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Word Count: 1,140
Poem Is this a dagger which I see before me The handle toward my hand Come let me clutch thee I have thee not and yet I see thee still Art thou not fatal vision sensible to feeling as to sight Or art thou but a dagger of the mind a false creation Proceeding form the heat-oppressed brain I see thee yet in form as palpable As this which now I draw Thou marrshallst me the way that I was going And such an instrument I was to use Mine eyes are made the fools othother sense Or else worth all the rest I see thee still And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of bleed Which was not so before Theres no such thing It is the bloody business which informs Thus to mine eyes Now oer the one half-world Nature seems dead and wicked dreams abuse The curtained sleep Witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecates offrings and withered murder Alarumed by his sentinel the wolf Whose howls his watch thus with his stealthy pace With Tarquins ravishing strides towards his design Moves like a ghost Thou sure and firm-set earth Hear not my steps which way they walk for fear Thy very stone prate of my whereabout And take the present horror form the time Which now suits with it Whiles I threat he lives Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives How this scene contributes to our understanding of character and play So far the play has hurdled through seven scenes of mounting tension and now tithers on the threshold of regicide At this point Shakespeare freezes the action In the tension of silence both character and play develop on new levels For Macbeth this soliloquy in AC Bradleys words is where the powerful workings of his imagination rises to a new level of visible intensity as his conscience manifests itself as an air-drawn dagger
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