13th April 2017

Macbeth, Act 2

Act 2 Scene 1 – Summary 

Characters: Macbeth, Banquo, Fleance

Location: Inside the castle (inner court)

Time: The night of the King’s arrival at the castle

Events: Both Banquo and his son Fleance are inside the castle at Macbeth’s inner court (Glamis) Feeling nervous ‘twitchy’ Macbeth enters with a servant and Banquo questions why he is awake Macbeth lies to Banquo about his feelings towards the witches. They all part ways (going to sleep) but Macbeth remains to fulfil his plans, Macbeth see’s a vision of a dagger before him…It points to the room where Duncan sleeps, the dagger turns bloody. This vision represents how Macbeth scares himself and can already feel that his actions are dark and wrong in nature, but also that he can’t stop himself, the dagger controls him and his actions. This could be how Macbeth’s mind deals with his state, by blaming an object and sharking his own actions onto an inanimate object which he says ‘marshals’ him. A bell then sounds, telling him and Lady Macbeth that it is time to put their plan into action.

Quote: “Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle towards my hand?” – Macbeth speaks to the dagger, it represents Macbeth’s inner mindset and the turmoil in his mind.

Act 2 Scene 2 – Summary 

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth

Location: The same

Time: Just after scene one

Events: Lady Macbeth is waiting until Macbeth has murdered the King, once Macbeth has done it he returns and Lady Macbeth tells him to go wash his hands. Lady Macbeth says that she could have done it, if Duncan had not looked like her sleeping father – (Foreshadowing the guilt that is to come?)

Quote: “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?” – Macbeth, after he has killed Duncan and speaks of how his guilt will never go away, and that he will have this sin over his conscience forever.

Act 2 Scene 3 – Summary †

Characters: Lenox, Macduff, Macbeth, Banquo

Location: Still inside the castle

Time: After Macbeth has murdered Duncan

Events: Macbeth is immediately filled with regret and guilt for his actions, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth need to prepare for the morning when they will have to pretend to be sad and surprised, and let the blame fall upon the sleeping guards, who have been framed by the pair by smearing blood on them and placing the daggers at the scene

Quote: “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?” – Macbeth, after he has killed Duncan and speaks of how his guilt will never go away, and that he will have this sin over his conscience forever.

Scene 3 – Summary † 

Characters: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Porter, Macduff, Lenox, Banquo, Malcolm, Donalbain

Location: Within the castle (court)

Time: After the murder of King Duncan (Early morning)

Events: The murder of Duncan is discovered, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth pretend to be distraught. Macbeth kills the ‘traitorous’ guards, saying it was out of frustration and sadness, but really it was so the guards cold not make a case against him. The rest of the group do not believe that it was the guards who were behind the operation, as they had no motive and guarding a king is a huge honour for anyone. Everyone decides to meet in the hall to discuss what has happened. Malcolm and Donalbain remain behind and decide to leave Scotland in order to keep themselves safe, Malcolm will travel to England, and Donalbain to Ireland.

Quote: “There’s daggers in men’s smiles; the near in blood, the nearer bloody.” – Donalbain, saying that him and Malcolm cannot afford to trust anyone, especially family (blood related)

Act 2 Scene 4 – Summary †

Characters: Macduff, Old Man, Rosse

Location: Outside the castle

Time: Morning of the murder

Events: The Old Man and Rosse discuss how strange, unnatural things have been occurring, Macduff enters and they talk about what is happening and what has happened in the past few hours, this is so the audience will be up to speed and understand what is happening. Rosse and Macduff also adress how Duncan’s sons both fled, and are now arousing suspicion that it was them who ordered their father’s killing.

Quote:- very short scene

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Category

Macbeth, Writing