Act 2 summaries

Scene 1: Court of Macbeth’s castle.

It is night at the castle of Inverness, and Banquo and his son Fleance encounter their old friend Macbeth. Macbeth denies thinking about the witches’ prophecy but asks Banquo to meet up one day and discuss it. Banquo says to Macbeth he will do anything for him, as long as it does not conflict with his loyalty to King Duncan. When Macbeth is alone, he suddenly thinks he sees a bloody dagger (a knife) floating in the air. Feeling like it is leading him to Duncan, he heads for the King’s bedchamber, armed with real daggers.

Scene 2: The same.

Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, meet up in the night, and he tells her that he has now stabbed Duncan to death. Macbeth is unsettled by the fact that his hands are stained with blood and that he thinks he has heard someone saying a prayer in the night. However, he found himself unable to say “Amen”, just as he thinks that no amount of water can wash away his sin. Macbeth is so appalled that he has forgotten to leave the bloody daggers next to Duncan’s sleeping servants. Lady Macbeth scolds him and goes to Duncan’s chamber with the da...

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