Question: Select a scene or passage from Shakespeares play Macbeth that you find to be BEAUTIFUL or MOVING. Then discuss the nature of the beauty or force that you find in your selection. One could comment on the power of image created and its effect, the impact that the language (diction) has on the scene and/or audience, the creation of mood, the development and enhancement of motif, the development and enhancement of them, the interconnectedness and reinforcement of the scene to the rest of the play, or perhaps the inherent truth that your selection reveals about the human condition.
Time, thou anticipatst my dread exploits.
The flighty purpose never is oertook
Unless the deed go with it. From this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and
The castle of Macduff I will surprise,
Seize upon Fife, give to th edge oth sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed Ill do before this purpose cool.
But no more sights! - Where are these gentlemen?
Come bring me where they are.
Shakespeares Macbeth, a gorgeously written play in the 1600s, contains countless amounts of beautifully moving passages. However, the most incredible of all these passages is found in Act 4, Scene 1, Lines 164-177, where Macbeth contemplates his inner thoughts to himself. Here, Macbeth speaks to time, providing the audience with a more in depth image of its importance. Also, Macbeths diction is short and fierce, further pushing the plays theme of insanity slowly taking over Macbeths mind. Lastly, the passage faultlessly illustrates Macbeths fatal flaw of ambition slowly ruining his inner being. With these things taken into account, it will be effortless for one to show just how lovely this passage is written.
At the start of the passage, Macbeth says, Time, thou anticipatst my dread exploits. The flighty purpose never is oertook unless the deed go with it. This apostrophe of time shows a clear importance of time in the play. Macbeth speaks to time and begins to explain that in the past, he has taken the purpose of things into great account before doing them. This personification of time illustrates how Macbeth has, in a way, become disgusted with time, for he speaks to it with scorn, knowing that nothing can be accomplished without time. This quote also alludes that perhaps Macbeth has somewhat fallen captive to time, for it is time that has caused him to ponder, and time that has given him the chance to murder on numerous occasions. With all of this taken into context, one can deem the importance of time within the play, for it is time that has corrupted Macbeth into the demon he is.
Macbeths language within the passage clearly demonstrates his insanity and short sightedness. This is unmistakably revealed when Macbeth says, From this moment the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand. The quick pace of Macbeths words not only show what he is contemplating, but reveal his thoughts as he becomes increasingly unstable before the audiences very own eyes. This can be further proven with a contrast, for at the beginning of the play, Macbeth spoke in calmer words, saying, If it were done quickly that but this blow might be the be-all and the end- were done when tis done, then twere well it all here, What was supposed to be a one time event for Macbeth has turned into a killing spree so appalling, that Macbeth has asked time to allow him to just act and not consider his thoughts, for thinking of his thoughts only pushes him further across the line of insanity. However, what Macbeth does not know at this point is that it is too late, and that his insanity has already taken its toll on him. Soon the audience will witness the fall of Macbeth due to his tragic flaw, the power struggle between thought and action, Macbeths ambition.
The faultless display of Macbeths ambition corrupting his inner self is a perfect fit to the Shakespearean fatal flaw. As the tale begins, Macbeth is a valiant knight that is hacking away at the enemy. This killing is not done for anything other than the good of the king and the kingdom of Scotland. Macbeth is then rewarded with a higher position in the Scottish hierarchy; he is awarded with the title of The Thane of Cawdor, this is not enough to please Macbeths ambition, he wants to be king. Later throughout the story he slaughters whoever stands between him and the crown. This killing, as opposed to before, is immoral and undignified. This killing only profits Macbeth and starts to corrode the country and countrymen of Scotland. Alas the audience arrives at the passage in which his ambition is shown to be fatal. At this very point, Macbeth shows that his patience has been tested to its fullest, for he now no longer wants to spend the time to contemplate, he simply wants to do, what in his world, has to be done. Therefore proving that Macbeths ambition has led him to a life of insanity and hatred, for no sane person would have the thoughts Macbeth has been having.