In Act II, Scene I, what does Macbeth's soliloquy reveal about his state of mind?

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This soliloquy reveals Macbeth's increasingly fractured state of mind as he contemplates regicide. At this point, despite the hallucination, Macbeth is still aware enough to recognize that his brain is "heat-oppressed." This fever could indicate a state of high stress or even stress-induced delirium, which might mean that Macbeth is still engaging with his conscience; the internal conflict between his ambition and his guilt is causing the oppression in his head.

Later in the soliloquy, Macbeth says, "Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,/Or else worth all the rest," and this line can be analyzed within the context of the fives senses all humans rely on. Here, Macbeth's confused state means that he doesn't know what parts of himself to trust, as even his eyes are confusing him with this vision of the dagger. To make matters even more confusing, he wonders if his eyes are his only trustworthy sense, which also leaves him feeling rather disoriented.

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Kelvin Brakus eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In this soliloquy, Macbeth has a...

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