Macbeth… After the murder!

Here is the script after King Duncan has been murdered. I only have one question; but the answer might not be as simple as it may seem… Read the script and then answer this question:

Why does Macbeth say “As I descended”?

Tip: there are many reasons/meanings of this line. Explore them, research them if you like…

Descended means to go down something. For example you descend (go down a staircase)… if if a football team descends down the league, they drop down some places. Macbeth may be walking down a staircase or even a hallway at this point in the play; but I think it’s no coincidence that Shakespeare has used this language here. How else has Macbeth descended?


MACBETH: I have done the deed. Didst thou not here a noise?

LADY MACBETH: I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.

Did not you speak?

MACBETH:            When?

LADY MACBETH:             Now.

MACBETH:                                   As I descended?



Who lies i’the second chamber?

LADY MACBETH:                       Donaldbain.

MACBETH: This is a sorry sight.

LADY MACBETH: A foolish thought, to say ‘a sorry sight’.

8 thoughts on “Macbeth… After the murder!

  1. I think Shakespeare used as I descended because he might of have said to Lady Macbeth how he murdered king Duncan by using the dagger and how it was before him.

  2. i think they used the phrase As I descended because Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were using it because when he had said i have done it he ,might of heard some one going down the stairs and he might of said As I descended.

    i also think he might of said it because when lady Macbeth says now he might of been walking down the stairs and said As I descended.

    • He may well have heard someone; in fact we know that they did. I also wonder if his morals have descended. Before this, he was a heroic warrior… now he is a selfish murderer. Macbeth certainly went down, ‘descended’ in my opinion… I wonder if that’s what Shakespeare meant.

  3. When Macbeth said as I descended,I think it ment that he is going down of being king than going up to be a great king.

    I also think that Macbeth is not happy because he just murdered King Duncan.

    • I agree! I think that he is torn between emotions (as he spends most of the play being). Killing the king is certainly something that goes against his ‘noble’ reputation as a heroic warrior!

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