In Scene One of Act Two (in anticipating the murder of Duncan) guilt takes its hold ND Macbeth falls into a state of psychosis, losing his ability to discern reality from the fantastical and when left in the solitary company of his mind, Macbeth is confronted with the “fatal vision” of a dagger. The conflict between guilt and ambitious desire becomes overt, “come, let me clutch thee / I have thee not and yet I see thee still” indicates the longing for such a symbol of power, masculinity and security, but a frustration over its inaccessibility – which antithetically has power over him – a condition described by the line, “thou marshal’s me”.
The very fact that Macbeth soliloquies and addresses the dagger as another intelligent being both demonstrates the fight for mental control, and also marks the tragic unlikelihood of victory. After efforts towards rational explanation – exampled by Machete’s suggestion that the supernatural dagger may be a hallucination of a fevered or “heat- oppressed brain” – Macbeth is seen to retreat into the ramblings of a cry for some unholy fortification/ faith in Machete’s self is breached by such horrifically Gothic visions as “gout’s of blood”. O’er one half-world, nature seems dead”, not only ascribes the terrific cloak of night, under which the unhallowed can thrive, but also expresses dread for the irreparable loss of order, as the natural and divine right of Duncan (Shakespearean obsequious reflection of James l) will be usurped and for the disintegration of Machete’s ‘natural’ mind. Macbeth fears divine Judgment – “hear not my steps” – and seems to be threatened by some self-induced state of paranoia: “for fear thy very stones prate of my whereabouts “.
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H e eventually comes full-circle, to be once again faced with that persistent conflict between his ambitious need for action – “while I threat, he lives” – and the inescapable moral limits of the human mind – “words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives”. At this point, Machete’s character can be easily compared to that of a modern Gothic protagonist: he is foreshadowed by doom, he is driven by a consuming passion, he bears a tendency to be moved by past occurrences, and he is made untrustworthy by his divided and contrasting nature.
This is what partly what makes Macbeth such an applicable character to modern theatre and film. Machete’s ability to escape suspicion begins to weaken, as he becomes less sociably imputable and more focused on his own fate. This process can be observed in Act Two, Scene Three, when he forms an eerily inhuman and wildly overacted speech to announce before Donaldson (Dunce’s son), the death of his father, the king. There’s nothing serious in morality. All is but toys”. In this instance, his character becomes chilling. Upon first glance, this appears to be a hyperbole, a lament for the loss of a king. Though, there is the tension (or dramatic irony) created by the quite plausible possibility that Macbeth earnestly believes in the literal meaning of the statement. At east, it is true that he tries to make himself believe it.
The general obsequiousness and obvious lack of authenticity makes the equivocal speech so haunting. He continues with an addition of blunt and infelicitous humor, when Macbeth replies to Donation’s question, “What is amiss? ” with, Mimi are, and do not knows”. One lie leads to another, and Macbeth attempts to Justify not only his poor commitment to and management of virtues, “Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious, loyal and neutral, in a moment.
No man”, but also the murder of Dunce’s guards. The oxymoron, Molten love” almost summarizes Machete’s martin, and by no means Justifies the “breach in nature” that is, regicide. Malcolm and Donaldson however, are not fooled by the speech, and decide to flee in fear of being murdered, showing Just how void Macbeth is of communicative abilities, externalities his internal unfamiliarity with the nature of humanity, and the possibly nature of himself.
Macbeth grows increasingly troubled, and (in Act Three, Scene Two) spills his honest feelings before his wife, Lady Macbeth. He feels that it is impossible to go on living a normal life under what was believed by Jacobean to be ordure from one’s conscious – Insomnia: “In the affliction of these terrible dreams / That shake us nightly’ Within this scene, references to nature are notable, stressing the authority of divine, and the chain of being.
For example, “full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife” is so powerful since the sting of a scorpion is often fatal, and the terror evoked by such imagery, exacerbated by the fear of the unknown or exotic (a typical element of modern Gothic literature) helps us to stand, for a moment, in Machete’s shoes – though the feeling is never quite comprehensible. His mind is full f poisonous ideas and filled with ‘evilness’, and perhaps it is implied that he is in severe pain – emotional, physical, or both) because of this, and Shakespeare presents this in such a way in which we are almost pushed to sympathy.
There are even more ‘nature’ references when Macbeth says, “Ere the bat hath flown his cloistered flight; ere to black Haste’s summons / The shard-born beetle, with his drowsy hums”. As one can see, bat and shard-born beetle metaphors Join the supernatural and the evil with the natural and earthly, and the audience are threatened by this corruption of tauter. Macbeth is becoming more and more detached from the Christian morality and, towards the end of Scene Two, it is important to note Macbeth saying, “And, with thy bloody and invisible hand, / Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond / Which keeps me pale”.
The word “bond” reflects Lady Machete’s desire to change her sex in Act One, and now Macbeth tries to get rid of his links to humanity. Macbeth seeks to become cold blooded and isolate himself from feelings of guilt, in order to feel only ambition. This also symbolizes the start of Macbeth moving slowly towards his tragic destiny. There are two rhyming couplets at the end of the scene where Macbeth says, “Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, / Whiles Night’s black agents to their preys do rouse. / Thou Marseille’s at my words: but hold thee still. Things bad began make strong themselves by ill”. These four lines contain end rhymes and it is important to note this talking style relates closely to the witches in Act One and this further suggests Macbeth is overpowered by evilness. However, it is therefore hard to view Macbeth as inherently evil, or even fully responsible for his actions, when you consider the influence of Lady Macbeth and the here witches, and the fact that Macbeth was in no way thinking straight, especially if you consider the dagger and Banquet’s ghost as hallucinations.