More Thoughts On Macbeth

“Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious, loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man: the expedition of my violent love outrun the pauser, reason.” This is Macbeth’s justification as to why he killed the sleepy grooms of King Duncan’s chamber. In reality, he kills them to prevent the pleading of their innocence if they remained alive. He realizes that they had no motive to murder the king and that such an accusation would be vehemently denied. In spite of this, his offing of them seems to draw more suspicion than it saves. Macbeth is trying to right his wrongs in an imaginary world where the chamberlains committed the bloody act. He doesn’t want to believe he did what he did, so he pretends he didn’t by his sanguine quasi-retributive actions. I think adding an instantaneous double homicide is a little too pungent for the palate. He regrets the regicide, “wake Duncan with thy knocking, I would thou could’st,” and doesn’t want to be reminded by their denying of the murderous accusation, but he goes too far. By Macbeth killing them and so hastily, it intimated that he perhaps had something to hide, and Lady Macbeth senses the suspicions all around her and faints in a flash.

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