ACT 3 SCENE 2

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ACT 3 SCENE 2
A ROOM IN MACBETH'S PALACE
This short scene allows the audience once more into the private thoughts of the murderous couple, while holding the action momentarily in suspense. As the hired killers make their way toward Banquo, Macbeth and his wife meet secretly. His wife attempts to soothe his troubled mind but ironically feels the same doubts herself. Killing the king has provided them with many more difficulties than they first envisioned. To the astonishment of his wife, Macbeth reveals his plan to murder Banquo.
LADY MACBETH: {to servant} Say to the king, I would attend his leisure for a few words.
shows how confident and powerful macbeth has become distant in relationship and Lady Macbeth has been relegated in partnership and status -> returning back to typical female role
LADY MACBETH: Nought's had, all's spent, Where our desire is got without content: 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
Rhyming couplets; like the witches
Realises the satisfaction they sought has not be achieved.
Enter Macbeth

LADY MACBETH
How now, my lord! why do you keep alone, Of sorriest fancies your companions making, Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy Should be without regard: what's done is done.
again shows how Macbeth is now able to act without the aid of his wife and foreshadows their eventual disregard for one another. As the two grow further apart Macbeth is able to commit acts of evil without his wife arguing against his conscience.
She believes by saying 'whats done is done' show hereafter be the end of all murders committed. Foreshadows later 'whats done cannot be undone'.
MACBETH
We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it:
She'll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice Remains in danger of her former tooth.... Ere we will eat our meal in fear and sleep In the affliction of these terrible dreams That shake us nightly: better be with the dead, Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave; After life's fitful fever he sleeps well; Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison, Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing, Can touch him further.
alliteration, metaphor, allusion, symbolism and irony. these are techniques that have been implemented within this line. Irony is created here as Macbeths sees Banquo as the snake when in fact Macbeth is the snake himself. this creates a biblical illusion creating and emphasising the aspect of dramatic irony within the play.
Gothic imagry of haunting and theme of sleep and nightmares
Despite Macbeth's personal bravado, neither he nor his wife seems entirely at ease. Lady Macbeth talks of her "doubtful joy" and Macbeth of his "restless ecstasy." In the world that the Macbeths have created for themselves, total peace no longer exists, and what has been achieved is only a half-measure. Even the dead King Duncan is able to achieve more totally what Macbeth never can: a respite from "life's fitful fever." perhaps jealous of duncan for this.
fitful fever shows Macbeths mental state. The symbolism and irony here is profound, he cannot see himself as evil as he only sees others as evil. This shows his loss of his piece of mind and that he should be punished for his crimes. It's ironic as ecstasy is commonly related with good things. FAIR IS FOUL AND FOUL IS FAIR
LADY MACBETH
Come on;
Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks;
Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.
asking him to be genuine -> appearance vs. reality
MACBETH
O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

LADY MACBETH
But in them nature's copy's not eterne.

MACBETH
There's comfort yet; they are assailable;
Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown His cloister'd flight, ere to black Hecate's summons The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.
While Lady Macbeth appears to be looking back at the previous murder, Macbeth looks forward, anticipating the next murder, of which Lady Macbeth is not yet fully aware. That distinction between their two states of knowledge allows Shakespeare to play once more on the power relationship between husband and wife. Here, then is yet another reversal of character, and it is shown in two major ways: first, by Lady Macbeth's innocent-sounding questions and, second, by Macbeth's adoption of animal imagery. In Act I, Scene 5, Lady Macbeth was the one who spoke of "the raven" and "the serpent." Now Macbeth takes on the same language of horror, imagining his mind to be "full of scorpions," and speaking of the "bat" and the "shard-born (dung-bred) beetle."
LADY MACBETH
What's to be done?

MACBETH
Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day; And with thy bloody and invisible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond Which keeps me pale! Light thickens; and the crow Makes wing to the rooky wood: Good things of day begin to droop and drowse; While night's black agents to their preys do rouse.
Thou marvell'st at my words: but hold thee still; Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill. So, prithee, go with me.
The most powerful moments of the scene are the final ones in which Macbeth calls for the cancellation of the bond between himself and the world. "Bond" is more than simply a simile from the world of legal jargon. Just as Lady Macbeth earlier wanted to lose her sex, Macbeth now desires to be rid of his humanity. His direct connection with the natural world into which he was born threatens to keep him "pale" or fearful. A final point to make about these lines is the way in which the rhythmical stress falls unusually on the first syllable of the word "cancel":

"And, with thy bloody and invisible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond . . . ." (49-50)

Metrically, as well as dramatically, Macbeth is moving inexorably toward his tragic destiny. Meanwhile his wife, once so calm and collected, is losing that composure. Macbeth's line "Thou marvell'st at my words" suggests, like a stage direction, some moving response in her.