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Scenes 2.1 and 2.2

Scene 2.1 - The courtyard of Macbeth's castle
Banquo and his young son, Fleance, share some pleasantries while walking around late at night. Macbeth enters, and Banquo tells him that he dreamt of the witches last night. Macbeth claims that he doesn't think about them, and he bids Banquo good night. Now alone, Macbeth sees an image of a dagger in front of him. He goes to grab it, but it has no substance. He then draws his own dagger because he believes that the image points him to Duncan. Now the image of the dagger is covered in blood, and Macbeth surrenders to the evil spirits of the night. He hopes that he can perform the murder swiftly and stealthily. He hears the bell, which signals that the guards are drunk and asleep, and he is off to do the deed.

Scene 2.2 - Scene continues with only a brief pause
Amidst the sounds of shrieking owls and crying crickets, Lady Macbeth celebrates that she drugged the wine of the guards and set everything in preparation for Macbeth to kill Duncan. She remarks that if Duncan didn't resemble her father as he slept, she would have killed him herself. Macbeth enters, and he is visibly shaken by what he has done. Everything sets him on edge, and Lady Macbeth tells him not to worry so much. Macbeth tells her that the guards in their sleep cried "Murder!" and "God bless us." He is terrified because he couldn't say "Amen," as if from this point on, he was forever damned. Then Macbeth heard a voice cry "Sleep no more!" - since he murdered Duncan in his sleep, no one is safe when one is sleeping, and therefore, no one can sleep. Macbeth shows his wife the bloody daggers and the blood on his hands. Lady Macbeth rushes to put the incriminating daggers on the sleeping guards, and comes back to tell him that they can easily wash the blood and guilt from their hands with a little water. There is a loud knocking, and they go back to their bedchambers to appear as if they were sleeping all this while.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Scenes 1.1 and 1.2
Scene 1.3 - An open place
Scenes 1.4 and 1.5
Scenes 1.6 and 1.7
Scenes 2.1 and 2.2
Scene 2.3 and 2.4
Scene 3.1
Scenes 3.2 and 3.3
Scene 3.4
Scenes 3.5 and 3.6
Scene 4.1
Scene 4.2
Scene 4.3
Scenes 5.1 and 5.2
Scenes 5.3 and 5.4
Scenes 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, and 5.8
Scenes 5.9, 5.10, and 5.11


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