Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair - Game Script Vice and Virtue in Macbeth


Background

After overhearing the dialogue in act 1, scene 3 between the three witches, Banquo, and Macbeth, five Scottish soldiers and their captain, Shaik Spear, gather to debate Macbeth's virtues, vices, and the path to power that lays before him.

Characters

Kyrk Axeman

Kyrk is a fresh addition to the Scottish army, although his sunny disposition has been somewhat soiled by the bloody battle.


Your Task

You are to discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws. Do you believe he should pursue being king?


Resources

Scene - 01

Callum Messenger

Cowardly and quick-footed, Callum's job entails passing messages along different points on the battlefield. He has a particular fascination and fear of the supernatural.


Your Task

You are to discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws. Do you believe he should pursue being king?


Resources

Scene - 01

Iain Squire to Macbeth

Angus is Macbeth's sworn squire, and loyal to him in every way. He champions Macbeth and believes his valour is deserving of every reward.


Your Task

You are to discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws. Do you believe he should pursue being king?


Resources

Scene - 01

Torrence Battlefield Medic

A bitter, scarred man, Torrence has seen many years and many casualties of battle in his career as a medic.


Your Task

You are to discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws. Do you believe he should pursue being king?


Resources

Scene - 01

Ainsley Squire to Banquo

Banquo's faithful squire, Ainsley, shares Banquo's considerate and virtuous nature.


Your Task

You are to discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws. Do you believe he should pursue being king?


Resources

Scene - 01

Scene 1: Virtue and Vice



1.

Public Message

You have just overheard some very powerful and confusing predictions and conversations involving the witches and Macbeth.

Based on what you have read in Act 1 scenes 1 to 3, what do you think of Macbeth and the prospect of him becoming king? Is he worthy? Would he make a just king? Or would he be a tyrant?



2.

Private (Shortly After previous message)

Kyrk:

You are to discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws in his quest for kingship.

Callum:

You are a battlefield messenger in the Scottish army. Discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws in his quest for kingship.

Iain:

You are Macbeth's faithful squire. Discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws in his quest for kingship.

Torrence:

You are a seasoned, cynical battlefield medic. Discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws in his quest for kingship.

Ainsley:

You are Banquo's cautious, thoughtful squire. Discuss Macbeth's strengths and flaws in his quest for kingship.



3.

Private (Shortly After previous message)

Kyrk:

You know that Macbeth is a brave warrior and a leader on the battlefield.

Surely your fellow soldiers must know that it takes bravery and leadership to make a great king?

Callum:

The witches made bold predictions for Macbeth, but you know that their arrival doesn't necessarily bode well.  How can one trust the witches when they speak in such ominous half-truths?

Try to convince your peers that the witches mean bad news.

Iain:

Iain, you know that Macbeth is a brave and skilled warrior, you heard the captain call him:

"brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name."

Bravery and skill in warfare are vital to rule, and Macbeth has both in swathes!

Try to convince your peers that Macbeth would make a worthy king.

Torrence:

You've seen the corrupting influence of power too many times to be hopeful about another warrior ambitious for the crown.

Explain to your peers how the thirst for power can turn good men onto dark paths.

Ainsley:

Like Banquo, you support Macbeth but urge caution in embracing the words of the witches.

"have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?"
 
Convince your peers that Macbeth ought to tread carefully in his ambition.


4.

Public Message (Shortly After previous message)

Choose the soldier you most disagree with and rebutt their points. Why do you disagree? Explain.



Vote

[username], after all you heard and said, do you think Macbeth should pursue kingship?



Option 1
Yes
Option 2
No


Ending message for when most people voted for option



Option 1

Most of you have decided that Macbeth is fatally flawed and should not pursue future kingship. You defect from the Scottish army as Macbeth gains more and more power.


Option 2

Most of you have decided that Macbeth is a worthy hero and encourage him to pursue his ambitions. You decide to stay with the Scottish army and are slain in the final battle with Macduff's army.




Discussion Points

  • What are the qualities of Macbeth that set him up as a hero?
  • What about the early scenes set up the play's dark ending and Macbeth's grisly fate?

Try to refer directly to interesting posts and vote results from the game.