Macbeth Essay

1262 words - 5 pages

Macbeth is a play written by Shakespeare that is set in eleventh century Scotland. It details the life of the Macbeth, a brave and noble man who is described as ‘Bellona’s bridegroom’ (1.3.54), specifically the events after he meets three supernatural creatures who tell him about his fate. The reader should see Macbeth as a great man whose ambition for security leads to his downfall. Ambitions and manipulation from his wife cause him to commit Duncan’s murder, but this particular murder does not relate to Macbeth’s downfall. This man’s ambition for the crown turns into ambition for security after he becomes king, causing him to kill more to keep his unrightful kingship safe. There are a lot of supernatural occurrences in this play, but Macbeth is not wholly influenced by the prophecies or apparitions. Shakespeare wanted the modern viewer to see how ambition and over-confidence can lead man to his downfall. Macbeth represents this perfectly.

The murder of Duncan was committed due to the urging of Lady Macbeth, after the Witches merely brought the thought to the mind. Macbeth’s ambition does not play a big part in this murder because it is just starting to develop, thus this does not lead to his downfall. Macbeth was not thinking about ruling Scotland until the Witches prophesied to him about it. Macbeth might have thought about becoming king in the past through his reference to ‘my dull brain was wrought with things forgotten’ (1.3.148-149), but he has pushed the thought out of his mind. Only after the prophecy does Macbeth start to think about the murder. Macbeth does not think lightly of his chance of becoming king after the second prophecy about becoming the thane of Cawdor comes true. Ambition, for the crown, is not a main cause of Duncan’s murder because Macbeth denounces his ambition as vaulting and puts a stop to his ambition by deciding to stop the plan after his soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 7. Macbeth know that he has ‘no spur to prick the sides of [his] intent, but only vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other’ (1.7.25-28). Macbeth’s ambition in stoppable so far, Lady Macbeth is the person who really causes Macbeth to commit the murder. Macbeth decided against the murder until she came and manipulated him to do so. Lady Macbeth toys with his masculinity, pride, and love to manipulate Macbeth into murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth attacks his masculinity telling him ‘when you durst do it, then you were a man. And to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.’ (1.7.49-51) and that he is ‘a coward in [his] own esteem, letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’’. (1.7.43-44). She manipulates Macbeth using promises of destroying something dear to her if she ‘so sworn as [Macbeth] have done to [the murder] ´ (1.7.58-59). Lady Macbeth also taunts Macbeth, asking him if he was ‘afread to be the same in [his] act and valour, as [he] is in desire’ (1.7.39-41), and announces to Macbeth that his action from...

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