Macbeth's Degradation Of Self

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In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the play follows the "pernicious" degradation of Macbeth as a mildly ambitious, candid and steadfast character. "Brave" Macbeth's ultimate downfall from his "valiant" self stems from excessive ambition, juxtaposing to his former self who believed to be king was "not within the prospect of belief". Further, his later zeal is contrasted by a formerly held belief that "chance" would enact "without [his] stir". Macbeth's peers' views are quickly altered as "honourable" Macbeth descends from his esteemed self. "Worthy" for acting as a "good and hardy soldier", he soon becomes one who "unseems from the have to the chops" not only on the battlefield, but as a means to "o'erleap" those who oppose him in his everyday life.…show more content…
Before killing Duncan, he has "no spur to prick the sides of [his] intent, but only faulty ambition", displaying that he can still recognise the unnecessariness of his actions. If Lady Macbeth had not questioned his "act and valour", it is likely he would have avoided the first murder that lead to him being "in blood stepp'd in so far" that he saw no point to redemption. Macbeth displays an inherent desire to do good in his subconscious projecting his anxieties into "a dagger of the mind", and later, "Banquo's ghost". Further, his deep guilt is displayed only moments after his first murderous act by his inability to "say Amen". However, whilst Macbeth is guilty for the crimes as evident by his mind being "full of scorpions", the fact that he easily displays "unfelt sorry" makes clear his character is still growing progressively flawed. In this manner, whilst killing Duncan has taken a toll on his mental health, it is not until he begins plotting Banquo's murder that his ambition proves fruitless and insane. At the midpoint of the play, Macbeth is a vastly different character from the "brave" and "noble" Macbeth preceding, but still undergoes a number of changes to form his deplorable end…show more content…
Macbeth's lust for power becomes blatantly obvious based upon his fears that "to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus", prompting him to kill Banquo and make an attempt at his son, Fleance. To relieve himself of his insecurities, he manipulates two murderers to believe than Banquo is their "enemy" and the source of all of their problems, displaying his twisted nature. He does not, before the act is already committed, share news of the "deed of dreadful note" with his "dearest chuck", Lady Macbeth, proving he has made his face a "vizard to [his] heart" not only for the public, but also to his once-cohort. Macbeth's peers' opinion sinks so low that he is often merely referred to as a "tyrant" rather than by his name. He is not only a traitorous and cruel king, but the extent to which he is "unfit to govern" makes him "unfit to live" - deserving of death for how he has let down Scotland. Macbeth's cruelty is further proved by his order to kill Macduff's "wife... babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line". His insanity progresses to the belief he will never succumb to "time and mortal customs" - because of the witches, he believes himself immortal. It is the relating ego-manic beliefs that lead him to challenge an army of "ten thousand men" believing none of them to be "of woman born". This
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