Macbeth Essay

918 words - 4 pages

"The play is about identity, not good and evil. Macbeth is a character developed far more than any other, and his destruction is truly tragic." Can you describe the play in these terms? One of the main questions that comes up when thinking about Macbeth is do the characters occupy the play to tell a historical story, or does the drama exist as a prop to explore the physiological nuances of the character Macbeth. It could be argued that the character of Macbeth, his complex physiological states, his weakness of character, the part that people around him and his wife play in the development of character, and destiny are truly the central themes of the play.At the beginning of the play Macbeth is praised by many people and looked up to as a war hero. “For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name” 1:2:16. He is well respected by the king and even chosen by him to be the new Thane of Cawdor. Even Macbeth knows that he is at a good point in his life “I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people” 1:7:33. So we form an opinion that he is a great man.We are able to make a connection with Macbeth because Shakespeare takes us into his mind. When Macbeth is equivocating about killing King Duncan we can see that he has a working conscience and that he is not a bad guy. Macbeth is the only character in the play that we can be sure has an active conscience. Shakespeare presents all the other characters with faults. Macduff leaves his family to be murdered and in act 4:3 Malcolm lies to Macduff and tells him it was the only lie he ever told. If the play was about good and evil the good characters would not be given these vices and we would not get to see Macbeth’s conscience.Macbeth’s weakness of character is his main down fall in the play. He is mostly a good man but when it comes to making decisions he gets confused and is guided by the things and people around him. When the witches tell Macbeth his destiny, that he “…will be king here after” 1:3:49. Macbeth gets the idea of killing Duncan. Macbeth is not a clear thinker and knows that he would need the help of his wife to complete this crime. So he sends his wife a letter securing his fate.When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth find out that Duncan will be staying with them that night they hastily start to plot Duncan’s death. Macbeth’s conscious tells him that it is immoral but his wife won’t let him get out of it because he promised her....

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