Macbeth Act 2 . Scenes 1 - 4. How to Read a Shakespeare Play .
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Macbeth Act 2
Scenes 1 - 4
Go slow. Reading Shakespeare is not the same as reading T.V. Guide. Acknowledge that the language is poetic and challenging. If you try to race through it, the complexity of the words and phrasing will frustrate you, and all of its beauty will be lost.
Don’t get hung up on the details…at first.
An ideal compromise is to read the play first without the notes to get an uninterrupted first impression. Then go through it again and fill in the gaps provided by the annotations.
When reading verse, note the appropriate phrasing and intonation.
DO NOT PAUSE AT THE END OF A LINE unless there is a mark of punctuation. Shakespearean verse has a rhythm of its own, and once a reader gets used to it, the rhythm becomes very natural to speak in and read. Beginning readers often find it helpful to read a short pause at a comma and a long pause for a period, colon, semicolon, dash, or question mark.
The quality of mercy is not strain'd, (short pause)It droppeth as the gentle rain from heavenUpon the place beneath: (long pause) it is twice blest; (long pause)It blesseth him that gives, (short pause) and him that takes; (long pause)‘Tis mightiest in the mighties; (long pause) it becomesThe throned monarch better than his crown; (long pause)
Aristotelian omens – pathetic fallacy
“Merciful powers, restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature gives way to in repose.”
“I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters: to you they have shown some truth.”
Macbeth leans in to say to Banquo that if he is loyal to him he will be rewarded. But Banquo quickly pledges allegiance to the king. Macbeth is in a pickle now because Banquo knows something.
Macbeth’s 2nd major Soliloquy Phantom floating dagger.
Might represent how this will affect him in his life. He will slowly lose his mind
Two Allusions to stories “Hecate” and Tarquinii's”
Hecate is the Greco-Roman goddess of witchcraft, and you can view her as the leader of the three witches. She will appear later on in the play, Act 3 Scene 5, where she will demand to know why she has been excluded from the plot against Macbeth.
Significance of Porter’s speech