How a false sense of bravado. This

does Shakespeare make this such a striking moment in the play?


During Act
five scene 5, the audience is shown that Macbeth has become numb to all pain and
human feeling. It becomes clear that Macbeth’s actions have now had a significant
impact on his mental state. He is left seeing life as meaningless and hardly carrying
about his wife’s as he has realised that all his planning had been useless and futile,
and he has now accepted fate. He uses a combination of dramatic techniques and
the presentation to get across how important and striking this final act is.

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first presents him here as confident but really this is a façade. Although he
is supported by the Witches’ prophesies which assure him that he will not be
overcome by any man that “was born of woman”, he thinks he has all the time in
the world even though the opposing army is near. This is further emphasised by
the fact that he “enters with drums and colours”, which shows he has a false sense
of bravado. This creates an eerie aura of suspense as well as showing the audience
that he has become delusional and unable to recognise any dangers that confront
him. His scathing view of the enemy also emphasises this: “Our castle’s strength
will laugh a siege to scorn”. It shows Macbeth’s loss of reality and the personification
reiterates this like he has gone mad and there is a sense of dramatic irony as
we know from the previous scene about the army disguising themselves with
branching which also creates a feeling of excitement. It is strangely poignant
and striking to see Macbeth use up the last of his optimism in a false manner
both known and not known to him in terms of what will happen next.

contemplates the point to life and its trials and ordeals comparing it to an
actor who, ‘struts and frets his hour upon the stage’ but then is easily
forgotten. The repetition and alliteration of, ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and
tomorrow’ highlights how wearisome and tiresome his  life has become. Repeating these three words
suggests that life is repetitive and boring for him. He see’s life as a tale ‘Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing’. Such extended metaphors help the view understand
Macbeth’s state of mind.