Macbeth Dagger Of The Mind Analysis

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Macbeth 's renowned declamation at the opening of this act familiarizes a vital theme: visions and hallucinations caused by guilt. The "dagger of the mind" that Macbeth perceives is not "ghostly" or supernatural so much as a demonstration of the internal brawl that Macbeth feels as he envisages the regicide. It "marshal[s] [him] the way [he] was going," swaying him toward the gruesome action he has determined to obligate, haunting and possibly also provoking him (II i 42). The identical can be said for the ghostly voice that Macbeth hears after he kills Duncan. Indeed, practically all the supernatural elements in this play could be, and habitually are, read as psychological rather than ghostly incidences. The "dagger of the mind" is only one…show more content…
In scene 4, for example, Ross reports that "by the clock ‘tis day, / And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp" (II iv 6-7). This appearance of the blackness throttling the light of day is a atmospheric manifestation of the murder of Duncan; the light of nature is asphyxiated just as Duncan 's life is smothered. The old man defines Duncan 's noble horses eating each other and an owl eating a falcon, occasions that reverberation the massacre of Duncan by Macbeth. Hence the abnormal death of Duncan nosedives the country into both physical and spiritual chaos. The image of an owl hunting a falcon is a chunk of a superior outline of symbolism surrounding birds in the play. When Duncan approaches Inverness in Act 1, for example, he comments on the martlets that he sees nesting on the castle walls. He takes this as a good sign, martlets are lucky birds. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, references previously in this extract that there are ravens croaking on the battlements. She takes this as a forerunner of Duncan 's death. Duncan, the naïve visionary, sees lucky birds, however Lady Macbeth sees threatening ones. One symbol does not discount the other: for Duncan, "fair" comes to be "foul" as the lucky martlets mutate into the lethal
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