If both the leading characters can plot to hide their evil plans behind pretty smiles, can they not fool each other with their smiles? Although there is hardly any proof of it within the text but macbeth’s change of behavior towars lady Macbeth after getting the crown shows how much he has moved forward since the first time his hands had shaken at the thought of a murder. After duncan’s murder lady Macbeth was never involved in any of his plans. Towards the end he even says that he had almost forgotten the taste of fear. It certainly wasn’t the same Macbeth who considered weighing his values before murdering the king.
Before he makes his way home, Macbeth sends a letter to Lady Macbeth stating the happenings with the witches and the message of the king for him; after the witches tell Macbeth of his fate, they vanish into thin air and the messenger of the king comes with the news, confirming the prophecy concerning being the Thane of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth is aware that the path to power is through bloodshed, which she approves and encourages Macbeth to accomplish while they receive King Duncan as a guest in their house. In a scene where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth talk on how they should approach the situation, Macbeth says that he cannot follow through with this scheme for it is against the law of honor to murder a king who has done a country nothing but good and is acting as an honored guest. Lady Macbeth then replies “was the hope drunk Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
In Act 4 Scene 1, in regards to his plan to kill Macduff’s family, Macbeth says, “The castle of Macduff I will surprise, seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword, his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls, that trace him in his line.” Macbeth orders the killing of Macduff’s family as a part of his being consumed with doing whatever it takes to keep his crown. Seeking to eliminate Macduff after finding out that he has fled to England to join Malcolm in building an army against him, Macbeth sends murderers to kill Macduff’s entire family out of anger and revenge. By doing so, Macbeth sets Macduff as an example to discourage others from trying to dethrone him. By committing this act of cruelty, it becomes apparent that Macbeth is overly consumed with fear in protecting his throne, and feels the need to eliminate all supposed threats to his power. In addition, this shows how much Macbeth has changed through the course of the play.
If there was nothing stopping Macbeth from killing Duncan and committing treason, who is to say that no one else will make the same decision, killing Macbeth? After becoming king, his first suspect is Banquo, because Banquo voices his scepticism in regards
Macbeth needs to follow through with this plan because Fleance and Banquo could get in the way of Macbeth becoming King. The three witches had also foretold Banquo’s descendants to become king. Macbeth sends men to follow through with this plan. They succeed to kill Banquo, but Fleance escapes. After being responsible for the deaths of two people, Duncan and Banquo, Macbeth is in a state where he feels the need to keep murdering people that could possibly get in his way of becoming king.
Macbeth’s quick transition of concern from Banquo to Fleance exhibits his disregard to the people close to him, a distinct behavior often tied to sociopathic people. Macbeth’s calm and collected attitude after the news of Banquo’s murder is unnerving and frightening, especially after seeing how affected he had been at the murder of King Duncan. When killing King Duncan, Macbeth was thoughtless and anxious, but when planned the murder of Banquo Macbeth was cool minded and collected. Macbeth was once a trustworthy man, but now is a disrespectful and violent king. Furthermore, after Banquo’s murder, his body is shown no respect as “Safe in a ditch he bides,/With twenty trenchèd gashes on his head” (Shakespeare 101).
However, part of the prophecy had already come true. Macbeth is now Thane of Cawdor, so by his logic, there is little to stop him from becoming King as well. So despite his internal debate, Macbeth decides to discard his obligation to Duncan and kill him. With the decision made to kill Duncan, Macbeth and his wife come up with a plan. Once Macbeth’s signal to commit the act sounds, he says “I go, and it is done.
He’s passing off the murder of King Duncan to an inadvertent act, as we see in the next line, “The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.” (2.1.34) By claiming to not understand the situation, Macbeth uses these questions to make us believe that he is fulfilling the inevitable as outlined by the witches. Since Macbeth makes this out to be unavoidable, we are still able to feel empathetic towards him. By the end of the monologue, Macbeth has killed King Duncan, verifying the rhetorical nature of his first question and once more uses a question to relieve his guilt and clear his
Throughout the story of Macbeth, Macbeth’s ambition for power, provoked by his significant other, Lady Macbeth, and the witches’ prophecies consumed his life. At first he committed murder against King Duncan so he could become king himself, but the one murder had a domino affect. Although ambition can be a positive attribute for someone to acquire, Macbeth’s ambition began in Act One and proved dangerous as his death approached in Act Five. In Act One of Macbeth, Macbeth and Banquo meet three witches that tell them three prophecies. One at a time, each witch mentioned a prophecy, “All hail Macbeth, Thane of Glamis!
At the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a good, brave knight who is loyal to his king. However, upon hearing the prophecies of the witches, a dark, ambitious nature awakens within him – one that proves to be fatal. In Act I Scene iii, Macbeth says, “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion […] and make my sealed heart knock at my ribs” – implying that though at first he is horrified at the notion of murdering Duncan, it is an idea that he is willing to consider. Before he sends news of the recent events to his wife, Macbeth commands the stars to “hide [their] fires” so that no one can see his “black and deep” desires. (Act I, scene iv).