What is an example of dramatic irony in act 2, scene 2, of Macbeth?

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Blaze Bergstrom eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the central ironies operating here is that Macbeth and his wife, as they were plotting to kill Duncan, were awed by their vision of the glory and prestige of being the new monarchs. When it came time to do the deed, however, it was a different story. Macbeth comes from the murder to tell his wife it's over. His behavior is decidedly unbecoming of a king, and he is so wrapped up in his distress that he doesn't notice how incoherent he sounds. Lady Macbeth voices what the audience is certainly thinking, that he needs to get past it: "Consider it not so deeply."

Another irony is that Lady Macbeth herself will not be able to handle the carnage and will lose her grasp on reality. Yet she is the one to point out the danger of dwelling on their acts:

These deeds must not be thought

After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

Macbeth was in such a fog that he walked away from the scene still holding the bloody knives. She imagines, at this early point, that they can wash the problem away. In that,...

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