Towards the end of the play,
Malcolm describes Macbeth to Macduff as a “tyrant, whose sole name blisters our
tongues.” Shakespeare has used the imagery of disease to portray Macbeth as
having become vile and depraved, and the hyperbolic nature of the remark
signifies the extent to which Macbeth has changed. Thus, ambition has entailed
a course of becoming an unprincipled, evil and malignant murderer for Macbeth.
Midway through the play, Macbeth expresses his deteriorating mental
state by saying, “O, full of scorpions is my mind.” Shakespeare references animal imagery when using a metaphor to express the paranoia and guilt causes by his actions. The animal imagery of scorpions
connotes a deleterious and damaging effect that Macbeth’s guilty conscience has on his ability to behave and function as a human being.