I go, and it is done; the bell invites me

"I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell."

Macbeth (II, i, 62-64)

Macbeth has decided, with the urging of his ambitious wife, to kill the king of Scotland and take the crown for himself. Duncan, the king, has been visiting Macbeth and is asleep in his quarters. In this scene, Macbeth sits in an empty room, waiting for Lady Macbeth to give him the signal, a ringing bell, which means she has drugged Duncan's guards into unconsciousness, leaving the sleeping king unprotected. Macbeth agonizes over the deed he is about to commit, hallucinating bloody daggers in the air. His thoughts turn to the evil in this world, his mind races with the acts of wickedness. Interrupted by a bell ringing out, which he considers a death knell for Duncan, he goes off to commit the dire deed.

Themes: death and sickness, murder and assassination

Speakers: Macbeth