Discuss The Sources Of Evil In "Macbeth", In Detail.

987 words - 4 pages

Macbeth is a tragic play, evoking the gradual deterioration of the hero, from good to evil, inevitably resulting Macbeth to lose his political supremacy and die; a great catastrophic end. A source of evil present in the play is Macbeth himself, with boundless ambition to usurp the throne, yet it seems that these desires are left as a mere dream. However, two other external sources of evil - the Three Witches and Lady Macbeth - ignites Macbeth, and manipulates the hero to execute immoral and iniquity actions, against his ethical consciences. Throughout the play, the humane sides of Macbeth are also revealed; allowing the audience to feel sympathetic for the sudden downfall of the hero; thus classifying the play as 'tragedy'. It seems that although many forms of evil exist in the external world - macrocosm -, it is the individual's own ambitions and desires that drive the victim to create personal "hell".Originally, Macbeth is not presented as a figure of evil and malevolence, but introduced as the guardian of the weak and the symbol of justice, "milk of human kindness..." But when the Three Witches appear to Macbeth and Banquo and deliver their prophecy, that they would be kings "Thou shalt be kings..." Macbeth is incapable of resisting the temptation, and the desires deep within him begins to sprout. When the time of King Duncan's murder draws near, Macbeth struggles and finds his emotions in huge conflict, evoking his humane qualities. However, when the assassination is complete, Macbeth finds it hard to show conviction in his bond between God; "One cried 'God bless us!' and Amen the other... I could not say 'Amen'". This is a personal confession that he has performed an act of injustice and evil, inevitably aligning himself with the forces of evil. As the plot progresses, Macbeth becomes more and more accustomed to evil, and incinerates his humane qualities within him, forcing him to act according to his newly found conviction, the unnatural force of evil. During the Shakespearean time, the society was symbolized as a 'great chain of being', a chain beginning with God and King, and ending with evil, conveying their status in the social order. The irony in the play is that, the king [Macbeth] should be in align with God, but conversely rejects the will of nature and serves the unnatural [Evil]. This causes a great disruption in the macrocosm forcing the order of society to be chaotic. As the play advances, Macbeth becomes so morally confused, that he exceeds to seek comfort and guidance through the Three Witches, "I conjure you by that which you profess... answer me.../ To what I ask you." In the end, Macbeth's life collapses and fails to find greatness on his throne, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty race from day to day. The final irony is that the destroyer of life can find no meaning in his life for himself. Macbeth is slain, concluding the life...

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