murder gone mad

779 Words2 Pages
In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth, murders King Duncan with the assistance of his devious wife, Lady Macbeth. Although they get away with the murder, they are unable to omit the feeling of remorse, although it affects them in different ways, the outcome is similar for both characters. It is obvious to the reader that killing Duncan inflicted the character’s odd behaviors and unstable mental state because of Shakespeare’s use of imagery related to illness. An example of Shakespeare using imagery related to illness to enforce the idea of mental deterioration in both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is the quote, “Macbeth does murder sleep, innocent sleep, chief nourisher in life’s feast.” (Page 45) This quote distinguishes that Macbeth is not only murdering King Duncan, but also the innocence tied to sleep, by ruining the chief nouisher, the reader can infer that characters in the play will fall ill because of Macbeth’s dark deed. Ironically, the characters that murdered sleep are the characters that become ill, not physically, but mentally. “These deeds must not be thought of after these ways, it will make us mad.” (Page 45) is another example of Shakespeare using imagery pertaining to illness to reinforce the idea of loss of sanity in the main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This quote makes it conspicuous to the reader that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are aware that feeling guilty about the murder will lead to an ailing mind. This quote also reminds the reader that guilt is often followed by mental illness, foreshadowing the mental deterioration of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s minds. Shakespeare uses imagery pertaining to illness in the play when describing Macbeth to make it evident that he is mentally ill. ... ... middle of paper ... ...onstantly, due to the fact that it was abnormal behavior. It is apparent through the repetition of lines previously spoken directly after Duncan’s murder that Lady Macbeth feels guilty about the murder; the doctor reinforces the idea that Duncan’s murder leads her to an ill mind. It is obvious through Shakespeare’s use of imagery through illness that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth become ill due to feeling an immense amount of guilt about the murder of King Duncan. Shakespeare uses lines that foreshadow their consequence of the gruesome deed, he uses words related to illness when describing Macbeth, and shows Lady Macbeth’s corrupted mind through lines aforesaid directly after the murder of Duncan. These uses of imagery through illness make it perceptible to the reader that murdering King Duncan is the reason that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are left with deranged minds.
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