25 May 2018
Macbeth and Humanity
In today’s society, many people believe that the era of greed, lust for power and more devious actions are over. However this is era is still present today as show by Macbeth as the main character is negatively influenced by others and loses control to his ambition. The play Macbeth demonstrates that humanity isn’t as perfect as many would believe as the characterization of the main character undergoes changes by external factors.
Many people believe that someone’s actions are caused by their mindset. However Macbeth proves that this ideology simply isn’t true. People’s actions aren’t always dictated by their own actions, but rather the actions of those around them. In act 1 scene 7 Lady Macbeth taunts and influences him to commit the murder of duncan by saying ” When you durst do it, then you were a man (1.7.54-56)” and “…live a coward in thine self esteem (1.7.46)”. These two quotes supports my thesis and claim since Lady Macbeth is influencing her husband to indulge in duncan’s murder by simply making her husband feel like he isn’t a man if he doesn’t kill the king. Also when lady Macbeth says “live like a coward in thine self esteem she’s using her husband’s weakness to force him to go through with the murder. However it’s not just lady Macbeth that influenced Macbeth to kill, the witches also had also influenced Macbeth by saying “all hail Macbeth! Hail to thane of cawdor (1.3.51)” and “all hail Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter”. These two quote injects a lot of confidence in Macbeth seeing as his new role as the king of cawdor is guaranteed, he developed the will to murder the existing king. When something is guaranteed to us as humans, especially when it’s something we all strongly desire, it makes us lose control and raises our will to do anything to achieve it. WIth that said, it isn’t just other external factors that can cause one’s actions to change, it may be one’s ambition.
Ambition is the fuel for one to succeed and earn what they desire in life but it can also drive one to be devious. Before the murder of Duncan, Macbeth had visions about the daggers stating “Is this a dagger I see before me?” (2.1.40) This quote show that Macbeth regrets the idea of killing duncan which supports my claim because Macbeth’s ambition lead him up to the murder but at the negative downfall along with that ambition. Later on in the story, Macbeth states “thou canst not say i did it: never shake thy gory locks at me.” (2.1.69-71) this quote represents my claim as macbeth is having serious regrets about his ambition to murder duncan to quickly become the new king but regrets it. After Macbeth finally murders duncan, he regrets it plus refuses to look back upon it. “I’ll go no more: I’m afraid to think what i have done; look on’t again i dare not” (2.12.65-67) This proves that ambition may lead someone to commiting actions that they will regret and will haunt them for life. In act three scene four, Macbeth hosts a dinner party and later on sees the ghost of duncan and states “thy gory locks at me”(3.4.63). This quote proves that having a strong ambition also has a massive downside since Macbeth’s ambition to becoming king at the cost of murdering the existing king at the time now haunts him. Macbeth demonstrates that although ambition is generally seen as a good thing, it also has massive downsides such as leading to massive regrets and mistakes.
The change in characterization of Macbeth caused by various elements representing that humans become evil by external factors. Macbeth undergoes a whole series of changes from good to evil by the witches prophecy guaranteeing that he will become king and from his wife who taunts him about being a man. Having the witches prophecy guaranteeing that he will become king makes Macbeth feel overconfident that caused him to become impatient and desperate to become king as soon as possible. Adding on, since Macbeth’s wife was taunting him about being a man, it makes him want to prove he is a man by murdering the king. With that said, it’s not just the witches and his wife that caused him to change, it’s his ambition. Ever since macbeth found out he’ll be king of cawdor, he became determined to murder the king and after doing so, he regrets it. Macbeth’s ambition played a role in his murder of Duncan as Macbeth desperately wanted to become king and that will fueled his desire which lead to him murdering Duncan. The play Macbeth demonstrates that even today, we as humans, aren’t as perfect, calm, etc as we believe we are. Our growing desires and desperation causes us to sometimes become careless.
Shakespeare, william,1564-1616. Macbeth. Publishing house. Year.