Macbeth's Pain How Does Macbeth's Pain Make This Shakesperean Play A Tragedy?

1324 words - 5 pages

Macbeth's PainA play can not be tragic without pain. In Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is constantly dealing with pain, most often as the one suffering. When the play opens, Macbeth is a celebrated war hero, however when the highest form of power being his is waved in front of him, Macbeth allows greed to take over and inevitably, pain to manifest. He will go to any length to ensure he is King, leading MacBeth to kill the present one. His suffering is a result of Macbeth's personal battle with his conscience and his uncontrollable feeling of guilt, for he knows that murdering King Duncan is wrong, even before he commits the act. His pain slowly develops from guilt and fear of what he is able to do, what he does do, and the consequences of his actions. The pain eventually leads to Macbeth's own death.The first signs of Macbeth's hesitation is shown in Act 1 Scene 7. Macbeth is aware that there are consequences to his actions and declares that if there were none he would murder King Duncan without even a second thought. Macbeth says, "...that but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all -- here, but here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we'd jump the life to come." Macbeth alsostruggles with the idea that the man he is planning on murdering is not only a guest in his house, but has been a good King that Macbeth has been loyal to for allthis time. During Macbeth's battle with uncertainty, his wife, Lady Macbeth enters and Macbeth tells her, "We will proceed no further in this business," However, Lady Macbeth refuses and attacks Macbeth, calling him a fearful coward. She insists that they will not fail or back down from their original plan. Rather than listening to his conscience, Macbeth gives in to his evil wife, knowing what he is about to do is wrong.The countdown begins to King Duncan's murder, and already the consequences of Macbeth's decision are beginning to take form. As night enters, Macbeth continues to struggle with his guilty conscience and hallucinates a bloody dagger floating in front of him. This is the first example of Macbeth's terrifying illusions intermixing with his reality and being haunted by an act that hasn't even occurred, yet will continue to haunt him for the remainder of his life. His vision of the dagger reminds him of what he has to do. A bell rings, Macbeth's sign that it is time.Immediately after the murder, Macbeth instantly regrets it. His hallucinations have heightened, he now starts to hear voices, and he is so shaken up that he can not go back to the scene of the crime to return the daggers. His wife is only adding to his unstable state, scorning every sign of his weakness byrestating how much of a coward he is compared to her and how ashamed she would be if she was him. Ironically, Macbeth is ashamed with himself. He isappalled with what he has just done, telling his wife, "I am afraid to think what I have done....to look on it again, I dare not." He acknowledges, as well, that even though he...

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