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The Idiocy of men (a tale of Macbeth from a different perspective)
Act II, Scenes ii & iii:
View point of: Lady Macbeth
Scene ii: the murder
Finally!!! Now that those “guards” are good and drugged I can rest easy. Ha, guards indeed, they couldn’t guard a grain of sand with an army! A real guard should not be that easy to overcome. But, alas with their neglect comes the death of their charge Duncan, so for their carelessness I’m grateful. This plan of ours balances on the edge of a knife, and so for every piece of the plan that goes smoothly I rejoice, even if their lack of caution was the cross on their death warrants! Is it wicked of me that I rejoice in their death? Alas, it’s best not to ponder such things for long. At least I laid their daggers in the right place, where my Lord Macbeth was sure to find them. I almost completed the deed myself, but oh, he did so much resemble my dear father that I simply didn’t have the heart. Well I hope the failing of courage was simply my own and will not affect my husband. (Who’s there? What, ho? (II, ii, 10) Ah ‘tis my husband now. Let’s see if my lord had the resolve to follow the deed to its completion.
Whew, he has kept steadfast and completed the deed. But, did I hear a noise he says? Well, no I heard nothing but the screech owl and the ever melodic crickets. I suppose he has become paranoid and the slightest of noises has become jarring to his guilty conscience. Hmm, well I suppose Donalbain is in the other room, but I heard him cry naught. There were two in the room, perhaps they were conversing, but I heard them not at all. Really I suppose he must be hearing things. He is such a ninny sometimes. He has such a delicate constitution that I wonder sometimes if it were not him that was the woman. I swear! He told me that he heard the two in the other room utter a prayer and when it came the proper time to say amen the word stuck in his throat. What utter nonsense! Yes, it was a foul deed that he committed, but that doesn’t set us upon the unholy ranks of the damned that can neither pray nor utter the name of Christ! I told him that it was probably nothing other than dust inhaled in the throat that made him unable to announce the word. After once already this eve having admonished myself for thinking too deeply on these atrocious acts I was sure to caution him that he was not to ponder so on such blaspheming thoughts. Such thoughts will drive us both to the pits of insanity, for we must both already reside on the brink for us to have committed these acts with such readiness.
What horror is this! Oh my husband is such an imbecile! He brought the daggers back with him! Those were supposed to be left there as evidence that it was with the guards daggers that the deed was committed. Now I have to go back up the stairs and do it myself! Huh! Eww what a gory sight death makes, yuck all that blood. But alas it’s not so bad that the damn fool couldn’t do it himself. So there lays the king in his portrait of death looking as if he was still sleeping. If it weren’t for all the blood you might think him sleeping still. Why could he have not done this himself? Yes it’s unpleasant to lay the daggers in the pool of blood, but blood washes off, well except off of fabric, I suppose when all this is over we’ll have to throw all this bedding out. Alas, and those were my good sheets too! Oh well, back down to my sniveling husband I go. Eww now my hands are all bloody.
First thing he says to me after I return from doing him the favor of laying down the daggers myself is that his hands are all bloody. So his hands are bloody, so what, as are mine! He needs to sober up and be a man! Blood washes off! Besides I would rather have bloody hands than to pretend to myself that I hadn’t committed the deed at all. Pretending to others may be a necessary caution, but at least I can admit to myself what we have done! Self preservation is just as important as self realization, so to them, yes I must lie, but he needs to admit this to himself!
Oh no! There is a knocking at the door! We must retire to our chambers and appear as if we are asleep. The only incriminating evidence is the blood on our hands, and that is easily dealt with. Blood can wash away, and with it all physical evidence of the deed. Yes, we were asleep the whole time, or so it must seem. Yes, we will let the porter get the door, for we are sleeping. To sleep we must go, besides my husband was already prattling on about his sleep. Sleep being murdered, or was it that he had murdered sleep. What utter nonsense how can you murder an intangible thing? That would be the likeness of saying that you had destroyed laughter, or you had joy torn asunder. He must be in severe lack of the very thing he claims to destroy elsewise I would think he had a brain sickness, and we can have none of that. So to innocent sleep we must go.
Scene iii: the next morning
Yawn… Stretch… Wait, what is all that ruckus below stairs?
“Were there any visitors during the night?”
“Aye, the thanes Macduff and Lennox entered hence this very morn Milady.”
“Why was I not notified on the very instant of their arrival? Do you not wish me to be a good hostess to my guests? And, now to be awakened at the sound of raised voices? I must say the situation below is lacking a woman’s touch what with all that noise making! Now quickly, help me dress before I dismiss you for dereliction of your duty to me!”
“At once, my lady! Though if you’ll excuse me, I mean no impertinence, but ’twas milord that requested I not wake you at the arrival of your guests.
“He said you complained of over exertion and were not to be disturbed.”
“Enough! Stop your idle chatter, I don’t care why, now stop being lackadaisical and dress me for the entertaining of our early morning guests!”
“Anon my lady anon.”
Why would he greet our guests without me? Does it not seem suspicious that the lady of the house was not in attendance to greet our guests? The buffoon will get us both in trouble with so suspicious an act. Trouble…trouble? *GASP!* The King!
Oh God oh God oh God! No it’s ok, act calm no, better yet act surprised. Yeah that’s right, surprised, after all you slept through their arrival of course their screaming up a storm would be a shock to you, yes that’s it, act surprised.
“What’s the business, that such a hideous trumpet calls to parley the sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!” (II, iii, 86-88)
I charge him such to speak to me, and what does he do? He had the gall to tell me that it was not for mine gentle ears to hear for it would be too damaging for their fragility. And, having just said such, goes on to tell Banquo not a moment later, that the king is dead. Am I surrounded by simpletons, but true to my part I act surprised for if I am assumed so maidenly that the news would affect me so adversely I thought it wise to act as such. Then my husband came in blessedly displaying for once that he really does have a brain in that skull of his by acting very shocked and melancholy. For once he did me proud, and so I stood there for a time solemnly and let the men folk talk.
But I did speak too soon and too favorably of my husband! They were talking of the guilt of the guards; and how galling it was that they were meant to be protectors and did abandon that duty for the opposite, when Macbeth stated that he had since killed them. What! That was never part of the plan! Was that not the most suspicious thing that he could have done? I mean, yes it would have took some skill to convince the others of the guard’s guilt if they kept denying it, but it wouldn’t be that hard. The ever mindless Macbeth stated that he had done it in a fit of passion because their denial was just too much. To speak of their denial was such a folly, no one but he, Lennox, and Ross heard that, he didn’t have to make it common knowledge! Now they will be suspicious of his actions. They must forget! I must make them forget! So, with a cry of: “Help me hence, ho!” I fainted.