Why does Macbeth forget to take the daggers from the guards?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Do you mean why did Macbeth forget to *leave* the daggers? (If so, that's an excellent question). Macbeth does not tell us directly, but we know he has been extremely ambivalent about killing Duncan. We also know that he is already exhibiting signs of guilt (he thinks he hears a voice saying Macbeth does murder sleep), and that he is not thinking clearly. He has fought numerous battles, so he should not be afraid of blood; neither should his mind wander after a killing, yet it does. He is not one to make mistakes in battle, so this mistake is all the more poignant. Perhaps the daggers return with him because he cannot leave behind him what he has done.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial