Visions, mirages, and hallucinations are notorious for deceiving people. They are usually caused by deficiencies for the mind. In the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth’s hallucinations cause him to feel immense criminality and trepidation, ultimately leading to a complete transformation of Macbeth’s personality.
Macbeth’s first hallucination leads him down a rabbit-hole of misfortune. At this time in the play, Macbeth is contemplating if he should kill Duncan, the king, or not. He is thoughtfully weighing the pros and cons. “Is this a dagger which I see before me...A dagger of the mind, a false creation,” Macbeth hallucinates a dagger, which leads Macbeth towards Duncan’s quarters (2.1.610-616). Macbeth is not afraid of the dagger, but curious. The dagger is a symbol of the impending death of Duncan. Once Macbeth kills Duncan, he realizes exactly what he’s just done. “Will all great Neptune 's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand,” Macbeth can never forget and will never forgive himself for this murder of a kinsman(2.2.724-725). Graduate student Selma Mehovic argues that Macbeth “...is so drunk with ambition that he is no longer aware of what he is doing,” Macbeth really wants to become king, but he does not realize he will have to do dishonorable things to achieve his goal. Macbeth only realizes what he has done after it is over and irreversible. A former professor at the University of California, Lilly Campbell argues “After the murder of Duncan, the whole play is motivated by the increasing passion of fear,” MacBeth continually makes decisions based on his fear for certain things (131).
Macbeth’s next hallucination reveals his extreme feeling of guilt. ...
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...cking to his vision telling him to fear none other than those not of woman born. “...Macduff was from his mother 's womb Untimely ripp 'd,” MacDuff unleashes this knowledge bomb on Macbeth (5.8.2493-2494). He is what Macbeth has feared more than anything else. Macbeth wants to avoid MacDuff but, also does not want to sacrifice his life. Macbeth continues to fight, but in the end, he lost. Macbeth trusting the witches and adopting one perspective of what he has learned leads to his demise at MacDuff’s hand.
The way Macbeth reacts and interprets all of his hallucinations leads him to become a cynical king, that rules in fear. All of his hallucinations change his personality drastically. He was once an honorable man who would never commit a crime against his country or kinsman, however, after his hallucinations he had become a terrorizing figure that most feared.
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