Thursday, March 12, 2020
Act 1 Scene 7(lines 1-28), Act 2 Scene 1(lines 33-64) and Act 5 Scene 5(lines 18-27) Essays
Act 1 Scene 7(lines 1-28), Act 2 Scene 1(lines 33-64) and Act 5 Scene 5(lines 18-27) Essays Act 1 Scene 7(lines 1-28), Act 2 Scene 1(lines 33-64) and Act 5 Scene 5(lines 18-27) Paper Act 1 Scene 7(lines 1-28), Act 2 Scene 1(lines 33-64) and Act 5 Scene 5(lines 18-27) Paper Essay Topic: Macbeth Macbeths state of mind changes drastically throughout the course of the play. This change is shown in his three main soliloquies. In Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth is hesitant about killing Duncan and tries to think of reasons to justify killing him but Macbeth can only think of reasons not to kill Duncan. In Act 2 Scene1 Macbeth has a hallucination of a dagger with the handle pointed towards him. This dagger resembles his own and the blade is pointed toward Duncans room and, as the soliloquy goes on, appears to have blood all over it. This is Macbeths sub-conscious warning him not to kill Duncan. Finally, in Macbeths last soliloquy in Act 5 Scene 5, Macbeth is regretting killing Duncan, Banquo and Macduffs wife, children and household. Macbeth starts at the fact that he had tried so hard to be memorable but he will be forgotten. Also, Macbeth states how meaningless his life has been and, like a candle, his end is inevitable. Before Act 1 Scene 7 King Duncan has arrived at Macbeths castle and he has so far played the humble guest. However, Macbeth has been persuaded by Lady Macbeth to kill Duncan so the prophecy of the witches comes true, Macbeth is very noble at this point and is thinking hat killing Duncan will go against his values. Macbeths first soliloquy about his changing state of mind is in Act 1 Scene 7(lines 1-28). This soliloquy sees Macbeth contemplating whether or not to kill Duncan and Macbeth is desperately trying to think of reasons that would aid him in the killing of Duncan. However Macbeth can think of no such reasons, the only thing the he can think of are things that serve only to keep Duncan alive and that killing him now would be the greatest act of villainy. Because Duncan is at Macbeths castle he is in double trust first as Macbeth is his kinsman and his subject and then as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife himself. Another thing that Macbeth tells himself is that killing Duncan would be about as cruel as leaving a naked newborn babe striding the blast and that tears would drown the land at Duncans death, since he was such a good and just king. Furthermore, Duncan is portrayed as a kind and gentle king as he showers Lady Macbeth with gifts when he enters Macbeths hospitality. When Macbeth makes his decision he has thought of all the possible outcomes. Macbeth is scared to kill Duncan because he fears eternal damnation. This is relevant at the time because people believed that the King was chosen by God and that killing the king would be like killing a part of God, it would also upset the natural order. At the end of the Scene Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth his decision not to kill Duncan but adamantly this is met with rage and abuse as Macbeth is called a coward by Lady Macbeth. This serves to change his mind. By Macbeths second soliloquy, in Act 2 Scene 1, he has decided to kill Duncan and is on his way to do so when he starts to see a dagger. Firstly he sees the daggers hilt pointing toward him, the blade points towards Duncans room. Macbeth tries to grab the dagger but his hand goes straight through it as it is not real and only a manifestation of his guilty conscience. The dagger then changes to having blood all over it. This is what Macbeths dagger will look like once he has killed Duncan. Furthermore, during the soliloquy Macbeth thinks that the stones that his castle are made from are moving and if they were then they would certainly be crying out at the terrible deed that Macbeth is going through. There is a lot of reference to movement in this soliloquy; Macbeth speaks of ravishing strides, a stealthy pace and Moves like a ghost. This could show that he is concerned that if he stops moving he will become scared of killing Duncan and so will not. Macbeth seems to be going mad at this juncture; he realises that the dagger, which at this point is moving towards Duncan, is not real. His eyes are the fools othother senses. This could mean that his eyesight is either much better or much worse that his other senses. At the moment Macbeths state of mind is one of great fear at both his thoughts and feelings and at being discovered. He also feels dread at what is to come in the future. As we know Macbeths future is not the best, but he is not to know that at this point in the play. Another reason for Macbeths fear is that while he is walking around talking to himself and thinking about the dreadful deed he is about to commit, Duncan still lives; and Macbeth could be discovered at any time and he would be unable to explain himself. The last two lines of this scene are a rhyming couplet. Macbeth is commenting that the bell ringing in the background is Duncans knell, a funeral bell rung to announce a death, summoning him to heaven or hell. This could be seen as some sort of dark humour on Shakespeares part, Macbeth is sure of where both he and Duncan are going. Duncan to heaven; Macbeth to hell. In Act 5 Scene 5 the battle between the armies of Macbeth and Malcolm is about to begin and Macbeth is starting to think that all his plans are coming undone. Macbeths castle is under siege and he begins to contemplate life and its petty pace from day to day, meaning that life, especially his, is meaningless and like a brief candle his end is inevitable despite his trying to make an impression on the world. At this point Macbeth is totally incapable of emotion whether fear at his impending doom or, as it happens, grief at his wifes death. His only comment is that she should have died hereafter. This is almost as if to say that Lady Macbeths death was inconvenient at this time. Macbeth again states that life is worthless, and is not as exciting as it seems, not unlike a tale told by an idiot, which is told with a lot of exuberance but, in the end, signifies nothing. Furthermore, like a poor player being forgotten and unsuccessful, Macbeth has not made enough of an impression to be remembered, even as a great tyrant and traitor. Macbeth mentions a dusty death which, in his case, would mean that his death shall not be remembered and like a dusty book on the top shelf he will not be acknowledged or honoured. Macbeth changes again in Act 5 Scene 5. He is now impervious to any emotion and he believes that all life, his mainly, is a waste of time and should not have been bothered with in the first place. He has gone past being a nobleman and being afraid of an unjust death and now is not able to feel any emotion at all. By the end of the play Macbeth becomes a cold-blooded killer from a noble lord and his actions are ruled by his dependence on the prophecy of the witches and his eventual total victory through their words. Little does Macbeth know that the prophecy is not intended for his victory but is designed to make him suffer for yielding to the power of the witches, murdering Duncan and trying to elevate his status in Scotland. This shows that Macbeth deserves the death that he gets because he is a true tyrant and traitor to the crown.