Is the murder scene dramatically successful in Macbeth? Please explain if Macbeth acts well when the murder is discovered. Also compare the way Macbeth acts before and after the murder.
Even though we know that there is going to be a murder, the murder scene is still dramatic because we wonder if Macbeth is going to be caught. It is also exciting, with a lot of people running around yelling.
Lady Macbeth tells her husband to “look like the innocent flower,/But be the serpent under't” (Act 1, scene 3, enotes etext pdf p. 20). Before the murder, he acts like he is good friends with Duncan. Lady Macbeth greets Duncan warmly when he arrives at the castle.
Macbeth, however, is nervous. He cannot decide if he really wants to kill Duncan. He tells his wife, “We will proceed no further in this business.” (Act I, Scene 7, p. 23)
He hath honor'd me of late, and I have bought(35)
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon. (Act I, Scene 7, p. 23)
Lady Macbeth is not deterred. Macbeth then talks himself into the murder, witnessing a dagger floating in front of him. He does the deed.
After Macbeth kills Duncan, there is some chaos. First, he has killed the servants to frame them while they slept. He later claims to have done this in a fit of rage. At this time the reader or viewer is very anxious to find out what will happen to Macbeth.
Macbeth seems to be a good actor. Most people seem to believe that he is sincere in his grief. Yet Malcolm and Donalbain are suspicious, and later Banquo wonders if Macbeth is not hiding something.
After the murder, Lady Macbeth pretends to faint and Macbeth pretends to go into a fit of hysteria.
Ring the alarum bell. Murder and treason!
… Up, up, and see
The great doom's image! Malcolm! Banquo!
As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites,
To countenance this horror! Ring the bell. (Act 2, Scene 3, p. 34)
Whether or not this is convincing is hard to say. After all, are they usually so emotional? Given their actions in the play, they probably are staying right in character!