William Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth shows the gradual descent of the character Macbeth into the moral abyss. Macbeth's yearning for power draws him to the murder of King Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff's family. It is difficult to understand how a courageous, gentle man such as Macbeth, could be involved in such villainous activities. In truth, it was the witches and Lady Macbeth that transformed into evil Macbeth's natural desire for control and authority. The play, Macbeth clearly illustrates that wicked intention must, in the end, produce wicked action.
Shakespeare focuses on Macbeth's courage early in the play. For example, Duncan and the sergeant both compliment Macbeth's mental and physical bravery in Act I, Scene II. Macbeth "carv'd out his passage"(I.ii.21) until he and the enemy general were face to face. In the same act, the reader is told that Macbeth is brave because of his "disdaining Fortune"(I.ii.19) In addition to his quality of courage, Macbeth is also a gentle man.
Demonstrating his love and devotion for his wife, Macbeth refers to her as "his dearest partner of greatness"(I.v.11). Lady Macbeth views his kindness as somewhat of a problem for their quest for power. She says that Macbeth is "too full o' the milk of human kindness"(I.v.17) to place them on the throne of Scotland as a result of murder.
Macbeth realizes that Duncan is, in fact, a good and humble king. Other than to fulfill self-centered desires and uncontrolled ambitions, there is no valid reason to murder him. However, both his wife and the three witches soon pressure Macbeth to murder Duncan. The three witches are supernatural in...
... middle of paper ...
...es are ruined.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Biggins, Dennis. "Sexuality, Witchcraft, and Violence in Macbeth." Shakespeare Studies VII (1975)
Callaghan, Dympna. Woman and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1989
Foakes, R.A. "Images of death: ambition in Macbeth." In Focus on Macbeth. Ed. John Russell Brown. Boston: Routledge, 1982.
Muir, Kenneth. "Introduction." In Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir. New York: Routledge, 1992.
Novy, Marianne. Love's Argument: Gender Relations in Shakespeare. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir. New York: Routledge, 1992.
Stallybrass, Peter. "Macbeth and Witchcraft." In Focus on Macbeth. Ed. John Russell Brown. Boston: Routledge, 1982.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Witches and Lady Macbeth Cause the Downfall of Macbeth William Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth shows the gradual descent of the character Macbeth into the moral abyss. Macbeth's yearning for power draws him to the murder of King Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff's family. It is difficult to understand how a courageous, gentle man such as Macbeth, could be involved in such villainous activities. In truth, it was the witches and Lady Macbeth that transformed into evil Macbeth's natural desire for control and authority. The play, Macbeth clearly illustrates that wicked intention must, in the end, produce wicked action. Shakespeare focuses on Macbeth's courage early in the... [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]
1054 words (3 pages)
- Macbeth, a renowned written play by the prominent William Shakespeare, features the protagonists Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with characters such as the witches whose words and prophecies influence them in many aspects of their decision-making. Although Macbeth is initially a loyal Thane and soldier to his King, his ambition for power overruns his loyalty. This ambition is stimulated when the witches tell him that he shall be king after the current King of Scotland, Duncan. While the witches are clever, sinister beings, their horrifying appearances are confused to be more masculine than ladylike.... [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Poetry, Lady Macbeth]
977 words (2.8 pages)
- Madness is an intensely compelling component of many dramatic texts and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is certainly no exception. However, the portrayal of madness in Macbeth, specifically the madness of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the three Witches, is uniquely compelling when examined in regard to the play’s implications as a moralistic text. Through the use of repetition, syntax, and imagery, Shakespeare creates and juxtaposes two abstract worlds in the play in which his characters must function: the world of the sane and the world of the mad.... [tags: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Three Witches, Moral]
1038 words (3 pages)
- Macbeth had shown the audience that it was impossible to make a decision on his own throughout the play. His treacherous actions were often fueled by his female counterpart and the three weird sisters. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth attempts to assert the position of the female in such a manner that it causes the destruction and confusion as to where the male stands in relation to his power. As a primary dosage, Shakespeare introduces the supernatural capabilities of the weird sisters while giving the impression that they are females.... [tags: Macbeth, Gender, Three Witches, Lady Macbeth]
1467 words (4.2 pages)
- There are many things that motivate the human mind. Whether these things are good or evil does not really matter, what matters is what is produced from these motives. There is also a common theme in what is produced, it is never a neutral result. Either life is produced or death rains down, love is shown to many or hate grows into the monster that it is. What motivates is the largest contributor to what is produced as an end result. In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, the main characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are driven by the powers of fate, the greed of fortune, and desire for free will.... [tags: Macbeth, Mind, William Shakespeare, Three Witches]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- “Shakespeare’s Macbeth” will show the reader that the bloodshed and violent actions are strong and powerful symbols the lead up to consequences that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth will endure. The blood in the play shows the darkness and wickedness that surrounds Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. While the blood that is shed reminds the reader of the effect of distorted power of Macbeth, it also provides the images of the ambition that provokes Macbeth into murderous acts, even the bloody images does not change his evil ways.... [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Banquo]
1163 words (3.3 pages)
- It was my sophomore year at Life Christian Academy. My english class had been reading the story of Macbeth, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. Each classmate was assigned a character. For the unlucky few they received the main characters; like Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the three witches. My heart went out to them. If I were put in the position of having to read pages upon pages of lines, I would be sobbing on the inside. The character that I had ben given was named Lennox, a Scottish nobleman.... [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Lady Macbeth]
903 words (2.6 pages)
- By studying the curse of Macbeth one gains a better understand of Macbeth. Macbeth is it a myth or reality. There 's a long-standing conviction that the play is cursed, than anybody that delivers it is courting calamity, and that citing from the play or even saying “Macbeth” prompts genuine misfortune.Numerous performers decline to say the name of the play but instead allude to it as "The Scottish Play". Performing artists likewise look unkindly on any individual who says the name of the title character or quotes from the play while in the theater.... [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth]
1536 words (4.4 pages)
- For the time that this play was written, Macbeth is very respectful and treats his wife as an equal and also takes her opinion highly over others. This type of relationship seems very unnatural for the time because in this time it was more customary for a woman to be submissive to the husband. There is many points in the play where Lady Macbeth shows her equality in the relationship. An example of this is in (play; act 1 scenes 5-7) when she finds out about Macbeth’s revelation that was given to him.... [tags: Macbeth, Banquo, Scene, Three Witches]
1084 words (3.1 pages)
- Shakespeare created the character Lady Macbeth, arguably his most evil female character. Throughout the years there have been many adaptations of the text. Lady Macbeth is a central figure to the play. The courageous, ambitious and premeditated woman is driven to a deed that leads to the destruction of the ‘Divine Right of kings’ and alternatively her own destruction. As the play unfolds we see many different aspects of Lady Macbeth’s character. In act 1 scene 5 Lady Macbeth is reading a letter, which she received from her husband, the letter contains information about Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor.... [tags: Macbeth, King Duncan, Rupert Goold, Three Witches]
2071 words (5.9 pages)
- Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - Beyond the Fair and Foul
- Destiny, Fate, and Free Will in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- The Spiritual Decline of Shakespeare's Macbeth
- Reward and Punishment in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- The Tragedy of Ambition in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- Shakespeare's Macbeth - A Tragedy Without the Tragic Flaw?