Macbeth Act 5 Scene 2: ISC Class 12 workbook answers

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 2
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Get notes, workbook solutions, summary, questions and answers, and pdf of the drama/play Macbeth (Act 5 Scene 2) by William Shakespeare, which is part of ISC Class 12 English. However, the notes should only be treated as references, and changes should be made according to the needs of the students.

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This scene takes place near Birnam Wood, where Scottish lords like Menteith, Caithness, Angus, and Lennox, along with their soldiers, have gathered. They have abandoned Macbeth and are now joining forces with Malcolm, Macduff, and the English army to overthrow the tyrannical king.

The lords discuss the situation, revealing that Macbeth is becoming increasingly isolated and paranoid. He has fortified Dunsinane castle and is relying on fear rather than loyalty to maintain control. His guilt and anxiety over his past crimes are taking a toll on his mental state, and some even believe he has gone mad.

Angus points out that Macbeth is now experiencing the consequences of his actions. The murders he committed weigh heavily on his conscience, and rebellions are erupting throughout his kingdom. His authority is crumbling, and he feels like a “dwarfish thief” wearing a stolen robe, highlighting the illegitimacy of his kingship.

Menteith acknowledges Macbeth’s internal torment, suggesting that even his own mind is rebelling against him. His senses are “pestered” by guilt and self-condemnation, leading to his erratic behavior.

The lords decide to march towards Birnam Wood to meet with Malcolm, whom they see as the rightful heir and the “medicine” needed to heal their ailing nation. They pledge their loyalty to him and are ready to sacrifice their lives to restore order and justice to Scotland.

The scene concludes with the lords preparing to march towards Birnam Wood, united in their purpose to dethrone the tyrant and restore peace to their land. They are determined to “dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds,” symbolizing their commitment to supporting the rightful king and eliminating the destructive forces that have plagued their country under Macbeth’s rule.

Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Macbeth’s kingship is like

a. The robe of a giant sitting loosely on the body of a dwarf
b. The robe of a dwarf sitting tightly on the body of a giant
c. The robe of a king being worn by a peasant
d. The robe of a peasant being worn by a king

Answer: a. The robe of a giant sitting loosely on the body of a dwarf

2. Malcolm is the

a. usurper of the throne of Scotland
b. rightful heir of Duncan
c. son of Duncan who indulged in parricide
d. son of the King of England

Answer: b. rightful heir of Duncan

3. The English army decide to march to

a. Dunsinane
b. Birnam
c. Inverness
d. Fife

Answer: b. Birnam

4. The brother of Malcolm who has not joined them is

a. Seyton
b. Donalbain
c. Edward the Confessor
d. Young Siward

Answer: b. Donalbain

5. The English army is led by

a. Mentieth, Cathiness, and Angus
b. Malcolm, Macduff, and his uncle Siward
c. Seyton and Ross
d. Young Siward and the King of England

Answer: b. Malcolm, Macduff, and his uncle Siward

Context questions

1. Menteith: The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.
Revenges burn in them; for their dear causes
Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
Excite the mortified man.

a. Who leads the English army along with Malcolm? How has this army been mustered up?

Answer: Siward and Macduff lead the English army along with Malcolm. This army has been mustered up by those who have grievances and are eager for revenge.

b. Where, according to Angus, are they to meet the English power?

Answer: According to Angus, they are to meet the English power near Birnam Wood as they are coming that way.

c. What reasons has Macbeth given them for their ‘revenge’ and ’causes’?

Answer: Macbeth has given them reasons for their ‘revenge’ and ’causes’ through his own actions, as he has secured the throne through evil means, leading to a persistent sense of guilt among those who oppose him.

d. According to the list that Lennox has, who are and who are not with Malcolm as he marches with the English army?

Answer: According to the list that Lennox has, Siward’s son and many unbearded young men who have not reached the first stage of manhood are with Malcolm. Donalbain is not with Malcolm as he marches with the English army.

e. What has made Macbeth go mad with rage and fury?

Answer: Macbeth has gone mad with rage and fury because of the desertion of his nobles and the forces joining the enemy. Even those who still serve him do so more out of compulsion than loyalty. His mind is full of scorpions, and he is always on the rack, driven to desperation by the prophecy of the witches and his own guilt.

2. Angus: Now does he feel
His secret murders sticking on his hands;
Now minutely revolts unbraid his faith-breach
Those he commands move only in command
Nothing in love: now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.

a. Who is Angus speaking to? Where are they at the present moment?

Answer: Angus is speaking to the other Scottish lords and soldiers. They are near Dunsinane, preparing to join Malcolm’s forces against Macbeth.

b. Explain: “His secret murders sticking on his hands”.

Answer: “His secret murders sticking on his hands” means that Macbeth is constantly reminded of the murders he committed to secure the throne, causing him to suffer from a persistent sense of guilt.

c. Why is Macbeth not comfortable with his kingship? Explain the dress imagery used in the extract.

Answer: Macbeth is not comfortable with his kingship because it does not fit him well; it is like a robe of a giant sitting loosely on the body of a dwarf who has stolen the robe. This imagery means that Macbeth has usurped the throne and feels unsuited to it, reflecting his illegitimacy and discomfort in his role as king.

d. Give the meaning of

i. upbraid

Answer: To reproach or criticize severely.

ii. faith-breach

Answer: Treachery or breach of faith.

iii. to recoil

Answer: To draw back or retreat in response to fear or disgust.

e. How is Macbeth suffering inwardly?

Answer: Macbeth is suffering inwardly because all the faculties of his mind are employed in self-condemnation. He is burdened by his guilty conscience, resulting from his secret murders and treachery, which leads to a persistent sense of guilt and discomfort with his illegitimately obtained kingship.

Essay questions

Question: How do the hidden killings Macbeth carries out come back to haunt him?

Answer: Macbeth, initially a man of noble character and talent, transforms into a villain after taking King Duncan’s life. He continues down a dark path, committing murder after murder, essentially becoming a ruthless butcher. His guilty conscience reveals his true nature, exposing his evil deeds and branding him a bloodthirsty tyrant. He loses the support of his once-loyal subjects. Even those who served him out of self-interest begin to distance themselves, and those forced to remain do so with little enthusiasm. Revolts erupt constantly, reminding Macbeth of his own betrayal. Feeling cornered and desperate, he realizes that being king doesn’t suit him. His guilty conscience tells him that the crown he wears is like a giant’s robe on a dwarf who stole it – in other words, he stole the kingship from Malcolm, and that’s why it feels so wrong.

Extra/additional MCQs

1. Who leads the English army along with Malcolm?

A. Macduff and Siward B. Donalbain and Siward C. Macduff and Donalbain D. Caithness and Lennox

Answer: A. Macduff and Siward

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10. What does Lennox say the forces are ready to do for Malcolm?

A. Fight till the last man B. Defend Dunsinane at all costs C. Purge the country of its disease D. Surrender if defeated

Answer: C. Purge the country of its disease

Extra/additional questions and answers

1. Who is leading the English army against Macbeth?

Answer: According to Menteith, the English army is led by Malcolm, his uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.

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8. How does Lennox describe the forces accompanying Malcolm?

Answer: Lennox says that in addition to Siward’s son, there are “many unrough youths that even now Protest their first of manhood,” indicating that Malcolm’s army contains young, beardless men who are declaring themselves men for the first time by joining the fight against Macbeth.

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