In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth feels guilty after slaughtering King Duncan whereas Lady Macbeth is unfazed. To begin with, Macbeth feels that he is not honorable enough to have the title of Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth hears a voice cry “‘Glamis hath murder’d sleep’, and therefore Cawdor/Shall sleep no more” (2.2.46, 46). Here, Macbeth does not think that he deserves the title because he dishonoured the king who gave him the opportunity to succeed. It is quite ironic how the original Thane of Cawdor was a traitor and now Macbeth follows down the same path.
After all the guests have left, Macbeth reflects that, ‘… blood will have blood.’ He thinks that Banquo’s ghost wants revenge, and this adds a new dimension to his guilt and fear of the ghost’s return. Unlike Macbeth, his wife does not openly show her guilt and fear, but has dreams where she exclaims, ‘What, will these hands ne’er be clean?’ and ‘Here’s the smell of blood still; all the perfumes /of Arabia will not sweeten
Downfall: Macbeth’s Malevolent Ambition William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a dark tale of murder, rape, deception, and the supernatural, and it very much reflects the state of England at the time. With the death of Elizabeth I, her distant Scottish cousin James took the throne, and many other relatives of the former queen were quite angry with the fact that James got the throne and not them. There was a huge conspiracy where many relatives planned to seize the throne, but the plot was foiled and the conspirators were tortured and then executed in a brutal fashion. Many historians believe the play was written because King James was Scottish and there were not many stories of Scotland, but the deeper reason is that he wanted to show the evils and dangers in having such large ambitions, such as regicides like the relatives of King James. Now in the play, Macbeth starts off as a loyal, courageous, stereotypical, drone like war hero but once a group of witches put this idea in his mind that he could become king, he starts spiraling downhill.
When Macbeth is doubting the decision to kill King Duncan, and his wife, Lady Macbeth, responds by challenging his manhood saying, “When you durst do it, you were a man; and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.” (Act 1. Scene 7. 55, 56, 57, 58) In this scene, Lady Macbeth is being very cruel and unforgiving in this act, acting more like the man society would expect Macbeth to be. In act 2, Macbeth is seen being very remorseful about his actions and decisions that led to him killing the king, generally playing the more feminine role, acting the way society would expect the female role to act. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, is seen being very uncaring, nonchalant, and generally just very unconcerned with the situation and killing the king, the way society would expect the male role to play.
Due to this unrestrained burst of ambition, Macbeth turns to darkness and he begins to act on his thoughts even though when Banquo asks if he ever thinks about the witches’ prophecy, he denies it all. Although the prophecy the witches foresee in Macbeth’s future is news to him, he is shocked and astonished because he has already thought of becoming a king in the past. As the play progresses, Macbeth’s duplicity in character comes through; he is indecisive, guilty and he becomes the worst type of traitor because he goes against God by murdering King Duncan. Macbeth is a character who undergoes a transformation; he leaves his cocoon and morphs into a butterfly, an evil butterfly for that matter. Banquo, Macbeth’s character foil, is one great character.
Macbeth believes that killing the King while he sleeps is a cowardice action to commit, however Lady Macbeth convinces him that by killing Duncan and receiving kingship, he will be more of a man. This also makes him afraid to know what he would be in her eyes if he does not kill Duncan. Also, Macbeth demonstrates the thought of him being unlovable when Lady Macbeth “taunts him with faithlessness” (Bealey). After Macbeth tells his wife that he cannot kill Duncan, she tries to guilt him in by saying “I have given suck, and know | How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: | I would, while it was smiling in my face, | Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, | And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn | As you Have done to this” (I.xii.54-58). Macbeth’s love is put to the test here, as Lady Macbeth says she would kill her baby had she promised him out of love, whereas Macbeth cannot bring himself to kill Duncan
4, after Duncan announces that Malcolm is his successor, Macbeth says, "Stars, hide your fires! / Let not light see my black and deep desires." This suggests that he has thoughts of killing Duncan, but he is pushing those thoughts to back of his mind and doesn't want them brought out into the light. In contrast to that attitude is Lady Macbeth's attitude in Act 1, sc. 5, when she gets Macbeth's letter telling her of the witches' prophecies and of his becoming the Thane of Cawdor, she immediately fills her head with dark thoughts.
By the time he became king, he was so paranoid about the people around him that he could not even enjoy being the king. Banquo is Macbeth’s right hand man and he too was there when the three witches prophesied that Macbeth would be king. They told him that although he would not be king, his son would start a long line of rulers. Macbeth kills Banquo because he is nervous that he will tell the others about him becoming king. In the end, the sons of the old king and Macduff, enemy of Macbeth, join forces to defeat Macbeth and take the throne.
He realized that the plan might not be reasonable and he started to second guess himself. “If th’assassination/ Could trammel up the consequence” (1.7 3-4) He had always looked up to Duncan and the thought of killing him made him distraught. Lady Macbeth found out that he was thinking about backing out on the plan. This is when she approached Macbeth and yelled at him about not being a man and managed to persuade him back into the plan. When it’s finally time to take action, Macbeth is frightened.
Hamlet faced himself with a painful loss and feels the betrayal towards his mother due to the reason that she married the murderer of her husband. Hamlets emotions start to change drastically due to the indecision of how to proceed his situation. Should he go towards revenge and fallow his duty as son or fallow his duties and expectations as Prince. Hamlet finds a way in which he could fallow his duty as son by killing Claudius in a manner in which he would not find fault in. Hamlet gathers evidence against Claudius and then has the right to comply with his revenge towards Claudius but also stays as Prince to fallow his responsibility.