What mistake is Macbeth making at the end of this scene? What words and processes help to build the mood of disorder and chaos?This scene is Act 3 scene 4 of Macbeth at the end of the banquet where...

What mistake is Macbeth making at the end of this scene? What words and processes help to build the mood of disorder and chaos?

This scene is Act 3 scene 4 of Macbeth at the end of the banquet where everybody has left.

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macbeth makes many mistakes:  in judgment, strategically, and in what we today would call public relations.  I assume you're referring to the mistake his wife points out, which would fall into the category of public relations.

Lady Macbeth warns her husband throughout the play to behave in front of others as if they've done nothing wrong, as if they did not kill King Duncan.  Macbeth fails miserably at this during the banquet scene.

Macbeth startles his guests and acts like he is anything but innocent.  His ranting and raving about a Ghost no one else sees leads to chaos.  He has a fit when he first sees the Ghost, calms down when the Ghost momentarily vanishes, then has a fit a second time when the Ghost reappears.  His wife tries to explain away his behavior, probably without success.

His wife concludes that the sightings of the Ghost are just the results of Macbeth's fears:

O proper stuff!  [She's mocking him and dismissing his sightings.]

This is the very painting of your fear.

This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said,

Led you to Duncan [earlier in the play].  (62-64)

She then compares his sightings to an old "woman's story."  And says he is looking only at an empty stool when he thinks he sees Banquo's ghost.

Of course, at the close of the scene, Macbeth announces a plan that will prove to be another mistake.  He tells his wife that he is going to visit the "weird sisters," which again will result in his falling for their equivocations.  This will lead directly to his ordering the slaughter of Macduff's family, which of course adds to the chaos and unnatural state of affairs in Scotland.