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  1. Who is the protagonist?
  2. Who is the antagonist?
  3. Who do you sympathize with in this play? Protagonist or antagonist? How does this affect your enjoyment of the play?
  4. Macbeth begins with three witches chanting "fair is foul and foul is fair" (I.i.10). What is Shakespeare telling us about the play in this opening line?
  5. How do the witches' prophecies set Macbeth and Banquo against each other?
  6. How do Banquo and Macbeth respond differently to the witches' prophecy? What does this say about each of them?
  7. To what extent is Lady Macbeth responsible for Duncan's murder? Are she and Macbeth equal partners in crime?
  8. Whose ambition is the driving force of the play—Macbeth’s or Lady Macbeth’s?
  9. What other crimes is Macbeth forced to commit in order to cover up the murder of Duncan?
  10. Describe two ways in which the director of this play could represent the ghost of Banquo in the banquet scene.
  11. Is there really a ghost or does he exist only in Macbeth's mind?
  12. Are there supernatural forces at work in this play? If so, what do they want?
  13. What causes Lady Macbeth's breakdown?
  14. What key events take place offstage? Is this a weakness in the play?
  15. How does Macbeth evolve over the course of the play?
  16. At the end of the play, Macduff kills Macbeth in a scene easily interpreted as the victory of Good over Evil. Is this an accurate characterization? Or is there a certain moral ambiguity in this play?
  17. Is Macbeth wholly evil?
  18. Is Macduff wholly good?
  19. Before she dies, Lady Macduff complains of her husband's "unnatural" behavior in abandoning wife and children and calls him a "traitor" (IV.ii.9). Is her anger justified?
  20. Are the witches' prophecies, at the beginning of the play, binding? Is Macbeth trapped by destiny, a victim of fate, or does he make his own choices?
  21. In some respects, Macbeth is a meditation on "manhood." It explores "natural" and "unnatural" gender behavior, offering varying views on what constitutes real "manhood." How do the various characters in the play define "manhood"?
  22. Another important theme in Macbeth is the idea of political legitimacy, of the moral authority that some kings possess and others lack. What makes Duncan a good king and Macbeth a tyrant?
  23. Does Macbeth have a tragic flaw? If so, what?