To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,To the last syllable of recorded time;And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,And then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.
Act 5 Scene 5 lines 19-28
This soliloquy of Macbeth in Act 5 Scene 5 is so filled with images and deep meanings, that we can feel the pain of the character even out of context. The bitter epiphany that Macbeth has can’t change anything anymore. The timeline, so strict before, becomes punctured. The time loses its meaning, the reality for Macbeth is devoid of any logic and now his sanity is only enough to understand that he is gradually going mad.
He feels that anything he did was absolutely senseless and brought him nothing except suffering. Macbeth wishes he could feel at least something, but when the servants report him that his wife has died, killing herself because of unbearable grief, he is unable to mourn her. His personality is dismantling: from the real person, with his own strengths, weaknesses, hopes and fears, he becomes the iconic evil king, mad and irrational.
But the main difference from fairy tales is that Macbeth himself is suffering equally to those he made to suffer. He doesn’t feel alive anymore, even saying that he is a living shadow, so he doesn’t see any sense to mourn the dead or cling to life himself. The crown didn’t bring him any satisfaction at all, though in literal sense he got exactly what he wanted and what the witches promised him in the prophecy.