Before Macbeth’s entanglement in bloody deeds, Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as rational. When he first encounters the three witches, he says, “Speak if you can. What are you?” (1.3.50). “Speak if you can” is an imperative sentence, giving a direct command to the witches. By giving a command, he wants to show that he is still in control and deserves respect. On the other hand “what are you?” is an interrogative sentence, asking them a question. His expression of curiosity in this situation shows that he is able to maintain his social interaction. As a result, Shakespeare uses this syntax to demonstrate Macbeth’s sane state of mind. An insane person is often unable to maintain composure in many ways including their language. In this case, Macbeth keeps his equanimity to the standard level. After Duncan announces that Malcolm will be heir to the throne, Macbeth says to himself:
Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. (1.4.57-60)
In this use of personification, “stars, hind your fires”, Macbeth gives the stars an instruction by commanding them to hide his evilness. If the stars shows their fires, his “black and deep desire” to claim Scotland will be rev...
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...first priority. Whatever is the first priority of his heart will be the first priority of his hand. The use of the word “heart” is significant because he is simply thinking with his emotions and not with his mind. He will immediately do something as soon as his emotions suggest it. He will not stop to think anymore, unlike a rational person who would contemplate his actions before he acts.
The development in Macbeth’s lunacy is emphasized by Shakespeare’s usage of figurative language and word order. He is still rational when he is not involved with the treacherous actions against his nation. By contrast, once Macbeth comes into contact with the murderous acts, Shakespeare’s description of Macbeth’s changes to that he is lose this mental control. By doing all these bad deeds, this leads Macbeth to commit more malevolent sins and eventually ends up turning psychotic.
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