Here are some examples of essay questions on Shakespeare’s Macbeth that I’ve made for you to practice your essay style and exam technique! Hope you enjoy them; they’re specially tailored towards AQA, OCR, Edexcel, WJEC, CCEA, Eduqas, and CIE (Cambridge) exam boards.
They all contain extracts, so they are close reading but also you’ll need to reference the text as a whole to make a fully rounded essay answer.
Though A Level questions will usually be a bit more complex, feel free to practise them for A Level too — it’ll definitely get you thinking deeper about the ideas of the play!
Thanks for reading! If you find this resource useful, you can take a look at our full online Macbeth course here. Use the code “SHAKESPEARE” to receive a 50% discount!
This course includes:
- A full set of video lessons on each key element of the text: summary, themes, setting, characters, context, attitudes, analysis of key quotes, essay questions, essay examples
- Downloadable documents for each video lesson
- A range of example B-A* / L7-L9 grade essays, both at GCSE (ages 14-16) and A-Level (age 16+) with teacher comments and mark scheme feedback
- A bonus Macbeth workbook designed to guide you through each scene of the play!
For more help with Macbeth and Tragedy, read our article here.
MACBETH ESSAY EXAM QUESTIONS
- How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth’s character in Act 1 Scene 5 and elsewhere in the play? “Glamis thou art” – “crowned withal”
- How does Shakespeare present the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 5 and elsewhere in the play? “My dearest love” – “rest to me”
- How does Shakespeare reveal the thoughts and feelings of Macbeth and Banquo in Act 1 Scene 3 and elsewhere in the play? “Glamis, and Thane > I pray you”
- How does Shakespeare make the Captain’s speech in Act 1 Scene 2 so interesting, and in what ways does this speech relate to the rest of the play? “Doubtful it stood > battlements”
- How does Shakespeare present different attitudes of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in Act 2 Scene 2, and elsewhere in the play? “One cried >>> sleep no more”
- How does Shakespeare make the banquet scene so interesting in Act 3 Scene 4, and how does it relate to the rest of the play? “my lord, his throat >> death to nature”
- How does Shakespeare present the thoughts and feelings of Lady Macbeth in Act 3 Scene 4 and elsewhere in the play? “Are you a man? >>> fie, for shame”
- How does Shakespeare explore the theme of fate in the final battle between Macduff and Macbeth? Act 5 Scene 8 “Why should I play the Roman fool >>> “Exeunt, fighting. Alarums”