College Papers

The intriguing yet intricate play about tragedy and

The play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare is a display of the issues and misfortune of the Jacobean Period. Macbeth is a intriguing yet intricate play about tragedy and deceptive nobles but also focused on the idea of good versus evil. The prophecy from the witches leads to a unthinkable decision by Macbeth and he is given a opportunity in which his true self is revealed.  The noble Macbeth is both a victim and villain of his own fate, the choices that he makes ultimately shape him into a deadly tyrant. In the beginning of the play, the Macbeths are seen as good and honorable people. As the story goes on, much is unveiled such as Lady Macbeth, her true intentions, and the influence she has on Macbeth. When the prophecy of Macbeth becoming Thane Of Cawdor uprises there is obvious deliberation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth on what to do about it.  After the Macbeth’s talk about the crime, they are going to commit.  It does not truly register  to either one that the consequences will later come. Macbeth soon realizes that killing Duncan will generate more problems and consequences than benefits. The final scene of Act 1 starts with Macbeth’s soliloquy, showing his confusion and indecisiveness. He states that”if it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly” (1. 7.1-2). Macbeth is saying that if he is going to murder Duncan then it should happen fast, he wishes to get it done and over with. Shakespeare uses the word “if” to illustrates how conflicted Macbeth is with going through with the plan. His viewpoint shifts to a more ethical standpoint when he realizes he is “his kinsman and his subject…then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife” (1.7.13-16). He sees how foolish and wrong it is to kill his king as a guest in his home. Macbeth is aware  that Duncan is his friend and he is supposed to be his loyal companion who stops those who try to harm him, not harm him himself. Macbeth comes to the conclusion that he will not kill Duncan, although that quickly changes as soon as Lady Macbeth enters. She quickly howls at him saying, “Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own Act and valor As thou art in desire…And live a coward in thine own esteem” (1.7.43-47). Lady Macbeth does not feel any guilt and gives Macbeth a scolding, calling him a coward and compares him to a kitten afraid to get its paws wet.  Lady Macbeth shows her true colors while berating him if he is ever going to go after what he wants or just be pushed around.  Referencing to his masculinity, pushes Macbeth to the edge and he agrees to kill Duncan, illustrating the power Lady Macbeth has over Macbeth and how easily he is to manipulate. Lady Macbeth and the witches enable Macbeth’s ambition, but ultimately his choice  to unleash his tragic flaw.  Although even with her influence, the choice and action to kill Duncan is Macbeth’s choice and he has no one to blame but himself for it. Macbeth’s selfish decisions leads to the discovery of his hidden goals and the ruthless ways in which he gets them.  Macbeth tries to hold back his ambition in the beginning of the play although it is promptly consumed by his desire for power. Throughout the play he continuously chooses ambition over everyone and everything. A unreliable prophecy from the witches, once again triggers his ambition and causes him to say “To be thus is nothing, But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo Stick deep” ( 3.1.50).  Macbeth would murder one of his closest friends and sacrifice his morals just on the possibility that Fleance may become king. Macbeth kills Duncan because of his lust for power, but kills Banquo for no other reason other than fear. He is not only afraid that he will find out who killed Duncan, but also of how much more of a nobleman he is. The rest of his decisions thereafter are made solely by himself, neither  Lady Macbeth or The witches were influencing or leading him. After going on a killing spree and murdering the whole Macduff family it is clearly shown that Macbeth is aware of his fatal flaw and does not about the consequences.