This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Significance Of Moral Ambiguity In Shakespeare's, Tragedy Of Mac Beth

987 words - 4 pages

The Significance of Moral Ambiguity in William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a fictional play written by English poet William Shakespeare. The play is set in eleventh century Scotland, during the reign of King James the first. Shakespeare evidently writes in this time period to describe the link between leaders and their supreme or ultimate power. The play was first performed in the year 1606, at the world famous Globe Theatre, and is considered one of the most profound and compelling tragedies ever told. The Tragedy of Macbeth tells the tale of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth and his ambitious desire to become king of Scotland. While he and another commander named Banquo return home from war they stumble into three hagged looking witches. The witches offer the men an enticing prophecy that leads to a more pivotal role found later in the play. Throughout the play Macbeth is seen confronting his own moral ambiguity to the heinous acts he must perform to get the position he most desires. “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, [s]hakes so my single state of man” (Shakespeare 1.3.152-53). This uncertainty, present in the scenes of Duncan’s murder, the feast, and the witch’s final predictions each unfold the ambiguity needed to understand the basis of the work as a whole.
After the first prediction comes true the reader starts to see a difference in Macbeth’s entire attitude. Throughout the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as a valiant and great nobleman, however, when Macbeth receives news that there is a chance for him to rise to great power he conspires to murder the current king to gain the throne. Although the thought of killing Duncan at first is subtle, it grows into a more blood thirsty motive for power. Macbeth then ponders over why he should not go on with the murder, “He’s here in double trust: First as I am his kinsman and his subject” (1.7.12-13). Duncan has never done anything to cross Macbeth; he was kind and even tried to promote Macbeth to a higher status. Deep down Macbeth genuinely does believe that Duncan is a humble and honorable leader. The only reason for going on with the murder is “To prick the sides of [his] intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’ other” (1.7.26-28). The play then goes on to explain the effect of evil when it is chosen to fulfill ambition. The reader tends to have a different view of Macbeth at this point because of his corrupted mind.
Succeeding Duncan’s death, Macbeth gains title as the king of Scotland as well as thane of Cawdor. To celebrate all of his success Macbeth and Lady Macbeth decide to throw a banquet in his honor. Macbeth invites the lords as well as his good friend Banquo to feast at Inverness. Yet the prophecy that Banquo’s ancestral grandchildren shall inherit the throne still intimidates him. Macbeth decides to hire...

Find Another Essay On The Significance of Moral Ambiguity in Shakespeare's, Tragedy of MacBeth

The Significance of Act 1 Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

4112 words - 16 pages The Significance of Act 1 Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth The story of ‘Macbeth’ opens in ancient Scotland during a time of war between Scotland and Norway. In thunder and lightening, not far from the place of battle, three witches meet on a lonely heath. They are very important in the plot and develop certain aspects of the play. They make greater theatrical experience with images of darkness, thunder and

Shakespeare's Macbeth: Why Lady Macbeth is not a Victim of Tragedy. (Oral Speech)

705 words - 3 pages Macbeth English Debate: Lady Macbeth is not the Tragedy of the play!Thankyou Robert Ford, that was tantalising I must say. I think that's enough rubbish for one day. It's about time the dialogue steered back onto the main subject. Something along the lines of 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' and yes I do mean Macbeth. Please can someone tell me who killed 'Duncan the King of Scotland"? That's right, Macbeth. Who turned from good to bad in this play

Moral Ambiguity in Heart of Darkness

1058 words - 4 pages corrupting, in this case, Africa. Marlow is a sailor who is traveling through Africa on a steam boat and who works for a company that is attempting to gain riches for Europe. His moral ambiguity is shown by the fact that he is participating in this heinous expedition yet, at the same time, he seems to despise it. Marlow, as he sailed along the coast, saw "a man-of-war anchored off the coast…shelling the bush…There was a touch of

The Moral Ambiguity of Julius Caesar

1051 words - 5 pages what human morality truly is has been pondered by philosophers, common folk, and writers for thousands of years. However, sometimes a person’s ethics are unclear; he or she are not wholly good or bad but, rather, morally ambiguous. William Shakespeare, an English playwrite, heavily presses the topic moral ambiguity in his play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The titular character, Julius Caesar, is a morally equivocal character who serves a major

The character of Macbeth in Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

1131 words - 5 pages The Macbeth character in Macbeth by William Shakespeare can be played many ways. Macbeth's relationship with other characters in the play and Aristotle's theory of a tragedy are ways in which Macbeth is shown as a tragic hero.At the very beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo are returning to Scotland from a fierce battle between the Norwegians and the Scottish. They have just won the war for Duncan. This shows a noble virtue of Macbeth, a

The tragedy of macbeth

778 words - 4 pages The Tragedy of Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays to ever have been written. Takes place back in the Elizabethan age back when kings and queens ruled certain countries and people did not have much freedom. The Tragedy of Macbeth has to do with a couple madly in love with one another. Where Macbeth would do anything for his wife lady Macbeth; in ACT I Macbeth and Banquo return from battle, he and Banquo meet three witches who

The Downfall Of Macbeth In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1771 words - 8 pages People and decisions can greatly affect the outcome of a person's life determining whether the outcome will be successful or disastrous. In the Shakespeare play of Macbeth, there are two factors that contributed to Macbeth's ruin. One of them being more to blame: The influential character of Lady Macbeth displaying temptation towards Macbeth, or Macbeth's own ambitious and insecure nature. There are questions whether Macbeth's downfall might

The Tragedy of Macbeth

635 words - 3 pages In Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy, Macbeth, the protagonist Macbeth suffers from the tribulations of being an overbearing tyrant. Macbeth is afflicted by his hubristic personality, and not only victimizes himself but also radiates the agony to those around him. The suffering of Macbeth’s own people is a direct consequence of his tragic flaw of ambition, which leads to multiple misfortunate events; Macbeth’s tragic flaw, and the events that

The Tragedy of Macbeth

1060 words - 4 pages King Duncan. Furthermore Macbeth, who originally valued friendship and loyalty, betrays those values when informed by one of the witches’ apparitions in IV.i.79 “Beware the Thane of Fife.” establishing Macduff’s antagonistic role in the play. Macbeth then orders the murder of Macduff’s family, completely going against his moral values. To conclude, influential forces such as the witches’ fatal prophesies and his significant other test his

Ambiguity of Moral Values in Eckbert the Fair by Ludwig Tieck

2095 words - 8 pages Ludwig Tieck’s novella, Eckbert the Fair, presents a certain ambiguity of moral values. The story meets a tragic ending where the main couple of the fairytale, Eckbert and Bertha, die as punishment for their crimes of betrayal, theft, and murder. However, an uneasy feeling of injustice remains about the punishment despite the clarity of their guilt. The tale itself strongly resembles a tragic play defined by Aristotle, but the narrative deviates

The Moral Ambiguity of Katerina Ivanovna: Understanding Raskolnikov’s Crime

1801 words - 8 pages Often in works of fiction there exists a clear distinction between characters who are meant to be seen as good and those as evil. The hero saves the day by way of thwarting the villain's evil plan. However, in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment we are introduced to the characters of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov and Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov who display acts of moral ambiguity and are neither fully hero nor villain. These character’s

Similar Essays

The Tragedy Of Ambition In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1207 words - 5 pages The Tragedy of Ambition in Macbeth      Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth, shares common themes with many other stories and actual events. Many scandals, both historic and current, can be linked to greed, ambition, and abuse of power.  Typically, the key figures are motivated by, and are inevitably destroyed by, ambition.  This is also the case in Macbeth, where ambition leads to the downfall of the once great character, Macbeth

Clothing In Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Macbeth

1172 words - 5 pages social status, whatever you may dress yourself it, it is bound to look wrong. Before Macbeth´s head is consumed by the thought of power, he recognizes this himself “The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me In borrowed robes?” (1.3.105). He later have to face the consequence of his newly acquired power as his life starts spinning out of control. The oddness of his clothes and his disability to handle power will become clear to more than him

Tragedy In Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

740 words - 3 pages “We are only puppets, our strings are being pulled by unknown forces.”~ Georg Buchner A tragedy is a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. The play Macbeth is a tragedy because Macbeth allowed himself to be driven by his ambitions and

History Compared To Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Macbeth

847 words - 3 pages , Macbeth established himself as the King of Scots after killing his cousin Duncan I, in battle near Elgin not as in Shakespeare's play by killing him in his sleep. Duncan I was killed on August 14, 1040. Macbeth then reigned as king for seventeen years. The characters and events portrayed by W. Shakespeare in The Tragedy of Macbeth reflect the time period. Shakespeare did use historical facts along with some of his own imagination. He used