Visions and hallucinations many times occur in Macbeth as reminders to Macbeth of his assassinations. When Macbeth meets the three witches, they convince him that he will be Thane of Cawdor and later King. Though Macbeth is said to be an immensely powerful and heroic lord he later has a mental breakdown and encounters many sleepless nights. Macbeth allows the thoughts of being king and so much more, to corrupt his mind and drive him to multiple murders. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth’s guilty conscience causes him to have visions and hallucinations and he forgets his role as King.
The first vision Macbeth has occurs before he is about to proceed in the killing of King Duncan. Macbeth encounters a floating bloody dagger right before him leading him towards the king’s chamber. “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come let me clutch thee… is this a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from a heart oppressed brain?” (II.ii.32-32.37-38). This quote depicts the dagger is symbolism of conscience. Although Macbeth has yet to commit to the killing of King Duncan; the dagger signifies his death and Macbeths conscience is already filled with guilt. This causes him to see the image of the dagger which isn’t truly there. After Macbeth kills Duncan his conscience began to toy deeper with his mind. Macbeth begins to hear a voice aloud in his head informing him that he will encounter sleepless nights, “sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep” (II.ii.33-34). Macbeth is so distraught at this moment that he brings the bloody daggers he used to murder Duncan out of the chamber. Lady Macbeth furious, utters to Macbeth “why did you bring these daggers from the place… go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood” (II.ii.46). But Macbeth conscience is so filled with guilt he cries to Lady Macbeth “I’ll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done look on’t again I dare not” (II.ii.48-50).
After the killing of Duncan, Macbeth is immediately crowned king just as the witches predicted. Soon after he becomes king he orders two murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, because he is afraid Fleance will become king instead of his own sons, who has yet to exist. After Banquo is assassinated and Macbeth attends the banquet he begins to hallucinate as he notices Banquo’s bloody ghost sitting in his place at the table. Ross asks Macbeth,