William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth

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In the suspenseful drama The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare tells a tale of an overly ambitious nobleman’s sinful rise to power and his dreadful, deadly downfall. Macbeth, the main character and antagonist, begins the drama as a loyal captain. Duncan, the King of Scotland, praises Macbeth, declaring him as a “worthy gentleman” (I.ii.24). Later, three unnamed witches appear to Macbeth and his loyal friend Banquo, and the witches prophetically greet Macbeth as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King hereafter. Of the bold, unsettling statement, only one is currently true about Macbeth, but the proclamation lights the fuse to a ticking time bomb of vaulting ambition in Macbeth. Lady Macbeth aids in her husband’s vaulting ambition, his hamartia, or fatal flaw, by encouraging him to murder Duncan while he is sleeping in their castle at Inverness. After the murder, the King’s two sons flee, establishing them as the first suspects and leaving the throne wide open to Macbeth. Macbeth becomes paranoid and answers any possible threat to his throne in blood, which is apparent in his murderous actions against Banquo after the witches say he “shalt get kings, though thou be none” (I.iii.67). Macbeth feels the only way to avoid this prophecy was to kill Banquo and his son Fleance, who was able to escape the murder unlike his father. After a guest appearance by the ghost of Banquo at a dinner banquet, Macbeth visits the witches. The witches inform Macbeth to beware Macduff, a nobleman opposed to Macbeth’s rule, that he is unable to be harmed by any man born of woman, and that he is safe until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. Macbeth successfully orders the murder of Macduff’s family. Then, Macduff joins forces with one of Duncan’s son... ... middle of paper ... ...ady Macbeth’s fabrication ultimately bails Macbeth out of such out of the ordinary gestures. Macbeth seems to have a terrible, natural, chronic fit, but he really is reacting under the power of guilt he derives from the murder of Banquo. Overall, Macbeth appears to be a helpful and supportive friend to Banquo, but he turns out to be the sole root of his death. In Macbeth, Shakespeare combines appearance versus reality and the supernatural events of the witches, the floating dagger, and Banquo’s ghost to lead to Macbeth’s death. The witches’ predictions appear comforting and eventually display harmful traits that lead the way to death. The floating dagger and the ghost of Banquo both appear real to Macbeth, but the delusional Macbeth’s violent imagination produces them. Out-of-this-world occurrences have the complete and absolute ability to shape one’s worldly life.
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