Objective:  To assess students’ understandings of the essential plot points and literary elements present in act 1 of Macbeth.






Macbeth act 1 test





§  11/20: Read Macbeth acts 2 and 3.







Name:________________________                                                                                                  11/20/09


Macbeth Act 1 Test


Part 1: Multiple Choice (1 point each):  Select the answer choice that best answers each of the following questions.


1.       The play’s tragic hero is most obviously:

A). Macbeth                              B). Lady Macbeth                       C).  Banquo                               D). Macduff


2.       One would most readily identify Macbeth’s tragic flaw as his:

A). Ambition                             B). Stupidity                              C). Arrogance                            D). Apathy


3.       All of the following point to the play as beginning in medias res except for:

A). The Weird Sister’s question: “When shall we three meet again?”

B).  The captain’s report of Macbeth’s progress in the battle against Norway

C).  The presence of a chorus that explains what has happened in the play at its beginning

D). The fact that no background information about the play is given in stage directions at the start of Act 1 


4.       The humor that might best characterize Macbeth during Act 1 of the play would be:

A). Blood                      B). Phlegm                                C). Yellow Bile              D). Black Bile


5.       The humor that might best characterize Lady Macbeth during Act 1 of the play would be:

A). Blood                      B). Phlegm                                C). Yellow Bile              D). Black Bile


6.       All the following lines from (or about) the Weird Sisters demonstrate the concept of the grotesque except:

A). “You should be women,/And yet your beards forbid me to interpret/That you are so”

B).  “A drum, a drum/Macbeth doth come”

C).  “Fair is foul, and foul is fair/Hover through the fog and filthy air”

D). “Where hast thou been, sister?”/”Killing swine.”


7.       Macbeth considers the pros and cons of the fulfillment of the witches’ prophecy regarding his being named Thane of Cawdor in an aside in act 1 scene:

A). 1                             B). 2                             C). 3                             D). 4


8.       Lady Macbeth schemes to have her husband made king through the assassination of King Duncan in a soliloquy in act 1 scene:

A). 2                             B). 3                             C). 4                             D). 5


9.       The mood of the story, when observed through the interactions between Macbeth and his wife regarding the decision whether or not to assassinate king Duncan, could best be described as:

A). Calm                       B). Tense                       C). Peaceful                   D). Solemn


10.   King Duncan’s tone, upon learning that he had been betrayed by the Thane of Cawdor, could best be described as:

A). Sad                         B). Angry                      C). Apathetic                 D). Happy


Part 2 – Essay: On the back of this paper, write a detailed (3-5 paragraph) response to ONE of the following questions.  Be sure to give specific examples from the text to support your response.


1.       Explain the purpose of the Weird Sisters in the play.  Specifically, explain 1). What literary concept they embody (and why), as well as 2). Their presence as a driving force for Macbeth’s actions in the play.


2.       Describe the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.  Specifically, explain 1). Which of the two believes more strongly that Duncan’s murder is a necessary step to Macbeth’s advancement in Act 1 (providing textual evidence for your answer), 2). What tragic flaw drives both of these characters, and 3). Why this tragic flaw will likely lead to their downfalls.


3.       Describe how Shakespeare’s technique of beginning the play in medias res contributes to the overall mood of the play.  Use at least two examples from the play to support your answer.