When he is about to kill Duncan, Macbeth sees a dagger floating in the air. The seemingly hardheaded Lady Macbeth also eventually gives way to visions, as she sleepwalks and believes that her hands are stained with blood that cannot be washed away by any amount of water.
Explanatory notes below for Act 2, Scene 1 From Macbeth. Line numbers have been altered. There is practically no time interval between this and the preceding act. The first scene falls into three parts; the dialogue between Banquo and his son, the dialogue between Macbeth and Banquo, and the soliloquy of Macbeth before the murder.
Banquo is on his way to bed, accompanied by his son, who bears the torch. On his way he hands over to Fleance his sword line 4 and perhaps his dagger line 5which he will not need to have by his bedside in a friendly house. A heavy summons, a drowsy influence. I would not sleep. On the night before this he had dreamt of the witches 1.
This explains his prayer to heaven to restrain "the cursed thoughts. Gives way to, gives free rein to. Note the irony of the situation as described in these lines. Since I was taken by surprise, my desire, to entertain fhe king fittingly, was impeded by unavoidable deficiencies; otherwise, it would have displayed itself at full, liberally.
Note how Macbeth in this speech adopts unconsciously the royal mode of speaking of himself in the plural. He knows that when he has this conversation with Banquo he will be king, and speaks as if he were already crowned. This phrase is purposely obscure; Macbeth does not care to speak out plainly.
He may possibly have suspected Macbeth of wishing to form some conspiracy against the king. In this case he wished to give him a friendly but emphatic warning that he would be no party to it.
Macbeth sees that nothing is to be gained from Banquo, and closes the conversation. The bell is really to let Macbeth know that everything is in readiness for the murder. In this long soliloquy we find Macbeth, whose mind is wrought almost to madness by the deed he is about to perpetrate, the victim of a hallucination.
He thinks for a moment that he actually sees a dagger floating before him; but with a strong effort he recovers his self-possession and pronounces the vision unreal. Then he plunges into a gloomy reverie, illumined by lightning flashes of poetic imagination.
If the dagger is unreal, his eyes, which testify to its presence, are pronounced foolish by his other senses. If on the contrary, the dagger is really there, the testimony of his eyes is more reliable than that of his other senses.
Notice how the dagger seems to grow more real to Macbeth; he can now distinguish drops of blood on its blade and handle.
An unaccented syllable is lacking in the third foot of this line. Its place is taken by the pause between two clauses. Evil dreams play about him and deceive his mind. Hecate, one of the many names of Diana. Shakespeare always pronounces her name as two syllables.
Hear not the direction my steps take, i. Macbeth fancies in his overwrought mood that if the very stones of the courtyard knew which way he was going they would cry out and reveal his presence. The line means that words blow cold upon the heat of action.The vision of the dagger inviting Macbeth to kill Duncan is indeed symbolic.
First of all, it can be said that this invisible dagger is the embodiment of Macbeth's guilty conscience. Macbeth's Soliloquy - Is this a dagger which I see before me () Please click on the text for commentary.
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Spoken by Macbeth, Macbeth Act 2 Scene 1 Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutchthee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. 1 You know your own degrees; sit benjaminpohle.com first 2 And last the hearty welcome. Lords Thanks to your majesty.
MACBETH 3 Ourself will mingle with society, 4 And play the humble host. Next: Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2 Explanatory notes below for Act 2, Scene 1 From benjaminpohle.com Thomas Marc Parrott. New York: American Book Co.
(Line numbers have been altered.) _____ The second act is devoted wholly to the murder of Duncan. The dagger speech () is, deservedly, one of the most celebrated in Shakespeare.
Like "If it were done" (Act I, Scene 7), this soliloquy is a fascinating piece of stage psychology. Nevertheless, as in the earlier scene with his wife, Macbeth eventually capitulates.
The urge to become king is now strong in him. In his final lines, as he.