Consequences of Actions in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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No person can go through life without facing the consequences of their actions. In fact, it is generally believed that every action must have a reaction. This belief is exhibited in Shakespeare's Macbeth. In the play, Lady Macbeth was the push that led her husband, Macbeth, to kill their king. This murder causes a series of consequences for both characters, which ultimately lead to their downfall. These character’s actions led to negative repercussions, but the audience will have a hard time pitying them, as their tragedy appears to be self inflicted. This idea of a self wrought tragedy is apparent in Lady Macbeth, as she is initially seen as a brutal woman because she convinced Macbeth to kill king Duncan, and aided in the murder. However, her guilt eventually lead to her own demise.

All tragedies need to begin somewhere, even if said tragedies are self wrought. Lady Macbeth’s calamity begins when she uses mockery to talk Macbeth into killing king Duncan. “When you durst do it, then you were a man, And to be more than what you were, you would, be so much more the man” (I. VII, 54-56). After struggling with the thought of killing Duncan, Macbeth is reprimanded by Lady Macbeth for his lack of courage. She informs him that killing the king will make him a man, insinuating that he isn’t a man if he doesn’t go through with the murder. This develops Lady Macbeth as a merciless, nasty, and selfish woman. She will say, or do anything to get what she desires, even if it means harming others. It is this selfishness that makes it hard for the reader to be empathetic towards her later in the play, as it is evident in this scene that her hardships were brought on by herself. If she hadn’t insisted on the murder, she would not be driven in...

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...can presume that it was out of guilt. As we saw, it was plaguing her dreams, and taking a heavy toll on her mental health. The reader can assume that she saw death as the only opportunity for peace of mind. Lady Macbeth committed the ultimate crime, and this is how she payed the price.

Lady Macbeth began to see the consequences of her actions, but couldn’t handle the repercussions. Her decisions had a negative outcome, despite her initial intentions being positive. The reader can look at Lady Macbeth as an excellent example of karma. Karma is the ancient belief that ever action has a negative or positive reaction, balancing the universe. Through Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare teaches the audience that all actions have consequences. She wanted the best for herself, but hurt others to achieve that. So, what could have been an astounding life turned in to a living hell.
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