1.An atmosphere of foreboding and horrors is built up in the act. Much of the horror is implicit in MacbethÃÂs ÃÂdaggerÃÂ soliloquy in scene 1.
a)Why does Macbeth refer to the dagger as a ÃÂfatal vision?ÃÂMacbeth refers to the dagger as a ÃÂfatal visionÃÂ (II.i.36) because it foreshadows his deadly intent to kill King Duncan. Macbeth is obviously under great mental torment, which is the cause of his hallucination of the imaginary dagger. He imagines the dagger, covered with ÃÂgouts of bloodÃÂ (II.i.46), leading him to DuncanÃÂs room. This image shows MacbethÃÂs fatal ambition as he follows his desire (the dagger) to kill King Duncan with a dagger which will eventually be covered with King DuncanÃÂs own blood.
b)What does he mean by a ÃÂdagger of the mind?ÃÂ What is suggested by having Macbeth experience a hallucination at this moment, just before the murder?A ÃÂdagger of the mindÃÂ (II.i.38)
suggests that the dagger is simply a figment of MacbethÃÂs imagination. Macbeth is hallucinating because his ÃÂheat-oppressed brainÃÂ (II.i.39) is deeply troubled by what he is about to do, and he is put under great emotional strain by his guilt and uneasiness over his murder act. The dagger he sees symbolizes his ambition to kill Duncan and to become king. The main purpose of this scene is to establish MacbethÃÂs transition from good to evil. At this point, he is facing a huge dilemma and is extremely confused, and unaware of his actions. He still has some good left in him and realizes that he is doing something wrong, but at the same time, his ambition continues to drive him forward and proceed with the murder. Macbeth is transforming from a strong, well respected general, to an evil murderer who will eventually become a hated king.