Over the course of the pay Macbeth mental state majorly deteriorated. This all started when Macbeth first met the witches. Shakespeare uses Dramatic devices to show the witches as other worldly by making them speak in iambic trimeter a different rhythm to those of earth, In the play Macbeth characters speak in the iambic pentameter which is a set of five iamb this rhythm that the characters speak in shows their status in the play. Shakespeare shows that the three witches are different by making them speak in the iambic trimeter because they obviously have a rhythm to their speech but it is not the same as the other character this leads the listener or reader to see that they are different to everyone else in the play. when Macbeth first meets the witches upon the heath they say”All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter.”.When the witches said this Macbeth did not really think about it he just thought that they were crazy because he was unaware that he was about to be named thane of Cawdor because of his heroics in battle. They also said that Banquo’s children would also become kings. Macbeth wanted to believe as it was good news for him but there was no evidence to prove what the witches were saying was the truth. later in the scene Rosse and Angus enter sent from the king to give Macbeth the news that he is now the thane of Cawdor. This made Macbeth have second thoughts about what the witches had said to him minutes ago. Macbeth and Banquo silently agreed that they should not share what they had just saw. Macbeth started having thoughts of killing the king to become king like the witches said. When Macbeth finally met with Duncan, Duncan named Malcolm his eldest son the next in line for the throne. This caught Macbeth off guard and he said “The prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;Let not light see my black and deep desires.” when he says this he is meaning that he will have to give up on the hope of being king or he will have to pass the obstacle set in his way. In the time that Shakespeare wrote this play stars were a reference to heaven and the people were very religious, the king was supposedly made to rule by god and to become king by killing the old king was a very unholy thing to do because it should be passed down the generations of throne chosen by god. While Macbeth was considering killing the king so he by saying “Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.” he says this and shows he has bad intentions that go against gods decisions and he says this to show he does not want anyone to see his thoughts and plans.

Macbeth finds out that Duncan and his sons will come to feast at his castle. Macbeth rides back to his castle and talks to lady Macbeth about his meeting with the witches upon the heath, Lady Macbeth instantly showed her greediness and started thinking up plans of how Macbeth must kill Duncan while he visited them. Macbeth refused these ideas at the start but Lady Macbeth said he was weak and said she would do it if he was that weak. this at the time of the play was a big thing because women were classed as much weaker and the men were always the one to make decisions so it was not good for Macbeth to be shown as weaker than his wife. After Duncan arrived Lady Macbeth tried to talk to Macbeth about killing Duncan but he used his authority over her and shrugged her off and said she was not to speak of it again. Late that night Macbeth went out in the hallways and found Banquo and Banquo asked if Macbeth if he wanted to speak of the witches promises Macbeth answered that  he had not though of it since but could talk anytime if Banquo wished.
Later in the night after Macbeth had spoken to Banquo, Macbeth showed his first real signs of his mental state deteriorating when he said “Is this a dagger which I see before me,The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.” Shakespeare showed Macbeth was starting to lose his mind because of his thoughts of how the witches had said he would be king. Macbeth used this hallucination as I sign he needed to kill Duncan, after he did this he was instantly regretting his action and said he would never sleep again because he had murdered sleep.
Macbeth was losing his mind about Banquo as he was the one who had the most reason to suspect Macbeth as the killer of Duncan. Also Macbeth was not happy as the witches had also said Banquo’s son Fleance would become king. Macbeth hired three murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Macbeth thought he had already killed to be king so he would happily kill to stay king. After Banquo was murdered and Macbeth was informed that Fleance escaped during the attack, Macbeth returned to the table and said it was full, all the guests thought he was crazy because there was obviously a spare spot. Macbeth became very agitated as he could see Banquo sitting in his place covered in blood staring at him. The ghost of Banquo would haunt Macbeth till the day he dies. Banquo did not say anything during this scene he just sat and stared to build suspense of the play.
Macbeth returned to visit the witches again because he needed to see the future. Before he met the witches Hecate decided that he had already been told too much and that the witches must give him a sense of security which she said was mans worst enemy. When Macbeth saw the witches prophecies that he would never be killed by a man born of women or before the Birnam wood moved to Dunsinane, Macbeth instantly thought this was impossible so he would never die. The witches also told him to beware of Macduff who had left to find Malcolm and take back Scotland, Macbeth said he would kill all of his family and him to make sure because he couldn’t die to a man born of a women. These prophecies made Macbeth feel invincible which was far from the truth as he would soon find out.
Macduff was enraged when he found out Macbeth had killed his family and this is what earned the trust of Malcolm so they began preparing to attack Scotland with their 10,000 English soldiers. While they were marching toward Dunsinane they decided to cut down the Birnam wood to disguise the amount of soldiers as they marched to Dunsinane. A messenger reported that the wood was moving toward Dunsinane this enraged Macbeth and he was denying this as he was very scared of because it showed him that he was no longer as secure. Moments after he was informed of the moving wood he heard a scream and found that Lady Macbeth had killed herself after she had become very crazed and regretful of the actions she had taken part in. this made Macbeth even more insecure. after this Macbeth’s iambic pentameter started breaking down and he ended half an iamb early showing that he was losing it and he was coming to an end and that he was giving up as there is nothing to live for. Macbeth went into the battle field because he could not die to a man born of a woman. While Macbeth was fighting he came across Macduff, Macduff was furious that he had killed all of his family Macbeth said he could never be killed by Macduff because he was born of a woman, that’s when Macduff said he was ripped from his mother so he was never born of a woman. Macbeth then released he had been played by the witches and they never lied to him, this made Macbeth realise that this was the end he had become to greedy and had just become a slave to whatever the witches wanted.
Over the play Macbeth, Macbeth mental state deteriorated and the pressure of too much knowledge given to him by the witches drove him mad and made him completely change from a hero at the start to the evil person at the end. This showed that Macbeth had become too concerned about the what the witches said and had completely lost his values because he was set that he should be king of Scotland.

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  1. You’ve made a good start.

    I agree with the practice of writing the introduction last – this always means that the intro properly encompasses the entire argument of the essay.

    Your paragraph on Shakespeare’s use of the supernatural (we’re calling this a dramatic device) is good in the reference to detail (you don’t have to put your quotations into new lines though) and it makes astute observations about the key points in the play where this happens.

    You now need to make sure you link these effects and devices to the degeneration in Macbeth’s state of mind throughout the play – remember the point of this essay is to show how Shakespeare uses these devices to convey his ideas.

    CW

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  2. I was away on Monday the 28th and Tuesday the 29th because I was sick.

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