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Level 2

Act Two


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Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?
Macbeth sees a dagger and wonders whether it is a hallucination or a creation of the Witches
Thou marshall'st me the way I was going, and such an instrument I was to use
Macbeth believes the dagger will lead him to murder King Duncan
Hear it not Duncan; for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell
Macbeth's final line personifies the fatal bell and is in rhyming couplets to emphasize the importance of this line.
Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't
Lady Macbeth hesitates for the first time, perhaps a sign of her guilt
Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep.'
Macbeth is so affected by guilt that he hallucinates the cries of the sleeping 'grooms'. Or is this part of the Witches' curse?
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?
Macbeth foreshadows Lady Macbeth's desperate attempts to wash her hands in Act 5. The blood symbolizes guilt.
O, come in, equivocator
The Porter provides dark comic relief after the murder. 'Equivocate' means to tell the truth misleadingly like the Witches do to Macbeth.
Some say, the earth was feverous and did shake
Lennox personifies the night of the murder, perhaps signalling a supernatural curse put upon events.
Th'expedition of my violent love outran the pauser, reason
Macbeth admits he has killed the guards and claims his rage affected him before reasoned thoughts did.
There's daggers in men's smiles
After deciding to flee to Ireland, Donalbain says that people hide their true intentions which echoes what Lady Macbeth says in Act 1, Scene 5
A falcon, towering in her pride of place, was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed
Shakespeare uses animal symbolism when the Old Man and Rosse discuss strange events that appear to be against nature.