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Macbeth Lennox Speech Analysis Essay

Lennox's speech is filled with verbal irony.  Even though he does not state his suspicions directly, it is clear that he is sarcastically blaming Macbeth for the recent murders.  For example, he says,

The gracious Duncan

Was pittied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead.

And the right-valiant Banquo walked too late;

Whom you may say, if 't please  you, Fleance killed,

For Fleance fled.

By tying the two murders together--Duncan's and Banquo's, Lennox is suggesting...

Lennox's speech is filled with verbal irony.  Even though he does not state his suspicions directly, it is clear that he is sarcastically blaming Macbeth for the recent murders.  For example, he says,

The gracious Duncan

Was pittied of Macbeth; marry, he was dead.

And the right-valiant Banquo walked too late;

Whom you may say, if 't please  you, Fleance killed,

For Fleance fled.

By tying the two murders together--Duncan's and Banquo's, Lennox is suggesting that anyone who gains Macbeth's sympathies suddenly finds himself dead.  He preposterously places the blame for Banquo's death on his son Fleance, just as Malcolm and Donalbain were blamed for Duncan's death because they ran.  Just as Fleance's escape did not mean that he killed his father, Malcolm and Donalbain's fleeing Scotland does not mean that they killed Duncan.

He goes on to seemingly praise Macbeth for "nobly" killing the guards because they would have most assuredly denied killing Duncan.  Of course, they would have denied killing Duncan--they were innocent.   He then comments that if Macbeth were able to capture Malcolm, Donalbain, and Fleance, they would all be put to death for supposedly killing their fathers.

In this fashion, Lennox shows that Macbeth is the culprit in the murders of Duncan and Banquo and that he attempted to place suspicion on others who fled or whom he killed.   At the end of this speech he calls Macbeth a "tyrant,"  and at the end of this scene, Lennox hopes that Scotland will find relief from its suffering "under a hand accursed."

In Act III, Scene 6, as he walks with another lord, the nobleman Lennox tells him that his former observations have coincided with the lord's thoughts. Stating that the lord can draw his own conclusions, Lennox still mentions that strange things are occurring; however, he employs sarcasm to suggest a more portentous meaning to what he literally says.

In order to impress upon his listener the incongruities of circumstances, Lennox speaks facetiously as he alludes...

In Act III, Scene 6, as he walks with another lord, the nobleman Lennox tells him that his former observations have coincided with the lord's thoughts. Stating that the lord can draw his own conclusions, Lennox still mentions that strange things are occurring; however, he employs sarcasm to suggest a more portentous meaning to what he literally says.

In order to impress upon his listener the incongruities of circumstances, Lennox speaks facetiously as he alludes to several instances:

  • Macbeth felt pity for the murdered Duncan, but only after the king was dead.
  • The valiant Banquo went out for a walk too late at night, for "[M]en must not walk too late." It is said that his son Fleance murdered him because he was known to have fled the scene.
  • How "monstrous" it was, Lennox remarks, for Donalbain and Malcolm to have murdered their own father, King Duncan. Clearly, this murder so grieved Macbeth that he immediately killed the two men who had guarded Duncan's door. This was a noble deed, was it not?
  • Lennox's sarcasm grows darker as he asks the lord if Macbeth's act of killing the guards was not, indeed, wise, as well, because it "would have angered any heart alive" to have heard the men deny the act.
  • With biting sarcasm, Lennox concludes that in consideration of all that has happened, Macbeth has handled things rather well.

Having suggested with his sarcastic remarks about Macbeth that evil exists in the kingdom, Lennox feigns nonchalance as he asks where Macduff "bestows himself." The lord replies with an understanding of Lennox's true meaning. He informs Lennox that Duncan's son has gone to England in order to enlist the aid of King Edward that he call to arms the commander of the English forces, the Earl of Northumberland and his son Siward. With the help of the English, Macduff hopes to restore peace to Scotland. But, having learned of this plan, Macbeth is now preparing for war.

Lennox then adds his wish that "Some holy angel" fly to the English court that his beloved and suffering country of Scotland may be saved from the tyranny of Macbeth.

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