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The madness of Macbeth

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Machado Luis Machado Ms. Lojewski AP English 12 19 October 2012 The Tragedy of Macbeth ?Much madness is in the divinest sense...To a discerning Eye?. Even though delusional actions could be categorized as madness, when these actions are seen with a discerning eye, they are actually quite sane. In William Shakespeare?s, The Tragedy of Macbeth, the character Macbeth never truly goes mad, but he displays to us the events that lead up to his delusions, and the delusions themselves. Three witches wait on a heath for Macbeth, who is a thane, after the battle and when Macbeth and his good friend Banquo ride by, the witches talk to him calling him the thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and the future king of Scotland. Macbeth doesn?t know at this point that he has been named the king of Cawdor, so he doesn?t know what the witches are talking about. Banquo asks the witches if they can see his future too, and they tell him that he won?t be king, but that his children will be kings. ...read more.


probably, to land somewhere unknown and beyond reason. This figment of his imagination is the beginning of crimes yet to occur. The dagger suggests that the act he is about to commit is getting to him already. Macbeth?s vision establishes his guilt. The dagger scene highlights Macbeth?s own awareness of his ambition. As he says, his ?vaulting ambition?(Macbeth) takes over all of his other thoughts and emotions that he feels, and shows his great desire for power. Macbeth?s behavior can be judged reasonable because if it hadn?t been for the witches who put the idea of him becoming King in his head in the first place, and the persuasion of Lady Macbeth to kill the king, Macbeth wouldn?t have thought twice about becoming King. The next event that contributes to Macbeth?s delusion is the killing of Banquo. With Macbeth worried that the witch?s prophecies might come true for Banquo, Macbeth hires two murders to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Remember, also, that with Duncan?s murder, Macbeth?s guilty conscience is already manifesting itself in the form of many sleepless nights. ...read more.


Macbeth?s position is not secure, and he is feeling a lot of anxiety over it. Returning to his guests, Macbeth goes to sit at the head of the royal table but finds Banquo?s ghost sitting in his chair. Dismayed, Macbeth speaks to the ghost, which is invisible to the rest of the company. Lady Macbeth makes excuses for her husband, saying that he occasionally has ?visions? (Macbeth) and that the guests should simply ignore his behavior. Although Macbeth didn?t kill Banquo himself, Banquo?s blood is still on Macbeth?s hands, causing him to go delusional. With the sight of Macbeth seeing the ghost of Banquo, we can officially say that Macbeth is delusional Macbeth?s behavior can be judged reasonable because if he had not killed Banquo, he would have risked giving up the crown, which he has worked so hard to achieve. Macbeth?s greed for the throne get?s in the way of his sanity, just like the character Kurtz from Joseph Conrad?s Heart of Darkness, whose demanding hunger for ivory drove him from his sanity and made enemies among the native Africans. Same with Macbeth, whose desire for power drove him to make enemies amongst most of Scotland. ...read more.

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