BSC Macbeth Act 2 Key Quotes

Act 2 Scene 1 Macbeth is hallucinating and has imagined a daggerPart of motif of knivesThemes: Appearance vs Reality; madness; guilt Is this a dagger which I see before me?
Act 2 Scene 1Macbeth understands that he cannot really see the dagger and that his mind is struggling with the ‘heat’ (guilt)Themes: Appearance vs Reality; madness; guilt Art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
Act 2 Scene 1A bell rings and Macbeth appears to lament his decision to kill Duncan as he is hoping that Duncan will not hear this call to death. Dramatic ironyThemes: Appearance vs Reality; madness; guilt; loyalty Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to Heaven or to Hell.
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth is fired up on the alcohol which has knocked out Duncan’s guards: she is committed to her purpose.Themes/motifs: Alcohol; Hell (fire); good vs evil What hath quenched them, have given me fire.
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth is worried that the guards will wake up before they can kill Duncan and they will therefore be punished without actually seeing through their plan. This was Macbeth’s earlier concern. Themes/motifs: guilt; sleep; ambition I am afraid they have awaked, and ’tis not done; th’ attempt and not the deed confounds us.
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth blames Duncan’s appearance for not being able to carry out the murder. She appears mentally weaker than Macbeth and leans on him to complete the murder. Themes/motifs: sleep; guilt; gender roles Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t.
Act 2 Scene 2Macbeth cannot complete a simple religious phrase because of his guilt over the murder. Themes/motifs: good vs evil; Divine Right of Kings I could not say ‘Amen’, when they did say ‘God bless us’.
Act 2 Scene 2Macbeth is experiencing considerable guilt over the murder: he hasn’t just murdered King Duncan, but all sleep – no one is safe or can rest safely any more, including Macbeth.Themes/motifs: guilt; sleep. Sleep no more: Macbeth does murder sleep.
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth’s statement is ironic and prophetic as she later becomes obsessed with washing her hands. The word ‘witness’ has more than one meaning. Themes/motifs: blood, good vs evil. Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth is chastising Macbeth for bringing evidence away from the scene of the crime: he is losing his mind with guilt; while she is coolly focused on making sure they get away with murder. Themes/motifs: knives; guilt. Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth has already forgotten about her feelings towards sleeping Duncan and is attacking Macbeth’s commitment and bravery because she thinks the dead and people who are sleeping look the same. Themes/motifs: sleep; bravery Infirm of purpose!… The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures.
Act 2 Scene 2Macbeth is speaking metaphorically: he cannot imagine there is enough water in Neptune’s ocean to wash away the blood and his guilt.Themes/motifs: cleanliness and purity; blood; guilt. Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth is covered in blood from planting the daggers, but her heart is ‘clean’ because she is innocent of murder.Themes/motifs: blood; cleanliness and purity; guilt vs innocence. My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white.
Act 2 Scene 2Lady Macbeth mistakenly imagines that they can wash away their guilt like they can wash away the blood: this is foreshadowing her later obsession with washing her hands. Themes/motifs: cleanliness and purity; water; blood. A little water clears us of this deed.
Act 2 Scene 2Macbeth regrets the murder and wishes the noise could simply wake up Duncan. The reality and guilt of the crime have hit him. Themes/motifs: guilt; murder; sleep. Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst.
Act 2 Scene 3Macduff shows his belief in gender roles by stating that the murder is to brutal for a delicate woman to hear the details of. Themes/motifs: Gender roles O gentle lady’Tis not for you to hear what I can speak.The repetition in a woman’s earWould murder as it fell.
Act 2 Scene 3Lady Macbeth is mainly concerned with covering her guilt and the connection of Duncan’s murder to her home, while innocent and loyal Banquo is disturbed by the murder wherever it happened.Themes/motifs: Loyalty; guilt; good vs evil Lady Macbeth: What, in our house?Banquo: Too cruel, anywhere.
Act 2 Scene 3Lennox finds the guards with the daggers and covered in Duncan’s blood. He assumes they are guilty from this, even though they appear confused. This helps take the guilt away from Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.Themes/motifs: blood; guilt; knives. 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 started and were distracted; No man’s life was to be trusted with them.
Act 2 Scene 3Macbeth pretends to regret murdering the guards to maintain the idea that he is a good man who is loyal to his king and does not want to commit bad deeds.Themes/motifs: Loyalty; appearance vs reality; violence Yet I do repent me of my fury that I did kill them.
Act 2 Scene 3Macbeth’s cover story for murdering the guards does not convince Macduff, but is based on some truth and references the original Macbeth. Themes/motifs: gender roles; loyalty; violence Who can be wise, amazed, temp’rate, and furious,Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
Act 2 Scene 3Banquo is already suspicious about the story surrounding Duncan’s murder: he does not accept it and by saying this reveals his suspicions of Macbeth. Themes/motifs: loyalty; violence; blood Let us meet and question this most bloody piece of workto know it further.
Act 2 Scene 3 Donaldbain suggests that he and Malcolm will be safer if they leave Scotland to go to different places. (Malcolm goes to Ireland and Donaldbain England.) The daggers represent sharp teeth which can cut and harm them and show that their associates are not their friends and cannot be trusted.Themes/motifs: loyalty; knives; appearance vs reality. Our separated fortune Shall keep us both the safer. Where we areThere’s daggers in men’s smiles.
Act 2 Scene 4Ross and Macduff have just discussed the succession to the throne: as Duncan’s sons have run away and look guilty, Macbeth is next in line to the throne. Macduff is concerned that Macbeth (new robes) will not be an easy or skilful king, unlike the old one (Duncan), who was known to be a great leader. Themes/motifs: Divine right of kings; good vs evil; loyalty Lest our old robes sit easier than our new

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