PLE – 10xEN1 – Home learning due 23 May

Following our lesson today in which we deconstructed Macbeth’s soliloquy in Act 2, scene 1, I would like you to rewrite your answer to the exam question below. Please write your (improved) answer in the comments box below.

(a) Explain how Shakespeare presents the character of Macbeth in the extract.

Use evidence from the extract to support your answer. (7)


7 thoughts on “PLE – 10xEN1 – Home learning due 23 May

  1. myles

    in this scene Macbeth is debating with himself about if he really wants to kill the king or not. he would be confused and often hallucinate, for example “is this a dagger which I see before me”, in this line Macbeth would be holding his hands out, into thin air as if he was trying to grab a dagger but there is nothing this shows how he is confused and worried.

    Shakespeare presents him in two ways, one that wants to kill the king and the other who doesn’t. one side would feel scared, worried and upset. the other would feel powerful, greedy and evil.

    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      Thank you, Myles. Your first paragraph (which starts without a capital letter!) dwells upon the actions that would appropriate for Macbeth when he says the given line. The problem is, question a) does not ask for performance techniques – you’re thinking of question b), which is the home learning set for Monday 2 June.
      Your second paragraph is just too short. You’ve simply listed adjectives to demonstrate Macbeth’s states of mind but you haven’t linked them to the text, nor provided any further, deeper explanation.
      Please extend your answer, writing three (3) PEE paragraphs.
      Thank you. Mr Legowski

  2. Mr Legowski Post author

    Alex and Joe, I have emailed you both about the home learning you posted in the comments box. Please re-write your paragraphs and post them in the comments box below. Mr Legowski

  3. Lucy

    In this act Shakespeare presents Macbeth as unsure of his abilities to commit the act, as his heart is not truly of treason hence why he has uncertainties towards seeing it through. He questions himself,”is this a dagger which i see before me.” This shows that Macbeth isn’t in the correct mind-set needed to carry out the deed (Macbeth is in turmoil and his mind is playing tricks on him). Also, the way in which Shakespeare describes Macbeth’s movements of anxiousness helps to emphasize his anxiety towards the act he is to commit. One example of this is, “moves like a ghost.”

    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      Thank you, Lucy. You’ve made an accurate point about Macbeth’s uncertainties, his turmoil, but your answer is not developed enough – in short, there aren’t three paragraphs – for a >C grade answer. Take your observations from across the whole extract.

  4. Tyler French

    In this particular scene, Macbeth is shown as a man is who is questioning himself on who he is and what he is capable of- is he a murderer? Can he commit treason? Can he truly kill his friend? His own King who has given him so much. He is lost in his own mind. Curious of his abilities, his will power. “Is this a dagger which I see before me, [t]he handle toward my hand? Come, let me touch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still … And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,” The idea of murder has begun to manifest Macbeth’s mind, if he can visualize such a thing, surely he is adapting t the idea of committing the act.
    However, he is debating his capability, doubts whether he is in fact well, perhaps sane. “A dagger of the mind, a false creation, [p]roceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” Macbeth is unsure if he really is seeing this dagger in front of him. Is it there? Is this a sign that he will kill King Duncan? Is Macbeth becoming tormented by the very thought?

    As Myles said in his answer, there is a side that wants to kill Duncan: the perhaps greedy, power hungry and dark side that we all have- (maybe even influenced). And then there is the side that doesn’t want kill Duncan: the scared, kind and just. The good side of maybe true reasoning in a troubled mind.

    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      A well-developed, maturely-expressed answer, Tyler – thank you. You clearly understand Macbeth’s state of mind in this scene. However, it can still be made even better. How? Cut down on the length of your quotations (if you think “Is this a dagger… gouts of blood” is ALL relevant to the point you are making, abbreviate the quotation as I have just done with ellipsis) and refer to more of them. Also, posing questions is a good idea, though why not then offer possible answers?


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