Act V – Scene.iii
Back in Dunsinane Castle, Macbeth has renewed
confidence arising from the prophecies receives from the apparitions. After all, they have promised him invincibility in battle. A messenger arrives to announce the approach of a large army, and for a
moment Macbeth loses his confidence, but then issues orders for his armor to be put on.
The doctor also advises Macbeth that he is concerned about Lady Macbeth’s
health, but this is treated with contempt.
Macbeth is playing the part of a despicable despot,
being unpleasant to all those around him. The audience must assume that those that still follow Macbeth do so out of fear rather than loyalty.
He is now so arrogant that he considers those around him to be cowards. He refers to his servant as ‘lily livered’, and as for the opposing army he considers them to be lazy and self-indulgent.
When the doctor advises Macbeth that he has been unable to cure his wife of
the madness, Macbeth mocks him telling him to throw his medicine to the dogs. The doctor makes the remark that he has noted Macbeth’s own military preparation, and doubts whether it will be a remedy for