Macbeth Descent into Madness in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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Macbeth’s Descent Into Madness

In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the character Macbeth descends into madness. Macbeth’s descent into madness first started with the witch’s prediction. If he had never met the witches none of this trouble would have occurred.

Macbeth is seen as a “valiant cousin, worthy gentleman” (I, ii, 24). He is a brave warrior who is well respected in his community, until the witches prophesied to him that he would one day be king (I, iii, 50). Macbeth interprets that he must act to fulfill the prophecy. He sends a letter to lady Macbeth asking what to do. She suggests that he should kill Duncan. Macbeth follows the plan and kills Duncan (II, ii, 15). Directly following the murder Macbeth can no longer say amen
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Saying death is better than life reinforces his suicidal thoughts and shows how he is descending into madness.

Macbeth makes an argument that nature doesn’t have an eternal copyright on Banquo and Fleance’s souls, and if they are going to die eventually they should die now (III, ii, 38). But in contrast he is saying that nature doesn’t have a copyright on his soul either and he will eventually die, why not now?

Macbeths shows very clear and severe symptoms of insanity when he sees Banquo’s ghost sitting in his place at the table (III, iiii, 39-40). Lady Macbeth rushes everyone out of the room and says he has sudden bursts of insanity and you’ll get used to them (III, iiii, 53-58). Further deepening the suspicion of insanity. Just after he sees Banquo’s ghost in his place at the table, the ghost returns and Macbeth says you are dead go back into the earth (III, iv, 93-96). Then he says that if the ghost took any other from than Banquo he wouldn’t be scared (III, iv, 99-107)

Macbeth has to murder more people to cover his tracks and secure his place as king (III, iiii, 135-140). He seems to value others lives much less than his own. Macbeth has already said that life is just a game and there is nothing serious in life (II, iii, 92-95). Macbeth orders assassins to kill Banquo and Fleance (III, I, 126-128) to try and secure his place as king. Lady Macbeth is so rapt with guilt that she tries to wash

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