The Character Of Macbeth Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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will be in Heaven if he kills Duncan. He thinks of reasons why he should not kill Duncan – ?He’s here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host he should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself.’(1:7 L12-16) This shows that Macbeth is not totally evil, but his ambition spurs him on. Later in the scene, Macbeth decides not to commit the murder, but Lady Macbeth taunts him until he gives in, showing that he is weak, and Lady Macbeth is much the more dominant of the two. Lady Macbeth had said earlier ?I fear thy nature, it is too full o’th’milk of human kindness’ (1:5 L14-15), showing that she knew that Macbeth was not strong enough or evil enough to murder Duncan on his own, and she

would have to push him into it. This shows that Macbeth was decent, but not strong minded. As the time for Duncan’s murder draws nearer and nearer, Macbeth becomes more and more nervous, and is prone to hallucinations; for example when he says ?Is this a dagger I see before me’ (2:1 L35) and ?I see thee still and on thy blade dudgeon gouts of blood’(2:1 L45-46); he is imagining that he sees a dagger covered with blood pointing towards Duncan’s chamber. He later describes another hallucination – ?Thou sure and firm-set earth, hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear thy very stones prate of my whereabouts’ (2:1 L56-58). He is afraid that the stones will call out to the people that he is a murderer. Both hallucinations show that he is sensitive and has big

doubts about the murder, and he is not entirely a cold-blooded murderer, who would have no such scruples. However, his language becomes more and more to do with evil as is shown by a large part of his soliloquy – ?Now o’er the one half-world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates pale Hecate’s off’rings, and withered murderer alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf, whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, with Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his design moves like a ghost.’(2:1 L49-46). At the beginning of this quote, Macbeth thinks that the world seems unnatural, and everything belonging to nature is dead, and nightmares are left to disturb sleep. He then goes on to think about the supernatural – Hecate

was a goddess of witchcraft – and he thinks of murder as being an actual being, and describes it as creeping like a ghost towards its design with Tarquin’s ravishing strides (Tarquin was a Roman prince who raped a woman). Although this speech is all connected with evil, it shows that Macbeth is thinking deeply, and has a sensitive side. When Macbeth has actually committed the deed, he is still imagining things, such as ?Methought I heard a voice cry, “sleep no more: Macbeth does murder sleep”‘(2:2 L38-39). Macbeth is afraid that he will never sleep again because of what he has done. Before this, he also said that he had ?hangman’s hands’ (2:2 L30) which also shows that Macbeth feels guilty. The most significant imagery is when Macbeth is alone, and says ?What hands

are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No: this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.’(2:2 L62-66).Here Macbeth imagines that his hands are so stained with blood which signifies his guilt, that not even an ocean could wash his hands clean, but rather that his hands would stain the water with his blood, until everything he touched became as guilty as he was. The fact that Macbeth feels guilty shows that he is not just a cold-blooded murderer. Macbeth by now is more dominant, and seems to rely more on darkness and evil than his wife, as he no longer tells her about his plans. When he decides to kill Banquo and Fleance, he does not tell her what he is going to do, but

says ? Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown his cloistered flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons the shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums hath wrung night’s rote.’(3:2 L40-44) The language suggests that Macbeth is feeling more and more drawn to evil. Macbeth shows that he is reliant on evil in his next speech – ?Come, seeling night, scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day and with the bloody and invisible hand cancel and tear to pieces that great bond which keeps me pale.’(3:2 L46-49). This also shows his insecurity after Duncan’s murder – he needs evil to destroy his conscience, so that he will not be overcome with guilt and back down at the last minute. Macbeth later seems to be on the brink of madness, when he imagines that he has seen Banquo’s ghost