Macbeth Act II Brief Synopsis - Act II Banquo resists any thoughts that might hasten the witches’ prophecy that his children will be kings. Elsewhere in the castle, however, lady Macbeth is steeling her husband to kill the king. She drugs the grooms in the king’s bedchamber, and Macbeth stabs the sleeping Duncan, killing him. In the morning, when the murder is discovered. Macbeth, in pretended fury and grief, kills the grooms. Brief Synopsis – Act II continued … The king’s son’s, Malcolm and Donalbain, seeing a similar fate for themselves, flee Scotland. Macbeth proceeds to Scone, where he is crowned as Duncan’s successor to the throne. Act II - Quotes “There’s husbandry in heaven. Their candles are all out.” Banquo Speaker______________________ Everyone’s in bed, the candles are out . This is Explanation________________________________________ foreshadowing evil. “Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven, or to hell.” Macbeth Speaker___________________________________ He does not want Duncan to wake up. Explanation______________ Act II Quotes continued … “He could not miss ‘em. Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t.” Lady Macbeth Speaker _______________________________ She couldn’t do it, because Duncan looked like her Explanation______________________________________________ father “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.’” Macbeth Speaker_____________________ He won’t be able to sleep anymore because of his guilt and Explanation___________________________________________ no one is safe around him anymore because of his ambition and covering up his sins. Act II Quotes continued … “A little water clears us of this deed: how easy is it then! Your constancy hath left you unattended.” Lady Macbeth Speaker____________________________________ Washing will clean away the sin. She is trivializing the Explanation___________________________________________ murder. “Wake Duncan with thy knocking!! I would thou couldst!” Macbeth Speaker________________________ He regrets his murder and wishes that the upon the door Explanation___________________________________________ would wake Duncan up. Act II Quotes continued … “Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant there’s nothing serious in mortality; All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead, the wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees is left this vault to brag of.” Macbeth Speaker_____________________________ He wishes that he could take back the murder, and that he Explanation___________________________________________ had died before it had happened. Life no longer has meaning. He has lost his soul. “O, yet I do repent me of my fury, that I did kill them.” Macbeth Speaker:______________________________________________ He killed the grooms to cover up his murder; he does Explanation___________________________________________ this to show his outrage at the king’s death and to further cover his dastardly deed. Act II Study Guide Questions Study Guide Questions 1-2 In Scene 1, Macbeth asks Banquo to meet him later for “some words.” What incentive does he offer Banquo? How does Banquo reply? Macbeth tells Banquo that it shall make honor for him. Banquo agrees _____________________________________________________ to the meeting as long as Macbeth understands that he will remain free from guilt and remain loyal. Describe the vision that Macbeth has at the end of Scene 1. What details foreshadow the action to come? Macbeth sees 2 daggers. He will kill Duncan with two daggers taken _____________________________________________________ from the grooms men. Study Guide Questions 3-4 In Scene 2, as Macbeth kills Duncan, what does Lady Macbeth hear? What does Macbeth hear? Lady Macbeth hears an owl screech. Macbeth hears “Murder!” _____________________________________________________ “God bless us!” “Amen”. “Sleep no more!” “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more: Macbeth shall sleep no more.” Why, according to Lady Macbeth, was she unable to kill Duncan herself ? Which tasks related to the murder does she perform? Duncan looked too much like her father as he slept. _________________________________________________ Study Guide Questions 5-6 In Scene 2, Lady Macbeth sensibly suggests that Macbeth go wash the “filthy witness” from his hands after the murder. How does Macbeth respond? “Will a great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No; ______________________________________________________ this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.” In Scene 3, what is the porter pretending as he goes to open the gate? ______________________________________________________ The porter is pretending to be the porter of hell; the devils servant. He describing Macbeth’s castle as hell underscoring the horrible deed that has taken place. It is also used for comic relief and a point to build the suspense and ask the questions “will Macbeth be caught?” Study Guide Questions 7-9 Why has Macduff come? Macduff ’s comes to Macbeth’s home to collect the king. Duncan ______________________________________________________ had instructed him to call for him in a timely manner. What reason does Macbeth give for killing Duncan’s two guards? Macbeth’s to have killed the two guards because they had killed the ______________________________________________________ king. Where do Duncan’s two sons decide to go? Why? Malcolm goes to England and Donalbain goes to Ireland. For their _____________________________________________________ own safety as heirs to the throne. Study Guide Question 10-11 In Scene 4, whom does Macduff suspect of Duncan’s murder? Macduff suspects Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s two sons, because ____________________________________________________ they fled. Macduff suspects they were bribed. Though Macbeth encounters no actual opposition until long after Duncan is murdered, Shakespeare must foreshadow some trouble for him and, to build up suspense, must start one character edging toward suspicion of Macbeth. Who is this character, and what inkling does he give of his dissatisfaction with Macbeth? Banquo would be the logical choice. However, Macduff does not ____________________________________________________ attend Macbeth’s coronation as he voices his doubts about the new king’s reign. Study Guide Question 12 In Act I, Scene 7, Lady Macbeth seemed to be planning to murder Duncan herself. However, at the last moment, in Act II, Scene 2, she is unable to wield her dagger. Consider the reason she gives, and decide what her actions and explanation reveal about her character. Lady Macbeth’s heart is “whiter” than she would like. Her conscience ______________________________________________________ is battling the evil that is trying to take root. Study Guide Question 13 Many people are killed onstage in Shakespeare’s plays. Why, then, do you suppose he decided to have the murder of Duncan and his guards take place offstage? In the movie both are killed for the audience to somewhat observe. _____________________________________________________ However, in the play the actual act is omitted and the audience see’s only the dead body. This is done so the audience can continue to feel a “sympathy of comprehension” for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in order for the play to be effective. When the porter answers the door, this brings the audience back to the reality of Macbeth’s evil deed. Study Guide Question 14 In Scene 4, when Duncan’s corpse is discovered, Macbeth utters a hypocritical lament beginning, “Had I but died…” But is it really hypocritical? The critic, A.C. Bradley argued that, although the speech is meant to be a lie, it actually contains “Macbeth’s profoundest feelings.” Explain this apparent contradiction. How does Macbeth feel about having murdered Duncan? What clues tell you how he feels? Macbeth feels a tremendous guilt for murdering Duncan. His actions _____________________________________________________ after the murder and conversation with his wife indicate his regret. Study Guide Question 15-16 Lady Macbeth’s fainting spell, like everything else she had done so far, has a purpose. What message do you think she wants her fainting spell to convey? Lady Macbeth faints to take the attention from Macbeth. ______________________________________________________ Malcolm and Donalbain are little more then boys, yet they already know enough about life to keep their mouths shut. What is in their minds, but left unsaid? How do they hint about it to each other? Malcolm asked why do we hold our tongues, Donalbain answers that ______________________________________________________ it doesn’t matter what they say; they are probably next to be murdered. Study Guide Questions 1718 Macduff is an important character in the three remaining acts. Describe how Shakespeare characterizes Macduff in Scenes 3 and 4. Macduff is characterized as suspicious and loyal to the king. ____________________________________________________ What do you say is the mood of Act II? What images and actions help to create this mood? The mood is one of evil. The weather, the owls, the horses all act ______________________________________________________ strangely. Act II How does King Duncan die? Be specific. King Duncan is stabbed to death by Macbeth. _____________________________________________________ Why doesn’t Lady Macbeth kill him herself ? Duncan resembles her father. _____________________________________________________ Who smears blood on Duncan’s servants and puts the daggers back? _____________________________________________________ Lady Macbeth smears the blood on the grooms men. Act II continued… Why does Macbeth refuse to go put the daggers back in the king’s chamber? He cannot go back and face what he has done. _____________________________________________________ Right after Duncan dies, Macbeth hears a voice cry out. What does it say Macbeth has murdered? The voice says Macbeth has murdered sleep. ______________________________________________________ When they heard the knocking at the castle gate, what does Lady Macbeth instruct Macbeth to do? Lady Macbeth advices Macbeth to get ready for bed so they are not _____________________________________________________ found awake and in the courtyard. Act II continued… Where does the drunken porter think he is? The drunken porter acts and speaks as if he is in hell. ______________________________________________________ Who has come to the castle to meet with the king but discovers his murder instead? Macduff comes to the castle to collect the king. ______________________________________________________ What does Macbeth do to the grooms out of pretended fury over their “killing” of the king? Macbeth kills the grooms. ______________________________________________________ Act II continued … What two young men flee Macbeth’s castle out of fear for their lives? Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s sons, flee for their lives. ______________________________________________________ Malcolm goes to England and Donalbain go to Ireland. Act II Study Questions Questions 1-5 True/False/WHY The dagger that Macbeth sees in his Scene 1 soliloquy is part of a TRUE hallucination? __________ When Macbeth talks agitatedly about the murders, Lady Macbeth urges him to kill the witnesses? _____________ FALSE When Lennox and Macduff arrive at Macbeth’s castle in the morning, Macduff wonders if Macbeth is lying to them? FALSE _______________ As soon as the murder becomes known, Malcolm and Donalbain flee Scotland because they have lost their inheritance? FALSE ______________ Banquo wants to meet with the other nobles in order to discover TRUE the purpose of the murder?_____________ Questions 6-10 Characters Who is fearful of divine punishment because he cannot say Macbeth “amen”?__________________ Who is frightened that the bloody daggers will reveal who Lady Macbeth killed the King?__________________ Who is afraid of “daggers in men’s smiles” and of being Donalbain killed?_________________ Ross Who speaks of strange natural occurrences?______________ Macbeth Act II Quiz Question 1 B 1. The dagger that Macbeth sees in his Scene 1 ____ soliloquy a. was given to him by his wife b. is part of a hallucination c. has already been used to kill Duncan d. is lost in the confusion Question 2 C ____2. When Macbeth talks agitatedly about the murders, Lady Macbeth urges him to a. run away immediately b. kill the witnesses c. try not to dwell on it d. pray for his salvation Question 3 A 3. The porter’s cursing is ironic because ____ a. he invokes the devil without knowing about the crime b. he conveys that nothing is amiss c. he takes so long to answer the door that Macbeth escapes unnoticed d. Macbeth does not expect the royal visitors Question 4 B 4. When Lennox and Macduff arrive at Macbeth’s ___ castle in the morning, Macduff wonders if a. something is terribly wrong b. the porter has stayed up late and slept in c. the porter is keeping something from them d. Macbeth is lying to them Question 5 D 5. As soon as the murder becomes known, Malcolm ___ and Donalbain flee Scotland because they a. have lost their inheritance b. are guilty of the murder c. believe the country will probably become unstable d. fear for their lives Question 6 A 6. Banquo wants to meet with the other nobles in ___ order to a. discover the purpose of the murder b. ensure that Macbeth will become king c. protect his son from the murderer d. talk to Macbeth about the witches Question 7 C 7. The natural disturbances that continue all night— ___ including the screaming and murderous owl, chimneys being blown down, and Duncan’s horses turning wild—symbolize a. the inevitable chaos of a terrible storm b. a coming war with a neighboring country c. the evil of Macbeth’s deeds d. the imminent flight of the king’s sons Questions 8-12 D 8. is fearful of divine punishment ____ because he cannot say “amen” A ____ 9. is frightened that the bloody daggers will reveal who killed the King B 10. is afraid of “daggers in men’s smiles” ___ and of being killed C 11. is alarmed about the dreams he might ___ have if he sleeps E 12. is terrified by “strange screams of ___ death” and other disturbances heard in the night a. Lady Macbeth b. Donalbain c. Banquo d. Macbeth e. Lennox Question 13 13. Choose one of the following quotations from Act II. On the lines provided, name the speaker and discuss how the quotation reveals the speaker’s character. Use at least one example from the selection to support your ideas. a. “These deeds must not be thought / After these ways; so, it will make us mad.” b. “Hear [the bell] . . . not, Duncan, for it is a knell / That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.” c. “Why, worthy thane, / You do unbend your noble strength, to think / So brainsickly of things.” d. “O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart / Cannot conceive nor name thee.” Answers to Question 13 a. Speaker: Lady Macbeth. She is cold and calculating—she has no interest in contemplating the murders because she believes such thoughts would make her insane. c. Speaker: Lady Macbeth. She is neither compassionate nor sympathetic. She cruelly alerts Macbeth that his tortured thoughts of the murders are dishonorable. b. Speaker: Macbeth. He is humorous, almost indifferent, in his warning to Duncan to get his spiritual house in order. However, he is also well aware of heaven and hell—this foreshadows his later torment. d. Speaker: Macduff. He is a good man who is genuinely appalled by the king’s death. He is so shocked that he cannot speak or think about what has happened. Question 14 On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph describing the mood of Act II. Explain why this mood is appropriate, and discuss why it will likely prevail in the rest of the play. Use at least two examples from Act II to support your ideas. 1) Demonstrate understanding of the prompt 2) Describe the malevolent and violent mood of Act II provide reasons for the mood. 3) For example: 1) The king and the guards have been murdered. 2) Macbeth is suffering inner torment. 3) Macbeth has been deceiving others. 4) Discuss why the mood is likely to prevail 5) The murders set in motion events that cnot have happy endings. 6) The foreshadowing, such as the many references to madness, is ominous.