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An analysis of Act2 Scene2 (II.2) from Macbeth

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Introduction

An analysis of Act2 Scene2 (II.2) from Macbeth Plot With her nerves on edge, Lady Macbeth waits for her husband to return after committing the murder of King Duncan. She waits anxiously and is startled by any noise she hears. She is convinced that the alcohol she has drunk has made her bold, yet the drugged alcohol she has given to the porters has made them drunk. Lady Macbeth hears her husband enter the chamber of the king and hopes that everything has gone according to plan. She then reassures herself that nothing could have gone wrong because her plan was foolproof. Lady Macbeth then reveals that her plea to the evil powers to rid her of her womanhood were not answered as she shows her femininity by admitting that she could not have done the deed because the king looked too much like her own father as he slept. Macbeth then enters. He is already very scared about what he has done. He is very conscious that he made too much noise while committing the murder. Lady Macbeth says that she heard only the things that you would usually hear in the middle of the night. Macbeth fears that he heard someone stir in the second chamber. His imagination takes over as he talks about how Malcolm and Donalbain prayed and how he could not pronounce "Amen". ...read more.

Middle

He does this because the witches had prophesised that Banquo would be the head of a line of kings. Macbeth's imagination sees the ghost of Banquo and his mental strength is again shown to be weak as his imagination overpowers his sense. In Act 2 Scene 2, Macbeth has just murdered King Duncan. He meets Lady Macbeth with his conscience heavily in his thoughts. He refuses to go back to the scene of the crime to put the daggers back. He does not want to see what he has done. He is obviously terrified of being caught. His imagination stirs again in this scene when he talks of how people cried murder in their sleep and how by killing the king, he has murdered sleep and therefore no-one will ever sleep easy again. He completely ignores Lady Macbeth when she tries to instil common sense into him and he continues his obsession with sleep. Then when Lady Macbeth leaves, he realises his hands are covered in blood. He tries to disown them by saying, " What hands are here? ". He does not want to be part of what has happened and so he tries to convince himself that he is separate from his hands. He is paranoid that his hands will not come clean but sees only the water he is using to wash them turn red. The knocking he hears reinforces his fears of being caught. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main use of it is in Macbeth's speech about sleep when Shakespeare uses half rhymes with 'Cawdor' and 'more'. Imagery In this scene, Macbeth shows his active imagination in the form of imagery. He says about how he killed Duncan in his sleep. In his mind, he feels he has killed sleep itself by murdering sleep. Macbeth believes that sleep represents both innocence and peace and that by murdering the king he has thus murdered all innocence and peace in Scotland. He shows his guilt by reciting everything that sleep is good for, its healing and soothing. He thinks that all of Scotland has lost that, and most importantly he has lost that. He imagines that the rocks and stones will gang up against him and tell everyone that he murdered the king. "Still it cried 'sleep no more!' to all the house. / Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor / Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more.'' Themes There are many themes that run right the way through the play. Just some of them are: deceit, imagination, ambition, witchcraft, and conscience. In this scene, imagination, witchcraft, ambition and conscience all come to the fore. Macbeth's ambition to be king, which was fuelled by the witches, was so great that he was able to kill the king. After he had done the deed however, his conscience and imagination started to affect him. He was deeply ashamed of what he had done and his imagination made him see and hear things, which were not really there. ?? ?? ?? ?? Danny Fisher 4:33 ...read more.

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