Comment on the porter scene..

The porter scene in act 2 scene 3. what is the importance of this scene. how can we comment on it in an essay -just give me hints.

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After the bloody imagery and dark tone of the previous two scenes, the porter’s comedy comes as a jarring change of tone. His good-natured joking with Macduff breaks up the mounting tension of the play and also comments obliquely on its themes. Unlike all the characters of noble birth, who speak in iambic verse, the porter speaks in prose. His relaxed language seems to signal that his words and his role are less important than those of the other characters, but in his merry banter the porter hits on many truths. His description of the confusion and lust provoked by alcohol caricatures Macbeth’s moral confusion and lust for power. Moreover, his remarks about the ineffective lechery inspired by drink eerily echo Lady Macbeth’s sexual taunting of Macbeth about his ability to carry out his resolutions. The porter’s joke that the door of Inverness is like hell’s gate is ironic, given the cruel and bloody events that are taking place within the castle. When he cries, “Who’s there, i’ th’ name of Beelzebub [the devil]?” the analogy between hell and Inverness becomes even stronger (2.3.3). Instead of receiving a welcome and a blessing when they step into Macbeth’s castle, guests are warned that they are putting themselves in the hands of the devil.


The porter scene is comic relief. Duncan has just been murdered and the tension is high. The drink porter comes out babbling about equivocation and expectations. Certainly this is in line with the themes of Macbeth and his expectations.