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What do we learn about Macbeth(TM)s changing state of mind in Act 1 Scene 7(lines 1-28); Act 2 Scene 1(lines 33-64) and Act 5 Scene 5(lines 18-27)?

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Introduction

What do we learn about Macbeth's changing state of mind in Act 1 Scene 7(lines 1-28); Act 2 Scene 1(lines 33-64) and Act 5 Scene 5(lines 18-27)? Macbeth's 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 Duncan's room and, as the soliloquy goes on, appears to have blood all over it. This is Macbeth's sub-conscious warning him not to kill Duncan. Finally, in Macbeth's last soliloquy in Act 5 Scene 5, Macbeth is regretting killing Duncan, Banquo and Macduff's 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 Macbeth's castle and he has so far played the humble guest. ...read more.

Middle

By Macbeth's 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 dagger's hilt pointing toward him, the blade points towards Duncan's 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 Macbeth's 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. ...read more.

Conclusion

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. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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