Provide disease imagery and quotes for the play Macbeth.

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Macbeth has decided that he no longer wants to go forward with Lady Macbeth's plan to kill King Duncan, Lady Macbeth does not take the news well. She gets very angry with him, berating and emasculating him, and calling him a coward. She asks him,

Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? (1.7.39-42)

Lady Macbeth asks her husband if he was drunk earlier when he professed his hopefulness about their plan. Then, continuing with the idea of being drunk, she asks if he is now ill, as if hungover from too much drinking. This visual image of being "green and pale" describes the way a person might look when they suffer from a kind of sickness, like nausea.

Just a little while later, as Macbeth is on his way to kill Duncan, he hallucinates a dagger floating in the air before him. In the moment, he is trying to figure out if it is real or not. He asks,

Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? (2.1.49-51)

He asks if the weapon is really ahead of him or if it is only in his mind, a hallucination created by a feverish mind. The tactile image of a "heat-oppressed brain" helps to convey how conflicted and stressed out Macbeth is by the murder he is about to commit; he seems to think that it is affecting his mental health.

malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That is an interesting question! Shakespeare actually uses the idea of disease throughout the play as a metaphor for the corruption that has crept into Scotland in the form of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth on the throne.

Lady Macbeth talks of life as a "fitful fever" in Act III, scene ii:

Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well; (III.ii)

She also tells Macbeth he is "infirm of purpose" in Act II, scene ii, indicating that he is sick with regards to being afraid to follow through on their plans. 

Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead
Are but as pictures: (II.ii)

And in Act V, scene iii, Macbeth has a conversation with the doctor concerning whether or not a memory that is torturing someone can be plucked from their mind, thus curing the patient. The doctor replies, however, that the "the patient/Must minister to himself" - he (or she) has to repent to cure himself as that is not something a doctor can treat the way he would the body.