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By what means does Shakespeare reveal Macbeth's state of mind in Act One Scene Three.

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Introduction

By what means does Shakespeare reveal Macbeth's state of mind in Act One Scene Three Macbeth's state of mind is revealed through Macbeth's soliloquies. As Macbeth speaks "aside" he reveals to the audience his plans to murder to Duncan. Macbeth says that the "horrid image", referring to that of him murdering Duncan fills him with utter fear. Macbeth's desire to become king is "swelling", meaning growing in size. The word "soliciting" meaning temptation, shows how he cannot stop thinking about the "imperial theme" which means the topic of becoming king. These terrible, "fantastical", meaning imaginary, thoughts shake Macbeth as his "fixed heart" knocks at his ribs and "shakes so" his "single state of man" meaning his unitary condition, that he cannot think about anything else and has become completely possessed. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth shows himself to be two-faced in this scene. During the time in which he is talking to himself, he is full of treachery and surprise. However when he turns and speaks again to Banquo, he is very acts innocently and claims that in the meantime he and Banquo should speak their "free hearts" to each other, which means that they will be in full honesty with each other. When this scene starts, Macbeth does not know who the witches are. During the course of the scene, the witches are responsible for sparking Macbeth's murderous ambition to become king. The witches seem to have control over Macbeth. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also say that for Macbeth, "sleep shall neither night nor day". This means that he will soon have problems sleeping. The witches know exactly what's going to happen, as if they have planned out Macbeth's course of action. There is, in this scene, a huge contrast between the honest noble Banquo, and the murderous treacherous Macbeth. Macbeth says that "time and the hour runs through the roughest day", meaning that this day as been long and nasty, filled with evil thoughts. In comparison, Banquo is untroubled and as managed to hold out against the persuasive powers of the witches. He shows this through phrases like "worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure" and very gladly", showing that he is composed relaxed and temperate. Peter Hardie 08/05/2007 ...read more.

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