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In Act III, Macbeth says "O full of scorpions is my mind... thou knowst that Banquo...

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hiatus | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 24, 2009 at 10:19 AM via web

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In Act III, Macbeth says "O full of scorpions is my mind... thou knowst that Banquo and Fleance lives." What does this mean?

i dont get what he means by his mind is full of scorpions

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sesmith5 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 24, 2009 at 11:19 AM (Answer #1)

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Macbeth has been told by the witches that Banquo's line will be on the throne in Scotland.  Macbeth feels that if he kills Banquo and Fleance, Banquo's son, he will thwart this prophesy.  Thus, the knowledge that Banquo and Fleance still live causes Macbeth irritation and pain much like the sting of a scorpion. 

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