Macbeth's Character Devolpment

Act 2

1. "I'll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on't again, I dare not." (2.2.53-55)

  • In this quote Macbeth is describing how he feels to Lady Macbeth after murdering Duncan.

  • It shows the audience he feels guilty, ashamed, and regretful of what he has done.

  • Due to this it is shown he did not change but his feelings have enhanced. He'll never forget what he did and doesn't bare to think that he just killed Duncan, his cousin.
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2. "With Tarquin's ravishing strides,/ towards his design/Moves like a ghost". - Macbeth (2.1.55-56)

- Quote reveals the comparison of Macbeth to Tarquin (metaphor), then compares both of their actions to a ghost (simile).


- Tarquin was a Roman prince who had snuck into one of the Roman wife's bedroom and he raped her during the night.


- Gives us an impression that Macbeth is like a killer or thief of his own innocence. It also makes the audience view him as a rather black-hearted individual.

3. ''Methought I had a voice cry 'sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care, the death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, chief nourisher in life's feast.''- Macbeth (2.2.35-40)

-Macbeth says that sleep is so significant in our lives and he just ruined it for himself by murdering Duncan in his sleep, foreshadows that Macbeth will not sleep anymore


-Macbeth is now going to be haunted by guilt


Metaphor used as Macbeth compares sleep to the "sleeve of care"

Sleep No More

4. "Whence is that knocking? How is ’t with me when every noise appals me? What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No: this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red."- Macbeth (2.2.60-66)

In previous scenes, Macbeth was seen as dominant, fearless and a loyal kinsmen to King Duncan but in this scene, within a short few minutes of the assassination he transforms into a seemingly guilty and squeamish person. Macbeth starts to believe that not even all the water in the ocean can wash away the blood that's stained on his guilty hands. This change is very significant because it shows the downfall his character has before Macbeth turns completely evil.