Macbeth

Page 1 of 9

Macbeth

By | April 2012
Page 1 of 9
Lady Macbeth, it would seem, is more controlled by fate than her husband; she will make the two chamberlains drunk on wine. Macbeth is forced to recognize her total lack of maternal sensitivities: "Bring forth men-children only; / For thy undaunted mettle should compose / Nothing but males." Macbeth feels the pressure of the impending "bloody business" and thereby has a vision of the murder instrument:

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? (2.1)

In Act 2, Scene 2, Lady Macbeth confesses to her husband that could not perform the murder because "Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done't." So Macbeth follows through with the killing. Immediately he is striken with guilt as he exclaims, looking on his hands, to his wife, "This is a sorry sight," and "I had most need of blessing." At this point Lady Macbeth reveals the direction of the play with her response: "These deeds must not be thought / After these ways; so, it will make us mad." The crime continues to haunt Macbeth: "Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more! / Macbeth does murder sleep'" and "'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor / Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.'" He acts as a type of his wife's subsequent reaction - where fate is leading -- when, alarmed by a knock at the door, he exclaims: "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?"

The next morning Macduff and Lennox arrive to awaken the king. Lennox relates the strange happenings of the evening:

The night has been unruly: where we lay,

Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say,

Lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death,

And prophesying...