As individuals, we have a certain degree of control over our own lives and the decisions we make. While external factors such as social pressure, cultural norms, and personal circumstances can influence us, ultimately, we have agency in choosing how we respond to those factors. This is portrayed through William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, the titular character Macbeth is the protagonist, a Scottish general who receives a prophecy from three witches that he will become king. Consumed by ambition and spurred on by his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. However, his guilt and paranoia lead him to commit more murders in order to maintain his power, and he becomes increasingly tyrannical as his …show more content…
Thus, he's the one making the final decision of his course of action. As stated in Document A, Macbeth aside expresses, “The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step/ On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,/ For in my way it lies.” This reveals Macbeth's true intention, showing that he sees Malcolm as an obstacle and has the choice of eliminating his obstacles to achieve the position of King. Simply because the prophecies disclose the information of his foreseen future he chooses to take things into his own hands. Nowhere in the witch's prophecies was the idea of murder indicated to achieve the positions he was predicted to get. Yet that is what Macbeth was thinking of before committing the murders. He himself made the ultimate decision to agree to Lady Macbeth's merciless plan. Moreover, in Document C, Macbeth communicates, “ I’ll go no more./ I am afraid to think what I have done;/ Look on’t again, I dare not.” He feels guilty because he is aware of the severity of the crime he has committed. “Think of what I have done” shows his mental anguish that is holding him back, he cannot deal with the evil of his actions and he understands how immoral it is. Even if he was pressured into killing Duncan he did it anyway. After he has committed the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is plagued by guilt and remorse. This suggests that he recognizes the gravity of his actions and is …show more content…
In Document D, Macbeth states, "Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee? But yet I'll make assurance double sure, ...thou shalt not live…” In this quote, Macbeth is expressing his confidence that he does not need to fear Macduff, a Scottish nobleman who he suspects may be a threat to his reign. However, even though he believes he has no reason to fear Macduff, he wants to eliminate any potential threats to his rule. Macbeth's desire to "make assurance double sure" by having Macduff killed reveals his paranoia and his willingness to use violence to maintain his power. Macbeth believes that by eliminating all possible threats to his reign, he will be able to sleep peacefully and without fear. However, this ultimately leads to his downfall, as his violent actions bring about his own demise. Additionally, as declared in Document E, "I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born." This augments Macbeth's character flaw of overconfidence because despite the many warnings and signs that his reign is coming to an end, Macbeth remains overconfident and complacent. He believes that he is invincible and that he cannot be defeated. This overconfidence blinds him to the reality of the situation and ultimately leads to his downfall. Another character flaw is his unchecked ambition. One of the primary factors that drives Macbeth's actions throughout the play is his unbridled ambition. From the moment he hears
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He believes that he can rule as a king however he wants and that no one will be able to replace him. Macbeth feels comforted and releases some of the stress and nightmares he was previously having. His newly gained comfort gives Macbeth a false sense of security that leads to Macbeth’s poor preparation to resist the English troops. Thinking that he cannot be harmed, Macbeth does not take the necessary steps to protect Scotland and his life. When he finally encounters Macduff on the battlefield, he believes it will be an easy fight as he deems himself invincible, but he is slaughtered.
In Shakespeare's play Macbeth, Shakespeare explores the consequences of unchecked ambition and greed paired with blind trust in the wrong people, and how this will ultimately result in inevitable repercussions. Shakespeare's character Macbeth explores these ideas through his political greed and desire to become King of Scotland. Macbeth was a virtuous man who was enrolled in the army, and this play represents how power can corrupt even these kinds of people. His ambition to be the king guides him to commit multiple heinous crimes, including the murder of his friends and allies. He lets this idealized version of himself control him, and lead him to malicious acts that eventually lead him to his death.
When Macduff hears about the murder of King Duncan, he automatically has his suspicions about Macbeth. During this scene Macbeth goes off and kills the two innocent guards, killing the only evidence against himself. Due to this act everyone praises Macbeth for his bravery and for solving the murder so fast, but Macduff had his doubts with
Everyone has flaws, but how they dictate a person’s life is up to them and this is shown in Shakespeare ’s play Macbeth. Macbeth is one of these characters whose flaws damage him in many ways. Throughout the story, the reader can see the changes in Macbeth’s emotions and actions. He went from hero to tyrant, from honor to tyranny, and from ambition to greed.
If he didn't want to kill King Duncan, he didn't have to. “Even if Lady Macbeth pressured Macbeth, he killed King Duncan impelled by his own selfish ambition…” (Cause of Guilt)She ended up becoming guilty from Macbeth's murdering of King Duncan, her guilt took her life. Macbeth constantly kills people to “cover up” for the previous murders. “The ambition of Macbeth starts to get out of control and makes him repeatedly kill, just to cover up his prior murders.”
However as time goes by and Macbeth commits more evil actions, his conscience is corroding and he does not have the same guilt. After the Witches tell Macbeth that no man born of a woman can harm him, and he is confident that no one can stop him from being king, he still feels that Macduff is a threat. He feels the need to kill Macduff knowing that he does not have to, and he feels no guilt about it. After his conversation with the Witches Macbeth decides that Macduff “shalt not live” (IV. i. 83-84).
Granted, the three witches had given him the vague prophecy, but they didn’t tell Macbeth that he had to kill people in order to reach his goal. Hecate, the source of the three witches’ power, scolds the three witches for telling Macbeth riddles and dealing with him without her permission, “How did you dare to trade and traffic with Macbeth in riddles and affairs of death, and I, the mistress of your charms,” ( III. V. 3-6). Even more, Hecate says that Macbeth only cares for himself and his ambition, and she reprimands the witches for giving him of all people a future telling. Hecate herself has said that Macbeth is just filled with rage
This counterclaim suggests that Macbeth's actions were not entirely within his control but rather a result of his mental state and the influence of external forces such as Lady Macbeth and the witches. For instance, Macbeth's initial doubts about murdering Duncan suggest that he is not entirely ruthless and calculating but instead tormented by his own moral beliefs and fears of divine retribution. Additionally, his hallucinations and visions throughout the play suggest a deepening psychological instability and paranoia, which could be interpreted as evidence of mental illness rather than ambition. However, while Macbeth's mental state and vulnerability to manipulation may have played a role in his downfall, it is clear that his desire for power and control was the primary driving force behind his actions. The fact that he chose to follow through with the witches' prophecies and take matters into his own hands, despite his initial doubts, highlights the theme of ambition and its destructive consequences.
Through fortune telling and attacking Macbeth’s masculinity, the three witches and Lady Macbeth coerced him into a desire of security, and eventually a false sense of security. Macbeth begins to gain increasingly anxious about his spot on the throne, and feels threatened, therefore increasing his desire for security. This feeling is only amplified when Lady Macbeth undermines his masculinity. “When you durst do it, then you were a man” (1.7.49) This causes Macbeth to murder Duncan.
In Macbeth, William Shakespeare portrays the end of a famed hero who chooses to go down a dark path, rather than choosing a path which would have led to glory, making him a tragic hero. When Macbeth is told his prophecy of becoming king, he intends on doing it on his own terms and decides to make impulsive decisions, such as killing Duncan, Banquo and slaughtering Macduff’s family. These impulsive decisions were an effect of Macbeth being blinded by becoming king, as he felt he had other options. Although it may seem that Macbeth was influenced by society to commit these atrocious acts, he was fully aware of the consequences and went ahead with his plan. Macbeth truly fits the role of a tragic hero as he brought his fate upon himself, through
Shakespeare’s tragic hero Macbeth is a noble who is ultimately brought low by his own tragic defects. Failure was the result of his own character and decisions rather than anything else. The tragic outcome of a man is brought on by his weaknesses, which are ambition, lack of morality, being easily manipulated, and pride. All these traits are things that tie into what ultimately brings down who Macbeth was and will ever be as a thane and king. The main reason for Macbeth’s greatest weakness is his ambition.
The decision to take action is made by Macbeth because he believes that he deserves to rule and is aware that Duncan will abdicate in favor of his son, Malcolm. His instinct is what drove him to kill Duncan; he feels that he deserves the throne, and his decision making abilities are affected by how much he wants it. He even had second thoughts about it, proving that when he comes to his senses and calms down, he knows that it is wrong. Although his conscience and morality are not strong enough to overcome his inclinations, He continues to lengthen his list of victims
“The castle of Macduff I will surprise; seize upon Fife; give to the edge o’ the sword his wife his babes, and all the unfortunate souls” (4.1. 165-167). This shows Macbeth’s complete disregard for human life and his willingness to commit crimes to maintain his power. He sees Macduff as a significant threat and is willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate him, including murdering Macduff’s wife and children. His ambition has consumed him, and he has lost touch with morality or compassion.
The question of if humans are truly responsible for their own actions has sparked a debate in humanity throughout history. In the non-fiction article, “Freewill and Determinism” written by Saul McLeod, he compares the different aspects of freewill and determinism. Throughout the article, McLeod explains how freewill and determinism, while very different, go hand in hand with each other. To go with that, in the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, many of the explanations in the article as to why people do what they do can be helpful when trying to figure out Macbeth's poor decision making. To begin the story, Macbeth was a trustworthy and loyal warrior for King Duncan.