Owls are screaming in the night. Macbeth has murdered his king and the ghastly consequences are immediate. He is in a cold sweat, cannot pray, and believes that he will never find rest.
There is a frightful knocking at the castle entrance. Call it Hell Gate, as the Porter does.
The scene requires two players, and a very important sound effect – the sound of someone knocking on a heavy castle door (any knock will do – let your imagination do the rest). The two players are both in Highlit Text mode. They are:
There are two very important directions from the playwright in this scene:
The first is about ‘shared lines’. Sometimes a line of verse is split across more than one speaker. For example:
Whether they live, or die.
Did not you speak?
Secondly, the knocking is a very important sound effect. It interrupts the speeches of the two players like a hellish warning of what is to come, particularly when it is a deep slow knock, as on a castle door.
Alternatively, you can read the whole scene in Standard Script by clicking on the following link: Macbeth, A2S2, ‘Macbeth has murdered sleep’ – standard script
If you want to see what we made of this scene, check out our Playreading Report on A2S2 of Macbeth.
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