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How Act 2 Scene 2 should be played

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How Act 2 Scene 2 should be played From the start, Lady Macbeth should be situated in a hallway or courtyard of the castle, as these would be the quiet places in the middle of then night. She listens intently for any noises of the murder being committed as though she could hear and picture every footstep her husband takes. She is very nervous, because she is afraid something may go wrong during the murder, so she is walking around, pacing backwards and forwards aimlessly. She could also be wringing her hands - this is a relation to her madness in act 5 scene 1 as if she is washing the guilt from them. "That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold" line 1 shows that with nervousness she also feels strong and bold, as she drank some of the drink she gave to the guards to poison earlier has affected her in a positive way. ...read more.


The frowning and sadness is a sign of weakness, and these are the lines in which she shows she is actually weak. Now Macbeth enters, staggering, and his wife cries out, "My husband!" in relief. This should be said in a long-drawn out way, almost a loud whisper, with a devious-looking face, as she is relieved the murder has been completed. When Macbeth asks if she heard a noise it now gets very quick, with short questions and answers darted at each other. After Lady Macbeth replies in a sinister way Macbeth replies quickly, and the rapid exchange of words continues. But then Macbeth cuts it off when he says "this is a sorry sight". In this he looks at the blood on his hands and shakes his head. This is not always interpreted this way but is the most common. Now Macbeth is actually not paying attention to what his wife says, which can be shown by him not making eye contact with her and probably staring at his hands. ...read more.


But she then decides to stop and put her foot down. To show her 'anger' she takes a step back, letting go of his arms and standing rigid with a sterner face. Here she tries to be in control again, realising she has been 'on the defence' previously and backing down, but she is unsuccessful, as she asks Macbeth to take back the daggers. As she says, "Wash this filthy witness from your hands", she is looking at his hands and pointing. But this is because she has seen the daggers and how stupid Macbeth is to bring them out. Macbeth refuses to do what she says, now shaking his head and dropping it, because he feels he can't go through with it. These words are spoken softly and slowly, showing how weak he is at this point. This seems to be a turning point in the play in Macbeth and his wife's relationship, as she seems to lose her stubbornness, and can't exert her control over him any more. This change in personality evolves into much more, and may be involved with her going mad towards Act 5. ...read more.

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