What is the effect on Macbeth after seeing Banquo's ghost?I would like to know how he feels. Is he stable? How does this affect his mental stability?

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act 3, Scene 4. when Macbeth sees, or thinks he sees, Banquo sitting in his place at the banquet table he displays acute paranoia. He asks the other guests, "Which of you have done this?" He is obviously mentally unbalanced. His behavior at the banquet seems to foreshadow how he will behave for the rest of the play. He is frightened, but he cannot permit himself to acknowledge his fear. His behavior betrays his guilt to the entire assemblage, and will cause him to become abandoned and isolated. Nothing his wife can do or say can persuade him to stop interacting with a ghost whom only he and the audience can see.

After murdering Duncan, Macbeth tells his wife:

Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more!"

Macbeth does murder sleep"

And a few lines later:

"Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor

Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more."

It might be assumed that Macbeth's steady mental deterioration is due to the fact that he literally is unable to sleep from that fateful night until the end of the play--a horrible but richly appropriate punishment for his crime. It seems significant that Lady Macbeth seems to be suffering from the same insomnia, judging from her haggard appearance and mad soliloquy in Act 5, Scene 1. There is a nightmarish quality about the entire play of Macbeth.





suvini | Student

after seeing the ghost of banquo we can understand how macbeth falls into a state of low mentality. he cant beleive that banquos even haunting him.

but if we are analyzing it deeper when lady macbeth asks the spirites to take her feminity away she asking the spirits to cme. so this could probably be  a consequence.

anyways consdering their personalities macbeth becomes less of  a man when he sees the hallucination. he gets frightened/ but lady macbeth grows stronger and asks him "are you a man"

this reveals the theme of Gender so basically there is role changing in this scene


hope this info. is enough!!!!