Can Macbeth Be Held Responsible For His Own Actions, Or Was He Influences Through Other Forces.

1442 words - 6 pages

For nearly four hundred years, Shakespeare's work has been entertaining the public not just because of the beauty of the poetry but its relevance to today's society. During the course of the tragedy, 'Macbeth', we see power corrupting a heroic figure and making him a vicious, sinful tyrant. In today's culture, we see this happening to popular figures in other countries like Stalin in Russia. At the beginning of the play, we see Macbeth as having a reputation for heroism and he is known for his courageousness. By the end of the last act, he is described as a 'dead butcher'. At first, I sympathised with Macbeth because the witches and Lady Macbeth were influencing him. Also, because of his loyalty to the King and his fierce combat skills. Even so, I realised as the play went on that he had to be held responsible for his own actions and that no one else can take the blame.There were many times in the play when I was tempted to take Macbeth's side and sympathise with him. At the beginning of the play, for example, his brave and dauntless qualities were particularly obvious. It was Macbeth who saved Duncan's rule during the battle, which caused him to be praised by King Duncan and other nobles as 'brave Macbeth' and 'worthy gentleman'.Even more importantly, king Duncan rewarded him for his loyalty by giving him the title of the man who he defeated, the Thane of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth's criticisms also gave me proof of Macbeth's good nature. She describes him as, 'too full of the milk of human kindness', and perhaps too gentle to grasp the opportunity to kill the King while he is in Macbeth's castle.Similarly, I feel sympathetic towards Macbeth because of the temptations and influences he came across. The witches hail Macbeth as 'king hereafter' and Lady Macbeth later manipulates him by making him believe he will become King. When Macbeth tells his wife that he does not want anything to do with the murder of Duncan because he realised it was morally wrong, she influences him to change his mind. 'Was the hope drunk, wherein you dressed yourself?' Nevertheless, he still has a conscience and acknowledges his ambition but doesn't give way to it. This shows he is still a good person.She then makes the murder a test of love for her- 'from this time such I account thy love'. I think this was a very unfair way of persuading Macbeth because he now has to prove his love to his wife by killing Duncan.Another was she manipulates him by asking him questions so that he becomes vulnerable and confused.'And wakes it now, to look so green and paleAt what it did so freely?'And,'Art thou afeardTo be the same in thine own act and valour,As thou art in desire?'I think she is being unprincipled because he is already faced with a dilemma but she is making more difficult for him.Even so, I feel it was the witches that influenced Macbeth the most. They release Macbeth's selfish ambitions because I think Macbeth had always wanted to become King and the witches' prophecies made...

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