Macbeth 101

Understanding Shakespeare's Macbeth

Pre-Read: Literary Elements in the Story

1. Soliloquy- an act of speaking one's thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially by a character in a play
  • “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”- Juliet in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet
2. Foreshadowing- an inkling of what is to come later in the story
  • “Life were better ended by their hate, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love”- From Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
3. Paradox- a statement that appears to be self-contradictory or silly but may include an underlying truth
  • “I can resist anything but temptation.” -Oscar Wilde
4. Dramatic Irony- the characters are oblivious of the situation but the audience is not.
  • In “Romeo and Juliet”, we know way before the characters that they are going to die.
5. Pun- a play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings
  • Why do we still have troops in Germany? To keep the Russians in Czech
6. Alliteration- a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series
  • A big bully beats a baby boy

Pre-Read: What is Shakespeare Even Saying?

  1. The words are rearranged in a unique order, so try to find a order that makes sense to you.

  2. Most of Shakespeare’s omissions are like modern day speaking. It may help to say it aloud to make more sense of it.
  3. The speech is not actually like this in the actual life. It was dramatized for poetic reasons.


Macbeth Summary - High School Summary

These People Are Real?!

The Witchs' Curses

Why Would People Read This Anyway?

Alot of people enjoy watching sad and tragic movies, and many wonder the reasoning for wanting to cry. I believe that the appeal is that you can get in touch with your emotions. Like after a bad breakup, sometimes you just feel the need to cry and just let it all out. Sad movies bring out emotion in people. I also think that tragic movies can also be heartwarming because of the endings. Even though the story might be sad, it really can be nice. Such as Romeo and Juliet. It was tragic when they both killed themselves, but when you think about it, they killed themselves for love and that’s mellifluous. Also, the mood that the movie sets can be powerful.

Fun Facts About Shakespeare


  1. Shakespeare’s father held a lot of different jobs, and at one point got paid to drink beer.
  2. Shakespeare married an older woman who was three months pregnant at the time.
  3. Shakespeare’s parents were probably illiterate, and his children almost certainly were.
  4. Nobody knows what Shakespeare did between 1585 and 1592.
  5. We probably don’t spell Shakespeare’s name correctly—but, then again, neither did he.
  6. Shakespeare wore a gold hoop earring—or so we think.
  7. Some people think Shakespeare was a fraud