I shall now evaluate the significance of Act 2 Scene 2. Before this scene we know that Macbeth has already killed King Duncan. We have been introduced to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Furthermore, we have been introduced to the Murder, and guilt in the environment. This scene is essential to the plot because the scene produces and develops the character of Macbeth, and shows a different side of Macbeth after the murder of Duncan. It is essential also because it shows the reaction and effect the murder has put on Lady Macbeth.
The two main characters in this scene are Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth. This scene is one of the most significant scenes in this entire play. Owing to the fact that, in this scene Macbeth and Lady Macbeth reveal their equivocating and uncertain emotions and personalities. To be precise, in the beginning of this play Macbeth was a courageous, honourable and loyal soldier.
However, he met three witches after a war. The witches sabotaged his mind into believing the fact that he would become the King of Scotland. These predictions the witches made roused Macbeth’s ambition and lead him into murdering King Duncan. In this scene, Macbeth has been mocked by his wife, into killing Duncan. Confused with his conscience and ambition Macbeth commits the sin. This scene shows the changes in Macbeth’s emotions and specifies that he is an enterprising character, who goes through the contrast between his courage and guilt.
Act 2 scene 2 shows that Macbeth is in misery. This scene is about Macbeth being questioned by his conscience and about the betrayal that he has committed. An example of Macbeth questioning his conscience would be: “But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?” In this quote you can tell that Macbeth is asking himself a question that is connected to him being uncomfortable. Another example of Macbeth’s guilt is: “Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!”
This quote proves that Macbeth knows that he won’t be able to sleep at night, because his conscience has been questioned. Act 2 scene 2 portrays Lady Macbeth as a cruel and evil character. The fact that she says “That which hath made them drunk hath made be bold” shows that she doesn’t feel any guilt and that she is still very cruel instead of being worrying about the consequences about the things that she has done.
When Lady Macbeth says “Why did you bring these daggers from the place? They must lie there: go carry then; and smear the sleepy grooms with blood” you can tell that she is only afraid about getting caught, but not guilty about what he has done, except she wants to make it seem even worse by smearing the grooms with blood.
Shakespeare emphasizes the two character’s personalities by making them completely different from each other. He makes it a balance because he wants the audience to see the irony that he has created in the play because in the future the two characters will swap their personalities. Shakespeare uses the effect of imagery in this play. In this particular scene he uses his strong visual words to create pictures in the audience’s minds. Even though, the death of Duncan isn’t described specifically in this play, the audience will still be able to imagine the terrible scene of murder.
When Lady Macbeth says, “My hands are of your colour; but I shame to wear a heart so white” she implies the effect and image of blood, because when she says colour people will most probably think of blood. Macbeth responds by saying “This is a sorry sight” it also implies to the audience that it isn’t very good to be seen.
Also, when Lady Macbeth says, “Smear the sleepy grooms with blood” the imagery is very effective because people can picture a room and people smeared with blood. Imagery is very significant because it is the only way that the audience will be able to see the story. If there are no strong visual words then the audience will not be able to see anything, this way it will be harder for the audience to enjoy the story. Hence, Shakespeare uses imagery.
Murder and guilt are the two main themes addressed in this scene. In the whole play, Macbeth’s unintelligent behaviour and other flaws in his character caused Macbeth’s failure and ruination. Also, Lady Macbeth’s pressure on him was an important reason of his downfall.
This is shown comprehensively in this scene. In this play Shakespeare is trying to show the audience that ambition and passion is good only when it is thought up to a limit, and if people think of right and wrong. However, it could be bad when it becomes so passionate that it shatters one’s honour and pride. In this scene Shakespeare tries to show the audience Macbeth’s wrong decision and the consequence to his spurious ambition.
The theme of murder is shown in Lady Macbeth’s dialogues. When she says “I have drugged their possets” the audience can feel the murder theme, because Lady Macbeth is so keen and excited about Duncan’s death that she would do anything. Also, when she says “Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t” it also shows that she would have done anything to make Macbeth the king.
The theme of guilt is only shown in Macbeth’s dialogues. When Macbeth says “Sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more” the audience can easily tell that Macbeth is feeling guilty about what he has done. Also, when he says “This is a sorry sight” people can tell that Macbeth is afraid of what has happened. Also, the audience can tell that Macbeth hasn’t done everything with his own decision.
This is very ironic because in this scene Macbeth is the one who is guilty and carries on with the theme of guilt. However, further in the play it’s Lady Macbeth that is guilty and Macbeth carries the theme of Murder instead of Lady Macbeth.
The original audience would have responded to this scene with fear and anger towards Lady Macbeth because she plays a very cruel character that is very vicious and nasty and doesn’t care about what has happened. However, the audience would feel sorry for Macbeth and find Macbeth very dumb for doing what he has done.
The overall dramatic impact of the scene is a very strong effect of evilness. The most intense aspect of this scene is when Shakespeare shows the difference between cruelty (Lady Macbeth) and guilt (Macbeth) because this is the point where the audience is thinking most about the reaction of characters of the death. This scene is a scene of a climax point where there are a lot of different characteristics added to each character. The scene’s significance to the rest of the play is very strong because it is contrasting to the rest of the play where Lady Macbeth becomes guilty and Macbeth becomes vicious.