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Macbeth- Madness in the dagger soliloquy

Evidence that Macbeth may or may not be mad by this point in the play

Jonah Thomas

on 30 September 2011

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Transcript of Macbeth- Madness in the dagger soliloquy

Can we tell if Macbeth is mad in the dagger soliloquy? Firstly, we should look at the iambic pentameter As we can see from many of the lines the iambic pentameter is occasionally a few syllables over or under and is a mix of feminine and masculine lines For example: "Is this a dagger which I see before me?" This is an example of a feminine line because it ends on an unstressed syllable This shows that he is under the influence of Lady Macbeth and the witches and his internal struggle may be driving him to the edge of his sanity Also he is seeing a non-existent dagger, which is in itself a clear sign of madness. The quote: "Mine eyes are made fools o'th'other senses" shows he knows that he is mad and his eyes are playing tricks on him and decieving his other senses. "Or art thou but a dagger of the mind?" This quote suggests that he isn't sure what is real and what is fake and therefore is questioning everything. " Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain" This quote suggests that Macbeth's brain is heated, heat also could mean that he has a fever or infection of his mind which can be directly connected to madness and insanity.
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