in English Literature, Essay Technique, Shakespeare, Writing Skills

Below is an AQA GCSE Practise Paper for Macbeth. The question is from the June 2019 GCSE exam paper for AQA GCSE English Literature.

Use it to practise planning and writing, either as a full mock exam in timed conditions – or working through it in your own time and at your own pace.


Thanks for reading! If you need help and support with Macbeth, you can access our full course here.

This course includes:

Summary of Acts and Scenes

Character and Setting Breakdown

Language, Structure, Form

Key Quotations

Practise Exam Questions

Essay Plannings

Full Mark and High-Level Exam Answers

Context, Themes and Attitudes

And more!

MACBETH


Read the following extract from Act 1 Scene 2 of Macbeth and then answer the question
that follows.
At this point in the play, the Captain tells Duncan about Macbeth’s part in the recent
battle.

CAPTAIN
Doubtful it stood,
As two spent swimmers that do cling together
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonald –
Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villainies of nature
Do swarm upon him – from the Western Isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied,
And Fortune on his damnèd quarrel smiling,
Showed like a rebel’s whore. But all’s too weak,
For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name –
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like Valour’s minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave,
Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’chaps
And fixed his head upon our battlements.

THE QUESTION:

Starting with this speech, explore how far Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a violent
character.

Write about:
• how Shakespeare presents Macbeth in this extract
• how far Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a violent character in the play as a whole.
[30 marks]
AO4 [4 marks]


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