Macbeth is a book filled with betrayal, prophecies, revenge and many other themes. After reading this book I feel that Macbeth is indeed tragic because of his one fatal flaw, or harmatia. As one could see, throughout this book, Macbeth seeks guidance from the wrong people like the witches, his wife, whose ambition is as great, if not greater than his.
However, one must pause and consider whether Macbeth is really the cold blooded murderer and traitor everyone thought him to be. Firstly, the three witches, similar to the three Fates in the Greek legends, influenced him greatly with their prophecies. But without these prophecies of fame and power, would Macbeth actually have killed King Duncan? For instance, if Macbeth had not known that he would become king, would he have been bothered by the fact that Malcolm had been appointed the Prince of Cumberland? Would he, then, have killed Duncan to seize the throne? Macbeth most certainly has deep, dark ambitions inside of him, like kindling, but without the lit match of the three witches' prophecy, would his ambitions have been lit?
And secondly, irony is an ever prevailing theme in this book, from the beginning till the end. All of the witches' prophecies came true, but not in a way most readers would expect. That is why in any story, oracles (the witches in this case) speak in riddles, because they only gave away part of the whole picture but never the entire thing. What is ironic is that while the prophecies all seem in Macbeth's favour, he ends up getting killed because he placed all his faith in the prophecies and never even bothered with a back-up plan, and even though he is killed by Banquo at the end of the book, none of the prophesies proved false.
Another thing I realized in the book was the dilemma of whether Macbeth actually killed Duncan. Shakespeare neglected to mention a single scene where Macbeth is seen killing Duncan. The only scenes are before he kills Duncan (Act 2 Scene 1) and after he kills the King (Act 2 Scene 2). What happened in between those two scenes is an enigma which probably can never be accurately answered since Shakespeare has already left this world.
Moreover, even had Macbeth actually done it, the case would never stand to reason in our modern courts of law. Firstly, the three witches have told him prophecies which, as I mentioned previously, probably influenced him to kill Duncan. That would mean only a second-degree murder. Secondly, Duncan was staying in Macbeth's castle. The prescence of a king would probably guarantee a huge banquet held in his honour. Therefore, there is a high chance that Macbeth was intoxicated while doing the deed. That would mean only a manslaughter charge. Thirdly, as one could see from the book, Macbeth can become very bloodthirsty, and prone to anger. In a fit of anger, he had killed Macduff's entire family, including Macduff's young child. Nowadays, he could probably cope an insanity plea which would probably be sustained.
"Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more." (act 5 scene 5) This quote is perhaps one of the most recognizable quotes in the entire book. This could also be a theme to the book, Macbeth is telling us how short life can be, and how important it is to make full use of it. Perhaps that is the reason why he wanted to become king, to live life to the fullest.
This turned out a little longer than I expected, hopefully someone can trim it a little, and maybe provide some helpful tips. I think the conclusion is a little cheesy, might need help with that, but I really wanted to use that quote.
Macbeth is a book filled with betrayal, prophecies, and revenge. .
(above) some phrases are like weak soldiers that put the whole platoon at risk.
Here is another one, sucking the life from your writing:
Throughout this book, Macbeth seeks...
Now add one more sentence to the end of that intro paragraph -- a sentence that ill "sharpen" your thesis statement and make it very specific and clear.
run on sentence:
This could also be a theme to the book: Macbeth is telling us how short life can be, and how important it is to make full use of it.----- but if you are writing about this theme, too, you should get it involved with the main them of the essay? Can you, in a single sentence, express the main theme of the essay?
Macbeth, despite influences of the witches and Lady Macbeth, is responsible for his downfall. In Shakespeare’s playMacbeth, Macbeth is a tragic hero who destroys himself by his own wicked and selfish ambitions. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as a courageous, noble hero of Scotland who has bravely won the war. As the story continues, Macbeth soon becomes a tyrant king who is willing to murder anyone who becomes a threat to his kingdom.
As the play begins, Macbeth proves himself to be a hero as he demonstrates his bravery and courage. He is praised highly by the captain who describes the bravery and brutality of Macbeth towards Scotland’s enemies: “he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops”. His bravery is recognised by King Duncan who rewards him righteously, yet Macbeth’s brutal and violent character leads him to murder the king. Although Macbeth was influenced by Lady Macbeth and the witches in committing the murder, his deep desire and character motivates and fuels his ambition.
Macbeth is firstly influenced by the three witches who prophecy that he will be king. “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter.” Macbeth blindly believes the prophecy without any proof. He refuses to dismiss the words of the witches like Banquo, but instead he chose to believe in those miss-interpreted predictions. Although the witches’ predictions are somewhat responsible for influencing Macbeth’s thoughts, they did not suggest the murder of the king. The thought of murder and treachery must have crossed Macbeth’s mind as his guilt is noticed by Banquo: “Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair?”
Macbeth’s “black and deep desires” horrify him and he refuses to speak of them openly, but he sends a letter to his wife, Lady Macbeth, explaining the situation. Lady Macbeth, on receiving the letter, encourages murder as she sees that this is possibly the only opportunity to achieve their ambition. Macbeth allows his wife to manipulate him by accusing him of not being a ‘man’ and expresses that she would kill her own baby to have their desire fulfilled. “I have given suck, and know How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums, And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you Have done to this”. Yet Macbeth, being strong mentally and physically, does not put a stop to the murder plan while his conscience warns him of the downfall lurching in the vicinity. Instead of listening to his conscience, he suppresses his guilt and continues with his ambition. Even his mind, intoxicated by the thoughts of murder, directes him to the kings room. “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutchthee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.”
Macbeth is greatly influenced by the three witches and Lady Macbeth. However, he is ultimately responsible for his own actions. He denies to listen to his own conscience which repeatedly commands him to consider his ways and the path which is slowly leading him to destruction.