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Visions and Hallucinations in Macbeth

            In psychology, hallucination is defined as a profound distortion in a person's perception of reality, typically accompanied by a powerful sense which comes naturally from our own mind. However, this subtle but great nature may sometimes results in confusion between reality and false appearance, causes disorder of spirit, and eventually corrupts people's soul. Macbeth, the main character of William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, was a victim of his hallucinations. Began with the desire to sit on the throne, he took the risk of regicide against his morality, and then continued to murder more people due to his fear and ambition until his retribution came. Along the way, his visions and hallucinations contributed enormously to his downfall as they not only created his inner conflict and constantly reminded him of his crime and guilt, but also gave him false hope, and fed his ambition which was believed to be his hamartia. .
             In this play, the floating dagger and the imaginary voice were his hallucinations just before and after committing the murder of King Duncan, and they both precisely demonstrated Macbeth's fear and guilt. When he was hesitating about killing the king, the floating dagger appeared in front of him with the handle pointed towards his hand. This was a sign which prompted Macbeth to proceed with the murder and caused great anxiety and confusion to him. "Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feel as to sight? Or art thou but a dagger of the mins, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?" (Act 2, Scene 1, 44-47) It is apparent that the hallucination of the dagger was the start of his mental deterioration. At this time he was still able to know right from wrong by questing himself whether it was real or not. However, the strange allure it held convinced him that he had to make this decision, "It is the bloody business which informs/Thus to mine eyes.

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