Macbeth–Act III

Sorry to make the hiatus so long! I was going to try and cram the rest of the play in the weekend, but found I was to busy to do so, so I figured I’d start on Wednesday and finish out the week like normal.



Ahh, guilt. How wonderfully Shakespeare illustrates the nature that guilt weighs upon our conscious in times of grave sin. Macbeth is now dragging himself into a mire–to relieve feeling guilty, he hires the murder of Banquo, in order to stop the witches prophecy (uhh, wait, the same prophecy that spurred him into killing the king? That sounds a little discordant…), but he fails at the escape of Fleance. He wants to relieve his guilt of spilling blood by spilling more blood, which seems to be the nature of sin–to correct sin with more sin. “Blood will have blood” (III.iv.121).

A quick note about the prophecy–Hecate belittles the sisters in telling Macbeth and Banquo the future–but it seems if they had not intruded and let this “fate” be known, it would not have happened. The supernatural enters the world, allows men to know the future, but it’s only a future that exists because of that supernatural intrusion. If that sounds confusing, I think it’s because I’m a little confused about the role of the supernatural in this play (other than it is a bane on the lives of everyone here, yet it sometimes reveals the true nature of things, such as Banquo’s ghost revealing Macbeth’s guilt).



One last thing: Macbeth hires two murderers. Where the heck does this third come from? He says “Macbeth,” but we haven’t seen that interaction. What is Shakespeare showing us in not showing us the hire of this third murderer? He’s also the one who points out the error of striking out the light and allowing Fleance to escape. Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a mole-hill, but murderer number three, I’ve got my eye on you…


2 thoughts on “Macbeth–Act III

  1. Well it’s official, I can’t wait for Act IV! I’m intrigued by this commentary related to the third murderer, do you think it’s related to the other supernatural elements-an agent sent to make events occur as predicted perhaps? Though I think it might be more likely that The Bard wanted the shadowy, and evil forces in the land to be organized in threes. Still, it is a bit weird.

    • I wonder if it’s just in my brain, but there are occasions when Shakespeare adds in a person out of no where, and I always think he’s doing it for some significance (whether or not I see this significance, haha). The third murderer is also the only one of the two that seems to be aware enough of their surroundings to actually successfully kill Banquo. It’s possibly not important, but I always get a little side-tracked at the little quirks Shakespeare throws into his plays.

      If I were in charge of a stage production of this, I would play around with the third murderer–maybe cast it as someone we already know? Haha, but that isn’t directly my field!

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