How does imagery of weather impact the tone of Act II, scene iii of Macbeth?“The night has been unruly. Where we lay, Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say, Lamentings heard I’ th’...

How does imagery of weather impact the tone of Act II, scene iii of Macbeth?

“The night has been unruly. Where we lay,

Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,

Lamentings heard I’ th’ air, strange screams of death,

And prophesying, with accents terrible,

Of dire combustion and confused events

New hatched to th’ woeful time. The obscure bird

Clamored the livelong night. Some say the earth

Was feverous and did shake" (Shakespeare II, iii, 61-69).

Here's just an example (the underlined parts are something i had to do)..

Thanks!

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In Act II, scene iii of Macbeth, Lennox and Macbeth are discussing how nature has been "unruly." The fact that nature seemed to act out in rage at the same time that Duncan was murdered deepens the dark and disturbing tone of both the murder scene and the scene which details the finding of the murdered Duncan.

It seems that the murder of Duncan is so wrong that nature, itself, reacted against the wrong doing. The description which Lennox offers speaks to the fact that he heard "strange screams of death." The fact that the screams accompanied Duncan's murder compound the effect that his murder has on nature itself.

Therefore, based upon the fact that nature reacts to Duncan's murder, it can been justified that the tone of the play is deepened at this point. The night has already been strange: the Porter's ironic reaction to the knocking at the door, Macbeth's hallucinations, and the shaking of the earth all add to the darkening of the tone.

Another point to consider is the fact that Lady Macbeth calls out to the spirits to "unsex" her. She is, therefore, evoking the natural world to help her in the plotting of Duncan's murder. The consequences of nature's wrongful evoking by Lady Macbeth can be compounded in its reaction to the actual murder of Duncan. Nature is moved at the atrocity of the murder and reacts strongly in defense.

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