Act 2, scene 2
The color-coded boxes under "Analysis & Themes" below (which look like this: ) make it easy to track the themes throughout the work. Each color corresponds to one of the themes explained in the Themes section of this LitChart.
Analysis & Themes
Lady Macbeth waits in agitation for Macbeth to do the deed. She comments that had the sleeping Duncan not looked like her father she'd have killed him herself.
Macbeth enters. He's killed Duncan and Duncan's attendants. His hands are bloodstained and he's upset that when one of the attendants said "God bless us" in his sleep, he was unable to say "Amen." He also thought he heard a voice say "Macbeth does murder sleep" (2.2.34).
Lady Macbeth soothes him and tells him to wash his hands, but notices he's still carrying the daggers he used to kill Duncan. Macbeth refuses to return to the scene of the crime. Lady Macbeth, furious, runs off to plant the daggers on the attendants.
A knock sounds, terrifying Macbeth. He worries that not all the water in the world could wash the blood from his hands.
Lady Macbeth returns, her hands now as bloody as Macbeth's. But she's calm, and identifies the 'mysterious' knocking as someone at the south entrance. She says: "a little water clears us of this deed" (2.2.65), and tells Macbeth to go and put his nightgown on so no one will suspect them.
More help on this section...
• See quotes from Act 2, scene 2