Macbeth Passage Analysis

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Passage 1
The context of this scene is after Macbeth received his promotion to Thane of Cawdor and he sent a letter to his wife Lady Macbeth, who was at Macbeth’s castle. A messenger gave Lady Macbeth a letter written by Macbeth which described his promotion to Thane of Cawdor. This promotion is ultimately what this excerpt of passage is referring to along with Lady Macbeth’s desire for her husband to further advance up the ranks and seize the crown, which King Duncan currently holds. In this passage, which contains Lady Macbeth’s famous, “Unsex me speech,” Lady Macbeth shakes off her femininity in order to do the dirty work require to overthrow Duncan and install Macbeth as King. Lady Macbeth’s determination to reach this end for her husband is
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Macbeth is thinking about the implications of assassinating the King and potential consequences of such an act. Lady Macbeth planted the idea into Macbeth in order for Macbeth to ponder such things implied in the idea of assassination of the King. In the beginning of Macbeth’s soliloquy, Macbeth turns over the idea of punishment for such an act in his mind and brings up the point of having punishment in “the life to come.” (Shakespeare 288) even if he gets away with the act on Earth. He then tries to find reason to kill Duncan besides his own ambitions for power and cannot find any reason as he says that he is Duncan’s kinsman and should “shut the door [on the murderer], / Not bear the knife myself.” (Shakespeare 288). He also brings up the point that Duncan is a benevolent king ant that “tears shall drown the wind.” (Shakespeare 288) if King Duncan dies. This passage shows Macbeth’s ego as id and superego, which, in this case, are ambition for power and civility respectively, is at play and influencing his upcoming actions, along with Lady Macbeth’s

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