Macbeth Thematic Essay Essay, Research Paper
The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare tells a story of the Thane of Glamis, Macbeth. Macbeth is driven by ambition to become a highly recognized person in society. On his way to the top, he encounters some obstacles. Macbeth is forced to make decisions that would involve serious consequences. Many of these decisions resulted in the loss of life for someone who knew Macbeth. The other result was the effect of death on the other people. He has flaws that make him imperfect. A human being is characterized by the frailties and weaknesses associated with humans as imperfect beings. Macbeth is a thoroughly representative human being.
One word that can be easily associated with Macbeth is ambition. It is necessary for one person to have ambition in order to succeed. Ambition is first planted in Macbeth’s head by King Duncan appointing him Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth’s valiant effort in the war and the news of the Thane of Cawdor assisting the enemy cause Duncan to sentence death upon the Thane of Cawdor.
When the witches approach Macbeth and Banquo, they call Macbeth Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and king hereafter. That statement would stick out in Macbeth’s mind throughout the rest of the play. Macbeth’s hopping back and forth between fully believing the prophecy and thinking about its distance from a real possibility. After hearing this from the witches, Macbeth begins to be driven by a negative type of ambition. Macbeth’s very first words in the play are, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (I.ii.38). These words, of course, remind us of the witches, and they link Macbeth with forces of evil before he ever meets the witches.
Macbeth’s ambition is also driven other people in a negative connotation. Another flaw Macbeth display’s is his weak mindedness. Lady Macbeth accuses Macbeth of not being a real man and that he does not have the will to carry out an evil deed. Lady Macbeth throughout the entire play increases the pressure on Macbeth about being a real man. At one point Lady Macbeth wishes to become a man to carry out cruel punishment. Together with the witches, Lady Macbeth’s ambition becomes Macbeth’s driving force. The ambition that is driving Macbeth is now with bad intentions. Macbeth is now filled with the ambition to kill the king of Scotland. King Duncan is greeted by genuine hospitality when he visits Macbeth at Inverness. Under Macbeth’s kind smile is the willingness to kill Duncan in order to climb the ladder to the thrown. The witches and his own wife use Macbeth’s weaknesses to give him the courage to kill people as highly as the king of Scotland. Macbeth’s obedience to his wife is important, as it functions as his final break with his previously still-innocent character into the murderous figure.
When Macbeth kills Duncan, he comes back to see his wife. Lady Macbeth realizes that he still has the dagger and is covered with blood. Macbeth’s guilty conscience and his excessive ambition lead to his downfall. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth take fate into their own hands by killing Banquo, Duncan, and having the murderers kill the guards. Macbeth’s downfall becomes a willingness to stop at nothing. The three apparitions that appear tell Macbeth to beware of Macduff, that no man born from a women shall harm him, and that he will still be king unless Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane Hill. The apparition of the armored head and the bloody child both represent Macduff. The child with the tree is his hand represents Malcolm, Duncan’s son. Macbeth believes since these events happening are inevitable that he has nothing to worry about. The backing of his wife and the witch’s prophecies gives Macbeth a false sense of security. Another flaw in Macbeth’s downfall. At first he believed that he could not control the witch’s prophecies, but later on in the play he believes he can determine his own fate. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth played the game of fate.
Macbeth demonstrated weaknesses throughout the entire play and was constantly harassed by his masculine type of wife. She humiliated him to the point where he became infatuated with becoming king. He would go to any means necessary to climb the mountain of success. There were many flaws and one that proved fatal that contributed to Macbeth’s downfall. He believed he was untouchable because three witches showed him three apparitions that at the time seemed impossible to occur. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were plagued by a guilty conscience. They had trouble sleeping because of what they had done. Lady Macbeth constantly was washing her hands and even sleepwalking. Macbeth was having fits of insanity in front of the nobleman when he claimed he saw the ghost of Banquo. The covering up of numerous crimes by Lady Macbeth and Macbeth caused to become more deeply involved. The numerous flaws in Macbeth prove him to be an imperfect human being. Macbeth is a thoroughly representative human being.