Summary Of Macbeth's Soliloquy

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This extract is a soliloquy by Macbeth that takes place in the beginning of the second act of Shakespeare’s renowned tragedy: Macbeth. At this point in the play, Lady Macbeth has succeeded in coercing Macbeth into commit murder. Fueled by his ruthless ambition and need to prove his manhood, Macbeth is now just about to murder King Duncan in his sleep. These are the words he speaks while waiting for Lady Macbeth to ring a bell in signal for him to make his move.
This is very important as readers get an exclusive insight into Macbeth’s thoughts right before he begins the first of his series of murders. Not only does it help one understand his inner conflict, it also helps highlight the importance of this moment in the play, where it is the first
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Throughout the play, readers get a sense of the ongoing battle between Macbeth’s relentless greed for kingship and what he perceives as being morally wrong. This tussle serves to portray the traits of both his ambition and his flimsy moral values. In the beginning of the soliloquy, Macbeth hallucinates a dagger whose handle points towards his hand. The dagger, and its specific position, simply symbolizes the act of murder that Macbeth is about to commit, further helping to embolden the recurring theme of violence found throughout the play. “Come, let me hold you. (he grabs at the air in front of him without touching anything)” adds Macbeth. Here, Shakespeare beautifully uses personification of the dagger to symbolize macbeth’s ambition. He is willing to grab the dagger and kill his innocent king in order to achieve the throne. However, when he grabs the air he is left empty-handed, portraying how his troubled conscience keeps him from committing the horrid…show more content…
What readers perceive Macbeth to be in the beginning of the play is far from whom he really is, reinforcing that what we see is not always what we get. Appearance vs. reality is a subtle, underlying; but nevertheless important theme in Macbeth. Readers can observe this theme in Macbeth’s appearance contradicting with his character, or Lady Macbeth’s mask of innocence while greeting Duncan. “Is this a dagger I see in front of me, with its handle pointing toward my hand? (to the dagger) Come, let me hold you. (he grabs at the air in front of him without touching anything) I don’t have you but I can still see you….and you look as real as this other dagger that I’m pulling out now.” Shakespeare uses repetition to enforce the fact that: Macbeth can see the dagger and almost believes it is there, yet it is just a figment of his imagination. This serves to highlight that appearances can be deceiving and not all that one sees is as it

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