"Macbeth" Essay

1176 words - 5 pages

"Macbeth" is an eleventh century Shakespearean tragedy that takes a place in Scotland. The play opens with a scene in which three prophetic witches appear. The witches say something, which tells the reader that something strange, is forthcoming; " Fair is foul and foul is fair."( Act 1, pg1 ) These three witches encounter Macbeth and ignite his ambition by telling him that he will one day become king. The witches also tell Banquo, a friend of Macbeth that his descendants will become kings. They speak in paradox, confusing Macbeth on a couple of occasions throughout the play.

Macbeth tells lady Macbeth in a letter that he was predicted to be king. This lights the flame to her ambition, as she becomes power hungry to become queen as she hears the prophecy. She realizes that with King Duncan being alive the prophecy will and cannot become true. Macbeth is hesitant to think of murdering a good king such as Duncan however. Lady Macbeth feels that he doesn't have it in him to murder the king on his own so she begins to challenge his manhood as she has become obsessed with the idea of the murder. Macbeth finally allows himself to be corrupted by his overpowering wife, greed and ambition. Macbeth eventually commits the murder and begins to reverse roles with Lady Macbeth. He becomes king and continues to murder out of fear and conquers all in his path of destruction, ultimately even himself, whereas Lady Macbeth wished that the murders would cease. She ends up losing her grip on reality and eventually takes her own life. Macbeth is a tale of the corruption of morality when faced with greedy ambition for power.

The first murder committed by Macbeth was that of King Duncan. Macbeth becomes disturbed by the thought of murder as he has his first hallucination as a knife appears before him " Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight or art thou but a dagger of the mind." ( Act II, p20 ). He also knows of the guilt as he seems ashamed of his desire. " Stars, hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires."( Act I, p 11). Macbeth does not want the light, or his goodness, to see that he wants to murder King Duncan in order to receive the crown. His wife however, so stern and undeniable to him convinces him that the murder must be committed. "Art thou afeared; to be the same in thine own act and valour as thou art in desire." ( Act 1, scene 7). After committing the murder, Macbeth is overcome by guilt. "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No , this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incaradine." ( Act II, scene II ). On the other culprit's soul, there was no weight. She says " The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil." (Act II scence 2) She is stronger yet far more sinister at this point. Macbeth has just...

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