Macbeth Act 5 Scene 8: ISC Class 12 workbook answers

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 8
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Get notes, workbook solutions, summary, questions and answers, and pdf of the drama/play Macbeth (Act 5 Scene 8) 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.

If you notice any errors in the notes, please mention them in the comments


This climactic scene depicts the final confrontation between Macbeth and Macduff, leading to the downfall of the tyrant and the fulfillment of the witches’ prophecy. Macbeth, despite facing defeat and acknowledging the weight of his crimes, refuses to surrender and chooses to die fighting.

Macduff confronts Macbeth, eager to exact revenge for the murder of his family. Macbeth initially tries to dissuade him, admitting to the burden of his past deeds and the change in his heart. However, Macduff remains resolute, determined to let his sword speak for him.

Macbeth then reveals the source of his confidence – the witches’ prophecy that he cannot be harmed by any man born of woman. This revelation momentarily stuns Macduff, but he quickly recovers and delivers a shocking truth: he was not born naturally but was “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb, thus fulfilling the condition to defeat Macbeth.

This revelation shatters Macbeth’s remaining hope and exposes the deceptive nature of the witches’ prophecy. He hesitates, realizing his vulnerability and the inevitability of his demise. However, his pride and warrior spirit prevent him from surrendering. When Macduff taunts him as a coward, Macbeth chooses to fight to the death.

The scene culminates in a fierce duel, with Macduff ultimately slaying Macbeth. The tyrant falls, his reign of terror finally ending. Macduff’s victory signifies the triumph of good over evil and the restoration of justice to Scotland. The witches’ prophecy, although twisted and manipulative, ultimately leads to Macbeth’s downfall, proving that his ambition and evil deeds could not escape the consequences of fate.

Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Macbeth does not want to play the

a. Roman fool
b. role of an actor on the stage
c. role of a deceitful man
d. role of a tragic hero

Answer: a. Roman fool

2. Macbeth warns Macduff that he is losing

a. his head
b. his labour
c. his mental peace
d. his property

Answer: b. his labour

3. Macduff reveals to Macbeth that he was

a. born of a woman
b. born of a witch
c. born prematurely
d. untimely ripped from his mother’s womb

Answer: d. untimely ripped from his mother’s womb

4. Macduff tells Macbeth that he will hang

a. Macbeth on a pole for display
b. Macbeth to death
c. all the traitors who served Macbeth
d. himself if he fails to kill Macbeth

Answer: a. Macbeth on a pole for display

5. Macbeth curses the witches to be

a. juggling fiends
b. wicked creatures
c. poisonous bubbles of the air
d. hell hound

Answer: a. juggling fiends

Context questions

1. Macbeth: Why should I play the ….. fool, and die
On mine own …..? whiles
I see lives, the …..
Do better upon them.

a. Fill in the missing words in the blanks of the extract

Answer: Roman, sword, gashes

b. Who enters the scene after the extract?

Answer: Macduff

c. How does the person address Macbeth? What does he ask Macbeth to do?

Answer: Macduff addresses Macbeth by calling him a ‘hell hound’ and asks him to turn and face him.

d. What does Macbeth surprisingly tell the person? What does this show about Macbeth

Answer: Macbeth surprisingly tells Macduff that he has shed too much of his blood already, indicating Macbeth’s remorse and the burden of guilt for his previous actions.

e. How does the person want to express his fury?

Answer: Macduff wants to express his fury through his sword, indicating that he prefers actions over words.

2. Macbeth: Thou losest labour.
As easy may’st thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress, as to make me bleed,
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.

a. Under what false impression is Macbeth living a secure life?

Answer: Macbeth is living under the false impression that he cannot be harmed by any man born of a woman, due to the witches’ prophecy.

b. What bitter truth does Macduff reveal to Macbeth about himself?

Answer: Macduff reveals the bitter truth that he was not born of a woman but was untimely ripped from his mother’s womb.

c. What does Macbeth realize about the ‘juggling fiends’?

Answer: Macbeth realizes that the witches, or ‘juggling fiends’, have misled him with ambiguous prophecies that spoke in double meanings.

d. What does Macbeth decide to do to safeguard himself? Why does he change his decision?

Answer: Initially, Macbeth decides not to fight Macduff to safeguard himself, but he changes his decision when Macduff calls him a coward and challenges him further, provoking his pride.

e. How does Macbeth meet his end?

Answer: Macbeth meets his end by fighting Macduff and being killed in the ensuing battle, fulfilling the witches’ prophecy in an unexpected way.

Essay question

Question: How does Macbeth’s reign come to an end, and what ultimately leads to his death?

Answer: Macbeth, once a respected nobleman, becomes a shell of his former self, consumed by paranoia and despair as his tyranny crumbles around him. Abandoned by his allies and haunted by guilt, he clings to a false sense of security fueled by the witches’ misleading prophecies. He believes himself invincible, convinced that no man of woman born can harm him.

Macbeth’s dwindling forces face the rebel army led by Malcolm and Macduff. Despite the gnawing guilt of massacring Macduff’s family, Macbeth’s fighting spirit remains. He even boasts after slaying young Siward, feeling emboldened by the witches’ pronouncements.

However, his confidence shatters when confronted by Macduff, who reveals a crucial detail: he was not naturally born but “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb, circumventing the prophecy’s limitations. This revelation, coupled with the weight of his atrocities, momentarily paralyzes Macbeth, leaving him hesitant to fight.

Macduff, fueled by vengeance and a desire for justice, taunts Macbeth, branding him a coward and threatening to make him a public spectacle, a “rare monster” displayed for all to see. This ignites a final spark of defiance in Macbeth, leading to a desperate duel. Ultimately, he falls to Macduff’s blade, ending his reign of terror and fulfilling the witches’ twisted prophecy.

Extra/additional MCQs

1. What does Macbeth refuse to do like the Roman heroes?

A. Commit suicide
B. Flee the battle
C. Beg for mercy
D. Declare victory

Answer: A. Commit suicide

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15. How is Macbeth displayed after his death according to Macduff’s plan?

A. As a hero of the land
B. As a tyrant on a pole
C. As a martyr
D. As a peaceful ruler

Answer: B. As a tyrant on a pole

Extra/additional questions and answers

1. Why does Macbeth refuse to commit suicide like the Roman heroes?

Answer: Macbeth refuses to commit suicide like the Roman heroes (Cato and Brutus) because he believes that as long as he sees men living, it is better to inflict wounds on them rather than kill himself.

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11. How does Macbeth’s final decision to fight Macduff despite knowing his inevitable defeat reflect his character?

Answer: Macbeth’s final decision to fight Macduff, even after being warned about the prophecy that he could only be killed by a man “not of woman born,” reflects his determined and defiant character. Despite facing certain defeat and death, Macbeth refuses to surrender or play the “Roman fool” and take his own life. His pride and refusal to back down from the fight showcase his heroic spirit, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

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