Reward and Punishment in Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Macbeth: Reward and Punishment

In Macbeth, a dramatic tragedy by William Shakespeare, the heroic characters are rewarded, and the evil ones are punished. From her appearance in the play, Lady Macbeth is an evil woman who causes her husband's change of role. She becomes insane with guilt and kills herself, receiving her punishment in full. Malcolm, King Duncan's son, is a heroic and honorable person throughout the play. He is crowned King of Scotland in the last act, and finally gets what he deserves. Macbeth is on both sides of the fence. He wins the battle in the first scene and is granted the title of Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth lies and cheats his fellow men in the following scenes and is eventually killed in a heated battle with Macduff. He receives both his reward and his punishment in the course of the five-act play.

Lady Macbeth makes her appearance in the play right after Macbeth receives his first predictions from the three Witches. She does not think twice about her actions and starts planning Duncan's murder without consulting her husband first. Lady Macbeth, however, does not feel that her husband has the heart to kill the King for the crown:

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be

What thou art promise'd: yet do I fear thy nature,

It is too full o' the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,

Art not wit...

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...rself due to the guilt felt for conning her husband into such treachery. Malcolm is a very honorable person and slowly plans his revenge against the treasonous murderer of his father, King Duncan. In the years spent trying to find the truth about his father's death, he makes many allies and is rewarded for his patience with the crown of Scotland. Macbeth plays both trusting and villainous roles throughout the play. He becomes Thane of Cawdor for his valor in a recent war and is later killed for his horrific actions against his enemy Macduff. Throughout the course of the play, many people are misguided and others are told the truth, but almost all of the characters receive what they deserve at the end. The moral of this story seems to be “What goes around, comes around” as well as, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

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