Macbeth: The Evil Within

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It is evident from the beginning of the play that Macbeth is sheltering something sinister within him. At that moment, it can only be guessed as to what it is, but as the play moves along this terrible feeling grows and feeds on Macbeth’s paranoia and his disappointment with life as a whole. Macbeth gradually goes on both a literal and figurative life journey, with its disappointments and joys. Strangely, though, Macbeth is not pleased by these accomplishments, and only seeks more. There are multiple characters that either lit the fuse of Macbeth’s ambition, or cut the fuse to make it shorter, thus leading him along the path to evil. Although one could argue that both Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters affected Macbeth, they only played a minor role. The main fault lies with Macbeth himself, a man so blinded by ambition and rage that he resorts to murder to achieve his goal. The main source of evil is Macbeth due to his twisted reasoning on the prophecies that he hears, as well as the sinister feelings that are hiding inside of him even from the beginning of the play; illustrating that even those who seem most noble and valiant can have evil present within them.

One of Macbeth’s greatest tricks is his power of deception, which he shockingly uses to betray his friends, colleagues, and even his king. This is evident at nearly the start of the play as Macbeth speaks with Banquo, stating “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (I. iii. 39). This deception is provided early in the play to provide a perspective on how murkily the lines are drawn between good and evil in Macbeth’s world. This deception is evident soon after when Banquo is concerned about the witches trying “to win us harm. / The instruments of darkness tell us truths /...

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...ower illustrate that even at the root of even the noblest man, can lie chaos and terror. In an ironic twist near the end of the play, Macbeth laments life and at the same time provides a perfect description of his own: “It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing” (V. v. 29-31). Although Macbeth has strived to become king, in reality his power was nothing but an illusion, created by his twisted fantasies and the sin residing within him.

Works Cited
Pilkington, Elaine. “Macbeth and the Nature of Evil.” Insights 2004: 1-2

Macbeth. The Folger Shakespeare Library. Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square Press., 1992. 9, 17, 23, 45, 55, 57, 179. Print.

Spencer, Diana Major. “What Has Gotten Into You?” The Tony Award-Winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. Southern Utah University. Web. 12 November 2009.
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