Note to Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2, line 3: "It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman"


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Macbeth,
Act 2, Scene 2, line 3.
The screech of an owl was thought to foretell a death, and it was customary for a "bellman"—a town-crier or night watchman—to ring a bell at midnight at the door of the cell of a person scheduled for execution the next day.



Image Source:
"THE MOST FANTASTICAL OF FOWLS:"
The Myth and Reality of Owls