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Commentary on Macbeth Essay


The feeling toward Macbeth and reaction to the end of the play differ amongst readers. Although everyone perceives the horrifying tone that ends the play, the feeling of sympathy for Macbeth is also present. Sympathy might be expressed toward Macbeth because of the fact that something or someone else caused the beginning of his downfall. The witches and Lady Macbeth are to blame for this. Relating to Macbeth's character and understanding how he feels and acts is a crucial aspect in understanding the play fully. Shakespeare's method of letting the readers react and connect to Macbeth's character is one of the many concepts that makes Shakespeare such a great author, and makes Macbeth such a remarkable play. In this essay I am am going to explain why I as a reader emphasizes with the character Macbeth and explain why I believe his character is not as evil as other readers would like to believe.

Macbeth appealed to all the people from his actions. He demonstrated courage, bravery, loyalty and honesty. He believes in fighting for his King yet is confused from the prophecies given to him by the witches. Macbeth wants the prophecies to be true yet not to be true afraid of how it would come. The prophecy states that he would hold the Thane of, Glamis, Cawdor, and become king. However Banqous prophecy, given by the witches, stated that his son would be king. This left difficulty to live life normally for Macbeth by thinking how would he become King and Banqou's son become the heir. This set the stage to see if Macbeth would make these prophecies come true by disregarding morals or to wait and hope they come true, however what confuses the matter is that Macbeth's own description of himself and everyone else's description of him contradicts a bad event to come. Seeing as Shakespeare described him as a loyal and honest person especially to his King. The play opens with the use of the supernatural when three witches encounter Macbeth on his way home from a battle and proceed to predict his fate. This gives the audience a glimpse of the path the play will follow. The witches plan to meet again, "When the battles (battle is) lost and won?" (I. I. 1-4). This theme becomes recurring throughout the play. It can be noted that the witches meet after every battle is lost and won, and every battle, whether man against man, man against nature or man against himself it will always be lost by one side and won by another. Eventually Macbeth will lose the battle for his soul. After the witches reveal the fate of Macbeth becoming king, he begins to develop an immoral plan to carry out the prophecy. The only way for Macbeth to have the throne will be to wait or to kill King Duncan. Macbeth already knew of his future as king due to the witches forecast of his future, so how he went about getting there did not concern Macbeth. Had the three sisters not confronted Macbeth with the news of his possible future would he have thought of a deviant plan to murder King Duncan, and better yet, would he have had a future as a king at all? The "ghostly" dagger, which led Macbeth to Duncans chamber, also represents the supernatural forces that cause the fall of Macbeth. Macbeths memories of the murder of King Duncan were too cloudy for him to remember because the disillusionment and distraction of the knife influenced him to go through with killing Duncan. Macbeth followed the bloody dagger to Duncans room and even thought twice about murdering the king. Shakespeare emphasizes the imagery of the dagger, I believe, because it is an instrument of power that will repeatedly work on Macbeths sight and partly because its appearance at this moment defines the complex kinds of experience to which Macbeth as a tragic hero is sensitive. Macbeth exhibits sensitivity towards what he does not understand or comprehend. These strange occurrences bring forth Macbeths uncertainty of the unnatural, causing his character to have two paths to travel down: the right one or the wrong one. The floating dagger along with emotions and adrenaline coaxed Macbeth to the murder.

Lady Macbeth's aggressive and ambitious nature is another key influence on Macbeth's behavior. Lady Macbeth challenges her husband's manhood by taunting him and forcing him to kill Duncan. Since he fulfilled her order, he started losing his integrity and relying less on his conscience. It is easier to have sympathy for a person who is not entirely to blame for his actions. In Macbeth's case, his wife was at least partly responsible for his demise. Lady Macbeth is an influence on her husband in many different ways, for many different reasons. The reader discovers that as soon as she opens her husbands letter she immediately begins to scheme and plot, showing her true evil and aspiration. One is immediately aware that she wants Macbeth to become King so she can solemnly become Queen of Scotland. She is unsure whether Macbeth is too kind and without the evil that needs to merge with his already prominent ambition. As said in her famous soliloquy, I fearis too fullo the milk of human kindness, to catch the nearest way, For this reason, she influences him greatly into the prospect of murdering the king. The thought of becoming Queen pushes her and causes her to act outrageously. Macbeth is slightly doubtful of her plan to kill the King, however Lady Macbeth subtly bombards him with comments that question his courage and by saying that his love is worth nothing if he refuses to go through with the plan. She says screw your courage to the sticking-place, to make him more evil and confident about his actions.

Macbeths decisions were influenced by supernatural encounters, causing him to tragically meet a doomed fate. These paranormal experiences and influences caused Macbeth to choose certain paths, only to lead him to self-destruction. Had the witches, ghosts, visions and lady Macbeths manipulation not occurred throughout the play, what other courses would have been walked to lead him to his ill-fated destiny? Without the guidance of these forces, Macbeths fate would have been altered and the plot would be non-existent. As a reader of Macbeth, I can indirectly relate to Macbeth's character. I recognize that it is possible to be influenced by someone into acting immoral. Under the affect of peer pressure, for instance, a person can act irresponsibly causing harm. Although we cannot justify the wrongdoing of a person, we feel sympathy for him or her, realizing that their decisions were not created solely by their mind, but rather resulted from other multiple factors. Macbeth is at the mercy of the witches and Lady Macbeth and therefore not entirely responsible for all his actions. Despite his wrongful actions, Macbeth does not exemplify pure evil. Thus, sympathy toward him is not uncommon. His being weak and imperfect gives us the ability to relate to him as a human being.

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