Examples Of Doppelgänger In Macbeth

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Robert Cuddy Mr. Causey English 10 29 September 2014 The True Face of Evil Evil, witchcraft, and dark things alike run abound in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Karl Miller refers to a doppelgänger as a functional psychological entity or alter-ego in relation to the subconscious and conscious (“The Modern Double”). The figure is sometimes referred to as an example of the duality of good and evil; one “side” not able to exist without the other’s presence (“The Modern Double”). The doppelgänger poses an internal threat to a characters’ well-being, whether it causes physical or emotional pain, and this eventually leads to a character’s untimely demise (“The Modern Double”). Peter Straub explains that a doppelgänger brings from the subconscious…show more content…
As Macbeth’s ascension to the throne begins, both Lady Macbeth and her usurper husband begin to share secrets: “They met me in the day of success, and I have learned by the perfect’st report” (1.5.1) Lady Macbeth shares letters with her husband, and by doing so, knows and controls every move he makes. As Macbeth begins to have second thoughts about the upcoming assassination of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth insults his masculinity and shows her opposite personality: “You are too full o’th’ the milk of human kindness”(1.5.16). As the plot to kill King Duncan begins to fall apart due to Macbeth’s sudden loss of confidence, Lady Macbeth begins to show her true colors, and insults his masculinity. When the Queen states that Macbeth is “womanly” she truly reveals her opposite personality compared to Macbeth. As Lady Macbeth and her husband begin their assassination attempt on King Duncan, she again emasculates his personality due to his anxiousness: “Their drenched natures as in death, what cannot you and I perform upon?” (1.7.75). Macbeth begins to doubt his abilities to follow through with the assassination and begins to visualize hallucinations, which results in Lady Macbeth adding negatively to the situation. The Queen of Scotland eventually gathers Macbeth through courageous actions, and orders him to execute King Duncan.

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