External Forces In Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'

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Oscar Wilde once said, "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Sometimes, the guidance of external forces changes the course of action by providing temptation and implementing persuasiveness. This confuses the consciousness and leads to a disgruntled view of appearance and reality. As a result, decisions made under the authority of outside influences are not representative of one’s true self. Unfortunately, with enough exposure, one’s characteristics begin to change and morph into a reality that cannot be reversed. The power of manipulative forces can be seen in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The title character, Macbeth, is misused by dark and sinister authorities…show more content…
Thus, in William Shakespeare’s classic play Macbeth, the author suggests that an individual’s identity is often an illusion voiced by crippling desire and the influence of others. As creators of turmoil by nature, the witches catalyze changes in Macbeth that enable his transformation from a righteous military general into a committed megalomaniac. Furthermore, they inspire the awakening of Macbeth’s ambition and fool him by providing a false sense of security. This exploitation is expected from the dark and sinister creatures as they firmly believe that “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” (Shakespeare, trans. 2012, 1.1.12). The paradox behind this principle suggests that the witches are disdainful towards the laws of human nature, morality, and ethics. Their embodiment of pure evil allows the witches to find meaning and delight in the harshest of things. Furthermore, this belief shows that for them, there is a clear dichotomy between appearance and reality. This acts as an affirmation in the play because the line is delivered as an incantation that foreshadows a reversal of good and evil. The witches themselves play a monumental role in this by tempting Macbeth through their prophecies and…show more content…
As a result, her desire for power allows her to be stronger, more remorseless, and more driven than Macbeth. In fact, she is fully aware of this when she declares that Macbeth is "Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it. (Shakespeare, trans. 2012, 1.5.19-20). This is why Lady Macbeth acts not only as Macbeth 's confidant, but also his controller. Consumed by her desire to become Queen, Lady Macbeth herself plots the murder of Duncan and when Macbeth questions the idea of regicide, she manipulates him with her powerful soliloquies. This is done by condemning her husband’s biggest insecurity; his manhood. She states that Macbeth would be “So much more the man.” (Shakespeare, trans. 2012, 1.7.58 if he were to follow through with the plan. Lady Macbeth even points out that she herself would kill her own baby as a means to reach her goals. This drives Macbeth to the point where he is “Settled and bend-up.” (Shakespeare, trans. 2012, 1.7.92) to prove himself. Her condescending inspiration is the first to trigger a change in his morals and attitude. However, as Macbeth’s own ambition starts to flourish and facilitate an obsessive and power hungry killing spree, Lady Macbeth’s character transforms as well. She becomes helpless and is reduced to a weak figure that sleepwalks and is constantly trying to wash nonexistent
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