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Act 5

Text of Book

Act 5, page 1

Act 5, page 2

Act 5, page 3

Act 5, page 4

Act 5, page 5

Act 5, page 6

Act 5, page 7

Act 5, page 8


1) What is the main idea of Act 5?

2) The Gentlewoman says:

"Lo you, here she comes!
This is her very guise, and upon my life fast asleep.
Observe her, stand close."
Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 22–23

What does "guise" mean in this passage?

3) The Doctor says:

"Foul whisp'rings are abroad: unnatural deeds
Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets:"
Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 79–81

What does "discharge" mean in this passage?

4) Malcolm says:

"Let every soldier hew him down a bough,
And bear't before him: thereby shall we shadow
The numbers of our host, and make discovery
Err in report of us."
Act 5, Scene 4, Lines 4–7

What does "hew" mean in this passage?

5) Young Siward says:

"The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear."

What does "title" mean in this sentence?

6) Macbeth says:

"Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
The cry is still 'They come': our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn:"
Act 5, Scene 5, Lines 1–3

What does "scorn" mean in this passage?

7) What action does Lady Macbeth act out while sleepwalking?

8) One of the most famous lines in this play is when Lady Macbeth says:

"Out, damned spot!
Out, I say!"
Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 39

What is she trying to wash away?

9) What does the doctor say is the cause of Lady Macbeth's illness?

10) One of the prophesies said that Birnam Wood would come to Dunsinane.

How does Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane?

11) Who does Macbeth discover was "from his mother's womb untimely ripped"?

12) What does Macbeth mean in this quote?

"I have almost forgot the taste of fears:
The time has been, my senses would have cooled
To hear a night–shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in't: I have supped full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me."
Act 5, Scene 5, Lines 9–16

13) What does Macbeth mean when he says:

"To–morrow, and to–morrow, and to–morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
Act 5, Scene 5, Lines 19–28

14) What caused Macbeth to change from a war hero to a ruthless killer throughout the play?

15) What does Malcolm's speech at the end of Act V reveal?

16) Were there any words or events that weren't clear to you?