How do Macbeth's imagination and conscience both seem overly active in Act 2 Scene 2?  

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sarahc418 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In Act 2 scene 2, Macbeth has just killed Duncan and is staggering back to Lady Macbeth covered in his blood with the bloody daggers in his hands. Lady Macbeth scolds him for not leaving the murder weapon planted on the guards as he was supposed to. The fact that he cannot return the weapons himself after realizing his mistake is one thing that illustrates that he is feeling guilty. He cannot go back to face the dead body. In addition, he keeps muttering about all the blood on his hands, coming from the king, on the daggers, this also shows the blood as a symbol of his guilt.

As for his imagination, Macbeth hears noises when he first comes in imagining people in the castle that could be witness to his crime. He furthermore goes on to talk about how when he was committing the crime, he thought he heard someone say "Sleep no more . . . Macbeth has murdered sleep" (2.2.42-44). Hearing voices also is an indication of his conscience kicking in and making him feel guilt.


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