Act 2: Scene 3 to 4

Act 2, Scene 3

A porter goes to answer the strange knocking, and he comically likens himself to someone in Hell who has to answer the gates. When he opens the door, Macduff and Lennox stand there. Even though Macduff and Lennox complain that the porter took too long to answer the door, the porter jokes that he has been drinking, which has made him sleepy and slow. He also notes that alcohol makes one desirous of sex but unable to perform.

Macbeth appears and tells the visitors that King Duncan still sleeps. Macbeth’s speech is stilted, and he seems nervous. Macduff enters the king’s room as Lennox discusses the storms that took place the night before. With horror, Macduff runs from Duncan’s room. He shouts to everyone that someone has murdered the king. Lady Macbeth emerges and pretends to be horrified by the deed. During the chaos, Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, come into the scene. It is the general consensus that the chamberlains killed Duncan, especially since they are found with bloody daggers. Macbeth admits to killing the chamberlains for their supposed transgressions.

Macduff, however, expresses suspicion at Macbeth’s slaying of the chamberlains. Macbeth explains that they enraged him so much that he could not stop himself. Lady Macbeth faints. Malcolm and Donalbain express to one another that whoever killed their father might try to kill them. Banquo and Macbeth discuss the murder, while Malcolm decides to flee to England and Donalbain to Ireland.

Act 2, Scene 4

The thane Ross walks with an elderly man. They discuss the foreshadowing of the last few days: The daytime is dark, an owl killed a falcon that week, and Duncan’s horses acted strangely. Macduff comes from the castle to announce that the lords have declared Macbeth the king. He tells them that the chamberlains still seem like the likely murderers of Duncan, and they might have been paid to kill the king. Macduff informs them that Macbeth rides to Scone so he can be crowned....

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Essays About Macbeth