Get notes, workbook solutions, summary, questions and answers, and pdf of the drama/play Macbeth (Act 1 Scene 3) by William Shakespeare which is part of ISC Class 11 English. However, the notes should only be treated for references and changes should be made according to the needs of the students.
Act 1, Scene 2 of Macbeth takes place at a military camp near King Duncan’s palace in Forres. The scene opens with King Duncan asking about the outcome of a battle between his men and the rebels led by the traitorous Macdonwald. A wounded sergeant reports that Macbeth and Banquo fought bravely and defeated the rebels.
Just as the sergeant finishes his report, the Thane of Ross arrives and tells King Duncan that the Thane of Cawdor has sided with the King of Norway against Scotland. Despite this, Macbeth and Banquo were victorious again. Impressed by Macbeth’s bravery and loyalty, King Duncan orders the Thane of Cawdor’s execution and decides to give his title to Macbeth as a reward. The scene ends with the king’s men leaving to deliver the news to Macbeth.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Select the correct option for each of the following questions:
1. The sons of King Duncan are
Answer: a. Malcolm and Donalbain
2. The two people who gave the report of the battle were
Answer: c. The Thane of Ross and the bleeding Sergeant
3. The battle was fought between
Answer: a. Sweno the King of Norway and King Duncan
4. The two sides in the battle were compared to
Answer: a. Two exhausted swimmers
5. Sweno was assisted in the battle by
Answer: a. Thane of Cawdor
Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. DUNCAN: What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemed by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.
a. Who is Duncan addressing the question to in the first line of the extract? What answer does he get?
Answer: Duncan is addressing the question to Malcolm. He gets the answer that the bloody man is a sergeant who fought against his captivity.
b. Who was the traitor in the battle? What did Macbeth do to the traitor?
Answer: The traitor in the battle was the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth fought bravely against him and executed him.
c. Describe the manner in which Macbeth took his revenge on the traitor.
Answer: Macbeth along with Banquo fought like a canon loaded with double charge of shots; they redoubled their attacks on the enemy and seemed to bathe in the blood of the enemies, creating a field of skulls (referred as Golgotha).
d. What report did Ross give?
Answer: Ross reported that the Thane of Cawdor had been defeated and that the Norwegian king, Sweno, had started a new assault. However, Macbeth and Banquo fought bravely and won the day.
e. How did the report of Ross differ from the report of the bleeding Sergeant?
Answer: The bleeding Sergeant reported the bravery of Macbeth in the battle against the Thane of Cawdor. Ross, on the other hand, reported the subsequent events, including the new assault by the Norwegian king and the final victory of Macbeth and Banquo.
2. Yes, as sparrows, eagles or the hare the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report they were
As cannons over char’g with double cracks;
So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.
a. Who is the speaker? What question was asked to him? What is the irony involved in his answer?
Answer: The speaker is the Sergeant. He was asked by Duncan to report on the battle. The irony in his answer lies in the comparison of Macbeth and Banquo to “sparrows, eagles or the hare the lion.” Despite being outnumbered and seemingly weaker (like sparrows or hares), they fought fiercely and bravely, overpowering their enemies (like eagles or lions).
b. What was reported about the two generals? Who were they? How were they rewarded by the king of Scotland?
Answer: The two generals, Macbeth and Banquo, were reported to have fought bravely and fiercely in the battle. They were compared to cannons loaded with double cracks, indicating their powerful and impactful performance in the battle. The King of Scotland, Duncan, rewarded Macbeth by giving him the title of the traitor he defeated, the Thane of Cawdor.
c. Why is Golgatha referred to after the extract? What is the allusion referred to by Golgatha?
Answer: Golgatha is referred to as the place where Macbeth fought like a hero and killed the traitor. The allusion to Golgatha, also known as the place of the skull, is a biblical reference to the place outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. It symbolizes a place of great suffering and sacrifice.
d. What did the speaker crave for? Why?
Answer: The speaker, the Sergeant, craved for a drink to quench his thirst. He had been wounded in the battle and was losing blood, which made him thirsty.
e. Who was the other person who came back with a report? What did he say to greet the King?
Answer: The other person who came back with a report was Ross. He greeted the King by saying “God save the King”, a traditional greeting for the monarch.
3. DUNCAN: No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death,
And with his former title greet Macbeth.
ROSS: I’ll see it done.
DUNCAN: What he hath lost, Macbeth had won.
a. What had the Thane of Cawdor done to “deceive our bosom interest “?
Answer: The Thane of Cawdor had betrayed King Duncan and Scotland by aligning with Norway in the battle. This act of treason was the deception against Duncan’s “bosom interest,” or the matters close to his heart, namely the safety and well-being of his kingdom.
b. What is meant by “bosom interest be”? What does King Duncan order to do with the Thane of Cawdor? Describe the irony involved in Duncan’s order.
Answer: “Bosom interest” refers to matters that are deeply personal or of great concern to someone. In this case, it refers to King Duncan’s deep concern for the welfare of his kingdom. Duncan orders the execution of the Thane of Cawdor for his treason. The irony lies in the fact that Duncan then bestows the title of Thane of Cawdor on Macbeth, who will also betray him.
c. What does King Duncan mean to say in the last lines of the extract?
Answer: In the last line of the extract, “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won,” King Duncan means that what the Thane of Cawdor has lost due to his treason, Macbeth has won due to his bravery and loyalty. The title of Thane of Cawdor, which is stripped from the traitor, is given to Macbeth as a reward for his heroism in battle.
d. What did the King of Norway crave preceding the extract?
Answer: The King of Norway, Sweno, craved a treaty of peace. He wanted to bury his men in Scotland for a certain price, which indicates his desire for an end to the conflict.
e. Who is Ross? Who did he compare Macbeth’s valour to?
Answer: Ross is a Scottish nobleman. He compared Macbeth’s valour to that of Bellona’s bridegroom, implying that Macbeth fought as fiercely as the husband of the Roman goddess of war, which is a metaphor for the Roman god of war, Mars.
Q. Summarize the descriptions of the battle between Macbeth and (1) Macdownald and (ii) the Norwegian King as given by the Sergeant and by Ross, adding a comment of your own.
Answer: The Sergeant and Ross both describe the battle, but they do it in their own ways based on what they saw.
The Sergeant starts by saying that it was hard to tell who would win the battle. Macdonwald, who had a big army, seemed like he might win. But Macbeth, who was very brave, fought his way through the enemy and killed Macdonwald. He didn’t even say goodbye, he just killed him and put his head on the castle wall. Then, the King of Norway started a new attack. But Macbeth and his friend Banquo fought back bravely. The Sergeant said that they were as scared as eagles are of sparrows, or lions are of hares, which is a funny way of saying they weren’t scared at all. The battlefield was very bloody and scary, like Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. After telling this story, the Sergeant collapsed.
Ross came next and gave his own description of the battle. He said that at first, the Norwegian King’s flags were flying high, which scared the Scottish army. But the Thane of Cawdor, who was supposed to be on their side, turned out to be a traitor. Even though it seemed like the Scottish army might lose, everything changed when Macbeth stepped in. Ross said that Macbeth was like the husband of the war goddess Bellona, which means he was very brave. He fought against the Norwegian King and won, which made the Scottish army victorious.
Both descriptions are very detailed, but the Sergeant’s is more dramatic, while Ross’s is more realistic. Ross’s description is probably more accurate because he saw the battle himself. Both descriptions show that Macbeth is a great warrior, but they tell the story in slightly different ways. These differences aren’t very important to the overall story of the play.
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