Macbeth, by Shakespeare, is a story of a great warrior named Macbeth who was told by three witches that he would become king. This prediction makes him think it is justified to kill the current king and once he is king he believes that he is invincible. In Macbeth, many symbols are used such as a dagger that isn’t there, hallucinations of blood, and ghosts to show the overwhelming guilt that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have over the murders to highlight the theme that guilt can drive people to insanity when kept in secret. First of all, Macbeth is alone and has decided that he is going to kill King Duncan. All of a sudden he sees a dagger but can’t feel it and says, “I have thee not, and yet I see thee still” (Shakespeare 2.1.35).
Lady Macbeth uses words such as “unsex”, “cruelty”, and “battlements” to show how she wants to be less emotional and more ruthless in order to kill the king. She is willing to do anything it takes to get what she wants, being selfish and only focusing on her wants and needs. However, she doesn’t want to take the blame for the crime as shown when she says how she wants the crime to be covered in a “blanket of the dark” so no one, not even herself, can witness it. The effects of her destructive power are shown through her intentional harm of others, her unwillingness to admit her guilt, and her pressuring of her husband to kill Duncan, an act that destroys his mental health. The use of diction throughout this passage to display Lady Macbeth’s destructive power allows the readers to easily see what Lady Macbeth is willing to risk for the throne, including the lives of
Unfortunately, when Macbeth is face to face with terrible truth, he becomes overcome with the darkness and loses his true self. When the world turns to evil, values are reversed and in order to stay true to oneself he or she must trust intuition. Any good person can be turned to darkness. When Macbeth is given a prophecy that he “shalt be king hereafter”(1.3.49), he begins to imagine cruel and evil ways of gaining this title.
In this excerpt from Macbeth, a play authored by William Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth reveals that she wishes for her feminine qualities to be removed so that she can become capable of murdering King Duncan. Through the usage of both symbolism and dark diction, the true meaning of Lady Macbeth's monologue is revealed. The excerpt begins by introducing a figurative raven that “croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan”, since Lady Macbeth is planning on murdering the king for Macbeth. A raven is specifically utilized by Shakespeare because they are symbolic of both death and impending evil. Moreover, during her monologue, Lady Macbeth asks that spirits “come to my woman’s breasts and take my milk for gall” so that she will be capable of carrying out
Although Macbeth may be responsible for his own downfall, Lady Macbeth’s actions are to blame since her desires and attitude have influenced Macbeth in a negative way, ultimately leading him down the wrong path. Lady Macbeth’s support for the dark arts as well as her criticism of her husband’s “unmanly” and vulnerable behavior have served to draw out the ambition and avarice apparent in Macbeth. Macbeth’s ambition and desire to be king may have been large factors in corrupting his outlook, but it was Lady Macbeth who released those desires emanating from him. Macbeth even seems reluctant about holding such an ambition and hoping that the king is murdered.
This displays Macbeth becoming consumed by evil as he begins to listen to his “black and deep desire”, forcing to ignore his conscience which knows committing the crime is wrong. The night is used as a cover for their evil activities as, “good things of day begin to troop and drowse, whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.” (3.2.57-58). Evil hunts for its victims and commits its crimes in the secrecy of the day, while the good and pure things of the day sleep. Their actions are hidden in the darkness of the night, facilitating their capabilities to commit these horrendous
Lady Macbeth directs Macbeth to his downfall as she ridicules his masculinity. She embarrasses him and manipulates him into submission. This triggers Macbeth into doing the sin himself and affects a great part of him and slowly leads himself into accepting power through evilness. This influences him to perform evil actions. Quickly, Lady Macbeth withdraws from the sin she is “afraid [we] have awaked, And ’tis not done.
Macbeth talks about the darkness of his plan to murder, and he personifies nature as a living creature that is dead and all living things are in deep sleep. Furthermore, Macbeth proclaims that dreams are wicked and that they abuse sleep. This can be interpreted as the supernatural forces are guiding his dream of being successful and his ambition leads him to kill King Duncan in his sleep. Even though Macbeth recognizes all his flaws and sins by following the wrong path, he talks about the darkness of his crime and the night. It does not affect him yet it proves that the darkness of Macbeth’s desire and insanity contributes to his downfall.
He calls the night to devour and slaughter the day, representing Banquo. Macbeth says, “Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day And with thy bloody and invisible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond Which keeps me pale.” He goes on to describe how as the good, small animals begin to rest, the predators seeking the prey awaken. “Good things of day begin to droop and drowse; Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.”
Macbeth knowing his actions were wrong, begins to become paranoid; afraid that someone might come to take his title the same way he took King Duncan’s. As Macbeth grows throughout the story he becomes a negligent murderer, and while continuing to murder he loses sight of his humanity. As this tragedy continues however; Macbeth become too ambitious too allow his conscience to stop him from murdering all those that he fear will ruin him. As his downfall slowly comes to an end he begins to show signs of relief, he no longer has to lie and hide things from anyone
He decides to write to his wife, Lady Macbeth, who holds this dark ambition inside of her. She tells Macbeth that he is a coward and that he must do whatever it takes to become king of Scotland. This dark ambition is first shown in act one scene four when Macbeth says, “This is a step on which I must fall down... which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.” Lady Macbeth plays an enormous part in Macbeth’s mental corruption. After murdering Duncan,
Lady Macbeth is power hungry for the throne and she will do anything to achieve her goal. Her pleasure of having the thought of killing Duncan is revealed. These murderous thoughts that run through her mind shows how desperate she is to acquire power. Although it is the beginning of the play, her dark ambitions sets a dark tone for her character in the play. This coincidentally adds to the assurance of Macbeth’s prophecy which is that Macbeth will become king, but King Duncan is still alive.
“Let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye that wink at the hand; yet let that be which the eye fears,when it is done, to see” (Shakespeare 1.4 58-60). Macbeth is admitting that he has his own hidden desires and wants to become king because of his own passion and drive. He is trying to justify what he knows he will have to do in order to make himself king. He knows that he has to kill to become king and to keep his throne, and is trying to convince himself that this will all be worth it in the end when he becomes king. Some would argue that Lady Macbeth made him king, but his own desires were truly what fuelled his ambition to do whatever it took to make himself king.
“Let not light see my black and deep desires” as MacBeth begins to plot the downfall of the late king Duncan. A tragic hero has many flaws some dealing with an insane hubris, greater fate, or even an error in judgement. MacBeth had many flaws in his character, but his biggest hamartia was his arrogant pride as well as his believe in the witches half spoken fate and hidden fears. In Act I during the war with Norway and the Scottish traitors MacBeth was an important character because he ended the war by forcing the Norwegian king into surrendering.
What readers perceive Macbeth to be in the beginning of the play is far from whom he really is, reinforcing that what we see is not always what we get. Appearance vs. reality is a subtle, underlying; but nevertheless important theme in Macbeth. Readers can observe this theme in Macbeth’s appearance contradicting with his character, or Lady Macbeth’s mask of innocence while greeting Duncan. “Is this a dagger I see in front of me, with its handle pointing toward my hand? (to the dagger) Come, let me hold you.