The Tragedy of Macbeth William Shakespeare Act II Act II, Scene i. - Preview • Past midnight, Macbeth tells Banquo that they'll speak of the witches another time, and bids him goodnight. • Macbeth sees "a dagger of the mind," hears his wife's bell, and goes to kill King Duncan. Act II, Scene i. - Post view • The clean air and pleasant environment of Inverness castle has changed to a tense foreboding atmosphere. • The dagger scene is the first of many illusions that will occur n the play. • The pressure on Macbeth is building. His sanity is now in question. It will continue to dissolve as the play continues. • Notice Macbeth's lack of concern for Duncan. In the last few lines of the play he is clearly concerned about whether he will go to hell himself but he does not seem concerned about the fate of his intended victim, King Duncan. Act II, Scene i. - Quote “Is this a dagger, which I see before me? The dagger speech is one of the handle toward my hand? Shakespeare’s most famous Come let me clutch thee soliloquies and emphasizes I have thee not, and yet I can see thee still. the supernatural element in Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible the play, Macbeth. It is also a study of Macbeth’s to feeling, as to sight? Or art thou but psychology for unlike the a dagger of the mind, a false creation, three witches, who proceeding from the heat oppressed represent fate and were brain?” seen by Banquo and the -Macbeth others, this dagger is a The The dagger points product of Macbeth’s own the way to Duncan and mind. Macbeth climbs to kill the sleeping King. Act II, Scene i. – E. Questions • Consider the implications of the dagger hallucination? What does Macbeth mean by the fatal vision of the dagger? Act II, Scene ii. - Preview • Lady Macbeth doesn’t believe Macbeth will do it at first. • She goes to kill the King herself but she can’t do it because Duncan looks like her father. • Lady Macbeth waits for Macbeth to come with the news that he has killed the King. • Macbeth kills the King. When he is finished he hears 2 grooms who sleep in the room with Duncan speaking and saying prayers. Act II, Scene ii. - Preview • Macbeth is so shaken by the murder that he brings the bloody daggers with him. • Lady Macbeth takes them from him, to place them with the sleeping grooms so that they will be blamed. • A knocking at the castle gate frightens Macbeth, and his wife leads him away, so that they can wash the blood from their hands. Act II, Scene ii. - Post view • Macbeth makes an interesting comment in that in murdering Duncan, he has also murdered sleep. He will sleep no more. He will never rest easy in his own bed. • Lady Macbeth rebukes her husband for having such thoughts, but ironically, it will be her that can gain no sleep which will lead to her own madness Act II, Scene ii. - Quote “My hands are of your Lady Macbeth’s colour; but I shame to wear performance in this scene is a heart so white.” full of excitement and emotion. She is clearly keyed - - Lady Macbeth up with the prospect of success for the murder plot. She is described as being drunk with boldness and on fire with passion. However, she is still concerned that they will be discovered and like her husband is agitated by the slightest noise or movement in the darkness. Act II, Scene ii. – E. Questions • Macbeth imagines that a voice speaks to him. What message is spoken? • How does Macbeth interpret this message? Act II, Scene iii. - Preview • The Porter takes a while to get to the door but eventually lets Macduff and Lennox in. • The porter explains that he drank too much and goes on about the provocations of drinking. This is a rare moment of humor in the play. • Macduff discovers King Duncan's body. • Macbeth, in pretended fury, kills the King's grooms. • Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, fear that they will be murdered next and flee. Act II, Scene iii. - Post view • When Macduff and Lennox eventually enter the castle, the audience is aware that Macbeth must be cleaning himself of the blood he acquired in the previous scene. • When Macbeth enters, he conducts Macduff to the King’s bedchamber and Lennox remains and talks about the extraordinary weather, which has been coupled with unnatural events. • Shakespeare is keen to create a foreboding atmosphere using all the special effects that are available – screaming, wailing voices, birdcalls and thunderclaps. • The Macbeths act devastated and enraged over the death of Duncan. This puts them beyond suspicion at first. Act II, Scene iii. - Quote “Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious, Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man: The expedition my violent love Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan, His silver skin laced with his golden blood; And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature For ruin's wasteful entrance: there, the murderers, Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers Macbeth is Unmannerly breech'd with gore: who could refrain, That had a heart to love, and in that heart initially very Courage to make 's love known?” convincing in - Macbeth his grief and rage. Act II, Scene iii. – E. Questions • Why do Malcolm and Donalbain secretly leave Macbeth’s castle? Where do they go? Act II, Scene iv. - Preview • Ross and an Old Man discuss what an unnatural night it has been. • Ross and Macduff doubtfully discuss the news that Malcolm and Donalbain are responsible for their father's murder. This makes Macbeth the next King. • Ross heads for Scone, to see Macbeth crowned King of Scotland, but Macduff is going to stay home. Act II, Scene iv. - Post view • Notice that Macduff and Ross are very doubtful. They are not convinced that Malcolm and Donalbain are guilty. Act II, Scene iv. - Quote “Ah, good father, Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act, Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day, And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp: Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame, That darkness does the face of earth entomb, When living light should kiss it?” - - Ross Ross and the old man are discussing the unnatural weather and considering whether it is linked to the unnatural events. Act II, Scene iv. – E. Questions • Why are Malcolm and Donalbain suspects in the murder of their father? • What motive is attributed to them? • Why is this accusation ironic? Act II, Summary of Events • Past midnight the act begins. Macbeth bids Banquo goodnight. • Macbeth sees "a dagger of the mind," then goes to kill King Duncan. • Lady Macbeth doesn’t believe Macbeth will do it at first. • Lady Macbeth goes to kill the King herself but can’t. • Macbeth kills the King. • Macbeth is so upset that he brings the bloody daggers with him. • Lady Macbeth takes them from him, to frame the grooms. • A knocking at the castle gate startles Macbeth and both go to bed. • The porter lets Macduff and Lennox in. • Macduff discovers King Duncan's body. • Macbeth, in pretended fury, kills the King's grooms. • Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain flee. • Ross and an Old Man discuss what an unnatural night it has been. • Ross and Macduff doubt Macbeth. • Ross heads for Scone. Macduff goes home. 1. What is Macbeth's lie to Banquo about the witches' predictions? • a. He says he does not remember what they said. • b. He says he does not even think about them. • c. He says they made a lucky guess on their predictions, but they are wrong about him ever being king. • d. He says only fools and women believe such nonsense. 2. What is the signal Lady Macbeth is to give Macbeth to let him know that she has taken care of the guards? • a. She will ring a bell. • b. She will send a servant to say she is ill and wants to see him. • c. She will light three candles in her bedroom window. • d. She will stand at the window and whistle like a bird. 3. What excuse does Lady Macbeth give for not killing Duncan herself? • a. It would diminish Macbeth's power if she did the killing. • b. She is not a strong and might not be able to use the knife effectively. • c. She saw in a dream that only Macbeth could commit the murder. • d. He reminded him of her father sleeping there. 4. After Macbeth kills Duncan, he goes to Lady Macbeth and is concerned about not being able to say "Amen." What is her advice to him? • a. He should keep trying and soon he will succeed • b. It does not matter whether or not he can say it • c. They shouldn't think about it or it will make them crazy • d. After things calm down he can go to the priest and ask for forgiveness 5. Then, Macbeth is worried about hearing a voice saying, "Macbeth does murder sleep." What does Lady Macbeth then tell him to do? • a. Have a glass of wine and relax • b. Get cleaned up and forget about it • c. Have the minstrel come and sing some quiet tunes to put them to sleep • d. Go for a walk in the garden and get some fresh air. 6. Why won't Macbeth take the daggers back to the scene of the crime? • a. He can't bear to look at Duncan again • b. He is afraid to be seen and look suspicious • c. He thinks it will be bad luck to touch them again • d. He says he has done enough; Lady Macbeth can return the daggers 7. Who was knocking? • a. The servant was bringing a glass of wine to Macbeth's chamber • b. Macduff and Lennox were at the gate • c. A drunkard who had lost his way home wanted a place to sleep • d. A messenger came with a note for Lady Macbeth 8. What three things does drinking provoke? • a. "Sin, ill tempers, and ruin" • b. "Poor health, nightmares, and poverty" • c. "Nose-painting, sleep and urine" • d. "Fighting, hatred and trouble" 9. How does Lennox describe the night, and what is Macbeth's response? • a. Lennox says it was a terrible night, and it predicted terrible, confusing times ahead. Macbeth brushes it off and says it was merely a rough night. • b. Lennox says it was truly beautiful and peaceful- looking. Macbeth says appearances can be deceiving. • c. Lennox says it was an awful night. Macbeth agrees and blames the witches. • d. Lennox says it started out looking like an ordinary night. Macbeth disagrees and says it was terrible. 10. What did Macduff discover? • a. A note containing the outline of a plot to kill Duncan. • b. An unlocked gate and a drunk porter • c. Another omen -- dead flowers in the garden • d. Duncan's body 11. Macduff says, "Oh, gentle lady, 'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak. The repetition, in a woman's ear, Would murder as it fell." What is ironic about this? • a. He pretended to be brave, but he really wasn't. • b. He sounded concerned about Lady Macbeth, but he really thought women were • weak and foolish • c. He tried to sound upset, but he was glad the king was dead. • d. He didn't know about Lady Macbeth's part in the murder 12. What excuse did Macbeth give for killing the guards (grooms)? What is his real reason? • a. He was drunk and didn't realize what he had done. He didn't want anyone to suspect Lady Macbeth. • b. He did it out of pain and rage, but he actually wanted to be rid of any possible witnesses. • c. They were attacking him, and he did it in self defense. He wanted it to look like a plot to murder him, too. • d. The witches predicted it, and he could not help himself. He was afraid they would not be loyal to him once he became king. 13. Why do Malcom and Donalbain leave? • a. They don't want to be accused of the crime. • b. They are going to take the sad news to their mother. • c. They are afraid the murderer will be after them, too. • d. They want to start making the funeral arrangements 14. Why does Ross not believe Malcom and Donalbain were responsible for Duncan's murder? • a. He was with them and knows they are innocent. • b. It was against their personal natures and against nature as the ruling force in the universe. • c. They know that killing their father would only provoke a fight between themselves, and one or both of them would probably be killed. • d. Both are too weak, cowardly, and un- ambitious to want to be king.