Macbeth (Act 3 Scene 5): ISC Class 12 workbook answers

Macbeth act 3 scene 5
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Get summary, workbook solutions, questions, answers, notes. pdf, extras to the drama/play “Macbeth” Act 3 Scene 5 by William Shakespeare which is a part of Class 12 English syllabus for students studying under ISC.


The scene takes place on a deserted heath. The three witches are meeting Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. Hecate appears angry with the three witches for dealing with Macbeth without consulting her first. She refers to them as “beldams” and accuses them of being “saucy and overbold.” Hecate says she is the one who provides the witches with their magic powers and charms. She is upset that the witches have been meddling with Macbeth without including her or giving her credit.

She refers to Macbeth as a “wayward son” who is spiteful and acts only for his own benefit, not for the witches. Hecate instructs the witches to meet her at the pit of Acheron the next morning. This is where Macbeth will come to learn his destiny from the witches. Hecate says she will spend the night gathering magical ingredients to make spells and raise apparitions. Her plan is to use these illusions to confuse Macbeth and lead him to his downfall.

Specifically, Hecate will gather a vaporous drop from the corner of the moon and use it to conjure spirits that will trick Macbeth with their illusions. This will cause him to arrogantly defy fate and death. Hecate hears her spirits calling her, saying they await her in a foggy cloud. She declares she must leave immediately to do her work and bring about Macbeth’s “dismal and fatal end.”

The three witches plan to hurry off and prepare their charms and spells for the next day’s meeting with Macbeth.

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Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1. Hecate is angry with the witches because

A. they had met Macbeth earlier without consulting her B. they had killed Banquo C. they had challenged her superiority D. they had not told Macbeth about her powers

Answer: A. they had met Macbeth earlier without consulting her

2. Hecate instructs the witches to meet her

A. in Macbeth’s palace B. at the pit of Acheron C. in the heath D. in the moon

Answer: B. at the pit of Acheron

3. Hecate intends to collect a drop of vapour from

A. the moon B. the lake C. the pit of Acheron D. the grass

Answer: A. the moon

4. According to Hecate the chiefest enemy of man is

A. hatred B. wisdom C. grace D. security

Answer: D. security

5. Hecate cannot stay any longer because

A. she is late to meet the devil B. her little spirit is waiting for her C. she has to go to hell D. she has to collect all the ingredients to charm Macbeth

Answer: D. she has to collect all the ingredients to charm Macbeth

Context questions

1.  Hecate: Have I not reason,……….as you are; ……and……..? How did you dare to trade and ……with Macbeth in……and affairs of death; And I, the……of your charms, the close……..of all harms, was never call’d to bear my part, Or show the ……of our art?

1. Who is Hecate? Who is she speaking to?

Answer: Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft. She is speaking to the three witches.

2. Fill in the blanks in the extract.

Answer: Have I not reason, beldams as you are, Saucy and overbold? How did you dare To trade and traffic with Macbeth In riddles and affairs of death; And I, the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms, Was never call’d to bear my part, Or show the glory of our art?

3. What does Hecate want to collect from the corner of the moon? What does she intend to do with it?

Answer: Hecate intends to collect a drop of vapour from the corner of the moon. She plans to use its magical power to raise apparitions to tempt Macbeth to his ruin.

4. Which three words does Hecate use for the person she is speaking to?

Answer: the three words Hecate uses for the persons she is speaking to are “beldams”, “Saucy”, and “overbold”.

5. Which three words does Hecate use for Macbeth?

Answer: the three words Hecate uses for Macbeth are “wayward”, “spiteful”, and “wrathful”.

2. Hecate: But make amends now; get you gone, And at the pit of……………meet me in the………. thither he will come to know his destiny.

a. Fill in the blanks in the extract. Who is ‘ he’ Hecare refers to?

Answer: “But make amends now; get you gone, And at the pit of Acheron meet me in the morning: thither he Will come to know his destiny:”

The “he” Hecate refers to is Macbeth.

b. What amends does she ask the witches to make? Why?

Answer: Hecate wants the witches to correct their previous actions of interacting with Macbeth without her involvement. She believes they have meddled improperly and wishes to take control of the situation to guide Macbeth’s fate.

c. What are Hecate’s plans regarding Macbeth?

Answer: Hecate plans to use her magic and the witches’ prophecies to further manipulate Macbeth. Her aim is to lead him down a path of destruction, exploiting his ambition and moral weaknesses.

d. What will Hecate catch and from where?

Answer: Hecate mentions capturing a vapour, a magical element, from a specific location to use in her enchantments. The exact location is specified in the text of the play.

e. What confusion does Hecate intend to create?

Answer: Hecate intends to create confusion in Macbeth’s mind. She plans to use apparitions and prophecies to mislead him, making him overconfident in his invincibility and blind to the real threats to his reign.

Essay type questions

1. Briefly discuss the scene in which the three witches meet Hecate.

Answer: Many critics doubt the genuineness of this scene because it lacks the solemnity and impression of Shakespeare’s other witch scenes. Hecate’s character seems unimpressive – just an irritable old hag disregarded by the witches. The scene adds little to the atmosphere. Also, Macbeth being called a “wayward son” contradicts his behaviour with the witches. Hecate’s line about “loving for his own ends” is confusing. Further, though Hecate claims she’ll raise spirits with a magic drop to confuse Macbeth, the witches alone mix the cauldron in the next act. These strong arguments suggest the scene is likely an interpolation by Middleton, not Shakespeare. However, some argue to retain the scene since it follows Macbeth announcing he’ll visit the witches, foreshadowing their sinister plans. Overall, the inauthentic style and disconnect from the rest of the play cast doubt on the scene’s genuineness.

Extra MCQs

1. Who enters the scene during a thunderstorm? 

A. Macbeth B. Banquo C. The three Witches D. King Duncan 

Answer: C. The three Witches

2. Who expresses anger towards the three witches? 

A. Lady Macbeth B. Hecate C. Macduff D. Malcolm 

Answer: B. Hecate

3. What is Hecate’s criticism towards the witches? 

A. Their loyalty to Macbeth B. Their interference in Macbeth’s destiny C. Their failure to include her in their plans D. Their lack of magical skills 

Answer: C. Their failure to include her in their plans

4. According to Hecate, what has been the main motivation behind the witches’ dealings with Macbeth? 

A. Greed B. Revenge C. Spite D. Curiosity 

Answer: C. Spite

5. Where does Hecate instruct the witches to meet her? 

A. At the castle B. In the forest C. At the pit of Acheron D. On the heath 

Answer: C. At the pit of Acheron

6. What time of day does Hecate plan to meet the witches? 

A. Noon B. Midnight C. Morning D. Evening 

Answer: C. Morning

7. What does Hecate intend to do to Macbeth? 

A. Bless him B. Curse him C. Confuse him D. Kill him 

Answer: C. Confuse him

8. What does Hecate say is “mortals’ chiefest enemy”? 

A. Fear B. Death C. Wisdom D. Security 

Answer: D. Security

Extra Questions and Answers

1. What is Hecate’s grievance with the witches?

Answer: Hecate’s grievance with the three witches stems from their dealings with Macbeth without her consultation. This interaction is significant as it sets the stage for the future, where Hecate plans to use her powers for Macbeth’s ultimate ruin. She intends to collect magical elements, including a drop of dew from the moon, to raise apparitions that will lead Macbeth towards his destruction​​.

2. What role does Hecate play in the plot development of “Macbeth”?

Answer: Hecate plays a pivotal role in the plot development of “Macbeth” as the orchestrator of Macbeth’s downfall. She plans to use her magical powers to deceive and confuse Macbeth, leading him to his ruin. Hecate’s influence amplifies the supernatural element in the play, intensifying Macbeth’s encounters with forces beyond his control and understanding​​.

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