In Act II scene 2 of Macbeth to which lines can we apply the following emotions?Feeling, bold, mocking, paranoia, fear

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let us remember that Act II scene 2 is the famous scene in which Macbeth murders Duncan off stage, and then returns to his waiting wife to tell her he has done it and is so traumatised by his act of regicide that he is unable to go and finish the job and smear blood on the clothes of the grooms, so that his wife has to do it for him. So there is a lot of feeling in this scene!

Macbeth expresses feeling in numerous places, but one example would be in the following lines:

Methought I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more!

Macbeth does murther Sleep,"--the innocent Sleep;

Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,

The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath...

Here Macbeth is expressing his belief that sleep, which gives rest and refreshment to humans, is something that he will no longer be able to participate in because of his crime.

Next, Lady Macbeth clearly shows her boldness by mocking her husband in the following lines when Macbeth refuses to go back in to Duncan's bedchamber:

Infirm of purpose!

Give me the daggers. The sleeping, and the dead,

Are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood

That fears a painted devil.

Note how boldy Lady Macbeth basically insults her husband in these lines before going on to ridicule him about his fear of going back into Duncan's bedchamber.

Lastly, we can find fear and paranoia in the following comment from Macbeth when his wife has left and knocking begins:

Whence is that knocking?--

How is't with me, when every noise appals me?

What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes!

Committing this crime has made Macbeth both paranoid about the sounds he hears and also full of fear.

kafrancis | Student


Macbeth expresses several feelings through this passage. The first feeling is guilt:

But wherefore could not I pronounce 'Amen'? 
I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen' 
Stuck in my throat. (Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 42-44)

Macbeth feels guilty about the killings, which is why as his victims are praying, he cannot pray with them. He also feels guilt over asking for prayers after commiting such a heinous crime.

The next feeling is of paranoia:

Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more! 
Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep, (Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 47,48)

Macbeth is convinced that the dead are telling everyone of what he did. Because he murdered Duncan while he was sleeping and now feels guilt over it and now cannot sleep himself, he has literally murdered sleep, and the lack of sleep is feeding his paranoia.

Impatient, Bold, Mocking and Bossy

These are all traits of Lady MacBeth. She is impatient with Macbeth for bringing the daggers with him instead of planting them in Duncan's chamber to frame the guards, and them even more so when Macbeth refuses to return to the chamber to plant them.

Infirm of purpose! 
Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead 
Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood 
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed, 
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal; 
For it must seem their guilt. 
(Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 70-75)

She is bold because she takes the daggers and completes the plan herself. ("My hands are of your colour; but I shame 
To wear a heart so white.") She mocks Macbeth for his feelings of guilt and she's bossy by basically telling Macbeth that he should "get over it" and enjoy his new power as the ruler ("These deeds must not be thought 
After these ways; so, it will make us mad").