- Read the extract from Act 2 Scene 2 below.
- What is happening in this scene? Explain the circumstances, mood, time of day, and what is concerning the two characters in this scene?
- Look at the way Macbeth and Lady Macbeth complete each other’s lines. How has Shakespeare laid this out on the page?
- In iambic pentameter, there are ten syllables per line. Count out the syllables in each line. What has happened to the rhythm? Why do you think Shakespeare might have done this?
- Write in any actions or stage directions for the actors playing this scene.
- Act out the scene in pairs. Try it as many different ways as you can think of, and discuss what is most effective: fast/slow, whispered/loud voices, close together/far apart. Which versions worked the best? Who had the most power in each version – Macbeth or Lady Macbeth?
ACT 2, SCENE 2
Lady Mac My husband?
Macbeth I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
LADY MAC I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak?
Lady Mac Now.
Macbeth As I descended?
Lady Mac Ay.
Who lies i’ the second chamber?
Lady Mac Donalbain.
Macbeth This is a sorry sight.
Lady Mac A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
Macbeth There’s one did laugh in’s sleep, and one cried ‘Murder!’
That they did wake each other: I stood and heard them:
But they did say their prayers, and address’d them
Again to sleep.
Lady Mac There are two lodged together.
Macbeth One cried ‘God bless us!’ and ‘Amen’ the other;
As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say ‘Amen,’
When they did say ‘God bless us!’
Lady Mac Consider it not so deeply.
Macbeth But wherefore could not I pronounce ‘Amen’?
I had most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’
Stuck in my throat.
Lady Mac These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.