Presentation on theme: "ACT II. What’s in a Name (Characters) There’s only one comic figure in Macbeth, the drunken Porter. He provides comic relief while discussing some quite."— Presentation transcript:
What’s in a Name (Characters) There’s only one comic figure in Macbeth, the drunken Porter. He provides comic relief while discussing some quite serious things. When he imagines he’s the gatekeeper of hell, he’s not that far off (Macbeth’s home is a frightening place.
Character Meanwhile, life under Macbeths roof is no laughing matter for Malcolm and Donalbain, King Duncan’s two sons. Duncan has already named Malcolm heir to his throne. That’s bad news for Macbeth, who can’t “succeed” to the throne with Malcolm and Donalbain in his way.
Character Banquo also has a son, Fleance. We will meet him in act II. We will also meet Macduff, another of the Scottish nobles. Though “Macduff” sounds a little like “Macbeth,” these two characters will turn out to be quite different.
Things to watch for Macbeth may be a very dark play, but one color stands out (RED). By the end of Act II, you may feel as if Shakespeare had smeared his characters with this color. Watch for how images of smearing and staining start to fill Shakespeare’s play Meanwhile, the Macbeths try to paint their own picture of innocence and guilt. How well do they fool their guest?
Things to Watch for Macbeth is full of elemental, primal sights and sounds. Colors, noises, and animals that seem to be right under our eyes, ears, and noses. Act 2’s “soundtrack” is full of sudden, scary noises. Pay attention to how Shakespeare uses these sounds to build suspense and to show us the mood of the host couple.
Historical Context Shakespeare probably wrote Macbeth around 1606 England was reeling at that time with news of a plot to kill its king, James I. The plot stemmed from religious conflict. James was a Protestant and ruled England as a Protestant nation Catholics faced harsh discrimination In November 1605, a group of Catholic conspirators carried out the “Gunpowder Plot.”
Historical Context They smuggled kegs of gunpowder to an area beneath the Parliament building to blow up both houses of Parliament while the King was there, destroying the entire government. Had the plot succeeded, it would have been as if someone had blown up the president, vice-President, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court, all at the same time.
Language During the first scene of Act II, Macbeth mentions a goddess named Hecate. It’s not the last time this demanding lady will show up in the play! In Greek mythology, Hecate is a goddess of the dead and a friend to witches. She is called “pale Hecat” because she is linked with the moon. Dogs, honey, and black lambs were sacrificed to her at crossroads
Language In the Bible’s Old Testament, Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies) was a pagan god Later, he became known as a ruler of demons. When the Porter imagines he’s letting Beelzebub in at Macbeth’s door, he’s opening the door to some very bad company!
Banquo and his son, Fleance, are up and about in the middle of the night. They meet Macbeth, and Banquo delivers gifts from Duncan, including a rich diamond for Lady Macbeth.
Banquo reminds Macbeth about the three witches, but Macbeth pretends that he hasn’t thought about them.
After Banquo and Fleance leave, Macbeth imagines that he sees a dagger hovering in the air in front of him. Suddenly the dagger has bloodstains on it. Is this a warning?
The apparition unsettles him, but not enough to dissuade him from his bloody job.
Lady Macbeth has done her job: to make the guards drunk. She takes their daggers, which Macbeth uses to kill Duncan.
When he stabs Duncan, he thinks he hears a voice chiding and accusing him.
He refuses to enter the room again, so Lady Macbeth must plant the daggers and smear Duncan’s blood on the guards.
Macduff discovers Duncan’s body and cries out. Macbeth blames the guards and kills them, ostensibly out of rage and anguish over his king’s death. The outcry awakens the household, including Duncan’s sons. They don’t believe the story about the guards being the murderers and know that the murderer is still at large.
Their lives are at risk., so they flee during the night: Malcolm to England and Donalbain to Ireland. To the Scottish lords, the sons’ hasty flight smacks of guilt. They think that the sons hired the guards to murder Duncan.
They crown Macbeth as King of Scotland. The witches’ prophecy has come true, and Act 3 hasn’t even started yet.