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Lady Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay

1048 words - 4 pages

Macbeth was a mildly disturbing play cluttered with bloody apparitions and heartless murders. It was very enjoyable. The first read through may confuse the reader as to Macbeth's sudden change throughout the play. In the beginning one would expect him to play the righteous hero-type after his praise and accomplishments alongside his main man, Banquo. Macbeth defeats two major foes, Macdonwald, and the Norwegian King, as if it were taking candy from a baby- at least that's how the bloody, dying captain in the beginning described his feats. Soon after the battle, Macbeth is visited by the three witches, who call him by his current title- Thane of Glamis, then, they predict for him that he will become Thane of Cawdor and King, although Banquo's sons will inherit the throne after Macbeth. Macbeth seems surprised or even somewhat disturbed when the witches speak to him. Banquo reacts differently, almost gleeful that the witches are saying such wonderful things about his friends. This gives us the first glimpse into Macbeth's personality. As the witches begin to leave, he desperately calls them back, needing to know how these two new titles will be awarded to him. While Banquo just chatters on about how flattered he is, Macbeth interrupts him- all he can think about is that Banquo's children will take the throne someday. This might give one reason to believe that, however humble Macbeth outwardly appeared on the matter of possibly becoming king, he knew deep down it was going to happen one way or another. As it is made apparent later, he will make it happen of his own accord if necessary.

After Macbeth is awarded Thane of Cawdor, which he attained because of the former Thane's betrayal and execution, he writes a letter home to his wife about his experience with the "weird sisters." He tells Lady Macbeth, "... And referred me to the coming on of time with 'Hail, king that shalt be!'... Lay it to thy heart, and farewell." (Shakespeare 30) His letter states his excitement that he will be future king, but that she should keep his good fortune a secret. Lady Macbeth reacts to the letter unexpectedly, saying that Macbeth won't get the crown unless he is to take it for himself. She acknowledges her husband is ambitious, but that he doesn't have enough meanness in him to carry out the job. Because of Macbeth's ambition, he takes his wife's bait completely. His personality wouldn't allow him to turn down an opportunity to get something he really wants. In all likelihood, Macbeth didn't think of cheating to achieve the crown until Lady Macbeth brought it up, in fact, she may have contributed to his tipping point in the beginning of the play.
The overall tone of the play is dark and full of death and betrayal. It begins with a bloody battle, but even that is a happy note compared to how the story progresses as Macbeth becomes more and more murderous. Macbeth kills the joyful King Duncan after he puts all of his trust into his new Thane of Cawdor, even going...

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