Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Macbeth book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Give three themes in Macbeth act 2, scene 3, and explain their significance in the scene.  

Expert Answers info

Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write5,463 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

One of the prominent themes in this sceneis the association between the supernatural and the unnatural. Lennox says “the night has been unruly,” with strong winds that sound to him like “lamentings . . . [and] screams of death”—perhaps an earthquake. Macbeth’s actions, consisting of murder, treason, and lying, are unnatural in that they are both illegal and immoral. The storms and earthquake can be interpreted as indicating the displeasure of divine forces caused by his immoral acts. These associations in this scene pick up on their use earlier in the play.

Lying (and hypocrisy) is a related theme. The porter’s humorous dialogue refers to the effects of drink, which make people "lie," or not tell the truth (in two other senses as well: to lie down and to have sex); he personifies drink and says “I requited him for his lie.” Once the murder is discovered, Macbeth begins a litany of lies, implying that he wishes he had not lived to see Duncan ’s death, and putting the blame...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 514 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Susan Smith eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write713 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial