William Shakespeare's Macbeth Introduction to Term Paper
- Length: 12 pages
- Sources: 4
- Subject: Mythology
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #27566347
Excerpt from Term Paper :
She declares that a man who snatches what he desires is actually a true man. Lady Macbeth burdens herself by seducing his husband into committing the murder afterall. Although, initially she has the strength and potential to deal with the task of abetting in a murder and thinks she will be able to forget all about it once she becomes the Scottish Queen but eventually conscience overpowers her vices. She dies of guilt and anguish.
Like Macbeth, Banquo, is also a nobleman of Scotland and a general in rank.To some extent through Banquo and Macbeth, the writer has offered a comparison of choices made by men in similar circumstances. When Macbeth was foretold of his rule on Scotland, so was Banquo made aware that his descendants would one day be wearing the crown. Like Macbeth, Banquo is a man of high rank and status and hence of an ambitious nature. However, he considers the honor of his king, country and individuality foremost and suppressed his selfish agendas.Further comparison reveals that Macbeth and Banquowere a part of the same secret i.e., of knowing their fate and Macbeth had also tried to seduce Banquo to be a part of his evil plan. Furthermore, Banquo's descendants are meant to be the heirs of the throne. These facts make Banquo nothing but a threat for Macbeth and a walking sign of the right path that Macbeth rejected due to his lust. Hatred again takes over and Macbeth kills Banquo while his son escapes during the assault.
Even after his murder Banquo remains an important character of the play in the form of the Ghost of Banquo. The Ghost of Banquostarts haunting Macbeth during the same time interval in which the murder takes place. Macbeth's fear of the ghost and his turmoil is an indication of the extreme guilt that he faces on becoming his contorted form.
(iv) the Three Witches
They have also been titled the Weird Sisters in the play. The three witchesare capable of predicting the future for people as they have supernatural powers. However, disseminating the knowledge among concerned people is their own choice. If they know the fate of a person; logic states that they should also be able to see the means by which that particular fate shall be fulfilled. They revealed only half the truth about future to people, precisely the brightest part, which could lure them into wanting their goal sooner than possible (Litcharts Macbeth, n.d.). This actually leaves the reader with the notion that the ultimate fate might be pre-determined but how a person reaches that fate is completely dependent on his nature and choices. For instance, would Macbeth still win the throne if he had not strived so meaninglessly for it? The point to consider here is that the witches did not persuade Macbeth and Banquo to follow their respective choices; what they revealed to them brought chaos and anarchy by the men's own inclinations.
(v) Macduff and Lady Macduff
Macduff is the Thane of Fife and hence a nobleman of high rank. This character is opposing in personality and traits to that of Macbeth. Where Macbeth is overly ambitious, Macduffis a man of rules and dictation who puts his nation and ruler before everything else, even family. Macduff is not fond of Macbeth from the beginning so suspects him when King Duncan and Banquo are killed. Macduffis compelled to rebel against Macbeth after the latter becomes king so as a warning Macbeth hires an assassin to kill all of Macduff's family. Macduff remains somewhat passive in the gist of the play but loss of his family triggers extreme vengeance and hatred in his heart. His fight becomes personal.
Lady Macduff is not a prominent character in the play. She is the mother of Macduff's children but still is not able to convince him regarding his personal duties to his family. Lady Macduff argues Macduff over his decision of leaving Scotland to join Malcolm's army in England so he could rebel against the new King Macbeth but to no avail.
Malcolm is the prince of Scotland and the elder of two sons of its rightful King, King Duncan. At the start of the play, when KingDuncan is murdered, Malcolm appears to be an immature and weak youngster who cowardly left the country to protect himself from his father's enemies.As time passes, Malcolm gains the maturity well suited to him as a prince. Shakespeare beautifullyillustrates his comeback in the finale of this play. Malcolm strives to set up an English army against Macbeth; soon after, Macduff also joins him in the feat.The throne that Macbeth snatched from King Duncan was over thrown by Malcolm's army.
The peace of Scotland is restored as the natural order of things is relieved with the death of Macbeth and crowing of Malcolm as the King.
(vii) Other Characters
Some other characters include King Duncan; the King of Scotland; Fleance, Banquo's young son; Lennox, Ross and Angus; three Scottish noblemen; Donalbain, Malcolm's younger brother and King Duncan's son; and King Edward, the saintly king of England; etc.
(B) Macbeth as a Thematic Unit
The Tragedy of Macbeth is the most daring experiment on expressing tragedy that emergeswhen evil from sinful human endeavors seduces man into making a corrupt moral choice. Macbeth in set up on a concrete structure thatgives out a statement through itsthemes (LitchartsMacbeth, n.d.): Ultimate power in the world ismorality or the constant struggle between good and evil where the latter destroys all order in the world. Anything detrimental, unfruitful orweakeningin a character or plot is the carrier of evil. It annihilates. When evil diminishes the good residing inthe hero, he cannot exist anymore and balance has to be restored by his death (Chandler, n.d.).Macbeth presents these elements through the fights for the Scottish throne.Blind ambition; gory violence, combination of nature (fate), unnatural means and the supernatural; and the debate over true essence of manhood form the thematic basis behind this great play by Shakespeare.
The main tragic hero of Macbeth, i.e., Macbeth himself and his wife, Lady Macbeth, are undeniably blinded by ambition to achieve what they have been made to fantasize about after the prophecy of the three witches (Stallybrass, 1982). Both of them want to have power in their hands and are ready to sacrifice their morals for it but their conscience remains alive. Macbeth's faithfulness towards King Duncan against the Norwegians before the prophecy explains his true nature as good man of morals. However, he is overwhelmed by the greed of throne that he knows has been written in his fate and become a murderer instead. An analysis of other characters that were in the same circumstance of achieving power like Banquo - who was prophesized to be the ancestor of rulers of Scottish Kingdom - or Macduff - who has equal prospects of wearing the crown -- reveals that it was dependent solely on Macbeth whether he chose to allow his ambition to run amok by freeing it from any moral or communal conscience or not.Banquo and Macduff wanted to be rulers too but they checked their ambition. Hence, ambitions, if allowed to go astray, are not destined to be fulfilled anymore and eventually transform into monsters that destroy anything that comes in their way (Litcharts Macbeth, n.d.).
Macbeth starts in the time of a war with killing of men, women and children and it ends with the decapitation of its tragic hero, Macbeth.When Macbeth murdered King Duncan to obtain his throne, he not only pushed himself in a situation that demanded more killing but also compelled others like Macduff, whose family Macbeth killed, to carry on with this ruthless game. Through Macbeth, the writer has made an excellent point:Every violent act is like a stimulant for its own race; one vicious act leads to the next one and the cycle continues until nothing is left behind.
Macbeth and Banquo are told about their fates; a question arises here in the readers mind: now that they know about their fate, would they be able to play around it? Banquo on hearing the prophecy takes no action at all. Macbeth, on the other hand, strikes off a chain reaction by hasting to fulfill his fateby killing King Duncan. He did attain what was prophesized but through unnatural way that disrupted the naturalchain of events. Macbeth brought himself to ruin by fighting faith.Shakespeare has meticulously built a bridge between the natural and political worlds. He has sketched tremendous natural calamities like incredible storms, earthquakes, animals going wild when Macbeth disrupts nature by killing King Duncan. These unnatural events have been shown to have arisen because of Macbeth and his wife's attempt to manipulate nature by seizing the throne. The disasters are a shadow of the warping that has occurred in their souls due to blind ambition.
Lastly, the play leaves a question levitating for the reader. Does taking what a man desires for…