Macbeth Homework

1. Briefly state what the soliloquy in Act III scene I 47-72 means, and what it adds to the play.

After Banquos departure from the castle, Macbeth begins a soliloquy regarding his fear towards Banquo.Macbeth’s fear for Banquo roots from the prophecy that the witches gave Banquo, telling him that he will be the father of kings.Macbeth is frightened of this, becuase if it were to come true, his will be a “fruitless crown,” implying that Macbeth would not have an heir to the throne.This Soliloquy makes Macbeth’s decision to murder Banquo concrete, due to the fact that within this soliloquy, Macbeth deduced that it was either that he murders Banquo, or Banquo’s prophecy will come true, erasing the possibility for an heir to Macbeth.

2. State how Shakespeare’s Macbeth illuminates “power’s nihilistic core”

Shakespeare’s Macbeth exposes “power’s nihilistic core” through showing that “power” has the power of corruption. Macbeth was fairhearted and in favor of god in the beggining of the play, however, when presented with the oppertunity for abosulute power, he was “corrupted abosuloutly”. Once Macbeth became king and could get no more power, his greed turned into control. Ensuring that the prophecy of Banquo, the only thing that could take away his power, would not ensue. Through this greed for power, Macbeth has “annihilated” his connection with god, and is tormented by his own conceince, such as seeing the ghost of Banquo at his feast, and paranoia throughout the play. Thus, Shakespeare’s Macbeth clearly illuminates the nihlistic
nature of power.

3. Discuss the irony of Macbeth’s line to Banquo, “fail not our feast.” does Banquo “fail the feast.”, and what does the banquet scene add to the play?

Before Banquo went riding Macbeth had said to him “Fail not our feast” to which Banquo replied “my lord i will not”. This is an example of dramatic irony, where the speaker, Banquo, does not realize that Macbeth had already planned for his death before the start of the feast, while the audience does know of this fact. Whats even more ironic, is when Banguo shows up at the feast as a ghost. Thus, Banquo kept his word and did well to return to the feast. This scene is of very significant importance to the play because Macbeth is at his political peak in his kingship. However this scene also represents the beginning of the downfall of Macbeth because after this scene things start to go wrong.