What are three internal conflicts that Macbeth faces in Macbeth, and what quotes symbolize the conflicts?Regarding the theme of Internal Conflict in Macbeth. Thanks to whomever answers my question.

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macbeth experiences a number of internal conflicts over the course of the play. Firstly, there is conflict after Macbeth meets with the witches. When they tell him that he will be king, Macbeth begins to have thoughts of murdering King Duncan. Although he harbors ambitions of being king, these thoughts create an inner conflict because he also loves Duncan and does not truly want to murder him. This is shown by the following lines in Act I, Scene III:

Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair

And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,

Against the use of nature? Present fears

Are less than horrible imaginings.

Secondly, Macbeth also experiences an inner conflict after he murders Duncan which causes him considerable mental distress. Consumed by guilt and remorse, Macbeth hears voices in which he is accused of "killing sleep." In addition, he wishes that the knocking he hears would wake up Duncan from his sleep:

Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou couldst.

Finally, Macbeth also experiences an inner conflict in Act V, Scene V after hearing that his wife has died. Macbeth feels hopeless and loses his will to live. However, a conflict is created by the fact that he must defend his crown in battle. This is a task that he cannot avoid no matter how grieved and desperate he feels:

I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone.


Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act 5.3 of Shakespeare's Macbeth, internal conflicts are revealed in the title character.

The scene opens with Macbeth appearing confident that he can withstand any attack by his enemies.  He is holding on to his faith in the predictions made by the witches.  He spouts the details--the man born of woman thing, etc.--like he is invincible.

Yet, within only seconds he is despairing, saying he "has lived long enough," and that he should not expect those things that come with old age, such as "honor, love, obedience."

Emotionally, Macbeth holds on to the predictions that suggest he is indestructible.  Rationally, however, Macbeth appears to know better.  His emotions cannot withstand the fact that 10,000 soldiers are preparing to attack him.

Later, in Act 5.5, Macbeth will despair again when he is told that his wife has died.  In his "Tomorrow" speech, he will reveal another internal conflict:  whatever one does or accomplishes, it is meaningless anyway.  Macbeth slips into nihilism, the belief that nothing matters.

Yet, again, oppositions appear in Macbeth.  Soon, whether it matters or not, Macbeth, facing certain defeat, will battle face-to-face with his foes, fighting and dying nobly.

auli | Student

three internal conflicts of macbeth:

1. his conflict with his own conscience about the murder of duncan. he could not decide whether he should murder him in order to the crown. "if chance will have me king,why chance may crown me/ without my stir",says he in act1 scene 3. he is clearly vacillating with the thought of murder.

2. his inner conflict is shown explicitly in act1,scene7,when he weighs not only the bad political consequences of the murder but also the moral values involved. here,his inner conflict rises from duncan's trust of him.

he says in act1,sc. 7:

"...he is here in double trust.

first as i am his kinsman,and his subject.

strong both against the deed.then as his host,

who should against the murtherer shut the door,

not bear the knife myself..."

3. when he has killed duncan (act2,sc.2),he is tortured by the thought of what he had done. he starts with every single noise. he wants to adopt hypocrisy:"false face must hide what false heart doth know." he is terribly conscientious that when the knocking commences,he says:"wake duncan with thy knocking;i would thou could'st."

schoolbus123 | Student