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Analysis of Macbeth's Soliloquy (Act 1 Scene 7)
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Analysis of Macbeth's Soliloquy (Act 1 Scene 7) By Edward Chan
Exuding the underlying reflections of Macbeth's psyche, the soliloquy represents the outpouring of confusion and conscience, adding to our insight into Macbeth's obscure persona. At the opening of the play, we have a strong impression of Macbeth as a 'worthy gentleman', with Duncan referring to him as 'noble Macbeth'. Though, this becomes untenable with ironic juxtaposition when we witness Macbeth's intent to murder Duncan for the 'golden round'. Macbeth's soliloquy better elucidates this complex character, providing a more comprehensive basis for our judgement.
Incongruous to the courage and physical strength Macbeth displayed on the battlefield 'unseam[ing Macduff] from the nave to th'chaps', he is weak and vacillating in his soliloquy. Macbeth emanates an atmosphere of confusion and anxiety suggested by the rapid overlapping movement of imagery that reflects the swift intuitive movement in his mind. The concept of spurring a horse is overtaken by that of vaulting, and 'heaven's cherubin' riding the winds, 'the sightless couriers of the air' merges into the winds themselves and 'blow[s] the horrid deed in every eye'. It follows that Macbeth is irresolute about whether he should 'commit the deed'.
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