Macbeth Essay

1336 words - 5 pages

The story Macbeth is like no other in plot and poetry. It sets itself apart from the rest by having a protagonist becoming evil. What makes Macbeth such a complicated character is the way his outlook keeps on changing throughout the play. This essay will prove that Macbeth is an evil man and was not overpowered by ambition to get what he wanted. This essay will also determine that certain characters like the witches did not force him to do evil; they simply triggered it.

In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is shown as a hero in the Scottish army, that is ironic because Macbeth has defeated a traitor and he will become one. We feel that a person of his loyalty could never commit evil unless he had a good reason or if he would be provoked. After Macbeth's first meeting with the witches, we learn from his aside that he has thought about killing Duncan ' My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical' 1(Macbeth 1.3.152). Macbeth also says ' If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me Without my stir.' 2(Macbeth 1.4.157-159) which means that maybe he does not have to murder the king to gain that title. Luck has been very generous to him and might continue and make him king.

Macbeth's true evil thoughts about being king are first shown when he finds out that king Duncan has named his son Malcolm as Prince of Cumberland. He now shows his evil and his true feelings.

' Stars, hide your fires; Let not night see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.' 3(Macbeth 1.4.57-60)

Macbeth is actually seeking help from the dark and supernatural. Macbeth is saying that he does not want to see the evil that he will commit until it is done. It is now known that Macbeth is capable of evil and would commit it.

Upon meeting Lady Macbeth, we can assume that any evil done by Macbeth would be contributed by her influence. Lady Macbeth is a very powerful women and she has a-lot of power over Macbeth's decisions. After Lady Macbeth reads the letter from Macbeth, she says that he is in fact too noble to kill Duncan in cold blood but he would like to.

' It is too full o'th'milk of human kindness To catch

the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great, Art not

without ambition, but without The illness should

attend it. What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst

thou holily; wouldst not play false And yet wouldst

wrongly win.' 4(Macbeth 1.5.17-23)

Lady Macbeth also talks about Macbeth's ambition and how he is not the kind of person to let anything stand in his way if he wants it enough. Knowing there is evil in him, once he starts with the murder he will not let anything else stand in his way.

Macbeth's guilt is recognized after the killing of the king; in fact he is filled with so much of it that he is unable to pronounce the word AMEN. Macbeth shows once again his guilt when he says 'Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this...

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