As the play goes on, Macbeth slowly looses his morality as he strives for more control whilst Lady Macbeth steps into a frantic stage of guilt. After killing the king, Macbeth starts to plot other evil undertakings as he becomes nervous that someone will take away his power. At one point he goes from wanting to needing the sovereignty, which makes him loose sight of his integrity. As Macbeth begins to immorally act in order to achieve what he hungers, the line between good and evil starts to fade. “I am in blood / Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” (3.4.136-138) In this quote, Macbeth is telling himself that because he has stepped into evil so deeply, it will be hard to go back to morallity because he will never be able to rid of this guilt brought onto him.
Guilt is constantly seen throughout the play Macbeth driving the characters to question their morals. To the responder it appears that Lady Macbeth is the driving force behind the initial killing of King Duncan influencing her husband Macbeth to commit the evil deeds by threatening him with his man hood by saying “when you do it, then you are a man”. Her tone portrays her dominant nature and her hunger for authority and demonstrates to the responder her strength as a character. However her over confident traits and clear and concise thinking is diminished once the guilt of the crime poisons her conscience. This is demonstrated by her imagining her hands stained by blood and her constantly trying to clean the “damned spot” away and rid her sole of the guilt.
Macbeth is a tragic hero, a person of high rank who is brought to eventual ruin by a flaw in his character Macbeth`s tragic flaw is his ambition,which leads him to a series of bloody and increasingly indefensible acts. The most apparent flaw, and perhaps the most in Macbeth`s character, is his lack of patience and temperance. These shortcomings haunted Macbeth,causing him to let his overvaulting ambition rush fate, and hasten his doom. Macbeth could not wait for an appointment to a position of more power. Instead , he murdered the king to take his place.
Macbeth responds, in brief, as a loyal thane to the Scottish king, but the prospect unnerves him. * The audience could see Macbeth’s ambition leading him to cursed thoughts which has been greatly *enforced and twisted* by the* malicious* witches. *The caution from the first apparition causes Macbeth to start a bloody massacre across England, killing families of people who may threaten his position. After this point in the play, we see *that *Macbeth* has* turn*ed* into a ruthless tyrant* in the hope of avoiding fate*, so desensitized to humanity that even the suicide of his wife *could not arouse grief from him. * All he could muster was* “She should have died hereafter”.
Shakespeare does a magnificent job by using Macbeth to show the terrible consequences that can result from an unchecked ambition and a guilty conscience. Those elements, combined with a lack of strong character, distinguish Macbeth from Shakespeare's other tragic heroes, such as King Lear and Richard III, both of whom are strong enough to overcome their guilty conscience. Before Macbeth murders Duncan, he is plagued with anxiety and almost does not go along with the plan. It takes his wife, Lady Macbeth's persuasion in order to complete the plot. When is about to kill Duncan, Macbeth sees a dagger covered in blood floating in the air, representing the bloody course he is about to take.
The idea of blood in other works and novels typically evokes the idea of slaughter and massacre. However, in this play the blood symbolizes the guilt that will forever stain the palms of Macbeth and his wife. The simple act of murder that was once looked at as indifferent led to a devastating past. Macbeth expresses his guilt when he remarks, “And with thy bloody and invisible hand/ Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond/ Which keeps me pale” (3.3.48-50). Macbeth is scared by the blood of Duncan.
Ambition is a common downfall for those who seek power. In literature, authors use characters to demonstrate the harmful effects of ambition. Shakespeare, in his play Macbeth, develops the character of Macbeth, who changes from a good-hearted person to evil because of his corrupting power and unchecked ambition. In Act I, Macbeth debates with himself on whether or not to kill Duncan. He considers that, even if Duncan’s murder could be completed without any negative consequences, like getting caught, he still would have to live with guilt.
Throughout the play Lady Macbeth is the driving influence behind Macbeth and the immoral path that he chose to follow. To put it simply Lady Macbeth started the rot and persuaded the hesitant and indecisive Macbeth to “be a man” and do the deed of killing Duncan. Macbeth initially decided to “proceed no further” in the matter of killing Duncan because he had been kind to him of late bestowing the position of Thane of Cawdor on him. She responds to this by saying that if he can lose his ambition so readily, his love for her must also be changeable. Then she insults his masculinity and questions his courage.
The protagonist Macbeth was once this great Scottish hero, but he was a victim of his own ambition for power, which in the end was the cause of his tragic downfall. No matter how much force he put against himself, he could not resist his evil urges. Macbeth is so intrigued and obsessed with the idea of being King, he puts himself in situations that are hard for anyone to get over. “The prince of Cumberland! that is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap, for in my way it lies” (I.IV.55-57).
Another example of blood portraying honor takes place later in the play during the death scene of Macbeth. Right before Macduff kills Macbeth, he tells the ill-fated title character, “My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier than terms can give thee out.” With this line, the audience knows that Macbeth’s pleas to have his life spared will not be answered by Macduff. In turn, this is a display of courage on Macduff’s part. Where betrayal is concerned, blood also symbolizes acts of murder and treason. One such allusion is mentioned in act 2, scene 1, during Macbeth‘s soliloquy.