Monday, September 17, 2007

Act 2 Questions

Keep our class readings and discussion going on here. Remember to break down the walls of the classroom and help each other learn Macbeth.

70 comments:

aaronw said...

who's tarquin? i really have no idea...
and also what is husbandry? for some reason i think it has to do with horses...

markg said...

YES! The story is finally starting to unfold. Macbeth has a vision of him killing Duncan. His hilucination tells him to kill Duncan, but do you think he will do it?

markg said...

It seems like hilucinations are "in". In LOF it was probably becuase of the lack of food. Or is deeper than that? Macbeth is having these visions because his mind is playing tricks on him and there is a "prophesy". Maybe in LOF he is having visions becuase he is supose to do something...can anyone shed some light here?

mattf said...

What are Macbeth and Banquo talking about? Does Banquo know what Macbeth is planning?

ryanm said...

Is the dagger a "symbol" of Macbeth's conscience?

mattf said...

i tink so. it sounds like he is hallucinating about seeing it and maybe ambition is driving him

Selenam said...

Tarquin was a Roman prince who sneaked into a Roman wife's bedroom in the middle of the night and raped her, husbandry is the act or practice of cultivating crops and breeding and raising livesock; agriculture, to answer aaronw's question

Tylerg! said...

I believe Macbeth is hallucinating out of guilt, he realizes what he did was wrong. Lady Macbeth is still making an attempt to convince him that he was right in doing it. I don't think that Macbeth actually wanted to do it, but it was influence by not only his wife,but his hallucinations.

mattw said...

I was going to say that Macbeth might be making a big deal out of nothing. In the end he might turn him self over as a murderer, just to get rid of the guilt. This is kind of like Lord of the Flies, because the "monster", or "beastie" is really just a dead man with a parachute. This is also like a short story I read about a small couldesac were the power suddenly goes out, and it spirals into a chain of accuzations getting more and more unlikely. In the end, it's really just some aliens messing around with a remote control. But its the same idea because they turn on eachother, and place blame on others just so people will see them in a positive light. If they listened to piggy, or evenSimon, they would realize that the only thing to fear is fear itself.

mattw said...

Oh, yah, I also think that the Pigs head (Lord of the flies/belzebulb) is like Lady Macbeth, because they both are trying to persuade a good person into evil. Lady Macbeth convinces her husband to go throu with the murder, even though Macbeth had temptation in the first place. Simon had the same kind of pressure, though I'm not sure who the sow's head said he should go to.

stefo said...

hey i am a little confused about what the porter is talking about when he answers the door. And also i am a little confused by the long paragraph between Lady Macbeth and MAcbeth just after the murder was committed. what is he talking about when he asks about the people in the second room and the praying? And what is "Pale Hecate's offerings"?

josed said...

stefo, the porter is drunk and is musing about what the porter of the underworld would have it like, or something like that. But I think the dagger is representative of the murderous deed itself, and is a visual manifestation of his desire and purpose caused by a lack of sleep. Why do Malcolm and Donalbain run if they know it wasn't their fault? Were they afraid of dying or something? Macbeth framed and killed the guards, so they were innocent, right? It doesn't make that much sense. It only incriminates you as the perpetrator to do such things.

josed said...

stefo, the porter is drunk and is musing about what the porter of the underworld would have it like, or something like that. But I think the dagger is representative of the murderous deed itself, and is a visual manifestation of his desire and purpose caused by a lack of sleep. Why do Malcolm and Donalbain run if they know it wasn't their fault? Were they afraid of dying or something? Macbeth framed and killed the guards, so they were innocent, right? It doesn't make that much sense. It only incriminates you as the perpetrator to do such things.

ZachH said...

josed--Think about when you witness or discover something bad. YOu don't want to be blamed for it, even though you know you didn't do it. I think that is what Malcolm and Donladbain are thinking. They don't want to be blamed for the murder so they run.

elisabethc said...

The second Act of Macbeth is fairly easy for me to follow but I have a couple of questions. Why does Macbeth feel so guilty for killing Duncan when it was his idea in the first place? Did his ambition of wanting to become king drive hime to do this? I think that he is becoming the Thane of Cawdor completely because he betrayed the king even though Duncan completely trusted him. How will Lady Macbeth take hold of all of this? Also, does Banquo know about Macbeth's plan and what he did? So far it seems like Macbeth hasn't told him, and it seems like he never will.

lesliel said...

ok mattf (matt fredrich?) if you go to sparknotes.com you can read the english part of the scence with banquo and macbeth talking. basically banquo is saying that the king is sleeping happily and that the king thanks macbeth for such the warm visit in his house and gives macbeth the diamound for gratitude. also banquo says that he dreampt of the witches prediction and said it was weird that some of it had come true. lastly, macbeth says to banquo to stay with him and then there will be something for him in the end. if that doesnt help just go read the english part on sparknotes. it'll help. =]

aaron, i dont know who tarquin is... he isnt in the cast...

oh and 2 vocab questions: what does pale hecates and hark mean?

jhall said...

I found ryanm's question very intriguing. mattf's answer is spot on. But to better understand it, i can connect it to the the Lord of the Flies in The Lord of the Flies. Really, Simon is just imagining it, just like Macbeth imagines the dagger. It could represent the evil in all of us that we use in situations we require it or think we require it. But i think that Shakespeare and Golding left these parts of their respective writing for US to interpert.

KatherineM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KatherineM said...

I'm having a much easier time reading and understanding Act II.

I agree with Tyler G. I think Macbeth's hallucinations are being caused by the extreme guilt he feels for murdering Duncan.

chelseas said...

elizabethc-I think that Macbeth feels so guilty because he thinks that he might go through “damnation”, and that other people may find out. Also, I do not think that Banquo knows about his plan.

I had a few questions, too. In Banquo is Macbeth’s loyal friend, will he ever tell him? I think that this can be connected with the phony faces blog. Maybe Banquo completely trusts Macbeth, but that feeling is not equally shared. Who knows, just a thought. Why doesn’t Lady Macbeth feel guilty? Is she completely “evil”, or purely insane, and has no feelings at all?

I also think that the hallucinations may be a result of guilt, like many other people have said.

maddief said...

Chelseas, I think that Banquo is a loyal companion of Macbeth's, but I don't think that he's blindfully faithful. He is as much aware of Macbeth's prophecy as Macbeth is, and when everyone wakes up to find Duncan murdered, I'm pretty sure that Banquo might start to fit the pieces together. I hope that the trust that Banquo and Macbeth share is enough to stabilize their friendship, but who's to say that Banquo might not betray Macbeth? Afterall, Banquo's prophecy stated that his future generations would be kings, and if Macbeth becomes king after murdering Duncan, Banquo might be tempted to kill his dear friend to put his children on the throne.

mitchl. said...

i am too having a much eaier time actually knowing what is going on in this act, but whenand how will macbeth kill malcom to get the throne? also, did macbeth or his wife take the dagger back to the guards already, or do they still need to do that?

amandah said...

Lesliel hark means to listen intently. A Hecate is a goddess of the earth and is associated with sorcery and witches (its a witch, a witch burn her burn her!). I thought it was kind of irritating that the porter waited so long to open the door and everytime someone knocked he would say something about knocking. Is there any significance to this?

kristinah said...

Lady Macbeth already took the daggers back to the quards to frame them. Macbeth wouldn't do it because he could not bear to see the sight of his wrong doings again. She then proceeds to tell him that he is a woosy man and that she will do it for him.

clarao said...

I am also little confused about what Macbeth is going to do next. He killed King Duncan, but how will he get the throne when Malcolm is still alive.

Also, I agree with amandah. The part with the porter was strange and very repetitive. I don't know if there is anything important about it though.

aaronw said...

lesliel: i think that hark is a way to say hey in those times...
i don't know what a pale hecates is... sorry.

Liap said...

clarao: Malcolm fled the country, so alot of people think that he killed his dad, so now that he fled Macbeth looks like the best choice for the throne. Also, the porter is just comic relief

josed said...

Actually, hark is listen, hecate is the goddess of the night and basically a she-devil in Greek mythology.

amyw said...

aaronw---Husbandry means economy, so at the beginning of Act II when they say that the heavens are showing husbandry by keeping the candles out, this means they're showing economy by keeping the lights out, which means that it's a starless night. (I found all of this in the footnotes on the even numbered pages.)

amyw said...

The story is actually picking up speed now, what with the brothers deciding to flee and no one knowing for sure (except the Macbeths) who killed Duncan. If the brothers flee, won't it make them look suspicious and maybe like they killed their own dad?

alexd said...

Does it bother anyone else that Lady Macbeth wears the pants in teh relationship?

josed said...

So the "daggers in the smiles" quote is about saving themselves because they don't know who to trust, even their relatives? And why do all of these disturbances happen with Duncan's death? Is it because God supposedly chooses the king? So when he dies, the world gets messed up?

amyw said...

alexd---Yes, this bothers me because Lady Macbeth has all of the control in the relationship. She just walks all over Macbeth, and he lets her because she's so vicious and seems to always get her way. He's basically gutless around her.

Javonm said...

I am kind of confused at who Macduff is and what or how he has relation to anyone in this story?? He kind of just came in? I am also wandering what are peoples' thoughts about Banquo? Is he secretly against Macbeth or what becuase it said something about him being nsuspiicuos in the act 3 scene 1 summary, but i thought they were very close.
I also think it is supsicious that Macbeth decided to murder the gaurds before anyone could prove them guilty becuase all the people saw was blood shed on the guards from duncan killing them. So i don't understand why he didnt use like a formal hangingto make it seem more realistic that it was the guards fault. He kind of underhandedly( i don't know if that is a word) took out the guards.

amyw said...

josed---The disturbances happen with Duncan's death because Duncan was such a good king and all of his subjects were happy under him. Their country always seemed to win in wars, and everybody seemed to have a good life. Duncan was just an awesome king. And because someone murdered him so heartlessly, the world is messed up and everyone's in distress trying to figure out who killed him.

lesliel said...

javonm,
Macduff supposedly was primarily put in there to set up a character similar to Macbeth. we'll probably see the roll he plays later on in the book. Also if you look in the cast at the beggining of the book it says he's a scottish noble.

amyw said...

lesliel and javonm---
Macduff was a Scottish noble; this is the case for a lot of characters in this play. Many of them don't seem to have a reason for being in the play yet, but I think that a few of them will later in the book.

amyw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hannahl said...

How do we know that Duncan wasn't a good King to royalty, but a bad king for the peasants?

chelseas said...

I agree with amyw. Many of the characters will come into the play later. It seems like there would have to be more characters than the ones currently in the play. Shakespeare was such a famous writer, and I would think that he would hade developed the story a little more.

maddisonm said...

I think something important will evolve with Banquo. I mean there has to be some importance for him being with Macbeth when the weird sisters told Macbeth of his future! Why didn't the weird sisters just find Macbeth while he was alone!

kristenw said...

I think Macbeth is halucinating because he's thinking to much about the thought of killing Duncan, it's like he's having a daydream.

Ryad said...

It wasn't very smart of Malcome and Donalbain to leave. I understand that they thought they were in danger but leaving the country made them look guilty. Also did the Porter have a purpose other then comic relef?

hannahl said...

I think that leaving the country was a good idea because otherwise they would probably be dead by now. Even though they may look guilty, at least they are alive. And, as long as they stay out of the spotlight and undercover, they may keep the throne alive as well. This is important if Duncan really way a great king.
To answer ryad, the porter was just for comic relief as far as I know, he was not important to the plot.

alyssas said...

Alex D.- Yeah, I noticed that too. Macbeth is kind of a pushover with Lady Macbeth, but in other situations that don't involve her (like when he killed those two other guys), he stands up for himself. It kind of brings up the point of wearing a mask again...

macm said...

Well, we don't know how good of a king Duncan was, maybe we're just stereotyping him with all the other messed up kings. I was also wondering, why don't Malcolm and Donalbain tell someone that they are leaving? They wouldn't even have to say where, just why so that they wouldn't be prosecuted for plotting murder against their father.

morganw said...

I think Macbeth's hallucinating also has something to do with the witches power and the evil spirits Lady MAcbeth called into herself...I also agree with the guilt theory as well.

alyssas said...

I agree with Maddison M. I think Shakespeare made it so that Banquo was there when Macbeth learned of the witches prophecy because later in the book, that may put a twist in the plot. I also believe this because Shakespeare keeps bringing back Banquo, specifically when he has that conversation with Macbeth about trust.

morganw said...

Banquo and Macduff seem to me to be the only truely good characters so far in the book. All the other characters are too shady to be looked upon as fully good characters.

Also, the murder of Duncan challenges the system - it challenged the system so much that it took out the main leader in it! Does anyone else have any connections to challenging the system in Macbeth?

catem said...

Morganw I also think that the witches have a big connection to challenging the system. The witches want to cause chaos and to cause chaos they challenge others to challenge the system. By arousing different changes they change the nature order (system) of many things including nature.

Does anyone know who Lennex and Macduff are? I know that they came to fetch the king, but are they knights, or what?

catem said...

Macm I think that they didn't tell anybody they were leaving, so that they didn't have anyone following them. Even if they didn't say where they were going, someone could still follow them.

Maddisonm and Alyssas I agree with both of you. I am almost certain that Banquo will play an important part in the story. I think that he will find out what Macbeth did and not get the chance to tell everybody everything he knows, but let out enough information for someone else to figure out that the Macbeths killed Duncan and are really crazy!

ashleyf said...

haha, alyssas, Macbeth is s puch over. i find it interesting how in this time period where women were not highly thought of, Macbeth does whatever she says.

Maddisonm, i agree. i think Banquo will become more and more significant throughout the play. He has to see that Macbeth has a large motive to kil Duncan, whith him hearing the prophecy adn all.

maddisonm said...

Catem- I myself still do not fully understand who Lennex and Macduff are. I know Ms. Smith said something about Shakespeare creating Macduff as like a similar character to Macbeth and I know further up in the blog it was said Macduff was a Scottish noble but can anyone clarify further?

alexd said...

i know almost everyone has asked this but what do we know about Macduff?

josed said...

Well, I read a piece of Act 5, and Macduff... gets to be really important in the tragic hero downfall thing.

amyw said...

To everyone who is confused about Macduff: He is a Scottish noble and he's supposed to be a parallel character to Macbeth, and we'll learn more about him later in the play, even maybe in the next act. If you haven't read ahead, you don't know anything about him, but just know he'll come up later. Right now we know pretty much nothing about him, but we'll learn more later.

maddief said...

Does anyone know if Banquo suspects Macbeth of murder? I mean, he knows that the propechy said that Macbeth would be king, and suddenly the king is murdered, does Banquo think that Macbeth had something to do with the murder?

mitchs said...

Does anyone think it's weird that Macbeth is a pushover in front of his wife but then when he is in battle or doing something for the King he's a vicious killer? I don't understand how he can behave so differently.

morganw said...

Maddief - I don't know for sure if Banquo suspects Macbeeth of the murder but I think he does. I think he's one of those characters who knows Macbeth better than Macbeth knows himself. I think Banquo commented about looking into the murder a little more to see whether or not his suspicions concerning Macbeth are true.

morganw said...

I think Banquo is going to be the character that pushes Macbeth back to the "good side" at the end of the play. Just the fact that he was there when the witches prophecized is a good indication that he will be an intrical part of the plot later on. It's almost as if he is Macbeth's consience.

chelseas said...

maddief- I don’t think that Banquo suspects Macbeth of murder. He probably thinks that the sons are the prime suspects, especially since they both fled the country. I think that Banquo will probably investigate this further, just like morganw said. I also agree with what morganw said about Banquo almost being the conscience. He might see or feel that Macbeth yearns to have the throne.

melissaz said...

maddief- I agree with chelseas that Banquo doesn't supect Macbeth for the murder, but I do think he will figure it out eventually. Banquo probably knows the most about Macbeth, besides Macbeth and Lady Macbeth of coarse. But besides having a lot of information, he is Macbeth's best friend and seems to me that he is a pretty smart man and I wouldn't be surprised if he connected the dots.

Maddisonm- I agree that Banquo will become an even more important character and will ultimatly be the best help for Macbeth. He will continue to be a helpful, good, and important character.

Stefo- I think what the porter said was more like jibberish that any important information. It is the middle of the night and this man has been drinking all night. This is, as we said in class, comic relif more for the purpose to lighten the mood of the story than anything else, at least that's what I think. And for the rest of your question, use the sparknotes online. They have the translated language that really helps with the understanding, so maybe that will help.

And with what a lot of people have said, Macbeth is a total push over with his wife. We hear of him as this feirce fighter and stong leader, but when it comes to his wife, he just follows and listens to her plans and remarkes. Macbeth needs to get a backbone to survive this relationship, happy. Maybe the reason he doesn't say anyhting is out of fear that she will "do something to him" or leave him, I;m not sure.

Josed- I don't think the chaios of nature is to show how GOd is angry because he chooses the king, but more for the production part of it. In the real world, when some one dies, nature doesn't just go crazy, not much seems to be noticeably changes. But Shakespeare wanted to show how, with the change of the natural order of things, everthing was in chaios, reflecting into the story. How very odd occurances in nature were to symbolize more the death of the king in an unnatural way.

And just to add something we said in class, if no one has already made this point, Lady Macbeth seems to be a lot of words but no actions to go along with it. She claims she would have killed her own child to gain the throne, she claimed that she would have killed Duncan herself if he hadn't resembled her father, she did't even offer to even kill him herself (while she was making the paln and forcing it down Macbeth's mouth), with as much as she wanted it. She just uses Macbeth as her puppet and is holding the strings, almost to chicken to be the puppet herself. I just find it interesting how she hasn't actually done anything, she has just made the plan but done nothing. She comes off saying how stongly she wanted this and how cowardly her husband was being, when in the end, she seems to be the coward.

morganw said...

I was reviewing my notes for the quiz and noticed that at the very beginning of Act Two scene one Banquo is talking to Macbeth about the king being "in unsual pleasure" and it made me think that maybe Duncan unconsciously knows that his end is near but takes comfort in the relief from the pressures and duties of being king. Is this possibly foretelling that Macbeth will encounter problems in balancing his rule as king?

morganw said...

Also, I just thought of another text-to-text connection between LOF and Macbeth. The fear and ambition that drive Macbeth to murder Duncan are similar to those that spur Jack to take such hienous control over the boys through the use of "the beast" to manipulate their minds into fearing the beast more than staying with Jack and Rodger.

amyw said...

http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/

This is a great website if after reading Macbeth along with the rest of the class, you're still stuck. It gives awesome summaries of all of the acts and scenes! So if it's hard for you to understand and you need it summed up, just go here! (It's like having Mrs. Smith at home!) :-)

whitneys said...

Hey I was just readng through the comments and way back JHALLs comment about the Lord of the Flies and the dagger both represent the evil inside of us. I TOTALLY agree. The dagger in Macbeth represents the evil because it's pointing towards King Duncan and egging him to commit the deed. While the Pig's head is telling Simon that there is no way to escape the evil and that he should just give in. But the contrast appears when Simon doesn't give into the temptation and Macbeth does.

kristinah said...

Hey just a couple of added thought to some that were way back when and others that were more recent.

- Banquo and Macbeth's plan- In the first scene of the play banquo says that he dreamt about the weird sisters and that at least part of what they said about him was true. I wonder if this is the king part or the part that already came true because if it is the king part then it could put blame on macbeth for killing the king because it would be odd to dream about someone getting something and then they suddenly got it. Also in scene one macbeth kind of forshadows trouble for himself when he says to banquo that if he says close to macbeth when the time comes there will be something benifishal for him. Well, he must be thinking that he will have troubles if he is already preparing suporters for himself. I dont think that he thinks it is macbeth, at least not yet. He does think that is was committed as an act of treason.

Porter- I don't know if any one else didn't know this but an equivocator is a person who uses unclear expressions in order to mislead. I think that it is funny how the porter mentions that the "equivocator committed treason" right after macbeth kills duncan. I think that he is supposed to be refering to the misleading assumption that king will be a great place for macbeth and that is what deceptively lead him to kill the king, but the possition will end up troubling him more than it will benefit him.
Also with the people he is "letting into the castle" every one of them is doing something wrong like the tailor is skimping on fabric for peoples cloths so maybe he is relating the castle to a place of wrong doings/sin/evil. But then again he is still drunk.

The daggers in their smiles- this is just saying that the people appearing to be their allies could really be their enemies waiting with a dagger behind their backs waiting to kill them.

Disturbances in nature- maybe these are the way that the witches are celebrating the death of duncan because maybe that is what they originally wanted, it is still inclear though

katyj said...

Who is fleance? do we know any more about him then that he is the son of Banqou? does he have any more relevance in the story? for some reason i think he does, i think he has a big part later to come. Maybe he kills Macbeth instead of Banquo.

rsabey said...

So I think I am begguning to understand macbeth a little bit more. But does anyone understand if Macbeth told anyone other than lady macbeth that he was planning on killing Duncun or about the witches profecy? Does Banqo Know about the murder? what is banqos character? Im not sure if he is a "good" or "bad" character! Any insights?

ParkerH said...

Rsabey, Banquo knows about the prophecy, but no one else besides Lady Macbeth knows about the fact the Macbeth murdered Duncan. Banquo knows about the fact that Duncan got murdered, but he didn't know that Macbeth did it. I'm not really sure about the rest. Sorry. I thinks he's good, but its only a guess.