The Mask

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The Mask
In Emily Dickenson’s poem, “ I Like a Look of Agony,” the speaker suggests that no man can hide agony or convulsion forever, this suggestion can be admired in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, when Macbeth hides his true self behind a mask concealing his anguish and feigning security that leads his decisions to his ultimate downfall. Macbeth is a very polar character; both of his poles, loyalty and disloyalty, bravery and fear power, work together to form his true identity. At the beginning of the play, when the captain reports to King Duncan of Scotland, “for brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)/ … carved out his passage/ till he faced the slave” (1. 2. 18-23), when he describes the accounts that occurred in the battle with Norway, he introduces Macbeth as a faithful warrior who would fight with bravery for his country and king. Macbeth is a character who thinks before he acts. He is a character that is kept sane by honor; the moment he kills Duncan he looses his honor and reason. It is very noticeable that Macbeth is acting strange when the guards are suspected guilty of Duncan’s death, regretting, “I do repent me of my fury, that I did kill them” (2. 3. 124-125), he tries to hide his contribution in the murder while demonstrating how his emotion have taken over his reason, making it seem as if his anger and of treason of the guards imposed such a violent act. From this moment on Macbeth stops reflecting on his actions before carrying them out. Macbeth later in the play tries to follow Lady Macbeths advise, “look like th’ innocent flower, /but be the serpent under ‘t” (1. 5. 76-78); he invited his noble men to dinner, yet spies on each of their houses to observe them and react to any sign of treason. Macbeth preoccupies himself with fear of the loss of all his power after all the effort and assassinations he has committed. His insecurity makes him suffer. Even behind his thick mask, Macbeth cannot hide his true distress, his fear, all the time....
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