Theme Of Internal Conflict In Macbeth

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The tragedy Macbeth, written by the exalted Elizabethan Era playwright, William Shakespeare, explores a theme of internal conflict explained by the eighteenth-century British novelist, Laurence Sterne when he said, “No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time” (AP, 1999). Macbeth has many major decisions to make throughout the course of the work that make major changes on people’s lives, especially his own. Of those decisions with two powerfully conflicting directions, the most significant one is deciding whether to follow his wife’s suggestion, to kill the king and take the throne, or follow what he discussed with another loyal follower of King Duncan, and allow events to take their own path. His conflict, causes Macbeth to question his ambitions, obligations, desires, and influences, which reveals the deeper meaning behind Macbeth: Is loyalty to others more important than loyalty to one’s self? When Macbeth first discovers from the witches that he will be the king of Scotland some day in the future, he was with his friend, Banquo. Banquo, also having been told his son will one day ascend to the throne of Scotland, agreed that their desire to serve Scotland prevents them from taking significant action to explore the legitimacy of the prophecies. Macbeth debates internally when Duncan comes to visit him at his

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