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Macbeth - Act 2, scene 2
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workMacbeth - Act 2, scene 2
Act 2, scene 2
Lady Macbeth waits anxiously for Macbeth to return from killing Duncan. When Macbeth enters, he is horrified by what he has done. He has brought with him the daggers that he used on Duncan, instead of leaving them in the room with Duncan’s servants as Lady Macbeth had planned. When he finds himself incapable of returning the daggers, Lady Macbeth does so. She returns to find Macbeth still paralyzed with horror and urges him to put on his gown and wash the blood from his hands.Enter Lady ⌜Macbeth.⌝
0630 That which hath made them drunk hath made me
0632 What hath quenched them hath given me fire.
0634 5 It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
0635 Which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it.
0636 The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
0637 Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged
0638 their possets,
0639 10 That death and nature do contend about them
0640 Whether they live or die.
MACBETH, ⌜within⌝ 0641 Who’s there? what, ho!
0642 Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
0643 And ’tis not done. Th’ attempt and not the deed
0644 15 Confounds us. Hark!—I laid their daggers ready;
0645 He could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled
0646 My father as he slept, I had done ’t.
Enter Macbeth ⌜with bloody daggers.⌝
0647 My husband?
0648 I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
0649 20 I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
0650 Did not you speak?
MACBETH 0651 When?
LADY MACBETH 0652 Now.
MACBETH 0653 As I descended?
LADY MACBETH 0654 25Ay.
MACBETH 0655 Hark!—Who lies i’ th’ second chamber?
LADY MACBETH 0656 Donalbain.
p. 57MACBETH 0657 This is a sorry sight.
0658 A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
0659 30 There’s one did laugh in ’s sleep, and one cried
0661 That they did wake each other. I stood and heard
0663 But they did say their prayers and addressed them
0664 35 Again to sleep.
LADY MACBETH 0665 There are two lodged together.
0666 One cried “God bless us” and “Amen” the other,
0667 As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands,
0668 List’ning their fear. I could not say “Amen”
0669 40 When they did say “God bless us.”
LADY MACBETH 0670 Consider it not so deeply.
0671 But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?
0672 I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”
0673 Stuck in my throat.
LADY MACBETH 0674 45 These deeds must not be thought
0675 After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
0676 Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!
0677 Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,
0678 Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
0679 50 The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
0680 Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
0681 Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
LADY MACBETH 0682 What do you mean?
0683 Still it cried “Sleep no more!” to all the house.
0684 55 “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore
0686 Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”
p. 59LADY MACBETH
0687 Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
0688 You do unbend your noble strength to think
0689 60 So brainsickly of things. Go get some water
0690 And wash this filthy witness from your hand.—
0691 Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
0692 They must lie there. Go, carry them and smear
0693 The sleepy grooms with blood.
MACBETH 0694 65 I’ll go no more.
0695 I am afraid to think what I have done.
0696 Look on ’t again I dare not.
LADY MACBETH 0697 Infirm of purpose!
0698 Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
0699 70 Are but as pictures. ’Tis the eye of childhood
0700 That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
0701 I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
0702 For it must seem their guilt.
She exits ⌜with the daggers.⌝ Knock within.
MACBETH 0703 Whence is that
0704 75 knocking?
0705 How is ’t with me when every noise appalls me?
0706 What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
0707 Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
0708 Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
0709 80 The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
0710 Making the green one red.
Enter Lady ⌜Macbeth.⌝
0711 My hands are of your color, but I shame
0712 To wear a heart so white.Knock.
0713 I hear a knocking
0714 85 At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber.
0715 A little water clears us of this deed.
0716 How easy is it, then! Your constancy
0717 Hath left you unattended.Knock.
p. 610718 Hark, more knocking.
0719 90 Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
0720 And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
0721 So poorly in your thoughts.
0722 To know my deed ’twere best not know myself.
0723 Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou
0724 95 couldst.