As the play continues, with the foreseeing witches and the deceptive lady Macbeth, he quickly turns from a courageous strong hearted man, to a tyrant king who is willing to commit the unthinkable to withhold his royal status. In Macbeth, the prophecies foretold by the three witches about future events enflame our protagonist, driving him to make treacherous decisions that impact severely on his downfall. He is immediately taken in as the witches reveal the royal titles. Eager to unlock the secrets of these prophecies, Macbeth questions the witches, demanding them to speak. "And often to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths."
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.
Their equivocation can be clearly seen in the opening scene, where they juxtapose contrasting words in the same lines. “When the battle’s lost and won.” and “Fair is foul and foul is fair”. The usage of these opposing words together underlines the deceptive nature of their speech, and it is this very nature that succeeds in disorientating Macbeth. Shortly after the witches give him the prophecies, Macbeth states in his soliloquy :” This supernatural soliciting/Cannot be ill, cannot be good.” These lines highlight Macbeth’s state of inner conflict and turmoil, as he is indecisive and unsure of how to react to the witches’ predictions of him ascending the throne. This is important in establishing Macbeth as a tragic hero, as the witches undue influence on him lead him to his tragic error of judgment which would lead to his downfall.
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.
Macbeth Essay Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a play, which highlights individual’s thirst for power and the unethical paths many take to achieve their goals. The final scenes draw the dramatic tale to a close and cease the constant stream of murders. The audience observes the re-establishment of themes within the final scenes such as guilt, restoration of harmony, and good defeating evil. These along with significant events change the mood of the play consequently altering responders’ overall interpretation. Guilt is constantly seen throughout the play Macbeth driving the characters to question their morals.
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.
No one to blame but Macbeth Decisions can be impacted by a number of factors; but in the end we have to be the ones to take responsibility for our actions. This is demonstrated when we see Macbeth transform from a brave soldier to a power-hungry murderer, feared by all his subjects. Macbeth is the one to blame for his own descent into cruelty and murder because he let his ambition, arrogance and greed take over his mind. While some may claim that Macbeth is to blame for his actions, others argue that it is the force of the supernatural that leads to his demise. Early on the witches reveal prophecies to Macbeth suggesting his rise to power.
He reveals his ambition through a small aside, where he sees himself killing Duncan: "If good, why do I yield to that suggestion/ Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair" (Act I, Scene III, Ln 145). As the play progresses, it is revealed that Macbeth has always had ambition to be more powerful, and with the witches prophesies, he sees an opportunity to do so. With all considered, it is true to say that Macbeth is completely packed with deception and betrayal. Near the start of the play, those who are good and noble appear to succumb to those who are filled with deception (ie: Duncan getting killed by Macbeth). As the play progresses, it appears that those who cause wrong receive justice, by getting deceived themselves.
It could be that he has damaged himself so that he is unable to feel empathy for others - or that the evil is innate. Macbeth displays some very evil characteristics - selfishness, coldness, obsession and cold-blooded murder. Shakespeare explores the degree to which he alone is responsible, and how far others contribute to Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare's greatest exploration of the problem of evil. Evil is positioned both within and without. The witches are objective figures but Macbeth's first utterance in act 1, scene 3 suggests that he shares a similar thought with the witches.
In Act Four, during Macbeth’s last encounter with the witches, the reader witnesses how Macbeth demands the witches and their apparitions to “answer [him]/To what [he asks them]” (IV.i.60-61) and arrogantly only takes the apparitions’ messages literally so that their messages favor what he wants to believe. When compared to how Macbeth reacts when the witches first approach him, their prophecy leaving him speechless and analyzing whether or not/how that prophecy will come to fruition, Shakespeare clearly conveys how much Macbeth’s power has gone to his head. The immorality of Macbeth’s character is deepened in the very next act when he sends for Macduff’s defenseless wife and child to be killed only for the purpose of furthering the safety of his own power. His corrupt character even shows through while preparing for battle and on the battlefield. His wickedness is first portrayed in Act Five when he mocks a fearful servant giving him news of the enemy approach as a “lily-liver’d boy” (V.iii.15) and when he demands the doctor cure his wife of her mental illness although the doctor explains that he can do nothing for her.