Macbeth Commentary: Act V, Sc Iv

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Macbeth Commentary: Act V, sc IV This passage begins with Macbeth confidentially ordering his men to hang a banner on the outer walls of the caste, and declaring that he wouldn’t have hesitated to go fight the English army if he had enough men that hadn’t deserted him. At this point a scream of a woman is heard, and Seyton leaves to see the reason for the scream; while he is gone, Macbeth has a short soliloquy during which he declares he has almost forgotten what fear felt like. Once Seyton returns, he announces the death of Lady Macbeth, to which Macbeth reacts in an undisturbed and uncaring way answering solely that she should have died after. In the end, observing the different events that take place around him, Macbeth questions the meaning of life. The main purpose of this passage is to provide insight into the change that affects the character of Macbeth that before the end of the play looses all characteristics of a human being and appears as anesthetized. It also has the function of being the turning point, or climax of the play. The play characterized until this point by savaging and violent acts committed by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, mutates in the moments depicted by this passage which records: at first the death of Lady Macbeth and later the advancing moment of the death of Macbeth. The focus of this passage is that of depicting the transformation that has afflicted Macbeth, to the point that shocking is the cold response depicting his lack of interest after Lady Macbeth’s death. The whole passage is distinguished by dialogue between Seyton, a servant and Macbeth, which transforms the dialogue into a monologue during which he expresses his last thought about his life and about the cruelty and violence that has characterized it. To be noticed is Macbeth’s reflections on life: “but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour
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