Macbeth Hallucinations

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Desires of the Subconscious
In the tragedy, Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses motifs as a way to portray several different underlined themes of his work. Of the numerous themes, one in particular is applied throughout the entire story, this motif being hallucinations. Even while mans conscious is actively thinking, his subconscious is also thinking. It is thinking about the true desires of ones heart. The subconscious also thinks about guilt and what it wants to forget about. These two ideas of the subconscious come alive in this tragedy through hallucinations.

In the beginning of the tragedy, Macbeth receives a prophecy that he will become king. His aspiration for becoming king clouds his conscience. He desires to become king so much that he and Lady Macbeth create a plan to murder Duncan and take his power. While they are carrying out the plan, Macbeth sees something in front of him. This is further shown in the quote, “Is this a dagger which I see before me. the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have 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 a heat-oppressèd brain?" (2.1.33-39) This hallucination is particularly interesting. At this point in the tragedy, Macbeth is having second thoughts about murdering Duncan. As he hallucinates of a bloody dagger pointing towards Duncan’s room, it shows the reader that he is yearning to become king so badly that he would murder for it. Though the reader doesn’t see this from Macbeth’s exterior emotions, it is depicted through his subconscious.

In the next act, Macbeth kills his best friend, Banquo, because he is becoming suspicious of the murder. Shakespeare shows Macbeth growing guilty of this act through another illusion in the quote, “ If I stand here, I saw him... Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ th’ olden time, Ere humane statue purged the gentle weal; Ay, and since too,...
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