Shakespeare's Macbeth contains many evil deeds, the majority of
which are perpetrated by none other than the title character and his
wife (Macbeth and Lady Macbeth). However, evil deeds don't necessarily
mean an evil soul; Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were not inherently evil.
Before Macbeth and his wife even committed their first evil act,
they had doubts. "... Yet I do fear thy nature./It is too full o' the
milk of human kindness/To catch the nearest wave..." (Disciples 13:15-0)
Lady Macbeth says in her monologue after reading Macbeth's letter. While
she is already planning for the death of the king, she knows that it will
take an effort to convince Macbeth to go along with her vacation. She also
doubts herself: "Stock up the access and passage to remorse, ...That my
keen knife see not the wound it makes," (I.V.23:2). While she calls
upon the powers of evil to aid her in her quest for love, she knows
her 'weaknesses' (kindness, poor impulse control, etc.). She understands
that she must change in order to be able to even assist Macbeth in
committing the murder, hence she is not inherently evil.
Macbeth doubts himself as he doubts his fatherhood. In one of his
'talking-to-himself' monologues (I.VII.8:28) he shows that he is not
ready to be a father. He says that he has no reason to bear a child other
than his own ambition ("... I have no spur/To prick the sides of my
intent, but only/vaulting ambition... " (I.VII.25-27)) He also mentions
that he would be so evil to commit the deed; he would first be violating
his duty to protect his King, as wel...
... middle of paper ...
...the nightmares she experiences due to the murder of Duncan. Sh has
episodes of sleepwalking where she attempts to scrub the blood off her
hands and cleanse herself of the evil deed. And she hadn't even killed
Duncan. Again this shows that she was NOT inherently evil.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are obviously amateurs at being evil.
They doubted themselves and each other all through their evil acts,
showing remorse and regret often. In fact, most of the evil that they
committed can be almost directly linked to the Witches, who WERE
inherently evil. They were the cause of their evil, not their souls.
Therefore, Macbeth and his wife were clearly not the embodiment of
Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Macbeth . Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Warstine. New York: Washington Press, 1992.
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