Macbeth Essay, Research Paper
During the Elizabethan Age, Shakespeare was the greatest author and drama writer. He wrote such masterpiece tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello. Perhaps the greatest of them all is the story of Macbeth. In the play, the first Thane of Cawdor, Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth all are considered to have flaws which to a greater or lesser degree is the cause of their downfall.
In the second scene of the play you learn that Scotland is in war with Norway. King Duncan has learned that the First Thane of Cawdor was helping out the Norwegians. His assistance cost him his life. For treason, King Duncan ordered the first Thane of Cawdor to be executed and have Macbeth take his title. Though the first Thane of Cawdor was never actually in the play itself, the reader has to take the word of the Thane of Ross he was a traitor. “Assisted by that most disloyal traitor The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict.” (I ii 52-53)
After Macbeth is given the title of the first Thane of Cawdor, King Duncan decides to visit the successful captain and be a guest at his house. Duncan doesn’t know that it is supposed to be Macbeth’s destiny to become king. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth decide to come up with this plan to kill Duncan in his sleep. Duncan was simply there congratulating Macbeth on his recent accomplishments. He had no idea of the trouble he was getting himself into during his stay at Macbeth’s. The only real flaw you can give to Duncan is that he should have had someone watching over him like a bodyguard, or that he should have been more suspicious about his hosts.
The reason of Macbeth’s slaughter of King Duncan was the idea that he was the rightful King. The three witches had told him he would be the first Thane of Cawdor before he was given the rank. They also said that he would eventually reign as king. Besides Lady Macbeth who knew about the three witches, the only other person to know about them was Banquo. He automatically was considered a threat to Macbeth. “For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind, for them the gracious Duncan I have murdered.” (III I 65-66) Macbeth is ordering the execution of Banquo. Banquo could have saved himself because he saw that the danger lies ahead for him. Instead he decided to stay and save his son Fleance from death.
Lady Macbeth was the real brains of the operation. She was the one who convinced and forced Macbeth to slain the honorable Duncan. The first scene of the last act shows the consequences of her actions. Lady Macbeth becomes crazy. She is not able to live with herself for what she has done. A psyche doctor is brought to examine her but it is to late to help and she kills herself.
Macbeth is prepared to defend himself at any cost. He was not prepared to give up the life he had killed for. Macbeth has no chance to win. His men and thanes are battling bravely. The young Siward tries to slain Macbeth but is unsuccessful and is murdered by Macbeth. Later when Macbeth meets Macduff, they go into battle. “Painted upon a pole, and underwrit, here may you see the tyrant.” (V viii 26-27) “I will not yield, to kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet.” (V viii 28-29) Macbeth is killed and Malcolm becomes the new King of Scotland.
The first Thane of Cawdor, Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth are all victims in the play. First Thane of Cawdor is killed because of the crime he committed. Since Macbeth is told he is to be king, he decides to kill Duncan. Banquo knew that Macbeth had killed Duncan so he was murdered. Finally at the end of the play, it seems that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are not thinking clearly. If they did, than Lady Macbeth wouldn’t have killed herself and Macbeth wouldn’t have fought a needless battle to the death.