The Lure of Evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1375 Words6 Pages
Everyone knows that evil can be devastating, especially to someone who foolishly embraces it. Most people would wonder why anyone would embrace evil. The answer is simple though; sometimes, evil does not appear as what it really is. Often, it actually appears enchanting, showing you the alluring side while hiding the darker side. The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), is an ideal example of people falling victim to evil. In fact, the entire downfall of the main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, is due to them being lured to evil by three witches. The play is a perfect illustration of how evil can lure someone in then lead to their downfall. In the play, Macbeth started out as an extremely brave and loyal solider. However, after the three witches told him he was to be king one day, he changed completely, being wholly consumed by his greed. He turned his back on his friends, betrayed them, and murdered innocent people. All of this can be linked back to the predictions made by the witches. The witches first come to Macbeth after a battle and call him thane of Glamis (which he already is), thane of Cawdor, and King (Macbeth 1.3. 48-50). Shortly after this, while Macbeth is still trying to understand what they were talking about, he is informed that he is now thane of Cawdor, just as the witches said. This is the beginning of his downward spiral into evil. The more Macbeth thinks about the witches calling him king, the more the idea interests him. Soon, all he can think about is becoming king. He is so tempted by their prophecy that he determines he must murder the king. Since the king is staying with him this is easily done. Lady Macbeth, eager to become queen, comes up with a plan to kill King Dun... ... middle of paper ... ...973-1988. Boston: G. K. Hall & Company, 1990. Plath, Sylvia. The Collected Poems. Ed. Ted Hughes. New York: Harper & Row, 1981. Plath, Sylvia. The Journals of Sylvia Plath. Ed. Ted Hughes and Frances McCullough. New York: Ballantine Books, 1982. Pollitt, Katha. "A Note of Triumph [The Collected Poems]". Critical Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ed. Linda W. Wagner. Boston: G. K. Hall & Company, 1984. 67 - 72. Rosenthal, Lucy. Modern American Literature: A Library of Literary Criticism. Ed. Elaine Fialka Kramer, Maurice Kramer, and Dorothy Nyren. Rev. ed. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1976. Wagner, Linda W., ed. Critical Essays on Sylvia Plath. Boston: G. K. Hall & Company, 1984. Wagner-Martin, Linda. The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States. Ed. Cathy N. Davidson and Linda Wagner-Martin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
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