Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Macbeth Act 2, scenes 1 and 2 Essay

In Act 2 Banquo is found with his son Fleance, in the courtyard of Macbeth’s castle at â€Å"witching hour†. The night is cold and dark, with fog surrounding the castles boundaries. Banquo is becoming nervous and this is evident from what he says to his son, Fleance, â€Å"Hold, take my sword. – There’s husbandry in heaven, Their candles are all out. – Take thee that too.† Even though it is obvious he would like to rest, he is fearful of nightmares whilst he sleeps, the following quote suggests this, â€Å"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 response.† As Banquo was patrolling the area he hears a noise, â€Å"Who’s there?† startled and scared at this he says to Fleance, â€Å"Give me my sword.† Banquo is tired and is trying to maintain full alert, showing he is on edge; listening out for any anything and everything that might occur. As Macbeth steps out of the dark, slightly visible by Banquo, Macbeth replies: â€Å"A friend† Banquo feels relieved as he can now put his mind at rest, because he has seen a friendly face at such time of night and hostile surroundings. After Macbeth had been socialising with Banquo, Banquo remembers to ask Macbeth a question that had been troubling him about the witches, â€Å"I dreamed last night of the three weird sisters; To you they showed some truth.† Macbeth tries quickly to change the subject by answering, â€Å"I think not of them;† this is because he does not want to be linked to the murder of Duncan that Macbeth is plotting. Macbeth then tries to bribe Banquo, we see this from â€Å"If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis, it shall make honour for you.† By this Macbeth is trying to imply that if Banquo stands by him and stays loyal to him, when he Macbeth needs him, Banquo will not regret it and will be honoured by others. Banquo replies, â€Å"So I lose none In seeking to augment it, but still keep My bosom franchised and allegiance clear, I shall be counselled.† Which basically translates, as long as Banquo does not have to risk his honour in providing his life and can keep a clear conscience, then he will be advised by Macbeth. This indicates that Banquo might be picking up on Macbeth’s intentions on becoming king of Scotland. So far we can see the differences in the two characters personalities. Banquo is a loyal person, kind, open to discussions, friendly and honourable to the king â€Å"Duncan† as well as to his friends and family. On the other hand Macbeth is the complete opposite in every way, he appears to be dishonourable (as we know he is planning Duncan’s murder), a liar, untrustworthy and an actor of personalities. When Macbeth is on his own his mind becomes delusional goes into a frenzy he starts to think about the side affects of his actions, but is hyped up and ready to do the deed of killing Duncan. It is clear from, â€Å"Is this a dagger that I see before me, The handle towards my hand? Come, let me clutch thee: I have thee not, and yet I see thee still,† that Macbeth is hallucinating. However, during the build up to the murder Macbeth continues to be drawn by the image of the dagger to Duncan’s room. â€Å"I see thee still and on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, which was not so before.† From this we are informed that Macbeth has now imagined Duncan’s blood on the dagger, but this does not put Macbeth off as we see from when the bell is rung, which was a sign from Lady Macbeth that the coast was clear. Macbeth does not hesitate as he confidently says, â€Å"I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell. Yet earlier, in Act 1 scene 7 we see that Macbeth had doubts about murdering Duncan as he thinks, â€Å"If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly. If th’assassination could trammel up the consequence and catch with his surcease, success, that but his blow might be the be-all and the end all – here†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬  This is where we realise he is feeling uneasy about killing his friend and worrying about the possible consequences. The reason Macbeth changed his mind about murdering Duncan is because Macbeth really wanted to be King more than anything, and once the witches prophesised that this would happen, it made Macbeth more convinced that he should carry out the murder. The changes of his mind show us that Macbeth is easily misled. I feel Macbeth would not have been brave or foolish enough to kill Duncan had his wife not persuaded him to do it as we see from her planning and convincing Macbeth that their murder won’t fail, â€Å"We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, and we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep, whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey soundly invite him. Although we have seen Macbeth’s guilt about wanting to kill his friend and someone who he really respects, he is driven to follow through his ambition of becoming king because of his wife, Lady Macbeth. Once Macbeth has killed Duncan he feels guilty which causes him to become hysterical. Although his wife tries to calm him down it is evident that she fails because she instructs him to, â€Å"Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hands.† After washing his hands Macbeth still thinks the blood is still on him, due to the burden he is carrying from the dirty deed he carried out. He is so ridden with guilt he cannot even bring himself to say â€Å"Amen† because it is such a religious word, and he knows that now he has committed such a crime, he cannot be a holy person. Macbeth is so tortured in his mind that he imagines he hears a voice cry â€Å"sleep no more†. He feels he will be punished for killing a defenceless man and in return he will be deprived of sleep. He refuses to go back into Duncan’s chamber because the sin he has performed is so great he cannot face up to it again, we learn this from, â€Å"I’ll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done, look on’t again, I dare not.† The following quotes also confirm his guilt, â€Å"To know my deed, ’twere best not know myself.† Which seems to suggest that he would like to disown himself, and â€Å"Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst† implies that Macbeth wishes that Duncan would wake up at the sound of the noises Macbeth hears. Lady Macbeth is not able to fight off Macbeth’s mood swings and conscience. She is trying to be positive and tries to have an optimistic answer for all his negative comments. We see this many times, one example is after Macbeth has killed Duncan he says, â€Å"This is a sorry sight†, but his wife replies â€Å"A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.† Act 2 ends with Macbeth continuing to feel guilty and on edge with every noise he hears.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.