New Characters We Met:
Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s control freak wife who taunts him into killing Duncan Fleance, Banquo’s son
Porter, Drunkard used as comic relief
Macduff, nobleman of Scotland who thinks Macbeth is guilty of Duncan’s murder Donalbain, Duncan’s youngest son who many think is guilty of Duncan’s murder Old Man, used to describe unnatural events that foreshadow Duncan’s death
Act II, scene i: Macbeth speaks with Banquo and Lennox about the prophecies. Banquo again warns of his apprehension for the prophecies and tells Macbeth to be careful. Macbeth then has a vision of a bloody dagger and decides to kill Duncan.
Act II, scene ii: Lady Macbeth drugs Duncan’s guards and thinks about killing Duncan herself; however, Duncan reminds her too much of her father and she cannot go through with the deed. Macbeth kills Duncan off stage. He is then surprised that he was not blessed with this murder like he was when he killed Macdonwald. The big difference is that Macdonwald was a traitor to his country and by killing him, Macbeth was helping his country. On the other hand, he killed Duncan for his personal gain, so of course he was not blessed. It is ironic that he expected a blessing for committing a crime. Macbeth also is upset that he will never sleep again. He loved sleep and used several metaphors on page 323 to describe how wonderful it is. We then see the difference between Macbeth’s ideas on the murder and Lady Macbeth’s. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that they need to blame the murder on Duncan’s guards and wants him to smear the guards with blood. Macbeth tells her that he needs to wash away the deed (meaning wash away the sin) and cannot stand to go back to the scene. She tells him to wash the blood off of his hands (literally, does not realize that Macbeth feels guilty about the entire thing) and then she takes the dagger to smear the blood herself.
Act II, scene iii: A drunken porter answers the gate at which Macduff and Lennox are knocking. Lennox describes strange, natural events from the night and Macduff discovers Duncan’s body. Macbeth then explains that he killed Duncan’s guards because they killed Duncan. Lady Macbeth faints when Macbeth declares this. Duncan’s sons, Donalbain and Malcolm, flee the country in fear that they will be next.
Act II, scene iv: Ross and an old man are discussing unnatural events during the night and the day following Duncan’s murder. Macduff tells Ross that Duncan’s sons are suspected of the murder because they fled the country. Macduff also reveals his doubts of Macbeth becoming king, so he will not attend the coronation.