Banquo illustrated Macbeth’s subconscious belief that he was an undeserved kin, for he has played “foully.” Shakespeare uses Macbeth’s conscience to show how even the idea of power can be strongly manifested in someone’s mind and slowly corrupt any existence of principles and integrity, once again emphasizing the idea that “absolute power corrupts absolutely. “Another example of Shakespeare using Macbeth’s internal conflict to depict the theme, “absolute power corrupts absolutely” was after Duncan’s regicide. After hearing the witches’ prophecy, Macbeth contemplates on committing regicide on the King but once again his conscience constricts him from doing so. However, he is clearly vacillating with the thought of murder when he says, “if chance will have me king, why chance may crown me without stir. His inner conflict is shown explicitly in act 1, scene 7 when he weighs not only the detrimental political consequences of the murder but also the moral values involved.
Once I gave him the title of Cawdor, he so thoughtlessly believed in the witches' power and fell willingly under their spell. What an ignorant fool! Also responsible would have to be Lady Macbeth. Once she learns of the prophecy, she is all too ready for Macbeth to become king, no matter what evil deeds had to be done to ensure he would attain the throne, including the quickest route to the crown, my crown! Even when Macbeth does have second thoughts, Lady Macbeth is there, insulting his manhood and shaming him into action.
Shakespeare presents the flaws in Macbeth’s character using prophecies from the witches, juxtaposition in his soliloquys, and Lady Macbeth slowly manipulating him to do deeds that in the end lead to his demise. In Act 1 Scene 2 Shakespeare uses 2 characters talking about Macbeth to portray the idea that Macbeth is a loyal, brave and tenacious character and he uses imagery to show this. The sergeant tells us that Macbeth “with smok’d with bloody execution, like valour’s minion carv’d out his passage.” The imagery of “valour’s minion” is used to suggest that Macbeth is Valour’s favourite person and that he is the bravest person other than Valour himself. The imagery used to suggest that he is also a very violent person, able to commit acts that were perhaps disturbed is “smok’d with bloody execution.” This quote tells us that Macbeth is perhaps considered a violent person, but it is acceptable because it is for the King, therefore it is the right reason. In Act 2 Scene 1, just before Macbeth kills the King, we see signs of his psychological destruction when he hallucinates about the dagger.
In the opening of the play, a loyal Macbeth is approached by three witches who entice him with their claim that “[he] shalt be king thereafter.” (1-3-50). This information stimulates his hidden thirst for power and willingness to keep the throne for himself. He plots to murder the king and takes the liberty of killing Banquo, and anyone else who poses a threat to his reign to aid his own insecurity. Macbeth begins to lose trust in those around him and becomes unstable. Shakespeare shows through Duncan, who carries a legitimate power, that only direct threats to the kingdom are punished accordingly.
Macbeth’s Character Macbeth is superstitious and curious about the witches. ‘stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more…speak, I charge you’ this shows that already the idea of becoming king is in Macbeths mind, and is feeding his ever-growing ambition. The imperatives in the quote show that he already thinks that he is superior to others as he is very imposing and demanding, this would also mean that he is self-centered and will do anything for the benefit of himself and his own success. Macbeth is superstitious and ambitious but doubtful of himself and the witches. ‘why do you dress me in borrowed robes?’ this quote shows that Macbeth is superstitious as it tells the audience that he has believed the prophecies they have told him.
Macbeth further condones this in his action to the witches’ prophecy that he will become king. Once made Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth realizes the truth in the witches’ predictions, and immediately begins to contemplate the other part of their prophecy. “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,” (Act 1, sc. 3, line 151-152) he thinks, bringing murder to the front of his mind almost as soon as the witches are proven correct. Later in the play, Macbeth’s yearning for power, encouraged by the weird sisters, convinces him to kill the king and assume the throne.
However, our opinion of him quickly changes in Act I Scene III when his true ambitions are revealed after an encounter with three witches and he soon learns that he himself will become king one day. During this key scene we see a seed planted into Macbeth’s mind which leads him into taking a murderous path. Through analysis and evaluation of these key scenes and in particular the characterisation of Macbeth, I will show how our view of him significantly changes throughout the entire play. In Act I Scene II we are led to believe that Macbeth’s character is a noble and loyal servant to his king as we hear of his courageous action on the battlefield: “For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name…” This is the first time we get a true in site into Macbeth’s character and we are told of his courageousness in battle. Shakespeare’s use of the word “brave” is used to give us a false impression of Macbeth’s true self.
When Macbeth is talking to Lady Macbeth he says, “I will, to the weird sisters: / More shall they speak,” (3.5.134-135). In this context Macbeth is anxious to go to the witches to see if he should fear anyone taking his newfound power from him. This shows that he has acquired what he wanted however he doesn’t feel secure, this shows that he relies on the witches for support and cannot think without first taking into consideration what the witches say. Before this
The penultimate scene of this act, is the point where the death of the king is disvoverd and the news is broken. There is panic throughout the house, and this perculiar news creates suspision within Banquo that is was Macbeth. The audience almost feels tension for Macbeth, will he be discoverd of will it stay a secret. They go on a journey with Macbeth during this scene which creates a bond link connection so much so they love to hate Macbeth but feeling to do both consecutivly. He begins to act irrationally, which makes the audience fear for him when they should be hoping that that he get caught red handed.
Who causes the Downfall of Macbeth? Macbeth's downfall is attributed to a sense of over-confidence and unchecked ambition, and the impact of the witch's prophecy all three seal Macbeth's fate and his destruction At the start of the play, Macbeth is a loyal, courageous servant of the King of Scotland, but he is a man who harbors a hidden ambition for power. He is both noble and brave in his defense of the King in battle, he is rewarded for his actions. Macbeth has an encounter with a trio of witches and his life is changed. Once the witches show him his future, he becomes obsessed with speeding up the anticipated coming into power.