Macbeth

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Lady Macbeth and Her Success in Power

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Lady Macbeth as One of Shakespear’s Heroines

William Shakespeare is notoriously known for being one of the greatest playwriters of all time. This all started in 1950, where he wrote and published his first play, Henry VI. From there, Shakespeare went on to write about two plays each year for 20 years. Some of his most famous work includes Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. When watching or reading Macbeth, there are some notable differences and similarities to Shakespeare’s other plays. For example, comparing Hamlet and Macbeth, there are some features to both plays that carry analogous themes, and others, where there are evident discrepancies. A few common points that the two plays share, consist of the classic Elizabethan treachery, violence, and tragedy leading to death. Of course, there are characteristics which make Hamlet and Macbeth particularly distinct, including the social environment of the main characters in each of the plays; in Hamlet, he is companionless and single, whereas, in Macbeth, he is wedded and part of a squad. Also, the behaviorism is quite disparate, seeing as Macbeth is settled on his many decisions in that they are right and just, and Hamlet is indecisive. As the tale of Macbeth carries out, it is common to notice the development of a nefarious and wicked character, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth’s figure revolves around strength and authority, as she manipulates her way to the top. This is palpable in other pieces of Shakespeare’s work, such as Twelfth Night’s Viola. In this play, Viola is dominant of her position and disguises herself as a man to live with the Duke, in this way, deceiving him. Lady Macbeth emanates power as part of the nature of her character, the miscreant, including the way she influences Macbeth to carry out his plan, her proposal to assassinate Duncan, and her prevailing, superior role as an accomplice throughout the play.

Macbeth was originally published in the Folio of 1623, where it took the stage many years before that in 1606 at the Hampton Court in London, England. From her many actions as the play unfolds, we will see why Lady Macbeth is named one of the most clever villains in all of Elizabethan Literature.

Manipulating the Husband

Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth is seen to have a tenacious effect on her husband. This is seen in the first act, where Lady Macbeth is audaciously pushing Macbeth to commit a crime but is unsure if he can handle the responsibility:

“What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,

That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false

And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou’ldst have, great Glamis,

That which cries ‘Thus thou must do, if thou have it;

And that which rather thou dost fear to do

Than wishest should be undone.’ Hie thee hither,” (1.5.16-25)

In another piece of scene 5 act 1, Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with his plan:

“Great Glamis! Worthy Cawdor!

Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!

Thy letters have transported me beyond

This ignorant present, and I feel now

The future in the instant.” (1.5.69-63)

Through this segment, Lady Macbeth commences her plan to manipulate Macbeth by quoting his future title and stating that the time is right for them to act now, to have the future they envision. Both of these scenarios begin to show Lady Macbeth’s true colours. Another event in the first act highlights the way Lady Macbeth uses her words to further convince Macbeth to execute the plan:

Lady Macbeth: “Like the poor cat i’ the adage?

Macbeth: Prithee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man;” (1.7.49-51)

A Feminine Approach

Lady Macbeth uses a proverb, which expresses that a cat would like to catch fish from water, but doesn’t want to get it’s paws wet, implying that Macbeth is the fearful cat. Macbeth replies saying that he will do everything he can to accomplish his plan. This shows that Lady Macbeth has power in this relationship because she uses a feminine approach, such as signifying that Macbeth should do this for them both, which masks her masculine persona, since power was a “man’s trait” in this era.

Lady Macbeth takes her husband’s plan on an incline. While Macbeth had the initial idea, Lady Macbeth was scheming farther than that; to assassinate Duncan indeed.

“The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step

On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap,

For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;

Let not light see my black and deep desires:

The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be,

Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.” (1.4.55-60)

In this segment, Macbeth has a moment to himself where he discovers his true feelings for Duncan. This is where the initial idea of murdering Duncan is formed. In another scene, Lady Macbeth comes to the realization that Macbeth is worthy of more than he is, while reading a letter. Composed in this letter is Macbeth telling his wife that the three witches have predicted him King of Scotland. Lady Macbeth then emerges on the same page as Macbeth; the assassination of the current King of Scotland, Duncan.

“All-hailed me ‘Thane of Cawdor,’ by which title,

Before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred

Me to the coming on of time, with ‘Hail, king that

Shalt be!’ This have I thought good to deliver” (1.5.7-10)

Lady Macbeth’s Conniving Nature

This ties in to Lady Macbeth’s personality. She is known for being clever, which is discovered through scene 5 when she decides to intensify the original plan.

Though Lady Macbeth is not included in certain parts of the play, specifically where important decisions such as murdering Banquo are made, she has an incredibly supportive, yet conniving nature. This is easy to speculate following scene 5 of act 1, where Macbeth’s excitement to share his intentions and ideas with his wife are hinted.

“Thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou

Mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being” (1.5.11-12)

In scene 2 of act 2, Lady Macbeth is willing to assist Macbeth in the murder of Duncan, by drugging his guards.

“Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,

And ‘tis not done. The attempt and not the deed

Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready;

He could not miss ‘em. Had he not resembled

My father as he slept, I had done’t” (2.2.12-16)

In scene 2 of act 3, Macbeth decides to take on the task of Banquo’s murder on his own, which he hides from his wife.

“Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,

Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,” (3.2.51-52)

While this is all happening, later on, Macbeth is close to getting caught, where Lady Macbeth then covers for him. This, once again, shows her appurtenant nature.

“I pray you, speak not; he grows worse and worse;

Question enrages him. At once, good night:

Stand not upon the order of your going,

But go at once.” (3.4.137-140)

These scenarios demonstrate the supportive, yet suspicious qualities Lady Macbeth possesses.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth is a character that radiates power as one of her strongest elements, including the way she joins in proposal to murder the King of Scotland, passionately encourages Macbeth to execute his plan, and her assertive, dominant role as an aide to Macbeth’s side. This is evident through many scenes, including her feminine approach to pushing Macbeth to assassinate Duncan, her support when reading the letter from Macbeth, and her contribution to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth is a well-respected character and villain, showing that she is powerful in an era where powerful women were disregarded.

Works Cited

  1. “Who Was William Shakespeare and Why Is He Famous? – CBBC Newsround.” BBC, BBC, 18 Mar. 2015, www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/31941581.
  2. “Shakespeare Timeline.” Shakespeare FAQ at Absolute Shakespeare, absoluteshakespeare.com/trivia/timeline/timeline.htm.
  3. “The Most Popular of Shakespeare’s Work.” Midsummer’s Night’s Dream from ShakespeareMag.com, www.shakespearemag.com/bookshelf.asp.
  4. Beatty, Greg. “What Are Some Similarities and Differences in These Two Shakespearian Plays: Hamlet and Macbeth.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-some-similarities-differences-these-two-23373.
  5. Fahnestock, Christine. “Fall 2015 Shakespeare I: Team 6.” Fall 2015 Shakespeare I Team 7, 16 Sept. 2015, hawksites.newpaltz.edu/fall2015eng406team6/2015/09/16/womens-power-in-the-twelfth-night/.
  6. “Macbeth Was First Performed in 1606 in Front of King James I at Hampton Court, London. William Shakespeare Wrote the Play Soon after the Gunpowder Plot Was Discovered. – GCSE English – Marked by Teachers.com.” Marked by Teachers, www.markedbyteachers.com/gcse/english/macbeth-was-first-performed-in-1606-in-front-of-king-james-i-at-hampton-court-london-william-shakespeare-wrote-the-play-soon-after-the-gunpowder-plot-was-discovered.html.
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Different Effects of Power in Macbeth

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Two Different Leaders

Everyone has been in a group before, whether it is for school, work, sports, etcetera. In that same group, there will always be that one person who chooses to take over and who seems to have the most power, also known as the leader. It is never a bad thing to lead the group to success until they start abusing the power they have. Much like the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare, two characters named Macbeth and Malcolm are both leaders who act differently with the power they have. Macbeth and Malcolm gain and utilize their power in different manners as leaders, as individuals and towards society.

Ruling Over People vs Serving Them

Macbeth was a respectable and brave warrior who demonstrated his admirable leadership during battle; he was a man who the public and King Duncan adored until he became selfish and killed for power. Macbeth impulsively decided to steal the power from Duncan forcefully to make himself king and leader of Scotland. During Macbeth’s reign, not everyone wanted him as their leader. A Lord who stated his thoughts on Macbeth said, “…To ratify the work, we may gain/ Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights, / Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives…” (Mac 3.6.33-35). He claims that their current leader, Macbeth, is violent and senselessly murders innocent people to feel more powerful making the Lord against Macbeth as their king. Macbeth often takes his power for granted thinking he could do anything just because he is the most powerful man in the country. As Macbeth himself said, “To make them kings, seeds of Banquo kings./ Rather than so, come Fate into the list,/ And champion me to th’utterance”(3.1.71-73). Just because he fears that he will lose his place as king, he decides to kill his own friend all because of power. Macbeth will go through so much just to keep a title that was not supposed to be his in the first place.

In contrast to Macbeth, Malcolm is a more suitable king for Scotland with his influence from Duncan and learning from his mistake; trusting others easily. Macduff chased Malcolm to ask for his help to fight Macbeth and gain his rightful title, King of Scotland. However, Malcolm did not trust Macduff easily clearly knowing he could be Macbeth’s spy. Instead, he tested him for his loyalty stating he does not have a “bottom…/ In [his] voluptuousness” (4.3.60-61) along with other qualities a king should not have. By doing so, he can figure out if he can trust Macduff, unlike Duncan who trusts easily and Macbeth, who does not trust anyone at all. In addition, all Malcolm wants is for the better of his country. He does not want to be the king if he is not suitable as he said to Macduff, “The cistern of my lust, and my desire/ All continent impediments would o’erbear/ That did oppose my will. Better Macbeth,/ Than such one to reign”(4.3.63-66a). While Malcolm is merely testing Macduff for his loyalty, he said Macbeth would be a better king than he would be since he is lustful, violent and selfish; he wants what is better for his people even if the title as king is rightfully his. Malcolm serves his people and is willing to sacrifice his throne if it will benefit them in the long run instead of ruling over them like Macbeth has, who also took his power for granted and killed innocent lives.

Corrupt Mindset vs Justice and Gratefulness

The antagonist, Macbeth is corrupted by his constant hunger for power and wanting to gain more of it. On the other hand, before all this, he was proud of what he has achieved in battle and confident in himself. That all changed when he made the decision to take a shortcut to get the power he has now and kill the king. In cause of this, his life changed for the worse feeling the guilt of murdering someone, especially if that someone is his king; someone who trusted him. His guilt is clear as he says, “Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou/ couldst.” (2.2.77-78). Macbeth could only wish that a knocking could wake Duncan up, but he knows Duncan would never wake up ever again because of him and his greed for power. Through Macbeth’s reign, he becomes more comfortable in using his power to do whatever he wants to keep his position as king. This results in Macbeth paying servants to become a spy for him, reporting each lords’ actions and plans. Macbeth says it himself, “I hear it by the way, but I will send./ There’s not a one of them but in his house/ I keep a servant feed.” (3.4.130-132). This demonstrates Macbeth’s corrupt mindset thinking everyone is a possible threat to him wanting to steal the crown from him or help Malcolm become king. He will do anything at any cost as long as he stays as the King of Scotland.

Malcolm, as an individual has been through a lot ever since the death of his father; ever since, he wants to avenge Duncan by becoming a better leader to their people. If anything, his father’s death has made him stronger and influential. During Malcolm’s encounter with Macduff, he says, “What I believe; and what I can redress,/ As I shall find the time to friend, I will.” (4.3.8b-10). Malcolm is more determined than ever, expressing his want to take vengeance on Macbeth, who killed Duncan and is currently killing his people that are not guilty. Malcolm is a man of justice who will punish who did wrong and reward who did good. After their victory of the battle against Macbeth, Malcolm says, “We shall not spend a large expense of time/ Before we reckon with your several loves/ And make us even with you.” (5.9.27-29). By saying this, Malcolm expresses his gratefulness to each soldier who stood by him and trusted him. Unlike Macbeth, Malcolm is worthy of being king as he is what he is everything he described a leader should have, “…justice, verity, temp’rance, stableness,/ Bounty, perseverance, mercy…” (4.3.92-93).

Hatred and Fear vs Trust

Unlike a true king, Macbeth does not treat his people as well as he is supposed to, leading them to dislike him as their leader. Living up to what people call him, a tyrant, he continues to use his power as an excuse to do what he wants with it, such as murdering Macduff’s family. After seeing the witches, Macbeth says, “The castle of Macduff I will surprise;/ Seize upon Fife; give to th’edge o’th’sword/ His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls/ That trace him in his line.” (4.2.149-152). Macbeth gives another reason for people of Scotland, including Macduff, to be on Malcolm’s side; if they betray Macbeth, he can end their family in an instant. The longer Macbeth is king, the more their fear of him grows. Even Lennox conveys his true opinions on Macbeth as he says, “His message ere he come, that a swift blessing/ May soon return to this our suffering country. Under a hand accurs’d” (3.6.48-50a). The thane wants to be free of Macbeth’s leadership because of all the wrongs Macbeth has committed. Macbeth is digging his own grave by committing more sins causing people to turn away from him, not wanting him as their king.

The people who are against Macbeth are on Malcolm’s side because of his ability to control and maintain his power without doing any wrong to the society in contrast to Macbeth. Under Duncan’s lead, people of Scotland were content with how Duncan led them, which is why they trust Duncan’s choice of making Malcolm heir to the throne. After the first battle, Duncan announced, “We will establish out estate upon/ Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter/ The Prince of Cumberland…” (1.4.37-39). This announcement made it official that Malcolm has proved himself to be worthy enough to be a king. Though after Duncan died, Malcolm only continues to prove that he is more than ready to lead Scotland by taking the position back. During the battle, Malcolm says, “We have met with foes/ That strike beside us.” (5.7.29b-30a). Malcolm realizes that people on Macbeth’s army is not doing anything to hurt them showing they are hoping Malcolm to win. He has gained power through his followers by wanting what will benefit them in the end which differentiates Malcolm from Macbeth.

Conclusion

The two opposing leaders, Macbeth and Malcolm contrast each other by having different effects of their power as rulers of Scotland, themselves, and how they act towards their people. In Macbeth, it is evident that these two characters show power in very different ways, Malcolm for the better, while Macbeth uses power for the worse. A good leader is someone who can maintain their power and use it for the better of their country, if power is not used correctly, it could result to destruction and corruption. After all, as Peter Parker said, “With great power comes great responsibilities”.

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My Attitude to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Characters

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

This is how I responded to the characters of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth. Yes, they do horrify me. The way they act, their decisions, their thoughts, it does horrify us. But strangely, I do feel sorry for them, no matter what horrible thing they did. Their characters are complex, and the basic instinct of human nature makes us feel sympathy for them. So although the two of them caused many deaths and committed many crimes, I still feel sympathy for both of them at their deaths.

MacBeth and Lady MacBeth are one of the two most complex characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays. The way they act and think is completely intriguing, the characters so complex, but no matter how horrible their actions are, we still feel sympathy for them.

From a traditional point of view, MacBeth is portrayed as a brave and strong soldier, but for the sake of ambition, is willing to murder not only his king, but his best friend as well. He is often seen as someone who was a victim of the witches and overpowered by his hamartia, the need for power and ambition, which leads him to his downfall.

But what separates him from other villain characters of Shakespeare is that MacBeth, unlike Iago in Othello or Richard III in Richard III, feels so terrible about the crimes he commits. His conscience almost stops him from committing the crime, and after he does commit the crimes, he is full of guilt, when he says “”..all great Neptune’s oceans will not wash this blood/clean from my hands” MacBeth, unlike Iago for example, does not enjoy being evil. MacBeth never enjoys being king and taking the crown, instead, he is in anguish and distressed, which is shown when he says “O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!”

This shows that MacBeth is not really evil as Shakespeare’s other villains are, and makes us feel sympathy for him. It can be said that it is due to the female manipulation that causes him to murder Duncan and cause the chain of other murders it leads to. Also, he dies a tragic death, his army is terrified of him, and with nowhere to turn, he still faces the battlefield, knowing he will not win. And it is his death that makes us sympathise with him, knowing himself that he will die, yet still fighting till the end.

A traditional analysis of Lady MacBeth shows her quite similar to MacBeth, power hungry and driven by ambition. She is shown to be more power, and stronger than her husband, as in the first scene we see her in, she is plotting the murder of her King, whom she is related to by family.

She has an amazing amount of will power, and knows her husband very well “yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way” and she, unlike MacBeth, is not at all worried about committing a sacrilegious murder of King Duncan. To her, it is nothing. When she sees the weakness in MacBeth, she immediately questions his manhood, and both she and the witches use manipulation to get what they want.

However, at the end of the play, she falls to a state of insanity, going crazy at the thought of the murders she has helped commit. It is at this stage, that she can be seen as a tragic figure, and it is amazing that such a strong woman, the woman we see have total control over her husband, suddenly become so weak and tormented by a bloodstain she cannot wash away. It is at this stage that we feel sympathy for her. She is now a weakling, terrified of her crimes, and we cannot help but feel sorry for her.

There have also been other views about the characters of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth. As Sigmund Freud says, “Shakespeare often splits a character up into two personages, which taken separately, are not completely understandable and do not become so until they are brought together into a unity. This may be so with MacBeth and Lady MacBeth.” I agree with Freud. This would explain why MacBeth and Lady MacBeth “switch” during the duration of the play.

MacBeth starts off as the “weaker” one. But after he murders Duncan, he becomes stronger and stronger, murdering anyone who gets in his way without another thought. He becomes distant even from his wife, and when he finds out about her death, does not give it a second thought. After betraying his King, he becomes what Lady MacBeth was at first, ruthless and willing to do anything to get the crown and keep it.

Meanwhile, Lady MacBeth, starts off as the “stronger” one, who manipulates MacBeth, who taunts him about his manhood, who makes all the decisions, turns out frail, insane, and weak. Lady MacBeth first calls out to the darkness, to hide her evil deeds, but after the deed is done, she is terrified of darkness and must walk around with some form of light, a tiny flame. She becomes nothing but a speck of light, solely dimming away, into nothing. And that is what she becomes, after the banquet scene, there is a sudden change in her, her powerful ambition is gone, her will power, gone.

Lady MacBeth is unable to sleep, yet it was MacBeth who thinks he hears a cry of “Sleep no more, MacBeth does murder sleep”. Yet, we have no reason to believe he does not sleep, unlike Lacy MacBeth, who sleep walks around the castle talking about the crimes she has committed. And while it is MacBeth who cries that his hands are blood stained, and Lady MacBeth who says, ” a little water clears us of this deed”, later on, she is unable to stop washing her hands, and it is she who cannot lose the smell of blood, while MacBeth has no more concerns about it. Also, it is MacBeth who first has hallucinations of a dagger before he is about to commit the crime, but it is Lady MacBeth who suffers from a mental disorder, one that ultimately drives her to suicide.

So we can see hear, that MacBeth and Lady MacBeth are more like a single character, that has been spilt in half, than two separate characters. They feel the same things, just at different times, and they know each other extremely well. I believe it really is because Shakespeare splits his characters in two that the characters of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth are so similar. And even though the crimes they commit are horrible, after all that we see them go through, we still cannot stop ourselves from feeling sorry for them.

From another point of view, we can see that what MacBeth and Lady MacBeth have done was merely a result of their childlessness. We see this very clearly when MacDuff cries out “He has no children!” It maybe cause of the anger that he himself has no children, that MacBeth destroys all other men and their sons. He kills Duncan, leaving his sons with no father. He also kills Banquo, leaving his son with no father, and he also kills MacDuff’s children, leaving MacDuff with no sons.

Like he says to Lady MacBeth, “Bring forth men-children only! For thy undaunted mettle should compose, Nothing but males…” This shows us how badly MacBeth wishes to have heirs, yet Lady MacBeth cannot give him any. However, this may be the result of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth’s evil deeds. MacBeth has murdered both fathers and sons and Lady MacBeth had demanded the spirits to unsex her, stopping her from bearing a child.

Once again, even though MacBeth and Lady MacBeth had committed a numerous amount of evil deeds, we still feel sympathy for them, as they cannot have children of their own, as they will never become a mother and father. How can you not feel sympathy for two people who cannot have children?

So as you can see, from no matter which point of view you are looking from, although MacBeth and Lady MacBeth have committed deeds that horrify us, deeds that are not even thinkable in times like our own, we still, oddly, never lose sympathy with them, cause we still feel sorry for them, for what they have gone through, for what the cannot do, for what they are. And I believe that even though what they have done is inexcusable, I still never lose sympathy with them, because it is human nature to feel sympathy for people who have gone through that much. There is a compassion and sympathy that you just feel for them, no matter how evil they are, no matter how much they horrify us.

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495

Themes of Power and Ambition on Macbeth

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Ambition is a powerful urge to do or to accomplish something, commonly requiring assurance and diligent work. In Williams Shakespeare’s Macbeth the characters Lady Macbeth and Macbeth want to gain the position of authority and they are focused to do anything so as to accomplish this objective. Power is the capacity to coordinate the course of events .It is basic learning that it is human instinct to hunger for power. In the account of Macbeth the obviously regarded Scottish couple seized the highest authority, by executing Duncan for their craving to rule.

Yearning for an Open Door

Ambition theme is depicted in the account when Lady Macbeth visited the witchdoctor. She learns of the prediction that her significant other will move towards becoming a lord. She starts unleashing ways in which the prophecy would come to achievement. Presently Macbeth is torn between faithfulness to Duncan and reliability to his better half, who does not feel any regret about her plot (Shakespeare 1987). The group of onlookers has the feeling that Lady Macbeth may have been yearning for an open door where she can put her insight and vital capacity to great use. The underlying clash about the execution of his ruler, is settled when Macbeth acts, killing Duncan and took control. The family of Duncan exiled so that they cannot be blamed for the murder.

The Change of Character

Power theme in the account of Macbeth by Shakespeare states Macbeth will persevere relentlessly to clutch his capacity after executing Duncan. It further states how it brought resistance among Macbeth and the people who question his capacity and how he got the power. People discover Banquo suspicion of whether Macbeth may have accomplished power through unscrupulous means (Shakespeare 1987). Macbeth organizes to have Banquo and his child killed. Ambition theme shows the change of character: Macbeth, in the past reluctant, is presently totally firm and definitive, and Lady Macbeth, before she was strong, presently supposes is consumed by guilt weakening her. The homicide of Banquo advances the increases the conflict portraying greed he had for power. Macbeth is unmistakably an oppressive figure, and that the plot will spin around him being expelled from power for his wrongdoings.

Greed and Losing Power

In Williams Shakespeare’s Macbeth account shows power results to greed. Macbeth’s horrendous request of the homicide of Macduff’s better half and youngsters makes a progressively explicit individual clash inside the more extensive one; Macduff now has a body of evidence for an individual retribution against Macbeth. Impelled by his wrath and anguish, Macduff promised to bring the monster of Scotland within his sword’s length set limit (Shakespeare 1987). Macduff’s announcement of individual hostility against Macbeth sets the phase for the last clash between the two, and for Macbeth’s annihilation. A positive result ends up incomprehensible for Macbeth as he slowly loses his power, control, and in the end his better half.

Uncontrolled Ambition

Finally, the theme of uncontrolled ambition appears and how it prompts ruin. Macbeth egotistically misunderstood the witches’ predictions, trusting that they guarantee him wonder while in actuality the predictions foresee how he will be crushed. While the people long comprehended witches are deceitful and looking for trouble, Macbeth understands this reality when confronting his own passing. In spite of the fact that he accuses the witches, his very own desire is similarly to fault. He heard what he needed to hear and accepted what he needed to accept as soon as he met the witches (Shakespeare 1987). However Macbeth isn’t completely unsympathetic, as he genuinely trusted his destiny. Power theme from the book shows his passing purposes the political and social clash. This gave way for authentic lord from Duncan’s lineage to come back and reestablish request to Scotland. The play’s concise falling activity considers the guarantee of a more promising time to come under Malcolm’s new rule.

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210

Themes and Ambition and Power in Macbeth

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Ambition in Act One Scene Five

In Act one Scene five, ambition is shown negatively as throughout the scene lady Macbeth is remarkably formidable that ought to be smart but, Shakespeare says that ambition could be a unhealthy issue through the determination shown by the formidable lady Macbeth to kill the King. She is thus acutely formidable that she calls upon “spirits” to “Pour my spirits in thy ear”, at the time there was a considerable quantity of worry and negativity around the topic of “spirits” and “witches” thus there’s a layer of negativity around her ambition. Still as however lady Macbeth is artful as once Macbeth enters the scene she right away begins to praise the “Great Glamis, Worthy Cawdor, greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter” directly manipulating Macbeth with complements that overwhelm Macbeth, and ordering Macbeth to control King Duncan by wanting “like th’ innocent flower” to attain her will which in my opinion suggests that ambition ends up in manipulation There is conjointly a distinction between good and evil, the king is chosen by god however lady Macbeth seeks out the spirits to advance Macbeth to rank.

Power in Act One Scene Five

In Act One Scene Five, the power structure is challenged and eventually changes. Macbeth, within the starting, was delineated as powerful and “brave” however his alleged power departs once he enters the Scene, once he has entered lady Macbeth has already taken the helm of control/power over him, lady Macbeth is commanding Macbeth, telling him to “Look th; innocent flower, however be the serpent underneath t”. She establishes her dominance by taking management of the whole ‘scheme’, swapping the structure of power between the two in a moment. Within this scene, we tend to learn one thing regarding the power structure between the character’s, Macbeth could be a firm man with nice honor however he’s showing emotion feeble and simply manipulated showing he has clear insecurities that lady Macbeth utilizes to control him once she says, “Your face, my thane, is a book where men may read strange matters.”. Her use of “thane” could be a clear methodology in deceiving him by creating him feel as if he’s in control of things and to spice up his ego which is able to expand his acceptance to her plans to kill King Duncan. Lady Macbeth is the antithesis of classic gender roles that ‘Men are the robust ones and ladies are fragile objects’.

Ambition in Act One Scene Seven

In Act One Scene Seven, Macbeth (and Shakespeare) affirms his thoughts of ambition once male monarch declares his lack of “spur” to prick the sides of his intent, and refers to his ambition as “vaulting” which it “o’erleaps itself “Shakespeare through Macbeth ratifies the role ambition plays within the story/universe that Shakespeare has formed. Ambition is seen as a negative issue across the story as lady Macbeth includes a robust ambition to advance herself, and her husband to loyalty while Macbeth right away while difference of opinion upon whether or not he ought to follow his spouse states that ambition makes individuals rush ahead towards disaster.

Power in Act One Scene Seven

In Act One Scene Seven, power over again contrasts between Macbeth and lady Macbeth; Macbeth is alone discussing by himself whether or not he can commit the crime, and he produces many arguments against it, he begins his monologue affirming the choice of killing King Duncan, though once he has finished reassuring himself that he can do the task he right away begins to quote doubts and fear’s “We still have judgment here”. Another purpose bestowed is however “we [Macbeth and lady Macbeth, etc] … teach Bloody directions Which, … come to plague th’ inventor” which means that the violence that they inflicted upon others can return to them, briefly terms fate. Macbeth is saying that for the crime he’s being forced to commit, there’s a penalisation which inserts the crime; still the ethically of killing itself that appears quite insincere as his purpose is to the contrary of what acts he had simply done.

Ambition in Act Three Scene Four

Ambition in Act Three Scene Four isn’t directly documented however continues to be clearly gift through the progression of the story, though the scene is way sooner than the antecedent analysed scenes that the plot has progressed to a special purpose of presenting the themes of power and ambition. At this time within the play, I think that ambition has provided Macbeth with one in every of the deadly sins: sloth. Conjointly called laziness and this can be actually evident once Macbeth becomes thus ‘lazy’ that he currently depends on the help of others to try to do what he was once notable for– killing. Once his lackeys have killed Banquo and inform Macbeth of this, he compliments them, saying “Thou art the best o’ th’ cutthroats” and this shows his laziness since he was the most effective however currently his mere lackeys are thought-about the “best”.

Conclusion

My purpose is that lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s ambition has given them the gift of king and queenship, however, has bestowed them with the unwanted attribute of laziness.

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The Portrayal of Female Character Empowerment in Shakespeare’s Plays

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Shakespeare makes use of gender in Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice to show, through his characters, different types of power. Power can differ depending on a person’s gender and the different ways which this power can be shown. My aim in this essay is to find out whether gender has an effect on power within the context of the plays, which are set in patriarchal societies compared to today.

Both Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice are difficult to compare as they are set in different time periods, different societies and with different outcomes. Macbeth is a brutal tragedy, while The Merchant of Venice is more of a romantic comedy. However, both plays have strong female characters, Lady Macbeth and Portia. Lady Macbeth is evil and dies because of it. Portia is more kind-hearted, which allows her to succeed at the end of the play. Upon initial reading, it is difficult to assess the significance of power and gender in influencing the outcome of the play.

Macbeth was set in the 11th century in Scotland. The role of women at that time was generally that of inferiority to men, with society focused on social hierarchy – God, the King and nobles, following the natural order. This is shown through use of armies to gain power and wealth. Women in power were rare and most had subservient roles in the household. In Macbeth, I will be discussing the female characters Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff.

The Merchant of Venice was set in Venice and Belmont. At the time, Venice was a trading centre and had many different nationalities, as shown in the play. The town of Belmont, where Portia resides, was slower-paced in comparison to Venice. In The Merchant of Venice, I will be discussing the female characters Portia and Jessica.

Macbeth Analysis

In Macbeth, power is shown in a number of different ways. Through heroic deeds (Macbeth), social status (Macbeth, Lady Macbeth), power over the mind (Lady Macbeth, Lady Macduff) and others.

At the start of the play, Lady Macbeth is introduced by reading a letter from her husband regarding his meeting with the witches and also hears of King Duncan’s visit from Macbeth. She decides to hasten the prophecy by plotting to use her husband to murder King Duncan in order for her to become Queen of Scotland and of course his desire to be king.

To achieve her ambition, Lady Macbeth takes on a more masculine role. She is consumed by the ambition of being Queen and this desire causes her to dehumanize herself as reflected in Act 1 Scene 5 (“Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor, / Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter, / Thy letters have transpoted me beyond / This ignorant present, and I feel now / The future in the instant.”). She also shows power over her husband who in the earlier scenes is portrayed publicly as a courageous war hero. However, Lady Macbeth calls him a coward and refers to his weaknesses and uses this to manipulate him into murder. She plays a key role in planting the idea in Macbeth’s mind but goes further in Act 1 Scene 5 whether the scene ends with her indicating “To alter favor ever is to fear. Leave all the rest to me”. Lady Macbeth takes charge of the situation, taking on more of an active (male) role with her husband being the more passive (possibly female) role. This is in contrast to when Macbeth plans to murder Banquo, where Lady Macbeth is initially unaware and takes a weaker role. This shows a loss of power through a reversal of roles.

After the murder of Banquo, Lady Macbeth is able to handle the guilt that came with her actions. She comforts Macbeth and tells him that he “lack(s) the season of all natures, sleep” (Act 3 Scene 5). This is ironic in that at the end of the play, it is her own guilty conscience that causes her sleeplessness and causes her to confess to her part in the murders. She is no longer able to keep up the facade of masculinity that she has put on, and is in fact the cowardly one. The weaknesses which she had identified in her husband in the earlier scenes were actually her own and caused her downfall.

Throughout the play, ambition and power are key motivations for Lady Macbeth. Her desire for more power as queen leads to an eventual loss of power, when she loses control over herself, even confessing to her part in the murder. This is in stark contrast to our earlier impression on Lady Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth has power as she got into Macbeth’s mind, she does this why getting in his ear [refer Shakespeare]. She has power over mind rather than over the physical human. This is similar to the witches through the prophecies.

In contrast with Lady Macbeth, Lady Macduff is not portrayed as evil. She is protective over her children and needs Macduff to protect them. She is the opposite to Lady Macbeth showing the clear contrast between the two characters.

When Lady Macduff is finds out that Macduff has left her in Macduff’s castle, she feels angry and abandoned. He comforts her young son, but is also being taken care of by him. Her son shows that he is brave when it comes up that his father might have betrayed them. . In this scene, where Ross is aware of what Macduff is doing, he attempts to justify Macduff’s departure to England, calling him “noble, wise, judicious”, but cannot give away the true reason for him leaving. When Ross is gone, Lady Macduff’s son says that the world is full of dishonest men. This statement is ironic in that moment later, the family is killed by some of these men.

Lady Macduff plays a small role in the play. Her gender keeps her at home protecting her children and dependent on her husband. Her power seems more apparent when she is dead. After Macbeth murders her, he cannot murder her husband (Act 5 Scene 8 – “Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped”) because of the witches’ prophecy. (Act 4 Scene 1 – “laugh to scorn / The power of man, for none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth”) Lady Macduff’s power you could say is over Macbeth’s mind because of this he does not want to fight Macduff who then kills him.

Lady Macduff was warned by Ross and the messenger to escape, but she says “Whither should I fly? / I have done no harm. But I remember now / I am in this earthly world where to do harm / Is often laudable, to do good sometime / Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas, / Do I put up that womanly defense, / To say I have done no harm?” as it is Macduff who has deserted Macbeth and gone to England to raise an army against him. She abdicates responsibility indicating she is not in the world of men.

Macbeth’s killers get to her first, and murders Lady Macduff and her children. She leaves a world under the tyranny of Macbeth where there is uncertainty where “to do harm” is praiseworthy (Macbeth) and to do good is dangerous (Macduff).

In The Merchant of Venice, Portia lives in Belmont and is a beautiful, intelligent and wealthy heiress; and in many ways is therefore powerful.

Portia is smart and unlike Lady Macbeth is not evil [refer to Shakespeare]. She is an heiress however she only inherits if she marries. It seems in the period the play is set it is her husband who would inherit her father’s fortune. This reflects the status of women at the time. The 3 caskets used appear to show even though her father has passed away he still has power or control over her. Even over the suitors he has power because if the suitor chooses the wrong casket he cannot marry. This limits the number and type of suitors.

Portia dresses like a man to go to court in Venice to defend Antonio. She can only enter the court based on the recommendation of her uncle a well-known lawyer. The males have control [refers to Shakespeare]

In The Merchant of Venice power is shown in a number of ways. Through money (Shylock, Portia’s father and Antonio), religion (Shylock and Jessica she elopes and becomes Christian), court authority (Portia saves Antonio’s life), love (Portia and Jessica), the grave (Lady Macduff and Portia’s father) and the power over the mind (Portia).

It appears that gender is important in terms of which form of power a person can use. Lady Macbeth has power over Macbeth’s mind to be Queen by using the prophecies. Power for males is more external while for women it is more internal. Men can show this through heroic acts (Macbeth), money and position where societies are more male dominant. This is why Portia and Jessica dressed as men so fit into society and have power outside the home.

She does not have control over her own life as her father’s will forces her to choose a potential suitor using caskets. She can marry only the man who chooses the correct one of three caskets — one gold, one silver, and one lead; one contains her portrait and that is the lucky casket. She is tired of the stream of suitors who are after her and her wealth. It seems none of her suitors has decided to risk choosing one of the caskets, which is probably good for Portia given none are of her liking.

As a woman she seems to be bound by her father’s will and does not have the power to make

this decision on her own. This is not the case of Bassanio he did “receive fair speechless messages” from her eyes. Portia appears controlled especially in front of her potential suitors but shows anxiety and confusion when Bassanio arrives at her mansion and is choosing one of the caskets. She suggests delaying for “in choosing wrong, / I lose your company” making sure he knows that she about him. At this point she is at her most vulnerable indicating “This house, these servants and this same myself / Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring.” She has fallen completely in love.

She gains control of herself and controls the situation until the end of the play. This is reflected when she disguises herself as a male in order to save Antonio’s life in court. This change also symbolizes a change in her power. When she pretends to be a male, she has power in court and this gives her the power to save Antonio’s life. She attempts to convince Shylock to have mercy on Antonio, out of kindness, as she knows the outcome if he took the matter to court.

However, as she has power to control the fate of some characters in the book, she uses this power for good by convincing the Duke not to execute Shylock. She then convinces Antonio to have mercy on Shylock and not take all of his wealth. This reflects her character and her ability to forgive. She passes this on to other characters in the play, showing her command over others.

At the end of the day we see Portia’s power in full force when she shows a letter from Padua, which explained all that was going on, and she continued to explain and entertain them inside. This highlights her intellect and courage to travel to Venice to speak honestly to Shylock about mercy, to speak for what she believes in.

Jessica is Shylock’s daughter, he is a Jewish moneylender. Lorenzo falls in love with her and elopes by disguising her as a boy which angers Shylock as does Jessica’s theft of some of Shylock’s money.

In Act 2 Scene 3, Jessica is introduced. She is talking to her father’s servant and indicates “Our house is hell” and thou a merry devil / Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.” She also give the servant a secret letter for her lover Lorenzo whom she plans to elope with. This means becoming a Christian and renouncing her faith as a Jew. Jessica’s comments portray her father negatively, effectively a villain of the play. Whilst in Act 2 Scenes 4 and 5, Shylock’s concern is with his possessions and obsesses about locking and guarding the house, which he entrusts to Jessica, while Jessica plans to elope dressed as a page boy carrying a torch at the banquet and gold and jewels. She closes the scene with:

Farewell; and if my fortune be not crossed, I have a father, you a daughter, lost.

This highlights the sacrifice she is making for love which is in contrast to her earlier negative comments.

She was embarrassed of being dressed as a boy when eloping with Lorenzo, but he makes the situation romantic when saying that “Cupid himself would blush.” Along a similar theme, other characters, Portia and Nerissa also disguise themselves as boys later on in the play, as a lawyer and a clerk. Being disguised as a boy or man gives them acceptability and power. For Jessica this seems less the case but it highlights the link between gender and power. This is probably more so for the period in which The Merchant of Venice is set versus today.

Overall Observations

Power comes in many forms. Lady Macbeth had power over Macbeth despite is heroic acts and victories. She even taunted him over his courage and his other perceived weaknesses. However this power changed through the course of the play. She deliberately took on a more masculine role which involves controlling or suppressing her underlying feelings and behaviors. It seems the weaknesses she attributes to Macbeth are in many ways her own weaknesses which she reveals later in the play.

This power over Macbeth changes when Macbeth reveals his plot to murder Banquo which Lady Macbeth is surprised by. She later struggles to suppress the guilt she has and in fact confesses to her involvement in the murders. She becomes more feminine and can no longer mask her ill intent. In many ways, both she and Macbeth are morally corrupted by the desire for power. She is using Macbeth as an instrument to become Queen of Scotland, which never lasted.

In understanding Lady Macbeth I feel although she possessed a soft power in that she is able to influence Macbeth’s actions to a point; there was also an element of fate. The fate as reflected in the prophecies of the three witches, which is important to consider as it appears drives the outcomes. Power was clearly important but without the right fate it is as if you are pushing again god, against the inevitable, a natural order.

While in The Merchant of Venice, both Jessica and Portia dress as males. This gives the greater acceptability and power. Both characters retain their femininity with Jessica falling in love with Lorenzo and Portia with Bassanio; both defying the wishes of their fathers which takes real courage.

Portia maintains her independence throughout the play. She does not rely on others to handle issues and stands up for what she believes in. Similar to Lady Macbeth, they both take on male personas, either figuratively and, or literally. However, Portia’s power mainly comes from her wealth, intellect and beauty, which is shown throughout the whole play. Being tested in love and in defending Antonio, she appears to have moral power, based on honesty and good intent.

Power is interwoven with gender. The characters I have analyzed are of strong women, who were still able to exercise power in their own ways, different maybe than if they were men. I recognize being a woman can make it difficult to be powerful when social structures are more male-dominant.

If power is abused and used for evil instead of good, it can corrupt a person, regardless of gender. If gender matters how does this affect each power situation in the plays? Simply there appears to be male situations and female situations.

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Analysis Of The Character Of Macbeth

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

The play ‘Macbeth’ is a portrait of one man, an ambitious, ruthless, disturbing individual.The play shows how he evolves as a person. Although we are presented with his declination from good to evil, we can see his human side throughout the play, which makes it a tragedy. The themes of ‘Macbeth’ are ambition, effects of evil, and violence. Once Macbeth’s ambition has set the ball rolling’, events happen quickly in the play as it gathers momentum. The themes are demonstrated mainly by the language of the play. As in Shakespeare’s time, plays were performed in daylight with very few props.

Ambition is something that everyone can identify with, and ‘Macbeth’ is an interesting study of how ambition can destroy you, so the audience is interested in Macbeth’s character. Our first impression of Macbeth is of a heroic, famous, popular man who is well liked by the King, Duncan. Duncan refers to Macbeth as noble Macbeth. Macbeth craves the title of king greatly, but realizes that he will have to commit some horrible crimes to get that position. Macbeth is tempted to follow through with the acts because of two sources of external evil – the witches and his wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth was already ambitious, but this was only heightened by the women as they made those desires appear as though they were achievable. This sets into motion the first of three great crimes. In Act one, scene three, Macbeth reveals that he is thinking of killing Duncan. Once the audience knows how the character thinks, they tend to sympathize with him, which is another reason why Macbeth is a tragedy.

Shakespeare was such a talented playwrite, that he tended to make the audience sympathize with not only the hero, but also the villain. The aside follows closely Macbeth’s desires and doubts – he does not know whether ‘this supernatural soliciting’ is good or bad, but he dearly wants to be king. He describes the murder that he is imagining to be horrible and ‘makes my seated heart knock at my ribs’, showing that the whole idea disgusts and horrifies him, as it would any man who was brave and noble, but Macbeth cannot stop thinking about it, showing that he is considering the idea and is drawn to it, and that he hasambitions to be king within him already. Macbeth is drawn to darkness, because he believes that it will hide his evil deeds. This is first shown when he says ‘stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires’.

Macbeth is afraid that people will realize that he wants to be king and is prepared to kill for it, so he calls on the stars to hide their light, so people cannot see what he is thinking. Macbeth finally decides to go through with the crime, and kills Duncan while he is visiting his castle. Lady Macbeth and her husband set up quite an elaborate plan, and it goes something like this. Lady Macbeth will give the kings guards’ copious amounts of alcohol. She also drugs them so they fall asleep and stay asleep. When everyone is asleep, Macbeth will sneak into the king’s chamber, steal the guards daggers, and brutally murder Duncan. The plan goes through almost flawlessly, except when he goes back to meet Lady Macbeth in his chamber, she notices that he forgot to plant the bloodied daggers back on the guards. She rushes back to Duncan’s chamber, and the lays the daggers on their unconscious bodies, making them look responsible for the king’s murder. When she hears knocking at the castle entrance, she returns and forces Macbeth back into their chamber, so they can both wash their hands and change their blooded clothing. This is the first of the three great crimes. Macbeth feels very guilty after committing this one, but as he continues, they seem to become easier and easier to commit.

The second great crime that Macbeth commits just shows that he has become a mindless killing machine. He thinks back to the witches predictions, and remembers that the predictions for Banquo’s future. Banquo’s future is filled with paradox. The witches profisize that he with be lesser, yet greater than Macbeth, not so happy, but happier, and he will not be king himself, but father a line of kings. Macbeth thinks this could be quite a problem in the not so distant future. He decides that he is going to solve this would-be problem right now. He hires two murders to assassinate both Banquo and his son Fleance. As the murderers wait in the early evening for Banquo and Fleance to pass by, the two murderers are joined by a third. The book suggests he has been dispatched by Macbeth who no longer trusts anyone. When Banquo and Fleance finally appear, carrying a torch, one murderer puts out the light, and the other two stab Banquo. In the darkness Fleance escapes to the Cries of “O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou mayest revenge. O slave!”. I think that this shows that he has become a mindless killing machine, because when you have the audacity to hire murderers to kill your best friend you have pretty much lost all human emotion. This has certain crime has made Macbeth more evil because now he realizes that he can get away with anything he wants, even if that includes killing his best friend. This crime eventually leads to Macbeth’s downfall and death, because Fleance escapes. Because Fleance escapes, the prophecy that says Banquo will not be king, but father them will most likely come true.

The third and final great crime that Macbeth commits is possibly the most inhumane. It involves the killing of not only Macduff’s servants, but also his wife and child. Macbeth is extremely angry at the fact that Macduff decided not to show up to his coronation. What makes Macbeth even more enraged is that he finds out not only did Macduff not attend his coronation, but he during this time he has gone to England to seek help from Edward the Confessor, and the late Duncan’s son, Malcolm. Macduff has gone to seek help because he wants to engage Macbeth in war. Once again Macbeth decides that he does not want to bloody his own hands anymore, so he hires two murderers to do the deed. Right before the murderers arrive, a messenger is sent to warn Lady Macduff of danger. There is some speculation that the messenger is sent by Lady Macbeth, because she was once friends with her, and perhaps feel that her husband has murdered too many people. Unfortunately for the Lady Macduff, her child and the servants, the messenger does not warn them with enough time to escape. The son of Macduff defends his fathers honor until the very last of his breaths, but there is stabbed. This last great crime only shows that Macbeth has completely gone off the deep end, and is killing women and children for rather stupid reasons. This crime eventually leads to Macbeth’s downfall and death because when Macduff hears the news about his wife and son, he decides that he will not have fulfilled his destiny until he kills Macbeth, and of course, in the end, Macbeth dies at the hand of Macduff.

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Role Of Witches in Macbeth By William Shakespeare

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

The tragedy Macbeth written by Shakespeare shows a man fall from the greatest pedestal, kingship. It is one of the greatest tragedies because it demonstrates how a once loyal and courageous man can diminish into an immoral ‘butcher’. Macbeth receives a prophecy from three witches’ stating that he would become King. This prophecy enkindled Macbeth’s ‘vaulting ambition’ and after the prompting of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth commits regicide. Killing the King is the beginning of Macbeth’s tragic fall. After Macbeth rises to kingship he begins to behave like a tyrant because he becomes obsessed with his elevated position. He becomes paranoid about Banquo’s prophecy so he kills Banquo and tries to kill his son. He commits evil after evil, killing anyone who threatens his reign. Macbeth’s monstrous behaviour ends with his death and the restoration of Duncan’s royal line.

In Macbeth there are many tragic events that are caused because of the involvement of the witches, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. These tragic events led to the demise of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.The witches are the first to appear in Macbeth and this signifies their importance in the tragic events of the play. Their first appearance straight away categorises the witches as evil as their riddles show that they want to stir up trouble. ‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’. The witches add an element of supernatural and prophecy to the play. Without the witches the prophecy which was the beginning of the tragic events would not have occurred. The evil portrayal of the weird witches in Macbeth was because of King James’s views and interests in witches and the supernatural. James believed that witches were evil and there purpose was to kill the King. This certainly had an influence in Macbeth as the witches are partly responsible for the regicide of Duncan. The witches used Macbeth’s tragic flaw to create something of their own doing. They prophecised that Macbeth would become King and this sparked up his ambition which inevitably led him to committing regicide. They identified that his weakness was ambition and they exploited that weakness so they could use him as a tool of evil.

The witches are central to the theme of equivocation because they deliberately use words in one sense but mean another thing to confuse Macbeth. The witches deliberately try to mislead Macbeth into taking the crown by saying ‘none of women born shall harm Macbeth’. Macbeth takes this tomean that no one will have power over him because no man can be born and not be born of women but he later finds out that his killer Macduff was not born naturally, ‘Macduff was from his mother’s womb untimely ripp’d'(act5, scene8) The witches also made Macbeth wary of Banquo’s threat to his throne. ‘Father a line of Kings’ This prophecy which is saying that Banquo’s sons will become King makes Macbeth become increasingly hostile to Banquo because he fears his kingship. Macbeth orders the murder of Banquo and Fleance but Fleance escapes and Macbeth become paranoid and afraid that the prophecy can still come true. ‘But now I am cabin’d, cribb’d, confined, bound in to saucy doubts and fears.’

The witches also have a part to play with the murder of Macduff’s family because they prophesised that Macduff would become a threat. ‘Macbeth! Beware Macduff'(Act4, scene1) Macbeth seizes his chance to eliminate the threat of Macduff by killing his family while Macduff has turned to England. The witches being central characters, link Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to them. Macbeth repeats what the witches say, ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’, those linking him to their evil ways. This establishes the evil nature of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as it coincides with the witch’s nature.

Macbeth being the tragic hero is responsible for his own tragic fall. His tragic flaw, ambition, is the reason for his fall. Without this weakness the witches would not have been able to use Macbeth. His weakness enabled the witches to exploit him and because Macbeth is weak-willed he could not stand up for himself and ignore what they were saying. This is also the reason why the audience feels sympathy for Macbeth because he could do nothing when faced with the witch’s prophecy. Sympathy is also felt because once Macbeth had started on his tragic fall he could not stop it and also because the fall was so great. That is the nature of a tragedy; the tragic hero going through a tragic fall that cannot be stopped. Macbeth after killing Duncan and Banquo justified killing other people be saying that he has committed too many crimes to turn back. The only choice is to continue his violence and his tyranny. ‘I am in blood stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er’.

There are two sides to the character of Macbeth, one is the courageous and loyal soldier at the start and then the monstrous tyrant towards the end. Macbeth is largelyresponsible for all of the tragic events in the Macbeth. Macbeth physical killed Duncan and the two chamberlains. He ordered the deaths of Banquo and Macduff’s family. He helped to cause the mental breakdown of Lady Macbeth by first including her in the murders and then isolating her from him and his plans. He was also responsible for his death because his tragic flaw brought him to the point where people wanted to kill him so peace could be found among his world of evil. We understand Macbeth’s psyche more during his soliloquies. In his first true soliloquy in act 1 scene 7 we find out that Macbeth had doubts about the regicide and only committed to it after Lady Macbeth had persuaded him. Soliloquies and asides were important tool to use because the audience got to get into the head of the characters and got to see the torment and metal suffering that Macbeth went through which aroused feelings of pity towards Macbeth from the audience.Lady Macbeth is portrayed as the evil that leads Macbeth astray. She becomes unfeminine and de humanized when she looses all of her weak qualities and focuses on the evil crime. ‘Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here.’ This also shows her evil disposition because she is aligning herself with the supernatural. Lady Macbeth had a big role to play in Duncan’s and the chamberlain’s murder. She convinced Macbeth that he should commit regicide and only after her tormenting did he commit to the crime. Lady Macbeth was the one who came up with the plan of framing and killing the two chamberlains. This is a negative portrayal of women because it is suggesting that men are led to evil by women.

Lady Macbeth is also portrayed as ambitious because in wanting Macbeth to become King she will also get a high status. This shows that women were second to men in this era because women could only achieve if the man achieved. In most Shakespearean tragedies if women ever have power they are always cut down and reduced to nothing. When Lady Macbeth becomes Queen she starts to show signs that she can handle her conscience. She is driven mad with guilt and is made even worse when Macbeth isolates her. Lady Macbeth is portrayed as too weak to suppress her conscience and so commits suicide and takes the easy option out. Her suicide is also viewed as a final and desperate act of trying to cleanse her conscience.

The witches, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were all to blame for the tragic occurrences in Macbeth. The witches are mainly responsible for Macbeth’s problems because of their prophesies. Macbeth is at fault in all of the tragic event but mainly for his own demise because without his tragic flaw none of the other tragic events would have occurred. Lady Macbeth is mainly responsible for the deaths of Duncan and the chamberlains and the fact that she was driven mad to the point of suicide because of the weak state of her mind.

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The Witches in Macbeth, The Source Of a Terrible Tragedy

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the play, there are many interesting sections that concentrate on the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural. With the sense of the supernatural and interference of the spirits, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are led to dangerous, tempting things. The three witches are introduced right at the beginning of the play, on Macbeth’s way home from fighting in the battle for his country. They recount to Macbeth three prophecies.

The first is that he will become the Thane of Cawdor, the second is the Thane of Glamis, which he already was titled as, and the third was stated by the witches as: “he shalt be King hereafter”. These prophecies, two of them being very new to him, introduced Macbeth to new ideas of greatness. And, in knowing that in this time period, it was sometimes thought that the witches had the ability to reverse the natural order of things, Macbeth knew that he should be suspicious of the words of the Wëird Sisters. This scene brings into the play the idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. One can ponder on whether Macbeth ever had a chance of doing what was right after hemet with the witches, because of how strong their words were, and because of how many great things they were promising to him. After the prophecies were given to him, Macbeth had a very strong reaction to what was stated: “If good, why do I yield to that suggestionWhose horrid image doth unfix my hairAnd make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the use of nature? Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of manThat function is smothered in surmise, And nothing is but what is not.”

Obviously, Macbeth is not yet sure of himself as an evil man. Immediately after hearing the witches’ prophecy that he will be king, Macbeth thinks that he must kill the current king, this being King Duncan, in order to take over the throne. Although he is not sure that he can follow through with this, he wants nothing more in the world than to have the amount of power and respect that he knows he will receive if he takes over the position. So, in returning home, and with the help of persuasion and instigation from his wife, he kills King Duncan. Prevoiusly to the murder and immediately after, Macbeth’s “heat-oppressed brain” caused him to see images floating in the air, specifically the dagger that became bloody right before the bell rang as a signal to kill King Duncan. These images may have been messages from the witches, as yet another cause of Macbeth’s insanity.

However, the witches made Macbeth believe that he was on the brink of becoming the most powerful, respected and dignified man, and they convinced him so well that he continued to end the lives of others to achieve his goal. After killing Duncan, Macbeth is aware of some people who might be too suspicious of him, and of others that he has to kille in order to be the individual who inherits the throne as a result of King Duncan’s death. One of these men is his partner in war, Banquo. Macbeth hires three men to killhe and his son. Later on in act three, Macbeth and Lady Macbath are hosting a dinner when Macbeth notices the appearance of Banquo. Later on, it is discovered that instead of it being the deceased Banquo, it is his ghost, and only Macbeth can see him. Macbeth knows that the witches are trying to get the best of him, and as a result, Macbeth decides to make another visit to the witches to find out what is going on and to decide what his future actions will be. In his visit to his witches in act four, scene one, Macbeth is given four apparitions by the witches which include a floating head with a crown on it, a bloody baby, a child with a crown on its head, holding a tree branch and a series of kings who all resemble Banquo, one of the people that Macbeth assigned to be killed.

Each of these apparitions has obvious symbolism and is the witche’s next attempt in showing Macbeth his superiority and his inevitability. By the beginning of act four, the witches have a strong enough hold on Macbeth that whatever they tell him to do in order to get what he wants, he will do it. Macbeth has become so power-hungry that he begins to change as a person. He is no longer a pushover or easygoing, he is more demanding towards the witches, and in hearing these new apparitions, he becomes even more greedy, and eventually over-confident. The following quotes show Macbeth’s confidence takes over: “Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee? But yet I’ll make assurance double sureAnd take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live, That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,And sleep in spite of thunder”. “That will never be.Who can impress the forest, bid the treeUnfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements, good!”

The second two of these apparitions given to Macbeth tell him that he doesn’t have to be scared of any human that was not born of a woman, and that he is not in danger unless the forest surrounding his castle comes andknocks on his door. In this case, the witches were once again a source of Macbeth’s downfall because, by the witches boosting his confidence, they convinced him that he could do anything, and would not get in trouble for it, which caused him to want even more, and to feel that he could do anything to get at that point. After this scene, Macbeth returns home and no longer worries about what he has to come because he was originally worried that Macduff would kill him. Now he simply decides that Macduff was born of a woman. These apparitions are good news for Macbeth. The witches encouraged him to believe he was indestructible. He has found protection in the strength of the spirit’s words and having possession of all the confidence in the world, he fears no one. Nearing the end of the play, Macbeth’s castle is invaded by Macduff and Malcolm’s army. Each person is carrying a branch from a tree, to form an illusion that they were a moving forest. Macbeth becomes nervous, because remembering the apparition, he knows that at this point, he has something to fear. Macbeth also discovers by asking to fight a man who was not born a woman, and suspecting that no man would speak up, that Macduff was not of woman born and that he was “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb. This causes Macbeth to go into great shock. He is now positive that he will be killed. The end result of Macbeth’s life could have been different, but the witches convinced him that he was safe and that no harm was in his future. All of the events following Macbeth’s second meeting with the witches show the interference of the witch who tell Macbeth what his future holds. Even in his final uttered words before his death, Macbeth refers to two of the witch’s apparitions, these being the second and third apparition concerning the Great Birnam wood knocking at his door and his inevitability to anyone born of a woman: “Though Birnam wood become to DunsinaneAnd thou opposed, being of no woman born”This quote is great proof that the witches are what brought Macbeth to his ultimate destruction. The witches were referred to throughout the play, right until the end, and even when Macbeth had only seconds to live. From the start of the play, Macbeth began to change as a character for the worse. He became completely different from the brave soldier and changed into an evil king and then to his tragic death where he discovers humility.

In my thorough examination of certain scenes of they play, I noticed that the supernatural was definitely a major factor on the play’s tragic conclusion. The killing of Duncan started an unstoppable chain of events that ends with the murder of Macbeth and the suicide of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth, in the beginning had all of the qualities of an honorable gentleman who could become anything, but he took the wrong path to becoming what he wanted. Although Macbeth may have questioned the validity of the witches’ prophecies, he was tempted and refused to listen to his own reasoning. When the apparitions the witches give to Macbeth start to show their faults, Macbeth is right to blame the witches for deceiving him with half-truths. The witches are responsible for introducing the ideas to Macbeth, which, in turn, fired up Macbeth’s ambition and led to a disastrous and unnecessary tragedy. Although there are other things, which contributed to the tragedy of Macbeth, such as Lady Macbeth’s dominance, and his own personal ambition, without the witches there to convince him to commit these evil crimes in order to gain power. It would have never happened. Perhaps the witches were such a strong influence to Macbeth, that they became a part of his brain and worked with his own thoughts to form his new insane character.

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The Death Of Duncan, The King Of Scotland

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Duncan, the king of Scotland, was murdered in the castle of Macbeth the thane of Glamis and Cawdor in Castle Dunsinane at midnight on 12th November 1556. The king was murdered on his bed with a dagger. Two grooms of king were also dead; covered with blood of Duncan on their face and with the dagger used to kill him.

Macduff being the first one to react said in horror that “murder hath broke ope the lord`s antinone and stole thence the life of building”. Soon after this there was lot of commotion in the castle and the alarm bell was rung. Everybody was informed about this incident. Macbeth was very upset and expressed his distress and great loss by saying that “the wine of life is drawn and the mere lees is left this vault to brag of”. He also went to the extent of showing his love and affection towards the king by adding that “Had I but died an hour before this chance”. On the other hand Malcolm and Donalbain the king’s sons did not have much to say and remained silent.

Lady Macbeth faints as Macbeth was giving the explanation of his repent of fury which had made him to kill the guards of the king. Banquo (nobleman) showed his determination of finding the killer by saying that” against the undivulged pretence I fight of treasonous malice”. The people of Scotland were also shocked at Duncan’s murder. The night Duncan was murdered was very wild. People heard lamenting painful ghostly cries. Many of the chimneys were blown down. Some people said that they could hear the screeching of an owl.

Since Malcolm and Donalbain both have escaped from the castle and left the country. So they are considered to be main suspects of Duncan’s murder. While Macbeth was the next closest to king after his sons so he was made the king. Coronation of Macbeth is going to take place soon. The killer of king’s mystery still unsolved.

Who killed the king?

It is a puzzling case, as there are a number of suspects connected to the murder. It was said that the murder was carried out using a stealthy knife by the guards. Duncan was stabbed repeatedly in the chest; reasons as to why this happened are unknown. Maybe jealousy? Greed? Ambition? Power?

Lord Macbeth had arranged a grand party for the king and his sons. After hearing the news of the King being murdered, the whole Scotland is mourning for their beloved king but they are also outraged and want to know who committed this foul deed. The real question is who first found the king’s body. In an interview with Lord Macbeth he said ” early in the morning, two noblemen, Macduff and Lennox, called at the castle to visit King Duncan” Speaking of Lord Macduff, he also had some very interesting things to say during our interview. Lord Macduff said “Lord Macbeth had a wonderful speech prepared as though he knew he was dead and didn’t seem so surprised.” He also happened to be the host of the party and our king Duncan died in his house so it does arouse suspicion.

There’s also the fact that Macbeth was the one who killed the only witnesses of the murder. “I will never forget the scene of when I walked in to wake king Duncan to find him dead in a pool of blood, what a horrific scene I cannot even describe” Says Lord Macduff. Right outside his chambers the guards had dangers and blood all over their faces. At the time it seemed clear that they had killed the king. However, now suspicion hangs in the corner. The whole scene seemed staged. It all seemed quite suspicious. Macbeth’s speeches were so heartfelt and long that it almost seemed as though they were prepared. Macbeth also killed the only witnesses to the murder out of ‘rage’. There is also the fact that the king died in his house. There are too many factors that cannot be ignored. However there is another theory to who may have killed the king. King Duncan’s two sons Malcolm and Donalbain fearing for their own lives fled Scotland, Malcolm for England and Donalbain for Ireland. Their hasty departure makes them appear guilty and prime suspects in the investigation.

Lord and Lady Macbeth issued a statement along the lines that they were shocked and outraged by the murder of their glorious leader and that the perpetrators would be hunted down. However, life must go on and Macbeth would be assuming the role of king as of now. They also said Lennox and Banquo are saddened by this event. But in full support of their new monarch. Guards say it was an inside job. As you can see, several people have different opinions on the matter, the truth is yet to be revealed. In summary it seems as though Macduff is suspicious of these new deaths, which Macbeth explains by saying that his fury at Duncan’s death was so powerful that he could not restrain himself. So the real question here is, who killed the king? When will we get justice?

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