Hallucinations In Macbeth

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Mrs. Mullally English/7th 9 December 2010 Macbeth Essay Shakespeare’s play Macbeth has a reoccurring motif of hallucinations and visions. Characters such as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have hallucinations that cause them to differentiate between fantasy and reality. There are three specific scenes in which the Macbeths are intruded with visions. The first was when Macbeth sees a dagger floating in a hallway. The second was when he sees Banquo’s ghost on his throne at the banquet. The third was when Lady Macbeth was sleepwalking through the hallways of the castle. These three events lead the Macbeths to believe…show more content…
It is ironic because when Lady Macbeth enters, the doctor and gentlewoman are discussing her ailment of sleepwalking. Lady Macbeth starts telling them about the murders of Banquo and Lady Macduff. She tells the gentlewoman that her murdering hand will always smell like blood; “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!”(5.1.51-53). This quote also means that the guilt will never leave her. Lady Macbeth then tells about Banquo and says, “Look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on’s grave” (5.1.64-65). When Lady Macbeth leaves, the doctor tells the gentlewoman that, “Infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets” and that Lady Macbeth needs a Priest not a doctor (5.1.50-51). When the doctor says “infected minds,” it means guilt. He is telling the gentlewoman that she is confessing her guilt and secrets while she sleeps. The three scenes that involve visions and hallucination are all related in one way: they all show supernatural signs of the Macbeths’ guilt. Each scene reveals a different guilt of a crime that one has committed. First Macbeth sees the dagger that he will use to kill Duncan. Then, he sees the ghost of Banquo who he had murdered. Last, Lady Macbeth was confessing her sins in a sleepwalking trance. The three scenes are important because they demonstrate a theme in the play. Word Count:
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