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Sickness vs Health in Macbeth

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Hannah Waitze

on 13 December 2012

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Transcript of Sickness vs Health in Macbeth

Sickness vs Health
In Macbeth Sickness of Macbeth Sickness of Lady Macbeth Sickness of the Country In Conclusion: Introduction Sickness in the play is given to people who are immoral such as Macbeth. He infected others by involving them in his actions, like his wife. The people who are moral, stay healthy (for example: King Edward who can heal by just using his hands due to the fact that he is said to be the most moral king of all). The diseased characters infected the country to the point where it completely fell apart. Macbeth was sick in his mind due to the witches prophecy telling him that he would one day become king. He wanted the power so badly that he was delusional enough to kill his own king, and other innocent people such as Banquo and Siward. As the play progressed his conscience slowly disintegrated away and he was emotionally numb because of all of his guilt he acquired from the murders. Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth-"The
Illness should attend to it" What does this mean?
Illness= evil
Lady Macbeth is his motivator
She says that he needs the mental illness to commit the murders
He uses his mental illness to do things that
he wouldn't be comfortable doing in the
right state of mind. Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth- "Bloody instructions, which being
taught return to plague the inventor". What does this mean?
This means ' what goes around comes around'
he wishes sickness to other people to keep him on top
He knew it was going to hurt him in the future Main Assertion In the Tragedy of Macbeth the motif, Health vs Sickness revealed that Macbeth's over ambitious desires led to his own sickness, sickness to his wife, and sickness to his country. Act 1 Scene 7 Lady Macbeth-"And wakes it now,
to look so green and pale" What does this mean?
green=sickly
Lady macbeth says he looks sick thinking of Duncan's murder.
Macbeth was phased and wasn't fully okay with killing his good friend. Act 3 Scene 1 Macbeth-"Who wear our health
but sickly in his life, which
in his death were perfect" What does this mean?
As long as Banquo was alive then Macbeth would be sick
If Banquo were to die then Macbeth would be safe.
Macbeth felt sick from the pressure of Banquo. Act 3 Scene 3 Macbeth-" The great bond,
which keeps me pale!" What does this mean?
great bond= Bond between Banquo and his son Fleance
He was afraid Fleance would take his power because his father died. Act 3 Scene 4 Ross- "His highness is not well". What does this mean?
(Banquet scene when Macbeth ses the ghost.)
Ross said that he was sick in the mind.
Revealed Macbeth's true character: Guilty, and unstable. Act 4 Scene 1 Macbeth- "Thou shalt not live , that I may tell pale hearted fear it lies."

What does this mean?
Macbeth knows he may die but he is trying to convince himself otherwise
Shows that he is emotionally numb and his conscience is deteriorating. In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth seemed very sure of her actions and made it seem like she did not feel bad about the murders. After many murders were committed she supposedly ended up committing suicide. This was because of her mental sickness and guilt she was hiding away. She was having terrible nightmares and this was because Macbeth passed his mental sickness to her and took her sanity. She was no longer mentally stable and her sickness grew as the play progressed. Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth-"Make thick my
blood; Stop up th'access and
passage to remorse". What does this mean?
Lady Macbeth did not want to feel remorse (guilt)
She is wishing for sickness so she doesn't feel the consequences of her actions.
She thinks she can shut out the guilt of her actions but she is too unstable to fulfill this. Act 5 Scene 1 Doctor- "This disease is
beyond my practice" What does this mean?
The doctor didn't think Lady Macbeth's instability was curable.
She would have to fix her own sanity and deal with her actions/emotions.
This was after she saw the visions of the blood staining her hands.
This shows that the guilt of her actions is affecting her. Act 5 Scene 3 Doctor-"Not so sick my lord,
as she is troubled with thick
coming fancies that keep her
from her rest"
Macbeth-"Cure her of that. Canst thou not
minister to a mind diseased? What does this mean?
The doctor was telling Macbeth that his wife was mentally ill.
Macbeth asked the doctor if he could cure her, but the doctor didn't think he could cure a diseased mind such as Lady Macbeth's. Under Macbeth's rule, the country of Scotland plummeted down. He was not a good ruler and that showed in the peoples' reactions and what they went through after he became king. He did not want to become king to help the people and the country, he wanted it purely for the power and the title. He then passed his sickness onto the people of his country in many different aspects. Act 3 Scene 4 Macbeth-"Love and health
to all!"

What does this mean?
(Banquet scene)
Macbeth wishes health to the court and to all who are visiting his castle.
Ironic that he was wishing health to the people who aren't threatening his power.
They don't recognize his actions as immoral.
Character: selfish and deceives people to get what he wants. Act 4 Scene 3 Doctor-"There are is crew of wretched souls that
stay his cure...his touch such sanctity hath heaven
given his hand the presently amend"

Macduff- "What's that disease he means?

Malcom- "Tis called the evil. How he solicits heaven himself knows; but strangely visited people...the
mere despair of surgery he cures..." What does this mean?
This quote is explaining the sickness of the country due to Macbeths authority
The scottish people have caught a disease called 'evil' that can only be cured by a king who has morals and good intentions unlike Macbeth.
It cannot be cured by surgery= its not a medicinal sickness but a governmental sickness. Act 3 Scene 4 Ross- "Dying or ere they sicken" What does this mean?
Scottish people are dyeing before they should be.
They aren't becoming ill, but perhaps hurting due to Macbeth's reign. Act 5 Scene 3 Caithness- "Meet we the med'cine of the
sickly weal." What does this mean?
They need to find someone to cure the country and replace Macbeth
This is what will heal their sickness Act 5 Scene 5 Macbeth- “here let them lie till famine and the ague eat them up” What does this mean?
This is right before the battle
He is saying that he wants the enemy to die of sickness so he doesn't have to fight
Characterization: Doubtful of his abilities What does this say about
the main characters in the
play? Macbeth's sickness progressed as the play went on as his desire for power increased
when he finally had power, he caught a "mental sickness" meaning that all of his underlying guilt took the best of his mind
He passed mental and physical sickness to his wife and everyone in Scotland.
He was adequate at hiding his guilt until he found out Macduff could kill him. THANKS FOR WATCHING Mini Quiz 1.) Which answer best describes Macbeth's progression of
character throughout the play?


A. Strong to Unstable
B. Trustworthy to Deceitful
C. Reliant to Angry
D. Comical to Serious

2.) What did Lady Macbeth act as for Macbeth?
A. messenger
B. motivator
C. rival
D. leader

3.) What was happening to Macbeths mind
due to the murders he was committing?
A. He was aquiring more knowledge
B. He was getting braver
C. The guilt was making him mentally unstable
D. His intentions were becoming clearer to him

4.) How was the country effected by Macbeth's rule?
A. They were benefiting greatly
B. They were starving and sick
C. The people were very happy with Macbeth's reign
D. They were more jobs for people

5.) What did Shakespeare mean when he said,
"the people can only be cured by royal touch."(paraphrasing)
A. King Edward needs to come save the Scottish people from Macbeth's reign
B. Someone of higher status has to touch each head of every citizen
C. He never said that...
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