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Comapring Two Speeches From Macbeth By William Shakespeare

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Macbeth undergoes a huge change after murdering Duncan. He turns from a man frightened of murder and only pressured into it by his wife, to a man who is prepared to kill anybody who may get in his way of being King.

The quote below is taken from one of Macbeth's speeches before he commits the act of murder upon Duncan.

I see thee still! -

And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,

Which was not so before. - There's no such thing!

It is the bloody business which informs

Thus to mine eyes.

(2:1:46-50, Speech no. 1)

Here Macbeth is talking of an imaginary blade which he sees in his hands. This hallucination shows that the subject of murder is hanging heavily on his mind. He at first sees the blade clean, with no blood on it, but in this quote he talks of the blade and its handle being covered in drops of blood. This is Macbeth's mind thinking of what is about to happen and what the consequences of his actions will bring. The vision tells of the horror and nature of the crime he is about to carry out. He is clearly scared and intimidated by the thought of murdering Duncan at this point.

There is none but he

Whose being I do fear - and under him

My genius is rebuked, as, it is said,

Mark Antony's was by Caesar.

(3:1:53-56, Speech no. 2)

This quote is from Macbeth's second speech and is talking of his fear of the witches' prophecy. They predicted that Macbeth would be King, a prediction that has become reality and they also predicted that Banquo's children would become kings. Macbeth is scared that Banquo's children would grow up and overthrow him. This is partly why he says that Banquo is the only being that he fears. This quote is similar to the first quote in that he is still showing fear and paranoia even after killing Duncan. He is also intimidated by Banquo's stance and intellect. When Banquo is around he feels inadequate, just as Mark Antony's was by Caesar. Mark Antony then proceeded to kill Caesar, so Macbeth is also fearful that Banquo may want the title of King to himself. In this speech, Macbeth is again thinking into the future, of what may happen and what he should do, just as he was in the previous quote. A change that has occurred since the last speech is Macbeth's sudden hatred towards Banquo. At the time of the first speech Macbeth was very close to Banquo in friendship, but now his feelings towards him turn to murder. This is much like what happened with Duncan.

Thou sure and firm-set earth,

Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear

Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,

And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it.




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