Macbeth: An Overview


Macbeth is presented as a mature man enjoying an enviable reputation.
throughout this Shakespearean play, however, Macbeth\'s emotions change
drastically. His abilities in battle are stupendous, yet his abilities as a
husband and King are on the contrary. His overvaulting ambitions overcome his
morality, and lead him to do “the evil deeds” that he commits during his reign.
Macbeth\'s prophecies begin with his encounter with the three evil women,
the witches. They put the thought into his mind that if he were to kill Duncan,
he himself may become king. When Lady Macbeth found out about this, she liked
the idea of becoming a queen. She uses many techniques throughout the first act
to convince him to execute the King, including questioning his manhood. He
appears to be a very strong individual before all of this occurred, being very
stable mentally and being a hero in the eyes of his countrymen on the
battlefield. All of this changes as the play progresses.
The “angel” on one of his shoulders is telling him how kind this male
ruler has been to him and the country of Scotland. The little “greedy devil” on
his other shoulder that wants to be King finally overcomes the “angel.” His
mind finally warrants him the justification to kill King Duncan. He has deep
regret for what he has done shortly thereafter. The murder of the King is the
first to slowly break down his now fragile emotional state. He feels that after
murdering the King, he has given his mind and soul to those evil and demonic
forces which are the enemy of mankind.
It seems as though he is addicted to a drug; he must kill those who
oppose him or those who (he feels) will do him harm in the future, yet he does
not enjoy this. He is “hooked” on this drug and he knows it; however, he cannot
stop until he is happy. He gains no satisfying peace because his conscience
still obliges him to recognize the negative qualities of evil and the negative
results of evil action. The individual who once prized mutable goods in the
form of respect and admiration from those about him has now lost his
sensitivity towards good and evil. His conscience is numbed, and he has almost
reached a “peace” with himself, being morally obsolescent from what is really
going on. The environment that he is subject to is continually being
intensified, until his final encounter with Macduff ends everything.
Macbeth is a man who I believe could have been a great King if he had
waited until Duncan\'s natural death. He had strong morals and character before
his “evil side” suddenly took over. Lady Macbeth couldn\'t handle what was going
on - what she helped start - and she took her own life. Malcom became King, and
as I imagine, did a pretty good job at it. Macbeth, by the time of his death,
was so psychologically temperamental, he was capable of doing any conceivable
evil. This is what makes Macbeth one of Shakespeare\'s most mysterious tragedies.

Category: English