ISC Macbeth Workbook Question Answers : Act 2

Welcome to our comprehensive guide dedicated to ISC Macbeth Workbook Question Answers : Act 2. In this post, we meticulously address long questions from all scenes of Macbeth’s Act 2. Delving into William Shakespeare’s masterpiece, we unravel the complexities of character motivations, thematic elements, and linguistic nuances prevalent throughout Act 2. Utilizing the workbook provided by Morning Star publishers, we offer detailed insights and analysis to aid students’ understanding. While our responses are structured based on the workbook, we encourage readers to use them as a foundation for their own exploration and interpretation. Shakespeare’s work is renowned for its depth, allowing ample room for individual analysis and insight. Join us on this enlightening journey through Act 2 of Macbeth, where we uncover the timeless brilliance of Shakespeare’s storytelling and its relevance in today’s world.

Table of Contents

Question Answers :-

Question 1 :-

(i) Referring closely to Act II of the play, what is equivocation? What allusion is referred to in the use of equivocation? [5]

Answer :- In Act II of Macbeth, equivocation refers to the use of ambiguous language or expressions to deceive or mislead. This is exemplified when Macbeth equivocates with himself before committing the murder of King Duncan, using phrases like “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?” The allusion referred to in the use of equivocation is the appearance of the dagger that Macbeth sees before him. It symbolizes his internal conflict and the blurred lines between reality and hallucination.


(iI) Referring closely to Act II of the play, explain briefly how the tumult in nature corresponds to the murder of a great man. [5]

Answer :- In Act II, the tumult in nature, such as the unruly weather and strange occurrences like owls screeching and crickets crying, corresponds to the murder of King Duncan. This reflects the disruption of the natural order caused by the heinous act of regicide. The chaos in nature mirrors the chaos in human society resulting from Duncan’s murder, highlighting the theme of disorder and the consequences of immoral actions.

(iII) (a) Explain the value and significance of the Porter’s scene in the play. [10]

Answer :- The Porter’s scene in Act II serves several purposes in the play. Firstly, it provides comic relief amidst the intense and dark atmosphere of the murder of King Duncan. The Porter’s drunken ramblings and humor provide a brief respite from the tension, allowing the audience to momentarily relax. Secondly, it serves as a reflection of the disorder and chaos that has been unleashed by Duncan’s murder. The Porter’s talk of hell’s gate being opened and the consequences of drunkenness symbolize the moral and societal upheaval caused by the regicide. Lastly, the Porter’s scene also functions as a foreshadowing of the guilt and punishment that Macbeth and his wife will face for their actions, as the Porter unknowingly alludes to the consequences of sin and the afterlife.

(b) How far does Lady Macbeth contribute to her husband’s downfall? [10]

Answer :- Lady Macbeth significantly contributes to her husband’s downfall through her manipulation, ambition, and lack of moral restraint. She challenges Macbeth’s masculinity and urges him to commit regicide to fulfill their ambitions for power. Her relentless persuasion and manipulation push Macbeth to overcome his initial reluctance and commit the murder. Additionally, Lady Macbeth’s own ambition and desire for power blind her to the consequences of their actions, leading them both down a path of destruction. Her psychological breakdown later in the play reflects the guilt and remorse she feels, but by then, it is too late to undo the damage they have caused. Overall, Lady Macbeth’s influence and actions play a crucial role in precipitating her husband’s tragic downfall.

isc macbeth workbook answer

Question 2

(i) Referring closely to Act II of the play, what is meant by sacrilegious murder? Why is the murder of Duncan said to be sacrilegious? [5]

Answer :- In Act II of Macbeth, sacrilegious murder refers to the act of committing murder in a manner that defies or violates religious or divine laws. The murder of Duncan is said to be sacrilegious because Duncan is not only the King of Scotland but also represents the God-appointed authority and divine order on Earth. Killing him is considered a direct affront to God and a violation of the sanctity of kingship. Additionally, Duncan is a guest in Macbeth’s castle, which further emphasizes the gravity of the crime as it violates the sacred laws of hospitality and protection.


(iI) Explain why the body of Duncan is referred as the Lord’s anointed temple. What was the belief of the Elizabethan period regarding the divine right of kings? [5]

Answer :- The body of Duncan is referred to as the Lord’s anointed temple because, in the Elizabethan period, kings were believed to be chosen and anointed by God to rule. They were considered to possess a divine right to rule, and their bodies were seen as sacred vessels housing the divine authority bestowed upon them. Therefore, harming or killing a king was not only a crime against the individual but also an act of sacrilege against the divine order established by God. The belief in the divine right of kings held that kings derived their authority directly from God, and rebellion or regicide was tantamount to rebellion against God himself.
(iII) (a) Referring closely to Act II of the play, comment on the unnatural events as described by Ross and an Old Man outside the castle. [10]
Answer :- In Act II of the play, Ross and an Old Man describe unnatural events occurring outside the castle following Duncan’s murder. They mention strange occurrences in nature, such as a falcon being killed by an owl and horses eating each other. These events symbolize the disruption of the natural order and the chaos unleashed by Duncan’s sacrilegious murder. The owl killing the falcon represents the inversion of the natural hierarchy, where predators become prey. Similarly, the horses’ unnatural behavior symbolizes the breakdown of social order and the perversion of natural instincts. These events serve to highlight the moral and spiritual consequences of Macbeth’s actions and foreshadow the turmoil and chaos that will engulf Scotland.
(b) Compare and contrast the character of Macbeth with Lady Macbeth in their resolve to kill Duncan. [10]

Answer :- Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both resolve to kill Duncan, but their motivations and approaches differ significantly. Macbeth initially wrestles with his conscience and is plagued by doubts and fears about committing regicide. He expresses his inner conflict through soliloquies and hallucinations, showing his moral struggle and hesitation. In contrast, Lady Macbeth is resolute and unwavering in her ambition and determination to seize power. She manipulates Macbeth, questioning his masculinity and coercing him into action. Unlike Macbeth, who is tormented by guilt and remorse after the murder, Lady Macbeth remains steadfast and focused on achieving their goals. However, as the play progresses, both characters experience the psychological and emotional toll of their actions, leading to their eventual downfall. While Macbeth is driven by ambition and moral weakness, Lady Macbeth is driven by ambition and a thirst for power, making them both complex and tragic figures in the play.


Question 3

(i) Referring closely to Act II of the play, state what Macbeth sees on the blade of the dagger and what does it signify. [5]

Answer :- In Act II of Macbeth, Macbeth sees a dagger before him, its blade pointing towards Duncan’s chamber. The dagger appears to be covered in blood, which symbolizes the impending murder of Duncan. It signifies Macbeth’s inner turmoil and psychological state, reflecting his guilt-ridden conscience and the magnitude of the deed he is about to commit. The vision of the dagger serves as a manifestation of Macbeth’s inner conflict and his descent into moral darkness.

(iI) Referring closely to Act II of the play, state the wicked dreams that Macbeth is likely to have. Why is the sleep referred to as curtained sleep? [5]

Answer :- In Act II of the play, Macbeth is likely to have wicked dreams related to the consequences of his actions, such as guilt, fear, and paranoia. He may dream of the blood on his hands, representing his guilt over Duncan’s murder. Additionally, he may dream of the consequences of his ambition, including betrayal, loss, and eventual downfall. The sleep is referred to as curtained sleep because sleep provides a temporary escape or relief from the harsh realities of life, much like a curtain that temporarily shields one from the outside world. However, Macbeth’s sleep is curtained in the sense that it is disrupted by his guilt and the psychological torment he experiences, preventing him from finding true rest or solace.

(iII) (a) Referring closely to Act II of the play, state what does Lady Macbeth say on seeing Macbeth’s blood-stained hands. How does she console Macbeth after the deed is done? Which characteristic traits of Lady Macbeth are revealed about her in this act. [10]

Answer :- Upon seeing Macbeth’s blood-stained hands, Lady Macbeth remarks, “My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white.” She consoles Macbeth by reassuring him that a little water will wash away the blood, and they will be free from guilt. She then guides him to clean himself and dispose of the evidence of the murder. This demonstrates Lady Macbeth’s pragmatic and unflinching resolve to cover up their crime and avoid detection. It also reveals her ability to remain composed and focused on their shared goal of seizing power, despite the emotional and psychological toll of their actions.
(b) Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are partners in crime. Explain the difference in the characteristic traits between the two. [10]

Answer :- While both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are partners in crime, they exhibit different characteristic traits in their approach to Duncan’s murder and its aftermath. Macbeth initially struggles with his conscience and experiences intense guilt and inner conflict over the murder. He is haunted by hallucinations and wrestles with the moral implications of his actions, indicating his susceptibility to guilt and remorse. In contrast, Lady Macbeth is depicted as manipulative, ruthless, and single-minded in her pursuit of power. She is willing to sacrifice her morality and humanity to achieve her ambitions, showing her capacity for cold-bloodedness and moral corruption. Despite their shared goal, Macbeth’s internal struggle and Lady Macbeth’s resolute determination highlight the complexity and divergence of their characters in the face of moral dilemmas and moral decay.

31st May 2024
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31st May 2024
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