Order and disorder in Macbeth:

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In the Elizabethan World Picture the creatures had a position with an omnipresent order. This was divided in hierarchies which also meant that any abuse of this order was thought to lead to its so-called breakdown. The final result meant that chaos took place of the former order. The state was seen as a complex building of order and hierarchies and this also had a strong impact on the writers for the Elizabethan period as for example William Shakespeare. Macbeth is a good example of a play that deals with order vs. disorder.

Overall the play starts by showing that something is going to happen. Nature is used as a tool to indicate disorder which is seen in the first act where the witches say “fair is foul and foul is fair”. Another big moment of disorder is in act 1, scene 5, where Lady Macbeth talks to herself about killing Duncan (the king): “And pall thee in the dunnest smoe of hell that my keen knife see not the wound it makes, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark to cry “hold, hold”” Her persona temporarily turns evil. There is hysteria and disorder in the atmosphere. In these particular lines Lady Macbeth has deep thoughts about the innocent heavens not wanting to see her evil deed.
Towards the end of act 1, scene 7 Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to kill Duncan by saying: “Would´st thou have that which thou esteem´st the ornament of life and live a coward in thin own esteem”. She indicates that Macbeth will not only be a coward in her eyes, but he will also consider himself as a coward sooner or later. All in all, Lady Macbeth causes disorder on the play by forcing Macbeth to kill the king.

The major disorder occurs after Macbeth actually murders the king; which causes that his mind becomes unstable, traumatized and paranoid. Another delusional moment is the scene where Macbeth is having a banquet. The whole point of the assembly is to show that he is the rightful king. His main attention in the scene is to impose order by welcoming his guests properly and in general creating a positive atmosphere. However; the banquet turns out to end in chaos because of Macbeth’s disruptive delusions. So the main focus in this particular scene is the drastic change from order to disorder.

Another interesting moment of disorder in the play is also when Macbeth imagines the dagger before he kills the king: “Is this dagger which I see before me, the handle towards my hand? Come let me clutch thee”. Macbeth’s consciousness makes him imagine and see things that don’t exist. Also Lady Macbeth turns out to be human after all and becomes delusional in the end of the play because of her guilt. She is described as a wandering, sleeping soul who stays in her disorderly state until she kills herself.