intro task resources conclusion



created by Ralph A. Bucci
layout design by Dave Shanker&Danilo Groppa
Charles W. Flanagan High School


Picture if you will a sunset. You know you will be asked to describe this sunset as well as the other members of your class. Your description will depend on the angle, or perspective if you will. This scenario holds true with the character of Macbeth because if you were asked to describe Macbeth your perspective of him depends upon whether you look at him as ambitious, as influenced or a combination of both. Choosing a description like choosing a piece of a puzzle needs careful examination. As you embark on this WebQuest you are urged to make distinctions that will empower you to discover the exact pieces for your puzzle.

The character of Macbeth that William Shakespeare creates serves as a classic example of a seemingly good man turns bad. The following WebQuest will help you examine three factors that Shakespeare introduces to you the audience. If you are perceptive, you will not only notice them but be able to realize their importance in viewing the decline of Macbeth's character. A number of internet references are provided to assist you with your discovery. Understanding Macbeth is a complex endeavor, and there seems to be a deeper meaning to his degeneration. A quick study will not do justice to the complete picture that Shakespeare paints of Macbeth.

This is particularly true when we use the Internet for our research because many people post their personal opinions or only know a sliver of the whole story. In the following WebQuest, you will use the power of teamwork and the abundant resources on the Internet to learn all about Evil in Literature. Each person on your team will learn one piece of the puzzle and then you will come together to get a better understanding of the topic.

The Quest

How does the action revealed in THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH also become reality when viewed in history?

The Process and Resources

In this WebQuest you will be working together with a group of students in class. Each group will answer the Task or Quest(ion). As a member of the group you will explore Webpages from people all over the world who care about Evil in Literature. Because these are real Webpages we're tapping into, not things made just for schools, the reading level might challenge you. Feel free to use the online Webster dictionary or one in your classroom.

You'll begin with everyone in your group getting some background before dividing into roles where people on your team become experts on one part of the topic.

Phase 1 - Background: Something for Everyone

Use the Internet information linked below to answer the basic questions of who? what? where? when? why? and how? Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightfully as you can.

Phase 2 - Looking Deeper from Different Perspectives


1. Individuals or pairs from your larger WebQuest team will explore one of the roles below.

2. Read through the files linked to your group. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.

3. Note: Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you can quickly go back to it if you need to to prove your point.

4. Be prepared to focus what you've learned into one main opinion that answers the Big Quest(ion) or Task based on what you have learned from the links for your role.


Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to HEAVEN AND HELL:

1. Shakespeare uses the imagery of Heaven and Hell to create a sense of good and evil. Locate the following passages from the play and discuss and then record the intended meaning for each:

Act I scene iii line 107
Act I scene iii line 124
Act I scene vi lines 3-8
Act I scene vii line 7

Act II scene iii lines 1-3
Act II scene iii lines 67-69
Act II scene iii line 30
Act II scene iv lines 4-6
Act II scene iv line 41

2. I have located examples from Acts I and II to get you started. Now locate examples from the remaining three acts that Shakespeare uses as imagery for heaven and hell.

  • Heaven and Hell - A site that examines some of the passages that refer to good and evil.


Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to DARKNESS:

1. Shakespeare purposely uses darkness as a sign of chaos in the play. More specifically this reference is intended for evil characters or setting. Understanding this imagery will lead you to understand the intended use of disorder in the next quest. Acts I and IV have extensive uses of this, so now you must locate the following passages, discuss the relevence and record what is intended.

Language describing Macbeth
Macbeth as an agent of order
Description of Scotland

scene i- the witches cave
scene i- the witches' appearance
Macbeth consulting with the witches
Macbeth murdering Macduff's family
Macbeth creating chaos in Scotland
Language describing Macbeth
Scotland under the rule of Macbeth
Description of the witches
Macbeth as an agent of disorder
Description of Scotland

2. Now locate atleast five more examples of Shakespeare's use of darkness as it applies to the play.


Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to ORDER AND DISORDER:

1. Discuss and then record how each of the following applies to the play:

Elizabethan order in the 17th century
Monarch ruling by divine right

2. Shakespeare shows when the rightful place of things is upset, then everything is upset until the situation is returned to normal. Describe and record how Shakespeare describes the following:

When Macbeth murders Duncan
Scotland not at peace until Malcolm is crowned

3. Discuss, describe and record how Shakespeare shows great disruption caused by Macbeth's crime:

Daytime in Scotland
Birds behavior
Animal behavior

4. Discuss, describe and record how Shakespeare shows there is no order under Macbeth's rule:

Evil ambition

  • Order and Disorder - How Shakespeare uses order and disorder to show how MACBETH changes from good to evil.

Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching Consensus

You have all learned about a different part of Evil in Literature. Now group members come back to the larger WebQuest team with expertise gained by searching from one perspective. You must all now answer the Task / Quest(ion) as a group. Each of you will bring a certain viewpoint to the answer: some of you will agree and others disagree. Use information, pictures, movies, facts, opinions, etc. from the Webpages you explored to convince your teammates that your viewpoint is important and should be part of your team's answer to the Task / Quest(ion). Your WebQuest team should write out an answer that everyone on the team can live with.

Phase 4 - Real World Feedback

You and your teammates have learned a lot by dividing up into different roles. Now's the time to put your learning into a letter you'll send out for real world feedback. Together you will write a letter that contains opinions, information, and perspectives that you've gained. Here's the process:

1. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing your message to this particular person or organization.

2. Give background information that shows you understand the topic.


3. Each person in your group should write a paragraph that gives two good reasons supporting the group's opinion. Make sure to be specific in both the information (like where you got it from on the Web) and the reasoning (why the information proves your group's point).

4. Have each person on the team proofread the message. Use correct letter format and make sure you have correctly addressed the email message. Use the link below to make contact. Send your message and make sure your teacher gets a copy.

Your Contact is: Oscar Siflinger


Now you have seen how through the use of imagery, most notably heaven and hell, darkness, and order and disorder Shakespeare creates a feeling of evil. This holds true for the real world once you examine history. Your WebQuest will now help you make the connection between what you have realized in THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH and how this universal them of evil relates to a real world situation in history.
Now that the picture of your puzzle nears completion, continue to put together the final pieces in order to view the big picture.