Macbeth Literary Analysis Essay, Research Paper
In the Bible, in the book of Matthew, chapter seven, verse fifteen Jesus says ?Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep?s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.? Jesus was obviously trying to explicate that a person should avoid people who appear to be average and normal, but hide vicious acts of violence in their hearts. In the tragic tale of Macbeth written by William Shakespeare, there is a betrayal to the throne to gain higherarchy, a number of murders to clear the suspicions from men?s minds, and the final slaying of a Scottish traitor. It is a tale of a tragic hero who is Macbeth, who shows the evil that can lay within a person?s heart. To win his own crown he kills off his own cousin, King Duncan. To make sure his name will live on, he has his friend Banquo murdered as well, but his son escapes the deadly sword. He then continues to kill a family of a man who knows the truth behind him. Although Macbeth committed these senseless acts of murder he did not do it lightly. He was given the temptation when three spiritual women predicted the future to him and was then provoked by his wife, who had the heart of a blood-hungry man. Macbeth continues to struggle with his unavoidable tragic doom until one day it prevails and he is no more. In this story of murder and mayhem the erie foreshadowing of events and ironic outcomes, help to illustrate the conflict within the main dynamic character.
The foreshadowing of events shows that in life there will always be predictions and whether or not a person chooses to believe them can be a fatal prophesy. ?When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lighting or in rain?? ?There to meet with Macbeth.? ?Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air? The three wyrd sisters, or witches as they may be, foreshadow their meeting with Macbeth. With their prediction they also speak in riddle tongue of what a person sees is not always what appears to be. ?All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!? During their meeting with Macbeth the crafted sisters tell him that he will be Thane of Cawdor, and then also become King of Scotland.?By Sinel?s death I know I am Thane of Glamis, but how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives a prosperous gentlemen; and to be king stands not within the prospect of belief, no more than to be Cawdor.? Macbeth speaks in wonderment of how he can be named Thane of Cawdor when he knows by his father?s death that the Thane is alive and living in hopeful fortune. He also does not believe that he will become king, he finds it to be as true as becoming Thane of Cawdor. ?if you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors nor your hate.? ?Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.? After the witches tell their prediction to Macbeth, Banquo asks them to tell him of his destination. They tell him that he will not become king, but his heirs after him will. ?Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff, beware the Thane of Fife.? When Macbeth returns to the weird sisters for more answers of his future they show him three apparitions. The first saying that he should be cautious of Macduff, the Thane of Fife. ?Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.? The second apparition that speaks to Macbeth says that he should not worry but still be alert because no man that was born of a woman can kill him. ?Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.? The third apparition explains to Macbeth that he will not be slain from the world until the Birnam forest comes to his castle. Numerous events of foreshadowing are shown throughout the story of Macbeth and each one can predict what should be joyous occasions. Although, a person may not be able to predict their own outcomes to each decision they make they can be cautious toward them and determine right from wrong in a world full of false faces.
With foreshadowing there is irony, and what a person finds through ironic outcomes may not always be what they expected. ?And, for an earnest of a greater honor, He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor; in addition, most worthy thane, for it is thine.? ?The Than of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?? ?Who was the thane lives yet, But under heavy judgement bears that life Which he deserves to lose…treasons capital,confessed and proved, have overthrown him.? Ross and Angus come to Macbeth to tell him the king has named him the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth does not comprehend at first asking why this has happened because he knows the thane is alive. They tell him that he had betrayed his country during the battle against Norway and switched over to help the enemy. For his treason he was sentenced to die. Irony is rearing in through the witches foreshadowing that Macbeth would be Thane of Glamis. ?My dearest love,Duncan comes here tonight? ?And when goes hence?? ?Tomorrow, as he purposes.? ?O, never shall sun that morrow see!…Look like th? innocent flower, but be the serpent under ?t? Macbeth returns home to his wife, Lady Macbeth, and tells her that Duncan is coming to their home that night. When Lady Macbeth asks what time Duncan will leave her husband tells her the next day, but with an evil despise she says that he will not see the sun tomorrow. She speaks of murdering the king to Macbeth to gain a higherarchy for her husband. ?I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell.? After being pressured by his wife to kill the king Macbeth says that the bell summons him to leave for bed but Duncan should not hear it because he has gone to heaven or to hell. ?To Ireland I, our separated fortune shall keep us both the safer. Where we are, there?s daggers in men?s smiles; the nea?er in blood, the nearer bloody.? After having heard of their fathers death Donalbain and Macolm the king?s heirs decide to leave the country separately because if one of them were to become king they would not be safe. Another foreshadowing event come true. Now that Duncan has passed and the heirs to the throne have fled the Thane of Cawdor, being Macbeth, will become king. ?As I did stand my watch upon the hill, I looked toward Birnam, and anon, methought, The wood began to move.? ?To doubt th? equivocation of the fiend that lies like truth. ?Fear not, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,? and now a wood comes toward Dunsinane. Arm, arm, and out!? The third apparition from the wyrd sisters has come true. Macduff?s troops were on their way to attack Macbeth?s castle to avenge his family?s death and Duncan. They tore branches off of Birnam trees and used them as camouflage. ?I bear a charm?d life, which must not yield to one of woman born.? ?Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother?s womb untimely ripped.? Macduff finds Macbeth in Dunsinane and Macbeth explains to him that he can not be harmed by a man born of a woman. To Macbeth?s dismay Macduff explains to him that he was not born of his mother?s womb she had had a C-section. After Macduff slays Macbeth with gratitude and just it shows that the mystical foreshadowing from the witches played truthful in fulfilling the ironic events that followed. Life will always predict events to come but a person must always beware what he or she is told because they may be false predictions.
When a person has dealt with ironic situations they may feel that there is an internal struggle to find the meaning behind them. ?If it were done when ?tis done, then ?twere well it were done quickly…Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague th? inventor…To prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o?erleaps itself and falls th? other? Macbeth is talking to himself about murdering Duncan, but while he is struggling with whether or not he should. ?Still it cried ?Sleep no more!? to all the house; ?Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.?? After having killed Duncan,the villain of the story,Macbeth, is telling his wife that he will not sleep again. There is an obvious conflict between the main character and himself. He is easily provoked by his wife, yet inside himself is where he should be able to conduct right from wrong, but he struggles. Although the powers of evil cannot determine Macbeth?s choice, they can influence the external conditions affecting that choice. The animosity that grows within Macbeth has cast a shadow upon his life, and he continues to be the villain that is like a child internally. Some people go through life struggling internally not being able to differentiate right from wrong and are easily influenced by those around them. The murder of Duncan, like the murder of Julius Caesar was committed through acts of false hope and astonishing renditions. Macbeth was Duncan?s cousin, like Brut? was Caesar?s good friend, but through ?vaulting ambitions? both betrayed close mentor?s for their own benefits. Duncan and Caesar would never realize what evil lurks in the hearts of men around them because ?False face must hide what the false heart doth know.? In other words, what a person may appear to be may not always be what their heart desires.
Throughout the story of Macbeth there are many foreshadowing?s of events with ironic outcomes that help depict the constant internal struggle in the tragic protagonist. Predictions were made by the sisters, and Macbeth chose to not believe into what they saw. Ironically he eventually did the evil acts of sin and was awarded the guilt that plagued him while trying to avoid his own death. Macbeth?s clarity of moral imagination did not play well with his lack of common sense. A constant struggle within oneself is not uncommon. Throughout the world many people will go through continuous temptations of and not know what to do. A person should remember that when they head out in the world and make decisions they should not believe everything they read. ?Fair is foul and foul is fair.? A person can be anything they choose to be externally, it is what lies internally that man should fear.