Theme Of Anxiety In Macbeth

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Anxiety, a state of nervousness in response to uncertainty, can disclose information that would previously be unknown in a calmer condition. With his tragedy Macbeth, playwright William Shakespeare explores the interaction between anxiety versus ambition in a balance of power. At the beginning of the play, title character, war general, and Thane of Glamis Macbeth is told by three witch sisters of fate that he will also become the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Scotland. He murders the previous king Duncan from persuasion by his wife and his own ambition, and from this begins to experience a sense of regret about the situation, one that will frequently appear in his future endeavors to secure his crown. In his Act III soliloquy, Macbeth expresses anxiety about Banquo, his lack of a successor, and his personal safety, revealing…show more content…
Macbeth claims that “to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus” (51-52), portraying that even though he is the king, there is still more that must be done until he is content with his security. To make Banquo’s sons kings according to reoccuring theme of fate, Macbeth regrets that he had to “put rancors in the vessel of my peace,” and give his “eternal jewel” to the “common enemy of man” (72-74). Safety in this case is not only a distinction between life and death, but of Macbeth’s well-being: Macbeth wants to be secure both physically and through a successor of his name, Throughout the process of becoming king, the “rancors” disrupting Macbeth’s peace has damaged his mental health to the point of doubting himself, and his “eternal jewel,” or soul, was exchanged with the devil to perform the necessary tasks for getting to where he is. Macbeth gave up his innocence and morality for power, and has second-guessed himself along the way. Being concerned with his own personal well-being allowed Macbeth to focus on saving himself instead of Scotland as a

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