Macbeth Act 2, scene 3

Briefly give four reasons why the porter scene is very functional within the play. It allows the Macbeths time to change their clothes.The time between actual murder and its discovery allows the audience relief from the tension.The humour in this scene provides further relaxation.A porter is an ordinary man. The play does not only deal with royalty and noble people.
What happens when a king is killed? The hierarchy is destroyed and the result is utter confusion.
In Act 1, scene vi, Banquo and Duncan use words such as “pleasant”, “sweetly” and “heaven’s breath” to describe Macbeth’s castle. Quote 3 words from the porter scene to state that Macbeth’s castle is no longer associated with heaven. “hell-gate” “Belzebub” “the primrose way”
Name the four types of people admitted to hell as mentioned by the porter. Porter, farmer, equivocator, tailor
What do these four people have in common? They all cheated and lied in order to have a pleasant life on earth and thus they all ended up in hell.
In what way are they similar to the Macbeths? The Macbeths also cheated and lied on earth in order to get onto the throne of Scotland. They will also end up in hell.
Give a definition of equivocation. Deceiving woth words. Telling lies which sound so very true. Withholding vital facts which make a big difference to the outcome of what you say.
Why does Macduff arrive so early at Macbeth’s castle? Macduff has to wake the king up to make sure he leaves on time.
What is the significance of the word “unruly”? Macbeth’s murder of Duncan will result in a period of misrule in Scotland.
What is the significance of the unnatural events mentioned? World order is disturbed. The enormity of Macbeth’s crime is reflected in the universe. The immoral act of murdering the king is paralleled by unnatural events.
What is meant by “lamentings” and “strange screams of death”? Cries of sorrow heard from all over Scotland.
What is meant by “dire combustion” and “confused events”? Macbeth’s act brought political disorder.
Quote a phrase from Act 2 scene 2 where LM also refers to “the obscure bird”. “It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman…” (line 30)
Why is Macbeth’s comment in l.59 an understatement? It was not merely a “rough” night, as moral, political and natural laws were broken.
What is the significance of Macduff’s speech starting with “Confusion…” Starting with the word “confusion underlines or emphasizes the confusion of moral, political and natural laws.
Which words in this speech tell us that Duncan’s body is sacred or holy? “sacrilegious” “Lord’s anointed temple”
Why does Shakespear again remind us her how good Duncan is? Knowledge of Duncan’s mystic goodness emphasizes the evil of Macbeth’s act.
What image does Shakespeare want to create when Macduff says: “…as from your graves rise up, and walk like spirits to countenance this horror”? He creates a picture of judgement day when all people will leave their graves and walk like spirits.
In l.80 Macduff refers to LM as “O gentle lady”. Explain the irony. Lady Macbeth nerself had called on the spirits to unsex her, to remove her female qualities.
Macduff also feels this news is unsuitable for “a woman’s ear”. Explain the irony. It is thus a grave misjudgement to assume she is too much of a woman to hear this awful news.
Lady Macbeth is upset about the king being murdered in their house. What does Banquo reveal when he says “Too cruel, anywhere”? His suspicion
Macbeth says: “Had I but died an hour before this chance I had lived a blessed time; for, from this instant, there’s nothing serious in mortality.” What does he unconsciously describe? Macbeth unconsciously describes his own future as this first murder will set the stage for more murders before the order will be restored. A person’s life will be worthless in Macbeth’s eyes if it’s an obstacle in his way.
Explain the wine-image in lines 92-93. Life is compared to a cask from which all wine has been drawn so that only the dregs are left.
Quote phrases which emphasize the fact that Duncan is associated with life giving forces. “spring” “fountain” “source”
Lennox explains what he saw at Duncan’s room. What does his interjection tell us? It shows that Lennox is in doubt.
What, according to Macbeth, is his reason for killing the guards? He was so angry about the murder the guards were suspected to have committed.
What is the real reason? Dead men don’t talk. They cannot prove their innocence when they are dead.
How does Macduff react to this? He asks a very blunt question: “Wherefore did you so?”. His tone of voice shows shock, disbelief, amazement and suspicion.
What does Macbeth’s elaborate speech in the next few lines reveal? He betrays his guilt by speaking too much and too elaborately. His graphic description of the murdered king is contrasted with the fact that everybody else is shocked into economical use of words.
Give 3 reasons why LM fainted. She wants to take the attention away from Macbeth, who is talking too much. It can be a sign of emotional exhaustion after coping with Macbeth’s collapse.It can be a sign of delayed shock. The reality of the murder seemed easy in theory, but now she has to face her conscience.
What does Malcom and Donalbain decide to do? They decide to leave the country. Malcom goes to England and Donalbain to Ireland.
“Where we are there’s daggers in men’s smiles”What does Donalbain mean? The person who killed their father might stil be among them and appear friendly towards them
Why does Donalbain also say “The near in the blood the nearer bloody”? The closer in relationship, the more likely to kill them as well.
Compare the reactions of Macduff and the two Macbeths when they discover the murder. Macduff shows genuine grief, while the two Macbeths’ sorrow is artificial and pretended.
Compare the behaviour of Macbeth and Lm after the discovery of the murder. Macbeth shows appropriate signs of sorrow for Duncan’s death, but he uses more extravagant expressions than other characters, whose cries arenmore spontaneous. LM also betrays herself by more concern about the murder under her roof than about the deed itself. An innocent person would have been affected by murder only.

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