In scene 1 act 7, Macbeth leaves the table and attempts to talk himself out of killing Duncan. Macbeth gives himself many logical reasons as why not to commit the murder, such as Duncan just gave him a promotion, why kill the man who just promoted you. But then Macbeth states that if he knew he wouldn’t get caught then he would do it. Then, Lady Macbeth enters the scene, and this is where the murder plan materializes. Lady Macbeth challenges him, saying that he is not a man.
Hamlet – a 'noble' man? ACT 1 • GOOD Inspires devotion in his friends and subjects – Horatio & Marcellus follow Hamlet & are determined to protect him. BAD “I have that within which passes show, these but the trappings & the suits of woe” • Loyalty to his father's memory • Disgust at his mother & uncle's immorality “a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer” /// “oh most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets” • Remains respectful to Gertrude “I shall in all my best obey you madam” /// “It is not nor it cannot come to good, but break my heart for I must hold my tongue” [1st soliloquy – scene 2] • Certain that evil does not go unpunished on this earth “Foul deeds will rise, though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes” “My lord he hath importuned me with love in honourable fashion” [Ophelia to Polonius] • Love for Ophelia is pure “It is a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance” • Disapproves of excessive drinking • Brave: willing to risk God's wrath to speak to his father one more time “I'll speak to it though hell itself should gape and bid me hold my peace” Is this evidence that Hamlet is good? Already we see that it is possible to corrupt Hamlet – he will risk doing the 'wrong' thing if it means easing his grief & psychological suffering. His actions in speaking to the ghost show extreme bravery (it could be the devil in disguise) but also a disregard for his own safety because he is already experiencing suicidal despair “I do not set my life at a pin's fee” and does not care if he lives or dies.
Although a courageous general who holds Duncan in high regard, ‘he hath honoured me of late’ (I, vii, 32) and isnot naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, he deeply desires power and advancement; he kills Duncan against his better judgment. Afterward, Macbeth is wracked with guilt and paranoia, and toward the end of the play he descends into a kind of frantic, boastful madness, before being killed. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, pursues her goals with greater determination, yet
Act 1 Scene 7 (Enter Macbeth) MACBETH If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly: if th’assassination Could trammel up the consequence and catch With his surcease success: that but this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all — here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases We still have judgement here, that we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague th’inventor: this even-handed justice Commends th’ingredients of our poisoned chalice To our own lips. He’s here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed: then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself.
The opportunity to beat fate was too good to pass up. It did not help that his wife felt the same way as well. She facilitated the murder and assured her husband that it was what needed to be done. After Macbeth killed the king, he found himself no longer a true and loyal soldier, on the inside that is. He made sure to put on a façade which would lead the King’s men to believe he was still a respectful and loyal man.
He/she should also make reasonable decisions that are safe and beneficial to his/her group. However, Beowulf fails to do so, because, in his big head, he thinks that he is invincible. At one point, Beowulf says, “… [his] hands /alone shall fight for [him]” (Lines 267/268), insisting that his bare strength alone is equivalent, if not superior, to Grendal’s monstrous abilities. Beowulf exhibits this insensible trait again when he claimed that he would “use no sword, no weapon…” (630) when he approaches Grendal’s malicious mother. By acting so irrationally, Beowulf not only puts himself at risk, but also his entourage in danger.
Although it is quite different than his first encounter with murder, this murder is all Macbeth’s idea. Furthermore, instead of doing it himself he decides to hire hit men to kill his friend Banquo who he believes is in his way of getting what he wants, more power. “I am in blood, stepped in so far that I should wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go’oer” (Act I, Sc.IV, Line 136-137). This serves as a pivotal moment in this play, Macbeth has decided that he is in to far already and there is no point in going back. He has decided that he already has blood on his hands he should just keep killing and getting what he desires, which now is to secure his hierarchy position.
Macbeth’s ambition leads him to murder Duncan with the assurance of good reward. He then enters battle with what again seems to be positive assurance. Only when it is too late does he realize that he is being led to his destruction. Macbeth’s constant reoccurring fatal flaw is his ambition. He is lead by ambition into situations and finds himself with no way out; this is what kills Macbeth.
Macbeth’s ambition has not effected him negatively yet. He may have enough ambition to do it, but is not strong enough to act upon it. At the end of scene seven Macbeth agrees to kill the king and says, “I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat.” Macbeth is saying that he will exert every muscle in his body to murder King Duncan. This helps show that ambition can lead to doing terrible things. His ambition got so strong that he's going to take all his willpower to kill Duncan.
Cordelia takes on this role by unconditionally loving her father and furthermore forgiving Lear for banishing her, which is seen when she says “No cause, no cause.” (4.7). Edgar takes on a similar role by forgiving his father for going against him when he was tricked by Edmund and taking care of Gloucester in his blindness at the end of the play. The other characters, however, give into temptation and sin more frequently. Pride, for example, is a prominent sin that affects many characters, Lear being a prime example. Lear's pride keeps him from listening to the advice of Kent, the king's most loyal follower, after he banishes Cordelia and admitting he may have been wrong.