Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare. It revolves around Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and their desire for power. Macbeth, originally a Thane (a chief or leader) to the King of Scotland, Duncan, becomes greedy with power after meeting three witches who prophesy that he will become king. Because of his wife, Macbeth murders the king and takes his place as monarch of Scotland. Macbeth’s reign is marred by paranoia, suspicion, and fear due to the horrible visions he experiences throughout the play.
Macbeth soon comes to be known as a tyrant by his people, who rise up against him in rebellion at the end of the play. Macbeth murders many people throughout the play in his quest for power, though none is more important than Macduff’s family. Macbeth kills Macduff’s wife and children, ensuring that Macduff will never present a threat to him. This act of evil foreshadows Macbeths own fall from power at the end of the play Woman was created by God to help man ascend into Heaven (Genesis 2:18-25).
Woman is therefore inherently good because she plays this role in God’s plan for man. However, when Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband into committing murder with her so he can become king, she uses evil to achieve something which has nothing to do with God or his plan. Macbeth uses the witches to help him ascend into the position of King, but when he meets Lady Macbeth and she manipulates him into killing Duncan with evil intentions, Macbeth begins using evil for his own personal gain.
This eventually leads Macbeth to become a tyrant, murdering many people in his quest for power. Macduff’s family is killed simply because Lady Macbeth knows that Macduff will never support her husband if she lets them live. This killing serves no purpose to God or any man and therefore shows how evil has corrupted Macbeth’s character and dragged him down from his original state of goodness.
Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, spend the entire play trying to decide whether Macbeth should kill Macduff’s family in hopes that Macduff will become involved in Macbeth’s quest for kingship. Macbeth is only truly convinced when he meets the three witches who tell him what fate has already decided Macbeth’s fate. Macbeth is warned of Macduff by a vision Lady Macbeth has of a child that accuses Macduff of being a “man-killer”, which Macduff confirms when he arrives at Macbeth’s castle to kill Macbeth. Two apparitions, one of King Duncan and the other of Banquo, also influence Macbeths character development in the play.
These two visions show Macbeth how his actions can change another person’s life and future. The theme is closely linked with the idea of fate and free will. One example hinting towards this is “[… ] No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity” (IV:iii:159-160). Macbeth’s descent into evil is caused by his own free will. Macbeth begins the play as a good man, but Macbeth’s ambition makes him become increasingly cruel and corrupting (he murders Macduff’s family, Banquo and Macduff’s son) until he becomes an evil man at the end of the play.
Macbeth also has several supernatural experiences throughout the play, which make Macbeth increasingly prone to seeing fate in random events. Macbeth appears sane until well after he kills Duncan; it is only when Macduff refuses to kill Macbeth that Macduff seems like an enemy. For example, Macb tells himself that Lady Macbeth is just trying to “wake my scornful spirit” (II:ii:31) when Macbeth tells Macbeth that her husband should be king. This shows Macbeth’s kind side, which slowly gets taken over by Macbeth’s evilness until Macbeth becomes lower in rank than Macbeth.
The witches are the first characters who perform things with supernatural powers. They are described as “[… ] three women in strange and wild apparel [… ] And each one had a torch in his hand… ” (I:iii:12-13). The scene where they meet Macb is written in a way that makes it seem like magic, with the sounds of the sea and the wind seeming very far away from them, but extremely close from Macb. Macbel explains to Macbeth that “when [he will] see [… crown’d” (I:iii:57) Macb will be king of Scotland, and when Macbeth sees Macbeth hesitate in killing Duncan he says “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold” (I:iii:79), which indicates a curse in a way.
The use of the word ‘hath’ instead of ‘has’ emphasizes this even more in a very formal way. This shows that the witches have great power over Macbl, which they then use for evil, telling Macbeth that he can’t be killed by any man born of woman, which makes Macble’s fear for Birnam Wood less pressing. Macbeth then makes Macbeth to believe that Macbeth can’t be killed by any man, which indeed cannot.
Macbeth goes through many changes throughout the play, not only with the consequences of an action but also with his mental state. In Act I, Macbeth explains how he does not have any “flaws” yet throughout the play Macbeth has many faults, which suggests that there must be some kind of supernatural force involved.
Macbeth’s Supernatural Flaw
In Act I of Macbeth there is a supernatural force at work behind Macbeth who was always a perfect individual. That force had made a prophesy that Macbeth would become Thane of Cawdor and then King. Macbeth is said to be a very loyal and courageous man; however, the audience see Macbeth’s “flaws”. Throughout Act II Macbeth can not sleep due to having committed murder and in Act III Macbeth begins hearing noises such as knocking on doors.
The knocking is heard all night by Macbeth which makes him feel guilty because he knows what he has done. Macduff also gets an unexpected visit from murderers sent by Macbeth who want him dead so they cannot put up a fight against Macbeth when he becomes King.
Macduff tells his wife that these people were sent by “Heaven” and this shows that Macbeth is having a mental breakdown because Macduff knows what Macbeth is trying to do and Macduff is also aware that Macbeth has killed King Duncan. Therefore, Macbeth’s “flaws” were caused by an outside force and they soon vanish when Macbeth finally becomes King in Act V.
Macbeth: The Perfect Resemblance of His King
In Act I Macbeth does not yet know whether or not he will become the Thane of Cawdor and then become king; however after he does he still has no flaws . Macbeth seems like the perfect man for becoming king because everyone loves him, such as Banquo who says, “Who ‘a [he] Macbeth?
By whom shall I Macduff be corrected?” Macbeth is loved by all, but Macduff does not know Macbeth will become king. Macbeth has no flaws because he can do whatever he wants without being punished for it.
The supernatural force that caused Macbeth to have no “flaws” suddenly changes course and causes Macbeth to have many “flaws”. The first was the murder of Banquo who was riding with Macbeth to visit King Duncan who would later be murdered himself.