Loyalty And Betrayal In Shakespeares Mcbeth

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Loyalty and Betrayal Both Loyalty and Betrayal dominate this play. From the opening of the play we witness how Cawdor has betrayed his own country by informing Norway about their intentions in the war. As a result of this Cawdor is punished and Macbeth gains his title. It is Duncan’s tragedy that he is naïve and fails to see through character. His immediate appointment of Macbeth to replace Cawdor will eventually mean his own death. The witches too betray Macbeth by tempting him with prophecies, which turn out to be false. It is only at the conclusion of the play when Macbeth has been defeated that he realizes how the witches have operated,’ these juggling fiends…that palter with us in a double sense.’ Macduff demonstrates a deep sense of loyalty by fleeing to England and organizing an army to defeat Macbeth. As a result of his act of heroic loyalty to his country his family are brutally slaughtered. Lady Macbeth manifests a misguided loyalty to her husband. Lady Macbeth loves her husband with a genuine if perverted fervour. In her obsession with the achievement of earthly power she calls on the powers of darkness to take her over body and soul. She believes that by doing this both of them will come to have ‘solely sovereign sway and masterdom.’ At the Banquet scene she makes a prodigious effort to remain loyal to her husband and shield his reputation before the lords of Scotland. It is also loyalty, which causes her to faint when the murdered body of Duncan is found in order to prevent Macbeth from exposing his fear before the others. Both these characters have betrayed their own humanity by falling victims of evil, and both end up the ‘prey of wicked dreams.’ They are truly tragic figures who show in their lives how evil is totally

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