?
What is the small forest near Macbeth’s castle called?
How does Malcolm disguise his army from Macbeth?
Why is MacDuff able to kill Macbeth?
In the following pages we give you the original Shakespeare text used in our version of
MACBETH with chosen vocabulary words in bold, for non-native English speakers. Alongside the text is
a modern translation to help enhance your student’s enjoyment of the play. Following each page of
text, we have included a brief description of each act of the play and the key points to help students
understand the story. We suggest that students have the opportunity to read this text aloud in class.
Modern Translation
WITCH 1: When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning or in rain?
WITCH 2: When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the battle’s lost, and won.
WITCH 3: That will be ‘ere the set of sun.
WITCH 1: Where the place?
WITCH 2: Upon the heath.
WITCH 3: There to meet with Macbeth.
ALL: Fair is foul, and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
WITCH 1: All hail Macbeth, hail to thee,
Thane of Glamis
WITCH 2: All hail Macbeth, hail to thee,
Thane Of Cawdor.
WITCH 3: All hail Macbeth, that shalt be
King hereafter.
MACBETH: Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme.
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good ; if ill
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in truth? I am Thane of
If good why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings;
My thought, whose murder is yet fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man that function
Is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is
But what it is not
If chance will have me King, why
Chance may crown me without stir.
WITCH 1: When will the three of us meet
WITCH 2: When the chaos is finished. When
the battle’s lost and won.
WITCH 3: That will be before the sun sets.
WITCH 1: Where?
WITCH 2: On the heath.
WITCH 3: There to meet with Macbeth.
ALL: Good is bad, and bad is good,
We float through the fog and dirty air.
WITCH 1: All hail Macbeth, hail to thee,
Thane of Glamis
WITCH 2: All hail Macbeth, hail to thee,
Thane Of Cawdor.
WITCH 3: All hail Macbeth, who will be
King one day.
MACBETH: Two predictions have come
The first steps to that final goal, the throne.
This playing with the supernatural can be
either evil or good.
If it’s evil, why has it let me taste success, by
starting with something that is true?
I am Thane of Cawdor. If that’s good then
why am I having terrible thoughts that make
my hair stand up and make my heart beat so
unnaturally? Horrors we imagine are worse
than real fears.
Just thinking about the possibility of murder
makes me shake and paralyses me.
Only these thoughts that I’m having seem
real. If destiny says that I will be King, then
destiny may crown me, without my help.
ACT I – Key Points
1.) The King of Scotland, Duncan, is fighting to defend his country against traitors. He
receives the news that his two bravest generals, Macbeth and Banquo have defeated the
2.) After the battle, Macbeth and his closest friend, Banquo meet three witches. The
witches make a prophecy. They tell Macbeth that he will be Thane of Cawdor and that
he will one day become King. They tell Banquo that he will be the father of a long line
of kings.
3.) The King, Duncan, gives Macbeth the title of Thane (or Lord) of Cawdor. He also
decides to thank Macbeth for his bravery and loyalty by visiting Macbeth’s castle. This
will be a great honour for Macbeth. When Macbeth finds out that he has become Thane
of Cawdor, he begins to think the witches prophecy may come true.
4.) Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband telling her about the witches’
prophecy and that King Duncan is coming to visit. She decides that her husband,
Macbeth must kill the king and she will persuade him to do it. Duncan must die!
5.) Lady Macbeth tries to persuade Macbeth to kill Duncan. Macbeth tries to resist but
eventually agrees to kill the King.
Heath – An area of flat, open ground
To hail – To greet someone with respect
Thane – A title in Scotland, equal to a Lord
To crown – To make someone King or Queen
To hover – To float in the air
Chaos – utter confusion
Prediction – a prophecy of what will happen in the future
Supernatural – Unearthly, ghostly
Horrors – painful intense fears, horrible occurences
Possibility – something that could very likely occur
Paralyse – loss of ability to move, to make powerless or ineffective
Destiny – fate
Soliciting - asking; inciting or persuading
Hurly-burly – (Shakespearean English) - commotion, uproar
LADY MACBETH: Alack! I am afraid they have
And ‘tis not done; the attempt and not the deed
Confounds us. My husband!
MACBETH: I have done the deed. Didst thou not
hear a noise?
LADY MACBETH: I heard the owl scream and
the crickets cry.
MACBETH: This is a sorry sight.
One cried ‘God bless us!’ and’Amen’ the other:
As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say ‘Amen’,
When they did say’God bless us!
LADY MACBETH: Consider it not so deeply.
MACBETH: Methought I heard a voice cry
‘Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep!
LADY MACBETH: Who was it that thus cried?
Why, worthy Thane
You do unbend your noble strength to think
So brainsickly of things.
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there: go carry them, and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
MACBETH: I’ll go no more:
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on’t again I dare not.
LADY MACBETH: Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers. If he do bleed,
I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal;
For it must seem their guilt.
Modern Translation
afraid they have woken up and it isn’t
It’s the attempt to murder him, not the
murder itself, that will ruin us. My
MACBETH: I’ve done it. Didn’t you
hear a noise?
LADY MACBETH I heard an owl
scream and some crickets cry.
MACBETH: This is a terrible sight.
One cried ‘God bless us!’ and the other:
’Amen’ ,as though they had seen me
with these hangman’s hands. Hearing
them so afraid, I couldn’t say ‘Amen’,
when they said’ God bless us!
LADY MACBETH: Don’t think about
it so much.
MACBETH: I thought I heard a voice
crying ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth has
murdered sleep!
LADY MACBETH Who cried like
that? Why, my great Lord, you will
exhaust yourself thinking so crazily
about things? Why did you bring these
daggers? They must be left up there:
take them back and smear the sleepy
servants with blood.
MACBETH: I won’t go back!
I’m afraid to think of what I have done;
I cannot look at it again.
LADY MACBETH Coward! Give me
the daggers! If he is still bleeding, I’ll
smear the servant’s faces to make it look
like they killed him. For they must seem
to be guilty.
ACT II – Key Points
1.) As he prepares to kill King Duncan, Macbeth struggles with his guilty conscience.
He sees a ghostly dagger and decides to commit murder.
2.) Macbeth kills Duncan. Horrified by what he has done, Macbeth forgets to put the
knife in the hands of a sleeping servant. Lady Macbeth takes charge and makes it seem
that the servant has killed the King.
3.) Macduff, the nobleman discovers Duncan’s dead body. The castle is in an uproar as
everybody discovers that the King is dead. King Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and
Donalbain, suspect treachery and, fearing for their lives, decide to run away
4.) Malcolm and Donalbain’s disappearance makes it seem that they are guilty of their
father’s murder, so Macbeth is chosen to be King. The prophecy is about to be fulfilled.
An owl – A nocturnal bird, associated with wisdom.
A cricket – An insect that produces a noise by rubbing its wings.
Hangman – Executioner who kills by use of a rope.
Smear – To wipe something or somebody with liquid or fluid.
Attempt – To make an effort to do something; To try
Deed – An action
LADY MACBETH: Nought’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone?
Things without all remedy should be without
What’s done is done.
MACBETH: We have scotch’d the snake, not
killed it:
She’ll close, and be herself, whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy.
Duncan is in his grave;
After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well,
Treason has done his worst: not steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further.
LADY MACBETH: Gentle my lord, sleek o’er
your rugged looks.
You must leave this.
MACBETH: O, full of scorpions is my mind,
dear wife:
Thou know’st, that Banquo and his Fleance lives.
LADY MACBETH: But in them nature’s copy’s
not eterne.
MACBETH: There’s comfort yet; they are
LADY MACBETH: What’s to be done?
MACBETH: Be innocent of the knowledge,
dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,
And with thy bloody and invisible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond,
Which keeps me pale.
Thou marvell’st at my words: but hold thee still,
Things bad begun, make strong themselves by ill:
So prithee go with me.
Modern Translation
LADY MACBETH:Nothing is gained,
everything’s lost, when a wish comes
true and we are not content.Well, my
lord! Why are you alone. What can’t be
cured has to be endured. What’s done
is done.
MACBETH: We’ve wounded the
snake not killed it:
It will heal and be a snake again, while
we remain in danger of its bite.
It’s better to be with the dead, who we,
to have our happiness, have sent to their
eternal peace – than to be tortured with
mental agony! Duncan is in his grave.
After the difficulties of life, he sleeps
well. Treason has done its worst.
Neither sword, nor poison, nor
rebellions at home, nor foreign
invasions can touch him now.
LADY MACBETH: Gentle husband,
you look tense. Try and relax. You must
forget all this.
MACBETH: Oh, my mind is full of
scorpions, dear wife! You know that
Banquo and his son Fleance are alive.
LADY MACBETH: But they are not
MACBETH: That’s some comfort.
They can be dealt with.
LADY MACBETH: What’s to be
MACBETH: It’s better not to know,
dearest chick, until you can applaud
what happens. Come, blinding night!
Cover the gentle eye of pitying day; and
with your bloody and invisible hand
destroy that friendship that keeps me in
fear. My words amaze you, but wait.
“Bad deeds grow strong through
wickedness.” So please go with me.
ACT III – Key Points
1.) According to the prophecy Banquo will be the father of a line of kings. Macbeth
fears this and decides to hire some murderers to kill Banquo, his best friend.
2.) The three murderers kill Banquo, but his son, Fleance, escapes!
3.) Macbeth invites all the noblemen to a great feast. He notices that Macduff does not
attend. The ghost of Banquo appears and Macbeth approaches madness.
4.) Macduff escapes to England where he joins Malcolm, Duncan’s son and they start
raising an army.
To wound – To injure
To heal – To cure, get better
Bloody – Covered in blood
Wickedness – Evil
Endure – To accept; To remain firm under suffering
Foreign invasion – An act of war when a country enters into another country
Treason – To betray; To overthrow the government
Tense – To be nervous
Scorpions – A spider-like insect with a stinger
Immortal – Everlasting; a being that can not die
Comfort - Ease
Pitying – Sorrow for another’s suffering
Scotch’d – (Shakespearean English) – To injure; to harm
MALCOLM: I think our country sinks beneath
the yoke,
It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds. I think withal,
There would be hands uplifted in my right.
When I shall tread upon the tyrant’s head,
Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country
Shall have more vices than it had before,
More suffer, and more sundry ways than ever,
By him that shall succeed.
MACDUFF: What should he be?
MALCOLM: It is myself I mean; in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted,
That, when they shall be open’d, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state
Esteem him as a lamb, being compar’d
With my confineless harms.
MACDUFF: O Scotland, Scotland!
MALCOLM: If such a one be fit to govern,
I am as I have spoken.
MACDUFF: Fit to govern!
No, not to live. O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter’d,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accurs’d,
And does blaspheme his breed?
Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wip’d the black scruples, reconcil’d my thoughts
To thy truth and good honour. What I am truly,
Is thine and my poor country’s to command
Modern Translation
MALCOLM: I think our country is
It weeps. It bleeds. Every day a gash is
added to her wounds.
However, I think many people would
fight on my side.
When I have the tyrant’s head under my
foot or on my sword, my poor country
will have more vices than it had before.
It will suffer more and in many more
ways than ever, because of the new
MACDUFF: Who will that be?
MALCOLM: I mean myself. I know
that vice grows so deep in me that when
it appears, evil Macbeth will seem as
pure as snow. The poor country will
think he is a lamb in comparison with
my evil.
MACDUFF: O Scotland, Scotland!
MALCOLM: If such a man is fit to
govern, say so. I believe in what I say.
MACDUFF: Fit to govern? You’re not
fit to live! O miserable nation, with an
uncrowned murderous tyrant on the
throne. When will things be healthy again
because you, the true heir to the throne
you accuse yourself of evil and
blaspheme your own country?
MALCOLM: Macduff, this noble
passion, which is proof of your
integrity, has cleared my suspicions
about you.. I am convinced of your truth
and honour. What I really am is yours
and my poor country’s to command.
ACT IV – Key Points
1.) Macbeth goes to see the witches for more information. He discovers some good
news and some bad news. The witches tell him that he cannot be killed by any man born
of a woman. They also tell him that he cannot be defeated until Birnum Wood enters
his castle Dunsinane. In a vision, Macbeth sees a line of Kings fathered by Banquo.
2.) On Macbeth’s orders, Lady Macduff and her children are murdered.
3.) In England, Malcolm thinks that Macduff may be a spy sent by Macbeth.
Malcolm tests Macduff’s loyalty to Scotland by telling him that when he becomes king
he will be a bigger tyrant than Macbeth.
4.) Macduff is told of the murder of his wife and children.
To weep – To cry
A gash – A severe cut
Wounds – Injuries
Lamb – A baby sheep
To be fit – To be appropriate, good enough.
Heir – One who inherits a title or property; The person who will become the next King or Queen
To blaspheme – To say something disrespectful
Yoke – A wooden frame that joins two oxen together to work; a burden; an oppression
Oppressed – To be crushed or burdened; To be unfairly treated by authority
Vices - Sins
Pure – Clean; free from evil
In comparison – To examine different things to see how they are alike or different
Govern – To reign; To rule
Miserable – Awful; unhappy
Tyrant – A ruler who has complete power and uses it cruelly
Passion – Love; fervor
Proof – A statement that shows something is true
Integrity – Honest; having high morals
Suspicion – A feeling that something or someone is wrong
To command - To give an order; to use
Modern Translation
MACBETH: They have tied me to a stake; I
cannot fly,
But bear-like I must fight the course. What’s he
That was not born of a woman? Such a one
Am I to fear, or none.
MACDUFF: Turn, hell-hound, turn!
MACBETH Of all men else I have avoided thee:
But get thee back, my soul is too much charg’d
With blood of thine already.
MACDUFF: I have no words;
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out!
MACBETH: Thou losest labour:
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.
MACDUFF: Despair thy charm;
And let the angel whom thou still hast serv’d
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripp’d.
MACBETH Accursed be that tongue that tells
me so.
Lay on, Macduff, and damn’d be him that first
Cries, ‘Hold, enough
MACBETH They have tied me to a
stake. I cannot escape.
Like a bear I must stand and fight. What
kind of man is he who wasn’t born of a
woman? That’s who I am to fear, or
MACDUFF: Turn, hell-hound, turn!
MACBETH Of all other men I’ve
avoided you. Get back! There’s too
much blood of your family on my soul
MACDUFF: I have no words to speak.
My sword will speak for me. You are a
bloodier villain than words can say!
MACBETH You are wasting your
energy. It would be easier to wound the
air with your sword than to make me
bleed. Bring down your sword on
vulnerable heads. I have a charmed life
I cannot be killed by a man born of a
MACDUFF: Forget you charm and let
the devil you serve tell you this:
MacDuff was taken from his mother’s
womb prematurely by caesarean
MACBETH Curse the tongue that
tells me that.
Fight on, Macduff, and damned be the
one of us who first cries ‘Stop, enough!’
ACT V – Key Points
1.) Lady Macbeth goes insane. She believes her hands are still covered in blood from
Duncan’s murder and she is unable to wash them clean
2.) Malcolm’s army arrives at Birnum Wood, near Macbeth’s castle at Dunsinane.
Malcolm orders his men to cut branches from the trees to use as camouflage. The
branches will disguise the size of Malcolm’s army.
3.) Lady Macbeth dies. Macbeth is told that Birnum Wood is approaching his castle.
He decides to go into battle and leaves the castle with what remains of his army.
4.) Macbeth is losing the battle but continues to fight. Because of the witches’
prophecy, he believes that he cannot be killed by any man who is born of a woman. On
the battlefield he meets Macduff. Macduff reveals that he was born by caesarean
section, so he is not “born of a woman.” They fight and Macbeth is killed.
5.) Macduff cuts off Macbeth’s head and presents it to Malcolm. The battle is won and
Malcolm is crowned king.
Hound – A dog often used for hunting
Charmed – Lucky; protected
Womb – Uterus
To curse – To wish for something bad to happen to someone
To be damned – To be condemned to hell
Avoided – To keep away from
Vulnerable – Open to attach or harm; weakness that allows being hurt
Tied to a stake - In Shakespearian times, bear baiting was a common sport and a popular spectacle.
Bears were tied to stakes and dogs were allowed to attack the trapped bear
Did You Know?
In our presentation of Macbeth, Richard Burbage is one of the actors. The real
Richard Burbage was actually a famous actor in Elizabethan times and a close
friend of Shakespeare’s. Burbage inherited a playhouse called "The Theatre"
from his father, James. The Theatre, opened in 1576 and resembled a modern
day arena in that it had a circular seating area surrounding an open area. In the
open area was a stage. In front of the stage was a yard in which playgoers unable
to afford seating could stand.
Burbage also owned a 50% share of The GlobeTheatre. (Shakespeare about a
10% share.)
Burbage and Shakespeare were also actors in a company called The Lord
Chamberlain's Men, the most prestigious acting company at the time. Richard
Burbage was the first actor in history to play Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello,
King Lear, Romeo, Henry V and Richard III.
What Did They Wear?
In Shakespeare’s time, acting companies spent almost as much on
costumes as they do today for a television series. The costumes for
shows in England were so expensive that the actors were almost as
well-dressed as kings and queens in real life. But, where did the
acting companies get their clothes? Literally “off the rack” and from
used clothing sellers. Wealthy middle class people would often give
their servants old clothes that they didn’t want to wear any more, or
would leave their clothes to the servants when they died. Since
clothing was very expensive, people wore it as long as possible and
passed it on from one person to another with no one being ashamed
to wear hand-me-downs. However, since servants were of a lower
class than their employers, they weren’t allowed to wear rich
fabrics, and would sell these clothes to acting companies, who were
allowed to wear what they wanted in performance.
Break a Leg?
Actors can be very superstitious people. They often have rituals
which they repeat at every performance.
Whistling is not allowed in the theatre and is considered bad luck
too. This has an historical origin. Many years ago when sailors
arrived in a town they could often find temporary work at a local
theatre because they were experienced at pulling the heavy ropes on
ships, which are also used back stage in theatres to move scenery.
The sailors would communicate signals to move certain scenery or
large objects by whistling to each other. So, if someone decided to
whistle back stage when they were not supposed to an accident
could easily occur.
Like Burbage says in Avalon Theatre’s production actors consider it
very bad luck to wish another actor “Good Luck” so instead they
say “Break a leg” to each other.
Don’t say the “M” Word ~ The Curse!
Supposedly, saying the name "Macbeth" inside a theatre will bring bad luck to the play and anyone
acting in it. The only exception is when the word is spoken as a line in the play. In order to reverse the
bad luck, the person who uttered the word must exit the theatre, spit, spin around three times saying a
profanity, and then ask for permission to return inside. To avoid bringing up the curse in the first place,
most people refer to MACBETH as "the Scottish Play."
According to the legend, which goes back centuries, witches (real ones, not fictional) were so angered
when they learned that their spells were being used in MACBETH and on display to the public, that they
invoked a curse upon William Shakespeare and his play. Whatever the cause of the curse, it is said to
have existed since the first performance. During the first showing for King James I, the boy playing
Lady Macbeth became ill and died backstage. Left with no leading lady, Shakespeare himself had to
play the role of Lady Macbeth. It is said that King James I so disliked the play that he banned it from
being shown for five years. However, at the next recorded production in 1672 in Amsterdam, the actor
playing Macbeth murdered the actor playing Duncan on stage, in full view of the audience, when real
daggers were substituted for the fake daggers. Since that time there have been numerous accidents
and deaths associated with the play of which the following are just a few examples:
1721, an angry patron returned to the theatre with militiamen and set the theatre on fire.
In 1882, on the closing night of one production, an actor accidentally thrust his sword directly
into another actors’s chest.
In the early 1930s, theatrical grande dame Lillian Baylis played Lady Macbeth but died on the
day of final dress rehearsal. Her portrait was hung in the theatre and later, when another
production of the play was opening, the portrait fell from the wall.
1936, when Orson Welles produced his "voodoo” Macbeth, set in 19th-century Haiti, his cast
included some African drummers and a genuine witch doctor who were not happy when a critic
blasted the show. They placed a curse on him and the critic soon died.
1937, Laurence Olivier was rehearsing the play when a 25-pound stage weight crashed down
from the flies, missing him by inches. In addition, the director and the actress playing Lady
Macduff were involved in a car accident on the way to the theatre and the proprietor of the
theatre died of a heart attack during the dress rehearsal.
1942, a production headed by John Gielgud suffered three deaths in the cast -- the actor playing
Duncan and two of the actresses playing the Witches – and also the suicide of the costume and
set designer.
1948, Diana Wynard as Lady Macbeth, played the sleepwalking scene with her eyes closed. On
opening night, before a full audience, she walked off the stage, falling 15 feet.
1953, Charlton Heston starred in an open-air production and on opening night, the soldiers
storming Macbeth's castle were to burn it to the ground. The wind blew the smoke and flames
into the audience and Heston himself suffered severe burns on his legs.
1960s, the actor playing Macbeth dropped dead of heart failure during Act III.
1988, the Broadway production starring Glenda Jackson and Christoper Plummer is supposed
to have gone through three directors, five Macduffs, six cast changes, six stage managers.
So Please, Don’t Say the “M” Word!
ACTIVITY #3 – WritTEN or Discussion Activities
1. Shakespeare understood the Universal nature of man. That is why we can relate to
him today. As humans, our psychology is just like it was in his day. Teenagers rebel
against their parents’ wishes just like they do in ROMEO AND JULIET. Jealousy can eat
at and destroy relationships like it does in OTHELLO. Ambition unchecked can destroy
like it does in MACBETH.
History Activity: Ask students to look through history or current events to find leaders,
kings, presidents, or dictators, who may have started out “good”, like Macbeth being
a brave a loyal general, but as time went on became corrupted by ambition and power.
Writing Activity: Divide the class into groups, and ask each group to write a number of
news stories focusing on the rise and fall of Macbeth. They should include headlines
and quotes. Then let each group present its news stories to the class.
“Birnam Wood Rises”, “Dunsinane Falls!”, “Caesarean Section Is Rip for Macbeth!”
2.) Ask students to imagine that they are reporters and have to interview one of the
characters in MACBETH to find out their version of the story. Write a list of questions and
answers the characters might give.
3.) Write a modern version of the play. Example: Instead of the play being set in ancient
Scotland imagine it in a modern urban city. Replace the armies with city gangs.
4.) Write Macbeth’s letter that he sends to Lady Macbeth explaining his great victory
and his meeting with the witches.
5.) A King or a leader should possess certain qualities. Make a list of 10 qualities a
leader should have. How many of those qualities do you think Duncan and Macbeth
had or didn’t have?
6.) Choose three adjectives to describe each of the following characters.
Lady Macbeth
The Witches
ACTIVITY #4 –Discussion Activities
1.) Have a classroom discussion on the following question: Is Macbeth a victim of fate
(because of the witches’ prophecy it was going to happen no matter what) or a victim of
his own ambitious choices? Who made Macbeth do the things he did? The witches?
Lady Macbeth? His own ambitions?
2.) Was Macbeth really bad from the beginning, or was he a good man who did bad
things? What good qualities can you find in him?
3.) Was Lady Macbeth more powerful than Macbeth at the beginning? At
the end?
4.) One of the themes in the play is that if you do bad things, bad things
will happen to you. Ask students to talk about events that they know of that
support this idea..
5.) Ask students to discuss how the main themes in MACBETH can be found in soap
operas, television shows, movies and popular magazines. Ask them to give examples.
6.) Ask students which character they liked the best? Ask them to explain why.
ACTIVITY #5 – True or False
The following are some quick post-performance comprehension questions. Ask students
to decide if they are True or False.
1. In the 16th century women could not act on the stage in Elizabethan public theatres.
2. The four actors in the Avalon Theatre Company play all of the characters.
3. Richard Burbage is a tragedian actor.
4. Shakespeare is very impressed by the special effects.
5. Queen Elizabeth I will make a special and surprising appearance.
6. Shakespeare was a playwright, actor and director.
7. Bob is not really a man.
8. Shakespeare will play the role of Macbeth.
9. Lady Macbeth kills Duncan.
10. Macduff and Banquo’s children are all killed.
11. Queen Elizabeth thinks “Macbeth” is too long.
12. Avalon Theatre Company will perform the play twice.
ACTIVITY #6 – HIstory
To help student’s better understand the timeframe of William Shakespeare and his plays
ask them to try and complete the gaps with the information below the table.
16th & 17th Century Timeline
Elizabethan England
1558 – Elizabeth I becomes
Queen of England
1564 – William Shakespeare is
1577: Admiral Francis Drake
starts voyage to circumnavigate
the globe
1588: _____(a)__________is
defeated by the English Naval
1521 – ________(d)__________
becomes king. Portugal becomes
the first of the great maritime
empires, dominating access to the
Indian Ocean
1542 – Portuguese explorers are
the first Europeans to land in
1569 - ______(e)__________in
Portugal. Only in Lisbon 60,000
people die.
1599- The ___ (b) ___ is built.
1595 – Shakespeare writes___(c)
1603 – James I becomes King of
1616 – Shakespeare dies in
1623- Two of Shakespeare’s
fellow actors publish The First
Folio with 36 of Shakespeare’s
works and it is sold to the public
for one pound.
1570 - Luís de Camões returns to
Lisbon from theOrient.
1578-80 -___(f)_______ is king.
1580 - Invasion of Portugal by a
________(g)____________. The
Fortress of St. Julian, in Lisbon,
surrenders to the Spanish.
1580- Death of Luís de Camões,
Portugal's national poet.
King Philip I of Portugal and
Portugal loses independence to
The World
1543 -Copernicus states that the
earth was not the center of the
universe but, rather, the Earth and
the other planets orbit around the
1564 -________(i)___________,
painter, sculptor, and poet dies.
1567 - Rio de Janeiro founded.
1582: ________(j)___________
introduces Gregorian Calendar.
1568 - The Dutch Revolt frees a
small country from the grip of the
biggest superpower, Spain.
1594 – The remains of Pompeii
1600 - Pi is calculated as
3.1415929 by A. Anthoniszoon.
1605: Miguel de Cervantes'
publishes "Don Quixote of La
1610: ________(k)_______,
using his telescope, discovers the
Moons of Jupiter, the rings of
Saturn and that the Milky Way is
composed of a vast number of
faint stars.
1620 – The Pilgrims land in
1.) d
2.) g
3.) h
4.) f
5.) b
6.) i
7.) a
8.) c
9.) e.
ACTIVITY #2 – After the Show – Comprehension
ACT I 1.) Transformers 2.) Macbeth & Banquo 3.) Thane of Cawdor & King there
after. 4.) Banquo will be the father of a line of kings 5.) Thane of Cawdor 6.)
Because he is wearing a female costume.
ACT II 1.) Macbeth forgets to leave the daggers on the sleeping grooms. 2.) She takes
the daggers and smears blood on the grooms. 3.) Donalbain and Malcolm because they
are afraid they will be blamed for King Duncan’s murder. 4.) All of it.
ACT III 1.) Because the witches said that Banquo will be the father of kings. 2.)
Banquo 3.) MacDuff 4.) Banquo’s ghost 5.) Fleance runs away.
ACT IV 1.) The Queen 2.) He thinks he is a spy. 3.) His family has been murdered.
4.) Roberta
ACT V 1.) She cannot stop washing her hands. 2.) Birnam Wood 3.) They cut
branches from the trees and use them as camouflage. 4.) Because he born by Cesaerian
ACTIVITY #5 – True or False
2.)False - Some are played by students!
4.) False - He hates them.
5.) True
6.) True
7.) True
8.) True
9.) False – Macbeth kills him.
10.) False - Fleance, Banquo’s son, escapes
11.) True
12.) False - Three times.
ACTIVITY #6 – History
a) Spanish Armada. b) Globe Theatre
c) Macbeth
d.) João III
e) Plague epidemic f) Cardinal Henrique I
g) Spanish army
h) Philip II of Spain
j) Michaelangelo Buonarotti
k) Galileo
About the artists
Zoe Kaye (Useless Assitant) originally from Herefordshire, U.K., received a
Distinction Certificate in her Performing Arts exam for L.A.M.D.A and studied
Children’s Theatre at Herefordshire College of Art and Design where she performed in
the Herefordshire Performing Arts Festival. Zoe has lived in Portugal for over a year
and is looking forward to her first year with Avalon Theatre Company.
Meg Thurin (Roberta (Bob), Lady Macbeth, Witch), graduated from John Cabot
University with a Bachelor of Arts and received her postgraduate degree from the
Istituto Arte Artiginato e Restauro, Rome, Italy. Since moving to Portugal in 2009, Meg
has worked with Avalon Theatre Company and has also participated in various voiceover projects and has performed in a recent TV sitcom pilot filmed in Lisbon.
Cesar Ribeiro (Richard Burbage & other roles) trained in Speech and Drama at Trinity
College in London. Originally from Zimbabwe, Cesar is also a singer and has studied
Modern Dance, Tap and Jazz. From Shakespeare to children’s theatre, he has
performed in the Polka Theatre in the United Kingdom and the Waterfront Theatre,
Pretoria State Theatre and Baxter Theatre in South Africa. Television appearances
include CAVE GIRL for BBC1. Cesar has lived in Portugal for 6 years and most recently
appeared in Filipe La Féria’s A CANÇÃO DE LISBOA at Teatro Politema and in PETER AND
THE WOLF with Os Primeiros Sintomas. This is Cesar’s debut year with Avalon Theatre
Grant Shepherd (William Shakespeare, Macbeth) – Grant has lived in Portugal for
over 10 years and has been involved in a number of productions, both as actor and
director. He studied Drama at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where, as
well as acting and directing, he specialised in Shakespeare, Neo-classical French and
Restoration Theatre. Directorial credits include The Virtuoso by Thomas Shadwell, The
Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare; True West by Sam Shepard; and The Country
Wife by William Wycherley. Favourite roles include Lee (True West); Leontes (The
Winter’s Tale); and Vindice (The Revenger’s Tragedy). Grant appeared in the TV series
“Equador” as William Cadbury. Grant is a founding partner of Avalon Theatre
Kirkland, Elizabeth and Joseph Papp. Shakespeare Alive! Toronto; New York, NY: Bantam, 1998.
ON THE WEB – The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Lesson Plan
Archive, dealing with every play, Shakespeare’s life and times, and the literary genres and conventions
of the time. It is an extensive resource for teachers, easy to access, and created by K-12 educators. – Web site of the Royal Shakespeare Company. – Shakespeare timeline – Shakespeare in Stratford – The Globe Theatre