In my essay I try to explain the process in which Macbeth begins to go insane. The majority of the quotes I use are his and his wife’s. I explain each quote, and then talk about what is happening in each act underneath.
In Act 1 scene 4 line 149-155 Macbeth says “give me your favor. My dull brain wrought with things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains are registered where every day I turn the leaf to read them. Let us toward the king. Think upon what hath chanced, and at more time, our interim having weighed it, let us speak our free hearts to each other.” He is basically stating that he wants to help his kind friends if they ever need it, and that he wants to be able to speak with them freely, with them doing so in return. He is declaring his loyalty to the king and these men, and acting as though they are his main priorities.
In Act 1 scene 5 line 64-68 Lady Macbeth says to Macbeth “Look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t. He that’s coming must be provided for; and you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch, which shall to all our nights and days to come give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.” Lady Macbeth is hinting to Macbeth that he should kill Duncan. She’s pushing forward with this idea that his death will bring them power and happiness, and that what more could they ask for than an opportunity for leadership.
In Act 1 scene 7 line 12-16, and line 25-28 Macbeth says “He’s here in double trust: first, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself…I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the’ other-“ Macbeth is debating weather or not he should kill Duncan. He feels as though the deed is malicious and two faced, but at the same time he is being driven by his great ambition to get what he (thinks he) deserves. He ends his speech on a self-ambitious note, but is interrupted. To me it seems like he is slowly leaning towards doing the deed.
In Act 2 scene 2, 47-53 Lady Macbeth says “Why worth thane, do you undend your noble strength to think so brainsickly of things. Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hand. Why did you bring these daggers from the place? They must lie there: go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood.”
Lady Macbeth is a little annoyed with Macbeth’s lack of confidence. He’s acting weird, and not doing things according to plan. This worries lady Macbeth, and she tells Macbeth to go back and do things right, he is too scared though because he doesn’t want to have any part in what he’s done…he is too traumatized.
In Act 2 scene 2 line 61-66 Lady Macbeth says: “Whence is that knocking? How is’t that with me when every noise appalls me? What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.” In this scene, Macbeth begins to say weird things. Lady Macbeth is confused, and he is acting completely freaked out. Macbeth begins to say things that don’t make sense, and begins to show fear and remorse for his actions. He has just heard a knock, and begins to talk about how he’s spooked, and he is talking about how no amount of water could ever clean the blood off of his hands. The deed he did was forever, and he cannot take it back.
In Act 2 scene 3 line 89-94 Macbeth says “Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant there’s nothing serious in mortality: All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead, the wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees is left this vault to brag of.” Macbeth is covering himself. He is pretending that he is upset and distressed by the murder of Duncan. He wonders who it could be, and why anyone would do such a thing to their worthy wonderful king but in reality, he is just pretending and hiding behind his own words, for Macbeth is the killer.
In act 3 scene 2 line 7-10 Lady Macbeth says “Nought’s had, all’s spent, Where our desire is got without content: Tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy” Lady Macbeth feels like they’ve done enough harm. In this quote she is saying that which they desired didn’t make them feel any happier. She is also implying that she would rather pretend nothing ever happened than to keep trying to find meaningless happiness, and she hopes Macbeth calms down back into the man he used to be. She is implying that Macbeth’s mind is starting to change.
In act 3 scene 4 line Macbeth says to the first murdered “Thou art the best o’ the cut-throats: yet he’s good that did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it, Thou art the nonpareil” What Macbeth is doing here is he is bringing his trickery and bribery to a new level. He is trying to make the murderer feel good about himself for doing his dirty deeds, when in reality the only person he is fooling is himself. Lady Macbeth’s worries about Macbeth only become realer and realer.
In act 4 scene 1 Macbeth says “how now, you secret, black, and midnight hags! What is’t you do” Macbeth is beginning to loose his mind to the point where he resorts to talking to the witches who brought him his prophecies and problems in the past. Macbeth later continues on to yell at the witches because he doesn’t want them to keep ruining his life.
In act 5 scene 3 line 3-9 Macbeth says “Bring me no more reports; let them fly all: Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane, I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm? Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know all mortal consequences have pronounced me thus: ‘fear not, Macbeth; no man that’s born of woman Shall e’er have power upon thee’. Then fly, false thanes, And mingle with the English epicures: The mind I sway by and then the heart I bear shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear. In this quote he is starting to panic because there is chance of someone else taking his spot on the throne. Macbeth is shaken, and has forgotten completely who he was. Macbeth is officially insane.