Macbeth (Summary and Commentary on Act III Scenes IV-VI)

Essay by aaron56High School, 11th grade March 2004

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These scenes basically deal with disorder and chaos. Macbeth is slipping away from his ordered life as he is tormented thoughts of his victims. He hallucinates and behaves strangely in front of the lords of the state. Even the state has begun losing faith in him and seeks to overthrow him to regain order.

In scene IV, the Lords, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are assembled in the palace banqueting hall. A murderer enters and informs Macbeth that Banquo has been killed but Fleance has escaped. This disturbs Macbeth for he knows that though Fleance may simply be a harmless 'worm' he will later grow to be a 'serpent' seeking revenge. "I had else been perfect...But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd, bound in / To saucy doubts and fears." Things haven't gone as he'd have liked it and this worries him. It makes him uneasy and gives way to doubts and fears; order has been misplaced and the consequence is inevitable.

When Lennox asks him to be seated he is shocked by the sight of Banquo's ghost seating in his place who is invisible to everyone else. He is terrified and tries to put the blame of Banquo's murder away from himself, "Thou canst not say I did it." Lady Macbeth realizes that Macbeth is troubled by something and explains this to the others as a temporary fit. She questions Macbeth's manhood, the same approach she had used effectively to influence Macbeth to murder Duncan. She tells him that this is just an illusion like the dagger he saw before Duncan's murder. Macbeth's becomes himself again as soon as the ghost disappears. But the ghost reappears just as he is about to sit and he relapses into the state of apparent madness recovering once again as...