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Macbeth
Act 2, scene 2

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Macbeth, set primarily in Scotland, mixes witchcraft, prophecy, and murder. Three “Weïrd Sisters” appear to Macbeth and his comrade Banquo…

Act 1, scene 1

Three witches plan to meet Macbeth.

Act 1, scene 2

Duncan, king of Scotland, hears an account of the success in battle of his noblemen Macbeth and Banquo. Duncan orders…

Act 1, scene 3

The three witches greet Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis” (as he is), “Thane of Cawdor,” and “king hereafter.” They then…

Act 1, scene 4

Duncan demands and receives assurances that the former thane of Cawdor has been executed. When Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus…

Act 1, scene 5

Lady Macbeth reads her husband’s letter about his meeting the witches. She fears that Macbeth lacks the ruthlessness he needs…

Act 1, scene 6

Duncan and his attendants arrive at Inverness. Lady Macbeth welcomes them.

Act 1, scene 7

Macbeth contemplates the reasons why it is a terrible thing to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth mocks his fears and offers…

Act 2, scene 1

Banquo, who has accompanied Duncan to Inverness, is uneasy because he too is tempted by the witches’ prophecies, although only…

Act 2, scene 2

Lady Macbeth waits anxiously for Macbeth to return from killing Duncan. When Macbeth enters, he is horrified by what he…

Act 2, scene 3

A drunken porter, answering the knocking at the gate, plays the role of a devil-porter at the gates of hell….

Act 2, scene 4

An old man and Ross exchange accounts of recent unnatural happenings. Macduff joins them to report that Malcolm and Donalbain…

Act 3, scene 1

Banquo suspects that Macbeth killed Duncan in order to become king. Macbeth invites Banquo to a feast that night. Banquo…

Act 3, scene 2

Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth express their unhappiness. Macbeth speaks of his fear of Banquo especially. He refers to a…

Act 3, scene 3

A third man joins the two whom Macbeth has already sent to kill Banquo and Fleance. The three assassins manage…

Act 3, scene 4

As Macbeth’s banquet begins, one of Banquo’s murderers appears at the door to tell Macbeth of Banquo’s death and Fleance’s…

Act 3, scene 5

The presentation of the witches in this scene (as in 4.1.38 SD–43 and 141–48) differs from their presentation in the…

Act 3, scene 6

Lennox and an unnamed lord discuss politics in Scotland. Lennox comments sarcastically upon Macbeth’s “official” versions of the many recent…

Act 4, scene 1

Macbeth approaches the witches to learn how to make his kingship secure. In response they summon for him three apparitions:…

Act 4, scene 2

Ross visits Lady Macduff and tries to justify to her Macduff’s flight to England, a flight that leaves his family…

Act 4, scene 3

Macduff finds Malcolm at the English court and urges him to attack Macbeth at once. Malcolm suspects that Macduff is…

Act 5, scene 1

A gentlewoman who waits on Lady Macbeth has seen her walking in her sleep and has asked a doctor’s advice….

Act 5, scene 2

A Scottish force, in rebellion against Macbeth, marches toward Birnam Wood to join Malcolm and his English army.

Act 5, scene 3

Reports are brought to Macbeth of the Scottish and English forces massed against him. He seeks assurance in the apparitions’…

Act 5, scene 4

The rebel Scottish forces have joined Malcolm’s army at Birnam Wood. Malcolm orders each soldier to cut down and carry…

Act 5, scene 5

Macbeth is confident that he can withstand any siege from Malcolm’s forces. He is then told of Lady Macbeth’s death…

Act 5, scene 6

Malcolm arrives with his troops before Dunsinane Castle.

Act 5, scene 7

On the battlefield Macbeth kills young Siward, the son of the English commander. After Macbeth exits, Macduff arrives in search…

Act 5, scene 8

Macduff finds Macbeth, who is reluctant to fight with him because Macbeth has already killed Macduff’s whole family and is…

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Scene 2
Enter Lady Macbeth.

LADY MACBETH 
 That which hath made them drunk hath made me
 bold.
 What hath quenched them hath given me fire.
 Hark!—Peace.
5 It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
 Which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it.
 The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
 Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged
 their possets,
10 That death and nature do contend about them
 Whether they live or die.
MACBETH, within  Who’s there? what, ho!
LADY MACBETH 
 Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
 And ’tis not done. Th’ attempt and not the deed
15 Confounds us. Hark!—I laid their daggers ready;
 He could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled
 My father as he slept, I had done ’t.

Enter Macbeth with bloody daggers.

 My husband?
MACBETH 
 I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
LADY MACBETH 
20 I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
 Did not you speak?
MACBETH  When?
LADY MACBETH  Now.
MACBETH  As I descended?
LADY MACBETH 25Ay.
MACBETH Hark!—Who lies i’ th’ second chamber?
LADY MACBETH Donalbain.

57
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 2

MACBETH This is a sorry sight.
LADY MACBETH 
 A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
MACBETH 
30 There’s one did laugh in ’s sleep, and one cried
 “Murder!”
 That they did wake each other. I stood and heard
 them.
 But they did say their prayers and addressed them
35 Again to sleep.
LADY MACBETH  There are two lodged together.
MACBETH 
 One cried “God bless us” and “Amen” the other,
 As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands,
 List’ning their fear. I could not say “Amen”
40 When they did say “God bless us.”
LADY MACBETH Consider it not so deeply.
MACBETH 
 But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?
 I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”
 Stuck in my throat.
LADY MACBETH 45 These deeds must not be thought
 After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
MACBETH 
 Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!
 Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,
 Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
50 The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
 Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
 Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
LADY MACBETH  What do you mean?
MACBETH 
 Still it cried “Sleep no more!” to all the house.
55 “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore
 Cawdor
 Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”

59
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 2

LADY MACBETH 
 Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
 You do unbend your noble strength to think
60 So brainsickly of things. Go get some water
 And wash this filthy witness from your hand.—
 Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
 They must lie there. Go, carry them and smear
 The sleepy grooms with blood.
MACBETH 65 I’ll go no more.
 I am afraid to think what I have done.
 Look on ’t again I dare not.
LADY MACBETH  Infirm of purpose!
 Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
70 Are but as pictures. ’Tis the eye of childhood
 That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
 I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
 For it must seem their guilt.
She exits with the daggers. Knock within.
MACBETH  Whence is that
75 knocking?
 How is ’t with me when every noise appalls me?
 What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
 Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
 Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
80 The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
 Making the green one red.

Enter Lady Macbeth.

LADY MACBETH 
 My hands are of your color, but I shame
 To wear a heart so white.Knock.
 I hear a knocking
85 At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber.
 A little water clears us of this deed.
 How easy is it, then! Your constancy
 Hath left you unattended.Knock.

61
Macbeth
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Hark, more knocking.
90 Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
 And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
 So poorly in your thoughts.
MACBETH 
 To know my deed ’twere best not know myself.
Knock.
 Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou
95 couldst.
They exit.