Lessons on one word – Macbeth and ‘Hands’

Reading Time: 7 minutes At the beginning of the play, “Hands” is a word used to refer to Macbeth’s brutal – but legitimate – killing of the Thane of Cawdor who “‘ne’er shook hands” (1.1), symbolic of his lack of gentlemanly behaviour and loyalty in participating in rebellion – a theme of ‘hands’ throughout the play.

An extract to whole text question – a quick guide

Reading Time: 2 minutes Introduction: What’s the writer’s message or purpose? End with a sentence linking the extract to the major theme of the question. E.g Through the character of Macbeth, Shakespeare explores the corrupting nature of power. In the extract, we see him at a crucial moment as he decides whether to be virtuous – or fulfil his ambition.  Paragraphs: 3-4 depending on time and length Use a writer – technique – theme/purpose structure to stay focused. E.g. Shakespeare uses the motif of seeing to represent the way Macbeth changes across the play. Or Shakespeare shows us Lady Macbeth’s thoughts to explore the way …