Macbeth Does Not Deserve Our Sympathy

1738 words - 7 pages

Macbeth Does Not Deserve Our Sympathy  

Our first impressions of Macbeth are that he is a hero, he is brave and fearless, and although we get this impression we also get the feeling that he is ruthless. We get this impression from the way he is referred to when his name is first mentioned. Macbeth has just been in battle against "The merciless Macdonwald" and a Captain is talking about how Macbeth and his fellow Captain, Banquo, performed in battle. While Macbeth is in battle the Thane of Cawdor is found to be a traitor and executed. The King, Duncan, hears of Macbeth's bravery and grants him the Thane's title. This leads us to believe that Macbeth is brave enough to deserve such a distinguished title.

For Brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name Act 1 scene 2. Line 16

Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops, Act 1 scene 2. Line 22

In Act 1 scene three the three Witches have gathered to prepare a spell for Macbeth. Macbeth and Banquo come across the three weird sisters and discuss how horrible they are. The witches begin to tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and then the King of Scotland. Macbeth initially wants to know more of what the witches are telling him, then dismisses their predictions as impossible.

But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives Act 1 scene 3. Line 71

Before the murder of Duncan the King, Macbeth seems to be a moral person as he knows what is right and what is wrong. He wonders about the consequences of killing Duncan to become King of Scotland as he knows this is wrong. He tries to hide the things he is thinking from Duncan as he knows what he is thinking of is wrong because Duncan is a good friend. Almost from the moment he finds out that the witch's prediction has come true he contemplates killing the King. He thinks to himself about what he has been told, this passage (act 1 scene 3 lines 126-141), makes us believe that Macbeth is easily led and likes the idea of having power. He is speaking in a prophetical manner, he is predicting that he will kill the King without even knowing it. In some ways Macbeth is moral, he knows what he is thinking is wrong but is still unconsciously considering it. He wants to be King but he doesn't want to kill Duncan.

as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed Act 1 scene 7 lines 13-14

About Duncan - He hath honored me of late Act 1 scene 7 line 33

When Lady Macbeth hears of the witch's prophecy she is determined that Macbeth will become King. She talks to him and finds out that he too wants to be King but knows he will have to kill Duncan to achieve this ambition, Macbeth assures Lady Macbeth that this is only a thought. Lady Macbeth really wants Macbeth to become King so she subtly manipulates his feelings and his thoughts. She does this in a very devious and cunning way. Lady Macbeth makes Macbeth feel like he is not a man if he does not kill Duncan. She 'picks' at his ego and makes him feel like a boy and not...

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