Is this a dagger which I see before me
"Is this a dagger which I see before me..."
Macbeth has made his decision to kill the King and take the
crown as his own. Inspired in part by his own ambition, the
decision to murder Duncan is aided by the prophecies of the Witches
as well as the insistent urging of his wife. Still, Macbeth is
wracked with guilt over what he is about to do, and his mind races
with thoughts of such evil action. He begins to hallucinate and
sees a bloody dagger in the air, which will be his instrument of
murder. He goes on to comment on the wickedness of the world,
thoughts which are interrupted by the ringing of the bell, a signal
from Lady Macbeth that Duncan's guards are drugged and sleeping. He
goes off to complete the dire deed. Shakespeare's Macbeth is
notable for hallucinations, terrifying dreams, witches, prophecies
and all of the combining forces of nature which lead to chaos and
murder in the gloomy countryside of Scotland.