Act 2: Scene 1 to 2

Act 2, Scene 1

Banquo’s son, Fleance, accompanies him through the halls of Inverness. Banquo shares with his son that he has experienced nightmares, so he wants to stay awake. Macbeth appears, and Banquo tells him that King Duncan is asleep. Banquo also comments that he has dreamt about the witches from the beginning of the play. Macbeth dismisses Banquo’s talk of the witches.

Fleance and Banquo depart. Macbeth experiences a vision of a dagger in the hallway. The dagger floats in the air, with its tip aimed toward Duncan and the handle aimed toward Macbeth. He tries to grab the dagger, but he cannot grasp it. When he sees blood on the blade, Macbeth convinces himself that he imagines the dagger because he feels trepidation about killing Duncan. Soon, Macbeth hears a bell toll, which means that the chamberlains have fallen asleep. Macbeth walks toward Duncan’s room.

Act 2, Scene 2

As she enters the hallway, Lady Macbeth pictures Macbeth killing the king. She hears Macbeth shout, and she fears that the chamberlains have woken from their drunken stupor. Lady Macbeth feels confident that Macbeth will not fail, and she ruminates that she could have murdered the king herself. Macbeth comes back into the hallway, and he has blood on his hands. Macbeth, who seems nervous, tells Lady Macbeth that he has murdered Duncan and that he heard the chamberlains say their prayers. Macbeth tried to echo their “amen,” but he finds that he cannot. Macbeth believes that as he killed Duncan, he heard a voice say, “Sleep no more,/Macbeth does murder sleep” (2.2.33-34).

Macbeth angers Lady Macbeth when she realizes that he has forgotten to drop the daggers near the sleeping chamberlains. When Macbeth tells her that he does not want to return to the room, Lady Macbeth finds him cowardly. Lady Macbeth leaves, and Macbeth hears a knocking sound. As Lady Macbeth returns, Macbeth continues to hear the noise. She takes Macbeth to the bedchamber so he can wash off...

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Essays About Macbeth