Topic: Act II Questions

Act II
Scene I
Give two details of the setting that reinforce the theme of darkness.

Macbeth says that he does not think of the witches, but he contradicts himself. How?

What causes Macbeth to “see” a dagger? How does he react to this vision? How does that vision add to his characterization?

Scene II
To what extent does Lady Macbeth assis t in the murder? Explain.

Locate the quotes that indicate Macbeth is disturbed by his deed. Quote Lady Macbeth’s reaction.

Why is Macbeth concerned about the blood on his hands? How does his reaction differ from Lady Macbeth’s?

How does the knocking at the gate add to the horror of this scene?

Scene III
This was a humorous scene for Shakespearean audiences. List the people who the porter imagines are knocking at the gate.

What, then, is the purpose of this scene?

List some of the strange occurrences that Lennox reports.

Who discovers the murder? Who is accused and by whom?

Report Macbeth’s excuse for killing the guards. Was that part of the original plan?

Speculate on what causes Lady Macbeth to faint.

Explain the meaning of Donalbain’s statement, “There’s daggers in men’s smiles; the near in blood,/The nearer bloody.”

Scene IV
Locate at least two references to (a) unnatural occurrences, (b) darkness, and (c) blood.

Why are Malcolm and Donalbain suspected of the murder?

Instead of attending Macbeth’s coronation, where is Macduff going?

Explain how the last line of this Act is an echo of “Fair is foul…”

2 (edited by Stacie 2012-04-01 21:38:49)

Re: Act II Questions

Act 2 Scene 4

Why are Malcolm and Donalbain suspected of the murder?

Malcolm and Donalbain are suspected of the murder because they had fled Macbeth's castle, Malcolm to England and Donalbain to Ireland.

Macduff: They were suborn'd:
Malcolm and Donalbain, the kings two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.



Instead of attending Macbeth's coronation, where is Macduff going?

Macduff is headed back to Fife, where his wife and family are.

Ross: Will you to Scone?
Macduff: No, cousin, I'll to Fife.



Explain how the last line of this Act is an echo of “Fair is foul…”

Ross: Farewell, father.
Old Man: God's benison go with you; and with those
That would make good of bad, and friends of foes!

The last line of Act II Scene 4 is an echo of "Fair is foul", which is a saying the witches chant in Act I Scene I, because the old man is saying that what may seem right, is indeed wrong.

3 (edited by gina 2012-04-01 12:03:42)

Re: Act II Questions

Act 2: 10,11,12 questions



List some of the strange occurrences that Lennox reports.

LENNOX

The night has been unruly. Where we lay,

Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,

Lamentings heard i' th' air, strange screams of death,

And prophesying with accents terrible

Of dire combustion and confused events

New hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird

Clamored the livelong night. Some say the Earth

Was feverous and did shake.

Really means:

The night has been chaotic. The wind blew down through the chimneys where we were sleeping. People are saying they heard cries of grief in the air, strange screams of death, and terrible voices predicting catastrophes that will usher in a woeful new age. The owl made noise all night. Some people say that the earth shook as if it had a fever.

Who discovers the murder? Who is accused and by whom?

MACDUFF

     O horror, horror, horror!

Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!

Really means:

Oh, horror, horror, horror! This is beyond words and beyond belief!



MACDUFF

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope

The Lord’s anointed temple, and stole thence

The life o' th' building!


Really means:

The worst thing imaginable has happened. A murderer has broken into God’s temple and stolen the life out of it.


Who is accused?

LENNOX
Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done ’t.

Their hands and faces were all badged with blood.

So were their daggers, which unwiped we found

Upon their pillows. They stared, and were distracted.

No man’s life was to be trusted with them.


Really means:

It seems that the guards who were supposed to be protecting his chamber did it. Their hands and faces were all covered with blood. So were their daggers, which we found on their pillows, unwiped. They stared at us in confusion. No one’s life should have been entrusted to them.

Report Macbeth’s excuse for killing the guards. Was that part of the original plan?

MACBETH

Who can be wise, amazed, temp'rate, and furious,

Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.

Th' expedition of my violent love

Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,

His silver skin laced with his golden blood,

And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature

For ruin’s wasteful entrance; there, the murderers,

Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers

Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain,

That had a heart to love, and in that heart

Courage to make ’s love known?


Really means:

MACBETH
Is it possible to be wise, bewildered, calm, furious, loyal, and                               

neutral all at once? Nobody can do that. The violent rage inspired                               

by my love for Duncan caused me to act before I could think                               

rationally and tell myself to pause. There was Duncan, his white                               

skin all splattered with his precious blood. The gashes where the                               

knives had cut him looked like wounds to nature itself. Then right                               

next to him I saw the murderers, dripping with blood, their daggers                     

rudely covered in gore. Who could have restrained himself, who loved                 

Duncan and had the courage to act on it?

4 (edited by jessie 2012-04-02 14:27:47)

Re: Act II Questions

Act II Scene 1
Macbeth says that he does not think of the witches, but he contradicts himself. How?

Banquo: All's well. I dreamnt last night of the three weird sisters, To you they have show'd some truth.
Macbeth: I think not of them. Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that business,
If you would grant the time.

Macbeth is saying he doens't think of the witches or weird sisters, but we know that he does, because he's saying that they can talk about the weird sisters later.

Act II Scene 1
What causes Macbeth to “see” a dagger? How does he react to this vision? How does that vision add to his characterization?

Macbeth see's the dagger for a few reasons: first off He's having these fatal visions of the dagger that could be coming from the witches, (they aren't really there (the daggers) and are sent by something else.)  he is experiencing the hallucination of the dagger, there isn't actually a dagger in front of him. He is having the hallucinations of the dagger because he perhaps feels some guilt for the deed in which he is about to do. (Kill Duncan)

Macbeth:". Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain? "

Later in his speech here, he says:
"Witchcraft celebrates", saying that the witches could be responsible for the hallucinations of the daggers.
Act II Scene 2
To what extent does Lady Macbeth assist in the murder? Explain.

Lady Macbeth helps Macbeth by poisioning the guards who should be protecting Duncan, allowing Macbeth to murder him.
Lady Macbeth: Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged their possets,

She also helps by laying out the servants daggers for Macbeth to use in the murder of Duncan (also to make it seem like it was them (the servants) who killed Duncan.) (She also mentions that she would have killed Duncan herself if he hadn't looked like her father.)
Lady Macbeth: I laid their daggers ready; He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't

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Re: Act II Questions

13. Speculate on what causes Lady Macbeth to faint. Act II Scene 3
She faints because she sees the body of king duncan. She is fainting to pretend she doesn't know about Duncan's death. She also could be fainting because Duncan resembles her father and seeing Duncan dead could actually have shocked her.

14. Explain the meaning of Donaldbains statement There's daggers in mens smiles; the near in blood. Act II Scene 3
When he was saying "there's daggers in mens smiles" he was referring that the people who you think are close will actually go against you to get their way. When he says "the near in blood" he means relatives are not an exception. 

15. Locate at least two references to (a)unnatural occurrences (b)darkness and (c)Blood. Act II Scene 3
a) Hours dreadful and things strange/ Anything most strange and certain.
b)And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp/ That darkness does the face of earth entombs.
c)Threaten his bloody stage/ Is't known who did this more than blood deed.

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Re: Act II Questions

ACT II: Scene 1

1. Give two details of the setting that reinforce the theme of darkness.

BANQUO
How goes the night, boy?
FLEANCE
The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.

...

BANQUO
Hold, take my sword. There's husbandry in heaven;
Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep: merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose!

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Re: Act II Questions

Act Two; Scene Two
Locate the quotes that indicate Macbeth is disturbed by his deed. Quote Lady Macbeth’s reaction.

The deed in question is Duncan's murder. At one point Macbeth had planned to call the murder off, but when Duncan began to awake, Macbeth was forced to finish the deed.

Macbeth: This is a sorry sight. Looking at his hands.
Lady Macbeth: A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

Lady Macbeth is far from remorseful about his situation. In an earlier rant, Lady Macbeth told of how her husband was not manly enough, and even now as he's just returned from killing a person, she criticizes his ability to be tough.

Macbeth on the other hand, is seriously unsettled by the fact he has killed a man. As a General in the military he has killed many men before; but this particular one left an impression on him.

Macbeth: I'm afraid to think of what I have done;
Look on't again I dare not.
Lady Macbeth: Infirm of purpose! ... Tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil.

Macbeth refuses to return to the scene, because he is honestly terrified and afraid to think of his actions. Lady Macbeth calls him a coward, and that only children fear the dead.

-
Why is Macbeth concerned about the blood on his hands? How does his reaction differ from Lady Macbeth’s?

Macbeth: What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine.

Macbeth is worried about his hands, because he has yet to really come to grasps with the fact that he's killed Duncan. No amount of the water in the ocean can bring back Duncan. The blood on his hands is his guilt.

[tbc]

8 (edited by hsanson 2012-04-03 14:31:58)

Re: Act II Questions

ACT II: Scene 2

7. How does the knocking at the gate add to the horror of this scene?

Exit. Knocking within

MACBETH
Whence is that knocking?
How is't with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here? ha! they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand?
No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
Making the green one red.

Re-enter LADY MACBETH

LADY MACBETH
My hands are of your colour; but I shame
To wear a heart so white.

Knocking within

I hear a knocking
At the south entry: retire we to our chamber;
A little water clears us of this deed:
How easy is it, then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended.

Knocking within

Hark! more knocking.
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,
And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.

MACBETH
To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.

Knocking within

Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!

- The knocking at the gate drives the Macbeths fear even more wild than it already is. They both have a sense of guilt, they both are terrified of being found out. The knocking at the gate means that someone is coming to visit the castle and their murder will soon be discovered.

9 (edited by hsanson 2012-04-03 14:38:14)

Re: Act II Questions

ACT II: Scene 3


8. This was a humorous scene for Shakespearean audiences. List the people who the porter imagines are knocking at the gate.

PORTER
Here's a knocking indeed! If a
man were porter of hell-gate, he should have
old turning the key.
Knocking within

Knock,
knock, knock! Who's there, i' the name of
Beelzebub? Here's a farmer, that hanged
himself on the expectation of plenty: come in
time; have napkins enow about you; here
you'll sweat for't.
Knocking within

Knock,
knock! Who's there, in the other devil's
name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could
swear in both the scales against either scale;
who committed treason enough for God's sake,
yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come
in, equivocator.
Knocking within

Knock,
knock, knock! Who's there? Faith, here's an
English tailor
come hither, for stealing out of
a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may
roast your goose.
Knocking within

Knock,
knock; never at quiet! What are you? But
this place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter
it no further: I had thought to have let in
some of all professions that go the primrose
way to the everlasting bonfire.
Knocking within

Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.
Opens the gate

Enter MACDUFF and LENNOX


- A Farmer
- An Equivocator
- An English Tailor