Act2 scene 1 Macbeth

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Immediately before the order , in Act 2 Scene1 , we find Macbeth struggling against his guilty conscience at

the thought of committing the heinous crime,murdering Duncan.Macbeth’s thoughts waver to such an extent

that imaginary illusions are created by his ‘heat oppressed brain’. After discussing the crime with Lady

Macbeth , he decides to go through with the ‘terrible feat’.

As Macbeth advances towards Duncan’s bedchamber, he encounters Banquo, who like Macbeth has gained

military glory, promising prophecies from the witches and praise from the king. Banquo is feeling uneasy and

is not able to sleep but when Macbeth appears out of the darkness,he openly shares his thoughts about the

‘merciful powers, Restrain in the cursed thoughts that nature gives in way to response’ clearly showing that

the meeting with the witches has left a lasting impression on Banquo’s mind and he is deeply disturbed by

the workings of his subconscious mind in his dreams. Macbeth, who is deeply obsessed by the witches

claims never to think about them. ‘I think not of them.’ They agree to continue their conversation later.

Banquo converses politely and passes on Duncan’s compliments to Macbeth and a diamond for his wife.

Macbeth advises Banquo to side with him in the future. ‘If you shall cleave to my consents, when’tis it shall
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make honor for you.’ Banquo’s explicitly states that he does not want an active role in helping Macbeth

become king. He resolves to honour his commitment to Duncan instead. He believes true manhood means

acting honorably.

Macbeth leaves a restless Banquo and Fleance getting ready to go to bed . he wanders into an empty room

and waits for his wife to ring the bell, signaling that Duncan’s servants are in a drunken slumber: Following

the servants departure, macbeth speaks his second crucial soliloquy.Once again there is fissure between

illusion and reality. ...

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