The Pursuit of Heaven, or Hell?
By Lucienne Henry
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of...”. This is a true statement made by Albert Camus, and one of which Shakespeare was trying to convey in the tragedy of Macbeth. Shakespeare’s message in the play was that the pursuit of happiness is misleading. When happiness is pursued consciously and ruthlessly it may at first seem like happiness. However, the pursuit will ultimately compromise happiness, not gain it. Nonetheless if the pursuit is not for happiness but for rightly and just reasons even when faced with adversity happiness is the ending result. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are two examples of ruthless pursuers of happiness. They killed and betrayed, trying to find contentment. Macduff is the example of a just and righteous man who lost much, but continued to fight which ended in his happiness.
Macbeth was a noble warrior. However in the pursuit of his own happiness he murdered and betrayed. Macbeth’s first act of selfishness was when he killed king Duncan. Macbeth killed Duncan because he knew it would place him on the throne of Scotland. After killing Duncan and trying to force upon himself his own happiness Macbeth felt guilty and heard voices, they were the first warning. “Methought, I heard a voice cry, ‘sleep no more!/ Macbeth does murder sleep’…” Pp 81 lines 47-48. Macbeth thought that by killing he was insuring his future happiness. Macbeth decided to seek out more happiness by murdering his friend Banquo. After sending murderer’s to kill Banquo once again Macbeth felt guilty. Macbeth saw the ghost of Banquo. This was Macbeth’s second warning. Finally, Macbeth killed Macduff’s family. This was Macbeth’s final act of a selfish pursuit of happiness. Up to the killing of Macduff’s family Macbeth was pursuing his own happiness ruthlessly. By killing Macduff’s family Macbeth thought that he was pursuing his own happiness but in reality that is what gave Macduff reason to kill Macbeth. In his pursuit of attaining his foretold happiness all of the actions Macbeth did contributed to his death and so the compromise of his happiness.
Lady Macbeth, at first was the serpent behind the poisoned tooth. Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth was the main factor in Macbeth’s murder of king Duncan. When Lady Macbeth found out that Macbeth was Thane of Cawdor, she was the first to suggest the killing of Duncan. Lady Macbeth wanted to be in power and to be queen. She was the one who they had originally planned, to kill Duncan. However when Lady Macbeth saw Duncan sleeping she said he looked like her father and could not kill him. Even though she did not kill Duncan she planted the daggers with the guards. Therefore she...