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Macbeth: Disease and Illness

ENG 2D1. 2012.

Kelly Hao

on 15 July 2013

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Transcript of Macbeth: Disease and Illness

There are many references to diseases and illnesses within Shakespeare's Macbeth. They may represent actual illnesses (both mental and physical) or can be used to enhance different meanings or themes, such as immorality or wickedness. When Lady Macbeth and Macbeth kill the king, they are overridden by disease and illness. In Macbeth's rule, he causes the state of Scotland to also become diseased, as his ruling results in despair and devastation.
Disease and Illness
By: Kelly & Violet
Many literary devices are used within Shakespeare's Macbeth to develop the atmosphere and character.
What does it mean?
develops atmosphere: shows the state of the country
mood of conversation (as well as country) is in despair for what is being done
the country "bleeds" and "weeps" as it disturbed and sick
action must be taken against Macbeth to change atmosphere of country
Macbeth's rule causes despair for country and its people
"a gash added to her wounds" refers to the sickening of the country, it grows deeper in its misery as Macbeth continues to rule Scotland
rising action
building up to climax
Literary devices included are:

These devices are useful as they...
are attention-grabbing
are catchy
give detailed description
show the extent of Macbeth's tyranny
show why Malcolm must attack Macbeth to overtake Scotland
Macbeth laughs to himself once he is aware of Malcolm's attack. He was previously told by the weird sisters that he will only be defeated by a forest and since that seems impossible, he has no worries. However, he is unaware that Malcolm's army is using the forest as camouflage, therefore Macbeth IS attacked by a 'forest'.
"The cry is still, 'They come.': our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up"
Literary devices included are:
alliteration (
iege to
situational irony
dramatic irony

These devices are useful as they...
show Macbeth's extreme misjudgment of his fate and the situation at hand
demonstrate Macbeth's sense of false security and confidence
show the weird sisters' double meanings
What does it mean?
shows Macbeth's calmness and frivolity as he believes any effort made to stop him is futile ("our castle's strength/ Will laugh a siege to scorn")
insinuates the siege will be so pitiful that it's amusing
the atmosphere thus far is confidence and security for Macbeth
reap what you sow (karma)
the irony of Macbeth's betrayal as he will soon realize the weird sisters deceived him (like Macbeth's betrayal to the king)
lured into false sense of security so even more havoc will be caused
this is the climax, the turning point in which it is realized that Macbeth is not invincible and he will be defeated
"Till famine and ague eat them up"
Macbeth assumes he is safe and the siege will hold, as suggested by this phrase
Macbeth is cursing them, saying they can stay out there to rot until diseases (or other natural causes) kill them
by his method of thinking, any man against him can be eaten by famine (sickness and eventual death)
After a discussion with the doctor concerning Lady Macbeth, Macbeth discusses his distaste of the English.
"If though couldst, doctor, cast
The water of my land, find her disease
And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
I would applaud thee to the very echo,
That should applaud again. Pull't off, I say.
What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug,
Would scour these English hence?"
Literary devices included are:
symbol (disease=English)
repetition (applaud)

These devices are useful as they...
show the extent of Macbeth's hatred for the English
demonstrate how thankful he would be to rid Scotland of them
personifies his land and makes it seem as if 'she' is sick
insinuates Scotland would be healthy (more prosperous, better, less "diseased") without the English
show Macbeth's cluelessness at how
his rule
is the cause for Scotland's state of illness
What does this mean?
the atmosphere of Scotland would be "pristine" and perfect with the English gone
"cast/ The water of my land" means to analyze the urine to diagnose the "disease" which in Macbeth's opinion, is the English
"purge it to a sound and pristine health" suggests to "scour" all the English in order for Scotland to be healthy once again
committing genocide
however, the English are thinking of the same thing, that Macbeth is the illness that Scotland needs to be cured of
ridding Scotland of the English is a task that should be "applauded," suggesting it's commendable
in the beginning, Macbeth felt so much remorse at even the thought of murdering King Duncan, but now he wishes to commit genocide against the English since they've risen up against him
This quotation shows how much the murder has affected Macbeth.
"Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams
That shake us nightly"
What does this mean?
Macbeth feels guilty
he has trouble sleeping
he is fearful
In this quotation Macbeth sees Banquo's spirit which shows how mentally unstable he is about the murder.
"Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me"
What does this mean?
he is mentally ill
he is guilty
he is remorseful
Literary devices used are:
imagery (gory locks)
These devices are useful as they...
show how much the murder has gotten to Macbeth, making him so ill he thinks he sees Banquo's ghost
This quotation shows that Lady Macbeth is mentally ill because of the murder.
How does your patient, doctor?
Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick coming fancies,
That keep her from her rest.
Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorry,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?"
What does this mean?
Lady Macbeth is mentally ill
Macbeth wants her to be treated
Literary devices used are:
alliteration (
inister to a
ind diseased)
These devices are useful as they...
put an emphasis to Macbeth's desire to have his wife healthy again
Macbeth wants Lady Macbeth cured in any way possible and wants her to not feel guilty over the murder
Macduff, aware of Macbeth's tyranny, flees to England to meet with Malcolm. During their meeting, Malcolm explains the terrible state of the country to Macduff.
"I think our country sinks beneath the yoke;
It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds"
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Crazy Frog. Digital image. Crazy Frog. Last.fm Ltd, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <http://www.last.fm/music/Crazy+Frog>.
Shakespeare, William, and Eugene M. Waith. The tragedy of Macbeth;. [Rev. ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954. Print.
Works Cited Page
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