Macduff Foil In Macbeth

analytical Essay
1742 words
1742 words

Since the beginning of mankind, it has been the need to attain a specific goal, which has driven humans to work hard. Without any ambition, humans would not be inspired to overcome adversities and challenge themselves to become increasingly adaptable. When one is motivated by certain factors in their environment, the probability of them being satisfied with the results of their deeds depends on the moral value of their inspiration. If the individual is aware of the fact that their deed is immoral, then no matter how dire their circumstances which forced them to perform the actions, they will not be content. The irony establishes itself in the fact that those characters who are motivated by a cause bigger than themselves, tend to be happier, …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the moral value of motivation plays a pivotal role in shaping macduff and lady macbeth's dynamic characters.
  • Analyzes how macduff, the thane of fife, exemplifies the contrasting characteristics of another character, who is macbeth.
  • Compares macbeth to macduff, a dynamic character who loses his self-integrity.
  • Analyzes how macbeth's eagerness to share his good fortune drives him to self-condemnation.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth is a complex character with many layers that conceal her true intentions. she displays her masculine traits with complete disregard for any form of femininity.
  • Analyzes how the morality of the characters motivations play a tremendous role in the level of satisfaction that is gained after achieving their goal.

One such character in “Macbeth” is Macduff, the Thane of Fife. Within the play, Macduff is the foil ; a character that exemplifies the contrasting characteristics of another character, who is Macbeth in this play. In stark contrast to Macbeth, Macduff resolves to restore peace and order in Scotland, which Macbeth has disrupted. After King Duncan's unfortunate demise and the coincidental murder of Scotland's Commander and Macbeth's dear friend, Banquo, Macduff suspects that Macbeth is not the “innocent flower”(1.5.56-57) he pretends to be. Macduff finds himself on the course to England, where Malcolm, the rightful heir to the throne, has found refuge. He wishes that Malcolm would reclaim the throne as the legitimate heir, which shows his allegiance to the royal family. Instead of grasping the throne for himself, he decides to endanger his family to restore the lawful king. When he was informed of the assassination of his kin, he was able to express his grief, like a true man. In this line Macduff mourns for the loss of his family, “...All my pretty ones/ Did you say "all"? O hell-kite! All? / What, all my pretty chickens and their dam/ At one fell swoop?”(4.3.255-258). Here, Macduff's immense capacity to sacrifice for the common good of his people is shown. Consequently, the following lines display his course of actions at the …show more content…

Initially, when her character is introduced, she displays her masculine traits with complete disregard for any form of femininity. She commands the heavens in these lines, ”Come, you spirits/That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,/And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/Of direst cruelty.”(1.5.30-33). In this, Lady Macbeth sheds any attachment she has to her natural embodiment as a woman, and asks the supernatural to help her in her quest to power. It is clearly shown that Lady Macbeth yearns to achieve ambitions that weren’t considered womanly in the time period that this play is set in. As a consequence, she pushes her husband to fulfill her horrendous dreams, because she knows that she will not be affected if Macbeth fails to execute his plans. If Macbeth gets caught, then she remains blameless, and if he doesn’t, she becomes a queen. Either way she doesn’t get hurt. Nonetheless, Lady Macbeth hides another aspiration, one which is evidenced from her humane actions. As a loyal companion to Macbeth, Lady Macbeth wants to ensure that her husband achieves his dream, to be king, at any cost, even if that means sacrificing her femininity and humanity. Generally speaking, this unique perspective on Lady Macbeth shows that her demeaning of Macbeth’s masculinity is actually a display of her true feminine traits; to always support her husband regardless of the price. Lady

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