Answers to Act II Study Sheet Questions
1. Shakespeare is juxtaposing Banquo’s loyalty with Macbeth’s treachery. It also serves to have a creditably witness seeing Macbeth roaming the halls late at night.
2. Banquo has been thinking of what the witches have said.
3. Macbeth is asking Banquo if he will ally himself with Macbeth in future. Banquo answers that he will in any honorable endeavor. He tells Macbeth that he is loyal to Duncan.
4. Macbeth is hallucinating. He is seeing a dagger and then a dagger with blood in the air. Macbeth knows it is the stress of what he is about to do that is causing this.
5. Lady Macbeth’s weakness is that she couldn’t kill Duncan because he looked like her father. I guess it didn’t do too much good when she prayed to the evil spirits to make her hard.
6. The guilt of killing Duncan will cause Macbeth to lose sleep.
7. The water will wipe off the physical evidence of the murder but nothing will clear the deed with its guilt from their consciences.
8. Comic relief is a funny scene put into a play to break the tension of the previous scene.
9. He is speaking of the murdering of Duncan.
10. Banquo is aghast!
11. Macbeth kills the guards so they can not be questioned about the previous night.
12. If you believe Lady Macbeth fakes the faint - She faints to draw attention off Macbeth and to make it seem that the murder is such a shock for her.
If you believe Lady Macbeth really faints - She is surprised that Macbeth has murdered the guards. That was not part of the plan. Also, it’s possible that everything is catching up to her.
13. Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s sons, are planning to get out of Scotland. They know that whoever killed their father will be gunning for them next and they are not going to take and chances.
14. Macbeth - feigns horror
Lady Macbeth - also feigns horror and faints
Banquo - is truly horrified, maybe even is suspicious of Macbeth already
Sons - decide to get out of town
Oops! I forgot a number 15
16. The four unnatural occurrences are 1. Day is as dark as night - eclipse 2. Falcon is taken by a mousing owl 3. Duncan’s horses become wild and bite at each other 4. Sons kill their father
17. Shakespeare uses cosmic events to show the severity of the crime of killing the king.
18. The “breeches” in nature are both the unnatural occurrences and the stab wounds on Duncan.
19. Macduff is suspicious of Macbeth.
20. This line means that Macduff hopes the people of Scotland do not wish for the times of Duncan over those of Macbeth. He is hoping that the old robes, Duncan, will not be better than the new robes, Macbeth.
21. Fleance symbolically represents life, hope, the future. As verbal scenery, he serves the purpose of setting the stage. It is through the conversation between his father and him that we learn it is dark out and there are no stars or moon. We also “see” that Banquo is carrying something and he passes it to Fleance. This is “verbal” stage direction.