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

One example of dramatic irony from act 2, scene 2 of Macbeth is created when the audience realizes that, despite appearances, Lady Macbeth is actually rather sentimental while Macbeth is the strong one. She cannot bring herself to commit the murder because the sleeping Duncan resembled her father, and it is Macbeth himself who must do the deed. They do not seem to realize this, as she continues to insult and berate Macbeth throughout the scene.

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Dramatic irony is created when the audience knows more than one or more characters. Before Macbeth enters the scene, fresh from killing Duncan, Lady Macbeth reveals, "Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done 't" (2.2.16–17). In other words, when it came time to...

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Dramatic irony is created when the audience knows more than one or more characters. Before Macbeth enters the scene, fresh from killing Duncan, Lady Macbeth reveals, "Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done 't" (2.2.16–17). In other words, when it came time to actually do the deed, Lady Macbeth, despite her bravado and prayers to evil spirits to fill her up with manly cruelty and remorselessness, could not bring herself to kill Duncan. She says that he resembled her father while he was sleeping, a rather sentimental reason to be unable to kill him. Yet she also feels that "That which hath made [the chamberlains] drunk hath made [her] / bold" (2.2.1–2). She considers, somewhat proudly, how she "drugged / their possets" so that she and Macbeth could do whatever violence they wanted to the unprotected Duncan (2.2.8–9). Throughout the scene, she constantly tells Macbeth that he needs to stop dwelling on what they have done, that he is foolish to do so. However, importantly, he was capable of committing the murder when she was not. Despite her claims to fortitude and commitment, and despite his panic and guilt and remorse immediately after the fact, it seems that Macbeth is actually the more resolute, the stronger, of the two while Lady Macbeth is somewhat weaker. The characters themselves do not seem to realize this, making this a classic example of dramatic irony, and it also foreshadows the future of this relationship, in which Macbeth becomes the more powerful and dominant figure and Lady Macbeth begins to soften.

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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, she could not be more wrong: "A little water clears us of this deed . . . ."

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As was mentioned in the previous post, dramatic irony is when the audience is aware of something that the characters in the play are not. In Act Two, Scene 2, Macbeth has just murdered King Duncan and becomes hysterical while he talks to his wife. Throughout the conversation, Macbeth mentions that he heard one of the chamberlains cry "Murder!" while the other said, "Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep" (2.2.35-36). Lady Macbeth is confused, and her husband continues to insist that the chamberlains were crying "Sleep no more!". When Lady Macbeth leaves to place the bloody daggers by the chamberlains, Macbeth begins to hear the sound of knocking. After Lady Macbeth comes back, she also hears random knocking. Both characters believe they hear noises and Macbeth is certain that the chamberlains were aware of his actions in their sleep. However, the audience is aware that these noises and "supernatural occurrences" are simply a figment of their imaginations which makes this scene a good example of dramatic irony. 

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Dramatic Irony is when the audience or reader knows more about something than a character.  In this scene, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are discussing killing Duncan.

A good example in Act 2 is that Duncan is going to be killed, but he doesn’t know it!  Banquo and Macbeth’s conversation is another example, because Banquo does not realize that Macbeth is plotting his death.

Finally, Act 2 Scene 2 contains dramatic irony as well.  Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are running around furiously, trying to cover up Duncan’s murder.  The audience knows that they are imagining things because of their guilt and fear, but they think that there are supernatural messages all around them.

Me thought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!

Macbeth doth Murder sleep”—the innocent sleep, (Act 2, Scene 2, enotes etext p. 30)

Macbeth is concerned because he could not say “amen” and Lady Macbeth is frustrated and running scared because Macbeth is talking crazy talk.

Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy

Thane,

You do unbend your noble strength, to think

So brainsickly of things. (Act 2, Scene 2, enotes etext p. 30)

Both of them hear the knocking and get frustrated by it.  Lady Macbeth comments that it will be easy to wipe the blood off her hands, foreshadowing her later descent into madness as well.

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