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A VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF MACBETH'S JOURNEY - THE HERO ON T

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Vitalik Mazur

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of A VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF MACBETH'S JOURNEY - THE HERO ON T

A VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF MACBETH'S JOURNEY - THE HERO ON THE QUEST
by Vitaliy Mazur
Moral Decline

“Glamis, and thane of Cawdor!
The greatest is behind!” (1,3,124-125)

This quotation demonstrates a moral decline because Macbeth is ruminating about the possibility that he might be King in the future. In the Elizabethan World it was wrong to even assume about one becoming a king, because the king is a representative of God on earth and can never be disturbed.

Moral Decline and a Moment of Redemption

“Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme.
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill; cannot be good: If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.”( 1,3,136-147).

In this quotation, Macbeth goes through his second moral decline, but he also has a moment of redemption. It is evident that Macbeth is intrigued by the thought of being King but appalled at the thought of a murder. Therefore, this is a moment of moral decline because Macbeth is satisfied with the idea of kingship, but at the same time, this is a moment of redemption because he realizes that even thinking of the horrid image of the Duncan’s murder makes him feel fearful of himself as the killer.
So, this shows that Macbeth thinks of the witches’ prediction of him becoming a king, but is still conscious enough not to go beyond the notion of the Elizabethan reality. Macbeth knows his position in the Great Chain of Being and is afraid to go against the notion of that time. This moment of moral decline is worse than previous because at this point, Macbeth is having images of killing the king to take his throne, instead of just passively thinking about it.

Moment of Redemption

“If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me
Without my stir.” (Act 1, Scene 3, 154-156)

“Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.” (1,3, 160-161)

This is moment of redemption because Macbeth decides to rely
on fate and does not think of killing king as something he will have do in order to get the throne.

Moment of Moral Decline

(aside) The prince of Cumberland! That is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. 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. (1,4,55-60)

Macbeth notes to himself that the king’s son, Malcolm,
now stands between him and the throne. This represents further moral decline because at this point, Macbeth believes he will kill a king to get the throne. This moment of moral decline is worse than previous, because Macbeth does not rely on a fate anymore and wants to become a king himself. This moral decline also shows that since this point, Macbeth goes against the notions of the Elizabethan World Picture.

Moment of redemption

“Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way:” (Act 1, Scene 5, 15-17)

In this quotation, Lady Macbeth talks about her husband’s moral values, specifically his kindness. Although Macbeth’s mental state is affected by the idea of being a king, at this point in the play, he still is not able to kill the king. Lady Macbeth’s revelation about her husband is redemptive.


Moment of Moral Decline and a Moment of Redemption

“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly.
. . .
. . . He’s here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself.”(1,7,0-2; 13-16)

This is the moment of further moral decline because in this quotation, Macbeth thinks about how he will kill a king, if he will. At the same time, this is a moment of redemption because he realizes the fact that there is no reason to kill the king other than his own ambition. The moral decline is worse than what has come before, because at this point, Macbeth is putting his soul and the afterlife at risk in order to satisfy his ambitions, what brings him down the Chain as he lacks the reason and abuses passion.

Moment of Redemption

“I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.”(1,7,50-51)

In the Elizabethan World, to be a human means to possess two values, Angels’ reason, and Animals’ passion. Lacking in either reason or passion leads to disruptions of the natural order of things. Therefore, this is the moment of redemption because Macbeth supports his argument that killing king for ambitions is wrong, and he does not want to break the natural order of things and tries to keep his human position in the Great Chain of Being.

Moment of Moral Decline

”I am settled, and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”(1,7,89-92)

This is a moment of further moral decline because Macbeth promises to hide his true intentions towards the King and he becomes confident about killing king Duncan same night. This is morally worse than previous, because at this point, Macbeth becomes confident about performing the murder.

Moment of Moral and Mental Decline

“Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going,
And such an instrument I was to use.”(2,1,44-51)

This is a moment of mental decline because it shows that Macbeth has become so obsessed with kill that he is hallucinating to make himself feel better about the decision that he has long fought his conscience over. This is also a further moral decline because at this point his decision to kill the king, one who is compared to God by Elizabethan World Picture, is already set in motion.

Moment of Moral and Mental Decline and Moment of Redemption

“Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep

Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength to think
So brainsickly of things.”(2,2,47-49,57-60)

The proof of further moral decline in this quotation is that Macbeth murders a sleeping man which is the absolute opposite way he used to kill those on the battlefield; it makes him feel miserable. This is also a moment of redemption because Macbeth judges himself for his deed and becomes a guilt stricken. It also represents a further mental decline, because at this point, Macbeth starts to hear voices judging him, when nobody else does, including Lady Macbeth. The moral decline is worse than previous because Macbeth goes against the natural order of things, moves his position in the Great Chain of Being and actually does the murder of the king.

Moment of Redemption

“I’ll go no more:
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on ’t again I dare not.” (2,2,65-67)


This is a moment of redemption because Macbeth realizes that he will not be able to forget about the murder and wash the blood off his hands. Macbeth is afraid of what he has done because in the Elizabethan World the king is compared to God, and killing the king is the same as starting a war against God in which he will definitely lose.

Moment of Redemption

“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.”(2,2,77-80)

This is the moment of redemption, because at this point, Macbeth understands how absolutely bad his deed is. He also understands that what he has done is “against nature”, and now the very structure of the universe has been assaulted.

Moment of Moral and Mental Decline and Moment of Redemption

“I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear the noise”
“To know my deed, ’twere best not know myself.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou couldst.”(2,2,92-93)

This is the moment of moral decline because Macbeth kills the king. He is also very shocked and terrified of what he has done. He hears servants’ cries and shouts; this is mental decline. A moment of redemption is when Macbeth understands that he cannot go back anymore. He becomes concerned with the idea of wrongdoing, and as so he doesn’t feel any better after reaching that, what he has long fought himself over. This moral decline is worse than previous because he has done wrong in order to elevate his position in the Great Chain of Being, but he actually lowers himself beyond the level of animals, and he regrets it.

Moment of Moral Decline

“Oh, yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.” (Act 2, Scene 3, 121-122)

This is further moral decline because Macbeth kills king’s guards in order to make sure he did not leave any evidences for him killing the king. This moral decline is worse than previous because at this point Macbeth kills absolutely innocent people what brings him even lower in the Great Chain of Being.

Moment of Mental Decline

“To be thus is nothing,
But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be feared.

And put a barren scepter in my grip,
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding.”(3,1,52-55,66-69)

This quotation represents a further mental decline because Macbeth’s mental state is getting worse quickly and he starts to be become paranoid about the murder and suspects even his closest friends in desire to kill him. He also relies on the witches’ prediction and starts to understand its meaning, but it makes him even more conscious about the people around him. This mental decline is worse than previous because up until this point, instead of just hearing voices judging him, Macbeth suspects every person to be an enemy to him.


Moment of Moral Decline

“Fleance, his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father’s, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour.”(3,1,150-154)

This is a moment of moral decline because Macbeth is no longer hesitant and indecisive as he was before, and he is jealous yet scared of Banquo. This moral decline is worse than previous, because Macbeth’s decision to kill Banquo and his son is already set in motion. In the Elizabethan World it was normal and prideful to kill the enemy on the battlefield, but dishonorably and ridiculous to kill a fried as well as a king.

Moment of Mental Decline and a Moment of Redemption

” Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

Prithee, see there! Behold! Look! Lo! How say you?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
If charnel houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.” (3,4,63-64,83-87)

This is evidence of the further mental decline because Macbeth hallucinates and sees that Banquo’s ghost has taken his seat. This is also a moment of redemption because Macbeth tries to prove to Banquo’s ghost that he cannot be blamed, but he knows that he is actually responsible for his death. This mental decline is worse than previous because Macbeth has a strong hallucination and he speaks to the ghost, which is invisible to the rest of the company.

Moment of Moral Decline

“And betimes I will—to the weird sisters.
More shall they speak, for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst.”(3,4,163-166)

This is the moment of further moral decline because Macbeth decides to find the weird sisters and make them tell him what is going to happen. This moment of moral decline is worse than previous, because Macbeth is going to seek out the witches even though this was unacceptable during the Elizabethan World and he can no longer control the outside forces as well as himself.

Moment of Moral Decline and of Redemption

“I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.

My strange and self-abuse
Is the initiate fear that wants hard use.
We are yet but young in deed.”(3,4,167-175,)

This is a moment of redemption because Macbeth understands that he is in the middle of a pool of blood, and he also realizes that going back is going to be as tedious as moving forward. This quote also demonstrates a moment of moral decline because Macbeth decides to move forward; this is the point of no return. This moment of moral decline is worse than previous points because at this point in the play Macbeth claims it is his inexperience in crime that is the major reason for his troubles, instead of recognizing himself as the reason, and so he decides to keep following the wrong path.

Moment of Moral Decline

“The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:”(4,163-164)


This is further moral decline because Macbeth gets totally fooled into thinking he is greater than fate; he is going to kill Macduff. He also thinks he is above wisdom, grace, and fear. This moment of moral decline is worse than previous because Macbeth becomes overconfident in himself thinking he is immortal and no longer has conscience in his decisions.
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