Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Suggested Essay Topics

1. The fantastical and grotesque witches are among the most memorable figures in the play. How does Shakespeare characterize the witches? What is their thematic significance?

2. Compare and contrast Macbeth, Macduff, and Banquo. How are they alike? How are they different? Is it possible to argue that Macbeth is the play’s villain and Macduff or Banquo its hero, or is the matter more complicated than that?

3. Discuss the role that blood plays in Macbeth, particularly immediately following Duncan’s murder and late in the play. What does it symbolize for Macbeth and his wife?

4. Discuss Macbeth’s visions and hallucinations. What role do they play in the development of his character?

5. Is Macbeth a moral play? Is justice served at the end of the play? Defend your answer.

6. Discuss Shakespeare’s use of the technique of elision, in which certain key events take place offstage. Why do you think he uses this technique?