Macbeth – Act 2: Scene 4

Quote: What does the Old Man say the events have done? “Hath trifled former knowings”- ‘Make everything bad seem like a joke’- Shows to what extent this is a terrible occurrence
Quotes: How does Ross respond? “Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act”- Says that the actions have troubled the skies- Shows the gravity of the situation as it is not just causing issues on earth but in cosmology too- Shows supernatural- Possible reference to religion as it is implying ‘judgement from the skies'”By th’ clock ’tis day,And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp”- Shows polar opposites- Links to “foul is fair and fair is foul”
Quote: The Old Man then gives another example of polar opposites, what is it? “A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed”- An falcon being killed by an owl is exactly like Duncan getting killed by Macbeth~ They’re friends (both part of the bird kingdom)~ They both hunt the same things~ One is higher up than the other~ Birds should not kill eachother
Quote: How does Ross then say Duncan’s horses acted? “As they wouldMake war with mankind”- Even the animals, who are considered less capable of morality, are troubled by the event due to how immoral it is- Could link to supernatural too as horses are not usually characterised this way
Extra: The horses also ate each-other
Who does Macduff say are prime suspects and why? Malcom and Donalbain as they may have paid the servants to kill the King, which explains why they fled to Ireland and England
Quote: What does Ross then say about the situation, which suitably gives overview of opinions on the event? ‘Gainst nature still!- All of the previous descriptions of the horses and falcon and hawk back this up
What do we then hear? Macbeth has been crowned King
Where do Ross and Macduff each say they’re going? Ross – Scone (Where Macbeth is being crowned)Macduff – Fife

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