Macbeth Essay

Themes

Ever since the beginning of time humans have set out goals for themselves; goals for power, wisdom and riches. Many times throughout history, these common goals have bee corrupted by people. Other times it has been for the greater good. People like Adolf Hitler became corrupt because of the goals he set out. On the other hand the goal of someone like Mother Theresa has helped all of mankind. In the case of Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” the goal and desire for power corrupts the two main characters. However, to Macbeth’s credit, it takes a lot more deceiving to convert Macbeth to evil than it does Lady Macbeth. Macbeth seems to still have a conscience and has to debate evil deeds and ignore his natural good in order to do something bad. Lady Macbeth on the other hand ignores nothing and ask evil spirits to come into her to achieve her goals.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are two very different minds, striving for the same goals, they both throw of their consciences to fulfill their evil motives.


In Act one, Scene 3 the story line is laid down. The witches speak the prophesies to Macbeth in this Scene. After two of the prophecies come true Macbeth thinks the third prophecy must also come true and that the king will be murdered. He is mortified at the thought of the deed and is truly frightened and disgusted by the mental image. Later he conveys this information to Lady Macbeth in Scene 5 and she responds with jubilee. Macbeth says “If good why do I yield to the suggestion” which shows that he knows he could not do such a horrible act. But Lady Macbeth sees his approach to the third prophecy and launches a counter in scene five line twenty four where she says “Hurry Home, so I may pour my sprits in your ear.” This portrays the truly corrupt sprit that has been fueled by her goal to be Queen. While Macbeth is trying as hard as his mind will let him to dismiss the evil images from his mind he realizes that the irony of the prophecies is to much to ignore. Back home Lady Macbeth is polar opposite to Macbeth’s feelings. Instead of being mortified at the idea she meditates on how it might be done and relishes in the idea. Both show a very different reaction to this horrible act.

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In scene seven of act one a banquet is being held in honor of Duncan. The first part of the scene shows the inner turmoil of Macbeth as he debates his decision in regards to murdering the king himself. He comes to the conclusion that his goal is not worth the sacrifice and his conscience overrules his desire. In the same scene Lady Macbeth enters and shows how conniving she really is. She, in a way, lets her corrupt spirit fight against Macbeth. The scene actually gives the impression that the two spirits are actually fighting. Lady Macbeth’s corruption eventually wears down Macbeth’s conscience. Macbeth, full of the evil spirited words of Lady Macbeth, decides that he will go ahead with this morbid act. We can see his conscience still abiding within him but he shrugs it off and ignores it. There is dialogue that shows him ignoring in the same scene where Macbeth says ” I am settled and bent up each corporal agent to this terrible feat.” That line shows that he has chosen to ignore what he knows is right for a temporary amount of time. When the two spirits clash, Lady Macbeth’s corruption spreads and consumes Macbeth enough to make him go through with the evil deed.


Act two scene two marks the time in which the crime is about to be committed. Lady Macbeth is nervous of the result but relieved when Macbeth confirms the kings death. Macbeth on the other hand is restless, distraught and hearing voices in his head. Lady Macbeth’s spirit, still corrupt, takes pleasure in the murder. We have to remember that this isn’t really Lady Macbeth but instead the evil that has entered her. Macbeths conscience, however, has snapped back making him feel horrible and giving him unbearable feelings to try