Act 2 Scene 1 – Macbeth and Banquo meet briefly

What does the stage directions indicate? “Torch-bearer before him” – this suggests that this scene is a scene whereby there is something bad that is going to happen and foreshadows Macbeth’s grim task.
How does Shakespeare use foreshadowing? Shakespeare deliberately uses foreshadow to achieve what is going on with what going wrong. He uses simile “heavy summons lies like lead upon me” – this suggests that he is feeling really tired, yet he “would not sleep.” Banquo understands that something is ethically wrong and needs to be sorted out.
What does Banquo and Fleance do at night? Both of the characters go for a walk at night. Fleance is a reminder to the audience about the Witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will be kings.
What symbolism does Shakespeare use to show the evilness of Macbeth? There aren’t any stars: “their candles are all out” , the symbolism of darkness that Shakespeare uses is to emphasise the evil that Macbeth is about to do.
What does the question from Banquo and the reply of Macbeth signify? “Who’s there?””A friend.” This is significant line because Macbeth is being a “false” character. This is similar to the last line of act 7 “false face must hide what the false face doth know.” So, he must be act like he loves everyone – in reality he is an evil person, waiting for an opportunity to kill Duncan.
What does Banquo tell about the dream he had? He dreamt about the “weird sisters” – he is deliberately stopped by Macbeth when he replies “I think not of them” – this lie suggests that he wants him not to think of them too, as he is hurting himself at the moment.
What does his soliloquy suggest? He talks about witchcraft, “Hecate’s offerings” and a “ghost”. This links Macbeth to the Witches and shows how he’s affected by their predictions. He is in a state of hallucinating as he sees “a dagger before him” – this suggests that he is having altered views that are not supporting him, almost as fate is helping him to kill Duncan and be next into the reign. The rhetorical question is ambiguous as we don’t know whether it’s leading him to commit murder or warning him against it.
What does the line “heat-oppressed brain” mean? It shows that Macbeth is indeed disturbed about the fact that he is going to kill someone. This foreshadows on what happens to him in a later occasion where he’ll be in a situation that his mind will not care anymore.

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