(Image credit: CC -Theodore Chasseriau)

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and sinister tragedies, rich with unsettling supernatural imagery, madness, and horrific violence. Written in irregular blank verse, it contains stark and intense imagery, making it an ideal text to study for the close analysis that the individual oral commentary demands. The play provides an opportunity to explore the dangers of ambition and the relationship between good and evil.


  • Scene summary – Use this to record important summary notes about each scene.
  • Response activities – Pre-act, post-act, and scene-specific activities to explore the play in greater depth
  • Practice extracts – Use these extracts to practise close stylistic analysis


  • Webquest – Videos and learning activities to explore the background of the play
  • No Fear Shakespeare – Shakespeare’s language can be an obstacle for modern readers. This site puts the modern English alongside the original.
  • Online study guide – scene summaries, commentary and more
  • Study links – Character introductions, soliloquy analysis, other notes.
  • Cliff Notes – Chapter summaries and analysis. Comprehensive and formally written.
  • Shmoop – I love the casual language of this site and how the break down concepts into easily understandable terms. Just don’t use such a written or spoken style in your own analysis!
  • Sparknotes – Yet another summary and analysis site. Comprehensive and comes with a video summary.
  • Teachers guide – Intended for teachers, although it would also be a useful resource for students (discussion activities, information on stylistic devices, plot summaries)
  • Classical Comics – We will be using the electronic version of the interactive graphic novel. Audio-visual AND the ability to switch between modern and old versions of the language!



IOC – Individual Oral Commentary Practice

You will demonstrate your critical analysis and oral communication skills by presenting a 10-15 minute oral presentation on one of the extracts from the novel, and the assignment will follow the requirements and guidelines of the IOC.

Written task 2 – Critical Response Essay (HL only – SL completes a WT1)

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