act II. Scene III. how does the night described by Lennox compare with the night as experienced by Macbeth in the previous scene?Also, how can I compare how Macbeth behaves in this scene with his...

act II. Scene III. how does the night described by Lennox compare with the night as experienced by Macbeth in the previous scene?

Also, how can I compare how Macbeth behaves in this scene with his behaviour in the previous scene?

Asked on by larac0290

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Lennox described a violent storm that had occurred earlier the night of Duncan's murder.  In the previous scene, Macbeth heard, while committing the murder of Duncan, voices saying that Macbeth had "murdered sleep" and "Macbeth shall sleep no more" among other things.  It's fitting that the night of the murder was unruly (the old man in the last scene of Act 2 describes a night of very strange events) because it was the night that a king was killed.  King James I, the king of England when Macbeth was written, believed that he was divinely chosen to be king after a plot to assassinate him was thwarted.  Since it was God's plan that he be king, any disruption of that plan such as murder, should result in a disruption in the natural ways of nature.  Shakespeare wanted to flatter James I, so when the king in the play is killed, the result is that wild night of strange weather and odd events.

In scene 2 of Act 2, Macbeth has just killed Duncan and he is in a stunned state.  He shows remorse when he looks at his bloody hands, when he can't go back into Duncan's room and look at him, and when he says that he wishes the knocking at the gate could waken Duncan.  In scene 3, Macbeth shows cunning when he quickly kills the guards and then declares that his rage over their crime caused him to do so.  His desire to get away with his crime overruns his remorse.

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