Macbeth, a tragedy, starts with a dying, bloody Captain talking about the valor with which Macbeth fought. How does this brave, devoted, valiant soldier become an insane, cold-blooded murderer, killing men, women, and children alike? The story of his downfall begins with his new-found ambition to become king after three witches tell him of his “imperial theme.” After fighting so courageously in battle, Macbeth, Thane of Glamis a title inherited from his late father, and fellow nobleman Banquo, encounter three witches. They greet Macbeth by his current title, by a title soon to be bestowed upon him, and last by the title of king. Immediately, Macbeth is intrigued by their prophecies, but unsure since the King and the Thane of Cawdor were alive and well. Banquo was given the prognostication of fathering a line of kings. Shortly after, Macbeth is awarded the title of Thane of Cawdor by Angus and Ross who had just spoken with King Duncan. At first, Macbeth questions them, saying “why do you dress me/ In borrowed robes” (1. 3. 109-10) (Shakespeare). Macbeth is curious about how he would become king, knowing the quickest and easiest way would be to remove the King by whatever means necessary. The idea horrifies him, saying to himself “…why do I yield to that suggestion/ Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/ And make my seated heart knock at my ribs…” (1. 3. 138-40) (Shakespeare). Despite his yearnings, at the end of the third scene of Act I, Macbeth decides to leave the last of the witches’ prophecies to fate. However, he writes a letter to his beloved wife, detailing his account with the witches. Just as quickly as her husband, Lady Macbeth contemplates murdering King Duncan. Unlike Macbeth, she wants to be que...
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...d he is so shaken up that he forgets to leave the daggers with the chamber-mates. Of course, Lady Macbeth’s own guilt grows throughout the play. However, the fact still remains that she forced Macbeth into killing Duncan, through which all his problems have resulted. This is particularly evident when Macbeth convinces the murderers that Banquo and his son need to be killed. One could argue that this matter is entirely Macbeth’s fault, since neither the witches nor his wife told him to have Banquo and Fleance murdered. On the contrary, Lady Macbeth’s emotional manipulation is present in the third scene of the second act when Macbeth taunts the murderers to prove their manhood by killing Banquo and Fleance. In addition, Macbeth only assumes the dominant role in his relationship with his wife after he murders Duncan, almost like he believes that murder proves manliness.
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