The Most Evil in Macbeth
Shakespeare's play, Macbeth is the tragic story of a once loyal
soldier's quest for the throne of Scotland. He is fuelled by his
'vaulting ambition' and spurred on by his determined wife. Macbeth
eventually gets his wish, but at the cost of assassinating the
country's leader, and spreading also suspicion and hatred throughout
the kingdom. He is eventually overthrown and killed when he is
discovered. Lady Macbeth is the one who encourages him to commit the
murders, and she was the one who gave him the idea of assassination.
She even blackmailed him to commit the crime when his conscience got
the better of him. Lady Macbeth is thought to have committed suicide
after going mad from the guilt and horrors that have taken place.
Macbeth at the beginning of the play was a heroic and valiant soldier
in King Duncan's army. Accounts are given of his bravery and courage
in battle against the rebel Macdonwald.
"For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,"
Because of Macbeth's great valour and gallantry, Duncan declares that
Macbeth should be the new Thane of Cawdor.
While returning from the battle Macbeth and his fellow Scottish
general, Banquo, encounter The Witches who address him as Thane of
Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and 'king hereafter'. The witches promptly
vanish and Rosse arrives with the news that Macbeth has been made
Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is already Thane of Glamis, and has just been
made Thane of Cawdor; he begins to see the witches' words as a
prophecy that he will become king.
"If Chance will have me king, why, Chance may crown me,
Without my stir."
Macbeth decides that he will leave these matters to chance, although
the prophecy disturbs him.
"Come what come may,
Time and hour runs throughout the roughest day."
His thoughts and actions at this time in the play show that he was not
born evil, but a metaphorical 'evil seed' was planted in his mind by
the witches and it is cultivated by his wife and ambition, from now on
in the play his evil thoughts and deeds grow.
In scene four Duncan reveals that his son Malcolm will be his heir to
the throne. This revelation causes Macbeth to suggest plotting against
the king and his heir, in an attempt to overthrow them.
"The Prince of Cumberland! - That is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it liesâ€¦"
Macbeth writes home to his wife, telling her of the battle, the three
"weird sisters" and the prophecy of him becoming king. She fears that
he "is too full o' the milk of human kindness" in order to become
king. She decides to use all her power to persuade Macbeth to kill
Duncan to become the reigning monarch.
She is informed that Duncan...