‘To my beloved one,
I regret to inform you that the deed failed, our honored king survived the murder. The conspiracy had not deprived him of his liveliness and he embarked upon administrating the court the day before yesterday with the support of Banquo and other honored lords. The court pleaded me innocent from treason; however, I was determined to exile myself in the forest in order to lead a solitary life. The tangled chunks are a reflection of my contradictory mind; the crystal-clear sky reminds me of the pureness I had once embodied. My heart is always bound to thee, but my soul urges me to contemplate and repent of my sin. Farewell, my love, the days are jovial with your company; do not bother to find me, for my heart stays with thee.’
‘Infirm of purpose! The man I have deferred and accounted my love is nothing but a coward; his feeble mind and irresoluteness suffocated his desire.’ Lady Macbeth rose from her bed, with a faint sneer of melancholy crossing her face. A quantum of solace could be traced from the remaining warmth on the pillow. Her clenched, shivering fists blinded her sensitivity as she paced towards the fireplace and fed the fire with logs, thus wiping out her inexplicable chillness.
‘The fairness and foulness of natural order was obscured on my return to Forres; the rapture from victory and unexpected investiture clouded my reason and inclined me to fabricate the illusionary witchcraft. I was burning with a desire to suppress the impulse of ecstasy, the dormant aspiration to a higher position fled from the shackles and lashed at my heart. Deeply confused and horrified by my immoral notion, I wrote to thee, praying ‘thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee’ (1.5.10-11). However, the compulsion is not under my control, and I have become the creature of my imagination.’
Standing rapt by the balcony, Lady Macbeth read between the lines and contemplated the political intrigue she had provoked. The sky is overcast and a sense of desperateness has descended upon her. She clenched the paper firmly in her hands, and the notion of her shuddering fingers led to the crumple of the paper.
‘Our noblest Duncan is my kinsman, my king and guest in our castle; he has granted me thane of Cawdor, relying on an utter trust. Murdering an honored man like him would give birth to the ‘naked newborn babe’ of pity (1.7.21), stir ‘the deep damnation’ (1.7.20), and incite hatred among the victims. I had vacillated on whether to cease the malice, whereas you invoked the concept of determination and transferred my sense of guilt into a wave of indispensable valor to acquire the crown. The enormity of the conspiracy has been reduced into the embodiment of manliness; the solemnity of crown has been trampled on by irrational ambition; the innocence of sleep has been nearly strangled by the cruel assassination.’
Tears dripping gently from the orbit, Lady Macbeth whimpered as if her heart was being torn, ‘the murderous spirits I have poured into your ear is nothing but a disguise of my calumny; the ignorance of aftermath convinced me into comparing the corpse to ‘a painted devil’ (2.2.58).’
‘The cumulative sense of terror and guilt is on the crest when the malice has been conducted. My eyes are deceived by the fatal vision of daggers; my ears are smothered with the warning ‘sleep no more’; my glorious reputation was tarnished by the misconduct. As a warrior, I am accustomed to killing on the battlefield, but have yielded to the bizarre image of death that my imagination presented to me.
I have once courageously tried, only to find that I have devastated the most precious virtue; I have once surmounted the fear barrier, only to discover a desert of ‘spiritual desolation’ (Foakes, 1982: 27); I have once responded to the call of my…