In Act II please identify and explain an example of dramatic irony.

2 Answers | Add Yours

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

In addition to the other answers, consider the tension created in the first two scenes.  In Scene 1, the witches gather to discuss what a rotten piece of work Macbeth is:

First Witch: ‘When shall we meet again,
In Thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Where the place?’
Second Witch: ‘Upon the heath.’
Third Witch: ‘There to meet with Macbeth.’
All: ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair
Hover through the fog and filthy air.’

The audience, therefore, already has an opinion of Mabeth before the man is even seen on stage.

In Scene 2, however, we hear the soliders and nobles discussing what a swell guy their leader is. 

King Duncan: O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!
Sergeant: I must report they (Macbeth and Banquo, another soldier) were as cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.

Dramatic irony is created in the tension between the two portraits.  Is Macbeth a hero or a villian? 

Sources:
renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

When Macbeth entersthe darkened hall, and meets up with Banquo, who was unable to identify him in the darkened hallway. Macbeth refers to Banquo as “a friend.” This is ironic because  Macbeth will prove to be nothing resembling a friend.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,994 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question