'Thunder and lightning : Enter three witches.' The first scene of Shakespeare's classic "Macbeth". The story of a cowardly nobleman's rise to power, and his collapse to death. Can a person's ambition, in a dark world, lead them to murder, just to obtain power? I propose to respond to Shakespeare's "MacBeth" in a critical response to this play.
"MacBeth" is the tragic tale of a frail man who must face murder just to earn power, but cannot cope with the side-effects it can bring.
The key character is Macbeth. Macbeth is a noble man, who although may appear strong and brave is actually a very cowardly and frail man who needs lots of guidance, which is expressed very clearly throughout the play.
Lady Macbeth, Macbeth's wife, plays a strong, masculine character in the play. She is more masculine than Macbeth himself. She guides Macbeth to help him climb the ladder to power, but she herself cannot handle the guilt either.
Macbeth goes through several stages in the play, his original state, his tragic flaw, then his pre-death stage. These three stages help us understand how un-controlling Macbeth is of his own life, and how he was in a way bullied into his action.
At the beginning when Macbeth is in his original state he is an anti-hero who has no strength in mind and relies on Lady Macbeth. He may be a soldier on the outside but on the inside he is a coward. The play starts with three witches, of whom foretell the future of Macbeth, saying he would become "Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and king of Scotland" (1.3.47-49) Macbeth is speechless, and he considers the witches words. Lady Macbeth persuades him to kill King Duncan as well "We fail? but screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail." (1.7.59-61) This is the first turning point in Macbeth's character, he has now taken a turn into darkness, which he will never get out of.
Due to the death of King Duncan, Macbeth becomes King and his murder has paid him well. He is now in a position of honour and people respect him. He is a lot stronger than he was, but he does not use this strength in good use. Paranoia starts to tease and play with Macbeth's conscience, he and his wife feel constant guilt and fear so they decide to have Banquo killed.