Role of Visions and Hallucinations in Macbeth Essay examples

Role of Visions and Hallucinations in Macbeth Essay examples

Length: 1232 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth’s visions and hallucinations play a significant role and contribute to the development of his character. In the play Macbeth, a man is driven to murder his king and his companions after receiving a fairly ambiguous prophecy told by three witches. Although the witches triggered the series of events that later aid Macbeth’s descent into complete insanity, Macbeth is portrayed from the very beginning as a fierce and violent soldier. As the play goes on, several internal conflicts inside of Macbeth become clear. After he performs several bloody tasks, the madness inside of Macbeth is unmistakably visible to everyone around him. As a result of this insanity, he sees visions and hallucinations. Each time Macbeth hallucinates, he plunges further into insanity that is essentially caused by misguided ambition, dread and guilt. Macbeth has three key hallucinations that play a considerably important role in the development of his character: a dagger, the ghost of Banquo, and four apparitions while visiting the prophesying witches.
Macbeth’s first hallucination and sign of madness comes directly before his wife and he murder King Duncan. After hearing from the witches that he will become the king and conversing with his wife about this, the two of them decide they must kill Duncan. From the beginning of the play, we see Macbeth is a loyal warrior, albeit a vicious one with no trouble killing. It is in the first scene that Macbeth’s brutality is illustrated. An army captain reported:
“For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valor’s minion, carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne’er sh...


... middle of paper ...


.... His insanity was a result of ambition taken much too far, ambition mutated and converted into evil by internal as well as social conflict; Macbeth’s wife did nothing to prevent Macbeth’s sickness and actually helped the problem develop. From his ambition came actions that filled his mind with conflict, dread, suspicion and guilt. It could be said that Macbeth was insane from the beginning, from the moment that the witches appeared to him in the third scene of the play or even from when he carved out his bloody passage in battle. Whether Macbeth was insane his whole life or just from the moment he first saw the imaginary dagger, it is indisputable that his visions and hallucinations only helped to supplement his lunacy.




Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth. Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1915. Google Books. Web. 3 Sept. 2015.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The supernatural plays a huge role in the play of Macbeth. There are many different types of supernatural occurrences that take place in this play such as with witches, apparitions, and hallucinations. The supernatural affect all of the characters in the play in different ways, their different personalities often lead to different outcomes then were possibly intended. The witches in Macbeth play a huge role in the story but many people argue about what that role is. Some say that the witches planted the desire to be king into Macbeth's head, while others say that he already had the desire and the witches were just confirming what he already wanted to do....   [tags: witches, murder, visions]

Strong Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

- Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth The play Macbeth is well known for its abundant use of imagery. Imagery is used for numerous reasons such as to convey certain visions to the audience and to give life to the play. One major use of imagery can be seen with the character of Lady Macbeth. Her characterization is strongly dependent on imagery and progresses dramatically with the advancement of the play. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is introduced as a dominant, controlling, heartless wife with an obsessive ambition to achieve kingship for her husband....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

How Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are Influenced by the Supernatural in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

- How Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are Influenced by the Supernatural in Macbeth by William Shakespeare In Shakespeare’s time witches were believed to have many powers. They were believed to talk to the devil, the dead and evil spirits. They were believed to predict the future (act 1. Scene 1 – ‘When shall we three meet again in thunder lightning or in rain?’) and change the weather. People thought they could fly throuhg air and make themselves invisible at will. People also thought they could kill or make them fall ill at a distance....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

The Hallucination of the Macbeths Essay

- In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, there are many motifs that enhance the play. A motif is a recurring object, concept, or structure in a work of literature. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s hallucination motif demonstrates Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s progression to insanity with various visions. Throughout the play, as the body count adds up, both Macbeth and lady Macbeth Begin to hallucinate. Shakespeare demonstrates the overwhelming guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth through their hallucinations of the floating dagger, the dead Banquo, and the bloody hands....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature]

Strong Essays
697 words (2 pages)

Play: Macbeth, by William Shakespeare Essay

- The play Macbeth contains many hallucinations. The hallucinations in the play were trying to make the characters realize the things they were doing was wrong. It is making them conscious of their miss doings. I believe this story is to teach people that they should do the right things at all time because if not there conscious will hunt them down. Throughout the play Macbeth there is a couple of characters hallucinating about so many scenes going on in this play. Here are the things they hallucinate about in this play....   [tags: Role of Hallucinations]

Strong Essays
1282 words (3.7 pages)

Cause and Effect of my Hallucinations Essay

- The cause and effect of drugs seems like an easy topic to write about, you take drugs to get high and the effect is that it screws up your life. Well, thats just stating the obvious. My story is slightly more unique than that. I started drugs because I was not satisfied with the everyday life. Life was just too boring and routine for me. My sophomore year of high school I discovered my brother's ADHD medication, Adderal. My first experiences with Adderal were pure satisfaction. Take enough of the drug and you will sit in one spot for 8 hours talking your head off and it will feel as if it was only one hour....   [tags: Cause and Effect, Hallucinations, ]

Strong Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

The Consequences of Macbeth's Imagination Essay

- In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth constructs a ploy to become king by having King Duncan murdered. Macbeth then frequently experiences strange visions and thoughts driven by his imagination as he is going insane. These experiences play a large role in slowly deteriorating Macbeth’s mental sanity and life. Macbeth is proclaimed Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and “King hereafter” when he first has an encounter with the three witches (I, iii, 50). Macbeth became Thane of Glamis with Sinel’s death and then became Thane of Cawdor after the previous Thane of Cawdor was overthrown, but Macbeth did not know why he was declared to be “King hereafter” by the witches....   [tags: murder, visions, paranoia]

Strong Essays
745 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Role of Lady Macbeth

- In this essay I am going to discuss the role of Lady Macbeth. First I will be giving a quick summary of Macbeth, discuss the main themes and issues, analyse the text, analyse the character of Lady Macbeth, discuss the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, write about the strengths and weaknesses of Lady Macbeth, I am going to debate if Lady Macbeth is evil or good, talk about the reason why Shakespeare created the character Lady Macbeth, discuss the misogynistic views in the play, discuss demonology written by king James and finally talk about the adoptions of the directors....   [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]

Strong Essays
3187 words (9.1 pages)

Role of Ambition in Macbeth Essay

- The play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare is based upon old Scotland and this is used as the general time frame. During this time, Monarchy still existed and Scotland is in war with Whales. There are many emotions that arise throughout the play, but the most important of all is ambition. “Ambition is the desire for personal achievement. Ambitious persons seek to be the best at what they choose to do for attainment, power, or superiority” (“Ambition”). The motif of ambition in the play is that being ambitious leaves one blind to certain areas and can drive one insane to reach the intended goal....   [tags: Ambition, Shakespeare, Macbeth]

Strong Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

The Role of Lady Macbeth Essay

-     The female roles in William Shakespeare's Macbeth are those of the witches, more supernatural than human, Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff, the latter being presented in a minor, almost insignificant way. This paper will explore the role of Lady Macbeth and only make slight comment on the witches. Fanny Kemble in "Lady Macbeth" finds that the main female role could have ended in madness due to the evil tendencies of the lady: Lady Macbeth, even in her sleep, has no qualms of conscience; her remorse takes none of the tenderer forms akin to repentance, nor the weaker ones allied to fear, from the pursuit of which the tortured soul, seeking where to hide itself, not seldom escapes into the...   [tags: Macbeth Essays]

Strong Essays
1964 words (5.6 pages)