1)Why did Macbeth want to murder Banquo and his son? How was Banquo murdered? [2+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. Class 11 – 2019, 2020]
Ans. After ascending the throne of Scotland, Macbeth did not rest in peace as the weird sisters prophesied that the children of Banquo would be the kings of Scotland. So Macbeth wanted to murder Banquo.
For the purpose of murder, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth arranged a banquet. They invited all the thanes along with Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth hired some assassins and placed them on their way. The assassins pounced on them and killed Banquo but Fleance manage to flee from there.
2)Why did Lady Macbeth plot to kill the king? What did Macbeth say to oppose her? [2+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. Class 11 – 2017]
Ans. Lady Macbeth was an extremely ambitious woman. When she came to know the partial accomplishment of the predictions, she provoked her husband to murder King Duncan as it was absolutely necessary for him to be the king of Scotland.
Macbeth opposed her wife showing strong reasons against the murder of King Duncan. Macbeth was a subject and a close relative to King Duncan. Now Duncan was Macbeth’s host. His only duty is to protect him not to murder him. King Duncan was just and benevolent. He was loved by all. If he was killed, his faithful subjects would try to avenge his death. Macbeth argued that he had enjoyed a high position throughout Scotland. He did not intend to stain his honour and reputation.
3)Bring out the significance of the opening scene of Macbeth.  [Annual Exam. Class 11 – 2017, 2018]
Ans. The opening scene of the play ‘Macbeth’ is very significant as it sets the tone of the play and controls the central theme of the play. When Macbeth and Banquo were returning from the battlefield, they encountered bad weather. There were thunder and lightning which create an uncanny atmosphere of doubt and suspicion. They were stopped by three strange figures. They were dancing and singing, ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’. It shows that they were the worshippers of ‘foul’. By their predictions, they create confusion and chaos in the life of Macbeth. At last, to chase his inordinate ambition, Macbeth faces his doom.
4)Give a brief account of the ‘Banquet Scene’ in ‘Macbeth’.  [Annual Exam. Class 11 – 2016]
Ans. To negate the predictions of the witches, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth planned a banquet. At the banquet, they invited all the chief thanes. They played the role of a perfect host with gentle and graceful manners. They pleased everyone in the banquet and Macbeth regretted the absence of his dearest friend Banquo. Though in the way Macbeth appointed some hired assassins who killed Banquo.
In the banquet hall, Macbeth saw the ghost of Banquo occupying his reserved seat but others could see nothing. At this horrible sight, Macbeth lost his mental balance and behaved strangely. His eyes were fixed upon the ghost. Lady Macbeth controlled the situation and dismissed the guests excusing Macbeth’s illness.
I think the phantasm was a product of Macbeth’s sense of guilt and fear of disclosing the dreadful secret.
5)What was the mystery behind the moving of Birnam woods?  [Annual Exam. Class 11– 2015]
Ans. The strange sight of the moving of Birnam woods was a part of Malcolm’s strategy. Actually, The woods was not moving. When the soldiers were advancing towards the castle of Macbeth, Malcolm instructed them to cut down a bough and bear it before him to conceal the actual number of soldiers. The marching soldiers with boughs in their hands appeared from the distance that the woods was moving. Thus the prediction of witches seemed to resemble and Macbeth lost his confidence.
6) What role do the witches play in ‘Macbeth’?  [Annual Exam. Class 11 – 2022]
Ans. The witches are the symbol of evil spirits. They help to build up a weird atmosphere. They act as instigators in bringing evil to Macbeth. When Macbeth and Banquo were returning from the battlefield, the three weird sisters stopped them. They addressed Macbeth as ‘Thane of Glamis’, and ‘thane of Cawdor’ and predicted that he would be the king of Scotland. They also prophesied that Banquo’s successors would be the kings. And later the partial accomplishment of their prophecies aroused hope in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to be the king and queen of Scotland. So, to chase his ambition, Macbeth removed his rivals, first king Duncan then Banquo and Fleance and ultimately destroyed himself.
7)What did each of the three witches predict to Macbeth when he first met them? What did they say to Banquo? [2+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. Class 11 – 2014]
Ans. When Macbeth and Banquo were returning from the battlefield victoriously, they were stopped by three strange figures in a desolate heath. The first witch saluted Macbeth with the title of ‘thane of Glamis’. The second witch addressed him as the ‘thane of Cawdor’. The third witch predicted that Macbeth will be the king of Scotland.
Banquo was curious to know about himself. Then the witches turned toward Banquo and told him that he would never reign Scotland as the king but his successors would be the kings.