The scene opens with Hautboys and torches in Macbeth’s castle near the Great Hall. A butler and many servants enter carrying dishes for the evening feast. Macbeth wanders by himself, preoccupied with the thought of killing Duncan, feared of the consequences of his assassination. He is confused about what actions he is going to take and wonders whether it is worth all of his effort. Macbeth starts by saying to himself that if the business could be over, then it would be best to get it done quickly. He talks about the how the assassination could be stating. If the assassination could trammel up the consequence and catch with his surcease, success, that but this blow might be the be-all and the end all here”. As he says the words: bloody instructions, poisoned chalice and deep damnation, we know that Macbeth is aware of how this murder would occur. Macbeth declares that the only thing motivating him to kill Duncan is ambition which he realises that it is a fallacious thought. Macbeth begins to consider Duncan’s attributes as he says that he is a respectful leader, free of dishonesty.
Macbeth also feels of the loyalty towards Duncan as he says that he should always protect him as he is his kinsman and that he is his host who should be closing the door in the murderer’s face, and not murder him. Macbeth has fears of the punishments in the world as it is a terrible sin, and thinks that his bad deed will come back to haunt him. While Macbeth is thinking about the murder he is planning to commit confused and against this crime, Lady Macbeth enters searching for Macbeth.
She informs him that that the king has almost finished his dinner and that he should be with them as he has been asking for Macbeth. As Macbeth is not convinced of what he is going to commit, he decided to tell his Lady Macbeth that he does not want to commit this crime by saying, “We will proceed no further in this business. ” He claims that that the king has honoured him and that he wants to enjoy these honours that the king granted him. By saying this to Lady Macbeth, he sounds determined and reasonable, but it turns out that he doesn’t have a chance against her obsessive contempt.
Lady Macbeth asks sarcastically, “Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? ” She tells him that this is what she’ll think of his love asking him if he’s scared to act the way he wants. She questions him by asking if he will take the crown or live as a coward saying “I can’t” after he says “I want to”. Macbeth defends himself saying, “I dare do all that may become a man; who dares do more is none” where he is saying that he dares only to do what is proper for a man to do.
By this meaning, he says that a real man will risk his life to protect his king, however a man who murders his king is not a true man. Lady Macbeth becomes more scornful as what Macbeth has told her and tells him that, “when you durst do it, then you were a man”. At the moment Lady Macbeth affirms the ideal chance to kill the king, but Macbeth is backing out making him not a man to commit this murder. Then after mocking Macbeth’s manhood and manipulating him to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth affirms that she’s more man than he is.
Lady Macbeth has finally made Macbeth feel of himself and be committed to kill Duncan. He asks her what happens if they fail to kill him and she is against his thought as she describes what they will do. Their plans are to kill Duncan’s attendants drunk, so they won’t be able to protect him and so they will take the blame of Duncan’s murder. Macbeth agrees on Lady Macbeth’s plan by suggesting that they will use the daggers of Duncan and smear his blood on his drunken attendants. Macbeth has his courage up again as he is ready to kill the king after his wife’s manipulation.