Macbeth (Act 3 Scene 3): ISC Class 12 workbook answers

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Get summary, workbook solutions, questions, answers, notes. pdf, extras to the drama/play “Macbeth” Act 3 Scene 3 by William Shakespeare which is a part of Class 12 English syllabus for students studying under ISC.


Three murderers gather at dusk near the king’s palace, awaiting Banquo and his son Fleance, who Macbeth has ordered them to kill. The murderers discuss how Macbeth has given them their orders and instructions directly, so they can trust that it is his wish for them to commit these murders.

As they wait in the growing darkness, one of the murderers hears horses approaching about a mile away. He knows it is Banquo, as he often leaves his horse at that distance and walks the rest of the way to the palace gate on foot. The other murderers ready themselves to attack.

Banquo and Fleance soon appear, Banquo with a torch. As the assassins approach, Banquo remarks ironically that “it will be rain tonight,” unaware of the deadly storm about to descend upon him. The murderers quickly surround Banquo and his son. They kill Banquo, but Fleance manages to escape in the confusion and darkness.

With Banquo dead, the murderers celebrate their partial success, noting that while Banquo is killed, Fleance had gotten away when someone put out the torch. This leaves their task unfinished and removes the sense of security Macbeth hoped the deed would bring. The murderers leave to inform Macbeth of what transpired, setting the stage for how Macbeth will react to the continued threat that Fleance poses against him keeping his ill-gotten crown.

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Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1. The third murderer has been sent by

a. Macbeth b. Lady Macbeth c. Malcolm d. Lennox

Answer: a. Macbeth

2. Banquo and Fleance enter with a

a. torch b. sword c. crown d. knife

Answer: a. Torch

3. Banquo remarks that

a. it is cold b. it will rain tonight c. the weather is stormy d. it is a dark night

Answer: b. It will rain tonight

4. Banquo asks Fleance to

a. runaway b. to fight the murderers c. to take revenge d. to kill Macbeth

Answer: a. Runaway

5. Banquo considers the attack of him and his son to be

a. an act of treachery b. the effect of the prophecy of the witches c. a sad spectacle d. a murderous act

Answer: a. an act of treachery

Context questions

1. First Murderer: But who did bid thee join with us?
Third Murderer: Macbeth.
Second Murderer: He needs not our mistrust; since he delivers
Our offices, and what we have to do,
To the direction just.

1. Why has Macbeth sent the third murderer to the scene of crime?

Answer: Macbeth sent the third murderer to ensure the murder of Banquo and Fleance is carried out effectively, as he didn’t fully trust the two original murderers.

2. Why should Macbeth not mistrust the two murderers?

Answer: Macbeth should not mistrust the two murderers because they are committed to carrying out their task as directed.

3. Why does Macbeth send murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance? How far is Macbeth successful in his venture?

Answer: Macbeth sends murderers to eliminate Banquo and Fleance due to the threat they pose to his kingship. He is partially successful, as Banquo is killed but Fleance escapes.

4. Which path did the horses take? How far did they have to walk to the palace? Why did Banquo and Fleance alight from their horses?

Answer: Banquo and Fleance’s horses took a roundabout path. They had to walk some distance to the palace. They alighted due to the awkwardness of taking the horses to the steep palace.

5. ‘It will be rain tonight’. How far is this statement of Banquo ironic in the scene of murder?

Answer: Banquo’s statement about rain is ironic as while he could make an assessment of the possibility of rain later, he was absolutely unaware of his imminent death waiting for him.

6. What does Banquo order Fleance to do before he dies?

Answer: Before Banquo dies, he orders Fleance to flee and save himself. This is a crucial moment, as Banquo’s concern is for his son’s safety, highlighting his protective instincts even in the face of imminent danger. 

Essay type questions

1. What actions does Macbeth undertake to ensure the assassination of Banquo and his son Fleance?

Answer: Macbeth plans a detailed plan to assassinate Banquo and Fleance. He subtly gathers information from Banquo about his afternoon plans, including the distance of his ride and if Fleance will join him. Banquo, unsuspecting of Macbeth’s malicious intent, answers casually. Meanwhile, Macbeth has already recruited two murderers to execute Banquo and Fleance. He convinces them to carry out the deed by manipulating and provoking them against Banquo. To further guarantee that Fleance cannot escape, Macbeth involves a third murderer. The identity of this third assassin is debatable; some theorise it is Macbeth himself, others suggest a servant, and some believe it represents Fate. Macbeth’s motive is driven by his desperation to maintain his kingship and the prophecy that Banquo’s lineage will ascend to the Scottish throne. This thought torments Macbeth, as he feels his heinous actions were in vain if the throne passes to Banquo’s descendants, leaving him in mental anguish.


1. Who does the Third Murderer say sent him to join the other two?

Answer: Macbeth. The Third Murderer says “Macbeth” when asked who sent him.

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7. How might Banquo’s murder lead to future problems for Macbeth?

Answer: Since Fleance escaped, he remains alive to potentially avenge his father’s death and fulfil the witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will be kings.

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