How did Macbeth kill Duncan in Shakespeare's Macbeth?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Macbeth murders Duncan in his sleep with a dagger in Act II Scene II. He intends to frame the chamberlains for the murder, but is so distraught after the killing that he forgets to leave the dagger behind. Lady Macbeth orchestrates the actual framing of the chamberlains by placing the bloody daggers beside them as they sleep. In Act II Scene III, Macbeth then kills the chamberlains "in a rage" the next morning when he comes upon them in "surprise" with Macduff--this evokes suspicion in the latter, as it is a seemingly vicious overreaction, one which Macbeth tries to support with the claim of being so completely outraged that he could not restrain himself.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial