Which version of Macbeth do you prefer?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Macbeth does a great deal of evil, but because he is a good man, he suffers very greatly for it. A courageous thane, Macbeth was a good man, much admired by his peers and even king Duncan himself. Macbeth was also ambitious, and his ambitions were incompatible with the actions of a good, loyal man. When prophecies set free these thoughts, they quickly became actions. Macbeth committed great evil in the killing of Duncan, Banquo, and those who might pose a threat to his hold on the throne. These actions had serious consequences and took a great toll on him. Macbeth lost his ability to sleep soundly. He lost his peace of mind, he lost his friends and followers and even his wife. Finally he lost his sense of humanity and any real desire to live.

In the beginning, Macbeth was a good man. In the battle against the traitorous Macdonald, Duncan’s army faltered. Their situation looked bleak, until Macbeth turned the battle in Duncan’s favour. Seemingly unstoppable, Macbeth carved his way through the opposing army. Macbeth cut his way through, all the way to Macdonald and proceeded to “unseam him from his nave to his chops” with righteous brutality. Even when reinforcements arrived to assist Macdonald’s side, Macbeth continued his onslaught, undaunted by the opposition. The king, upon hearing reports of the battle, openly praised Macbeth to all present thanes and servants alike, calling him “O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!”. When the play begins, Macbeth is a man very much loved and admired.

Despite the fact that he is acclaimed as a good, loyal man, Macbeth’s mind dwelt on evil thoughts. His evil thoughts were given new vitality by the three “weird sisters’” prophecies. After the battle, as Macbeth and Banquo were walking back to the king’s campsite, they stumbled across three witches that told Macbeth he would be thane of Glamis, then of Cawdor, then King. The moment the idea that he would become king was spoken, Macbeth became trapped in his own thoughts as his mind worked on how he could seize the crown. When Macbeth returned to his castle, he and Lady Macbeth began to plot how Duncan will meet his end. The good loyal man is seduced by the temptation of power and wealth. Any doubts that Macbeth had that he should not proceed were stamped out by Lady Macbeth. She snuffed out his good instincts. We see Macbeth committed to the murder when he tries to snatch the dagger illusion that hangs in the air in front of him. With that action he has aligned himself to evil, and is forever doomed to hell.

Macbeth then proceeds to commit acts of great evil. Macbeth brutally murdered the loved and respected king Duncan while a guest of Macbeth, he slept soundly. Macbeth then killed Duncan’s drunken guards, out of fear that they might have seen him commit this atrocity. Macbeth then sent murderers after his good friend Banquo, for Banquo was there when the witches made their prophecies and Macbeth worried that Banquo might reveal the effect that the witches’ words had on him. Macbeth continued then to murder the murderers so that they would not divulge anything to anyone else. Macbeth killed off anyone who might have posed a threat to his position and power. But it’s as if after the first murder that Macbeth has nothing left to lose. He knows he is damned from that first early moment. He knows that there is no way back to grace and goodness.

Despite all the evil that Macbeth had committed, it can still be argued that he is a good man. He suffered very greatly for the evil acts he commited. After Macbeth murdered Duncan, he stumbled distractedly out of the king’s chamber in a state of utter shock. Still carrying the blood-drenched daggers, he wandered the castle. He felt as though he would never again find peace, because he understood the full weight of what he had done. He lost his peace of mind and his powerful sense of right and wrong, damned him to hell. Upon sending the murderers to kill Banquo, Macbeth saw Banquo’s ghost, whom no-one else could see. This image of his guilt tormented him and tortured him. His behaviour, seeming quite mad to those around him, showed his distress at his sense of utter guilt. The closeness between Macbeth and his wife is broken after the murders. Knowing he is damned to hell, he can understand the impact on his wife as well. He seeks by his silence to protect his wife from any more unrest and the moral repercussions of the further deaths. Macbeth suffers from the loss of support from his wife. He feels that he is upon a torturer’s rack.
Macbeth does a great evil. Killing Duncan, his beloved king, Banquo, his great friend, and many others, he knows he is a monstrous butcher. Yet his great suffering is the result of the fact that he knows the difference between good and evil. He condemns himself as much as others condemn him. Macbeth loses everything he values; the ones closest to him, his peace, and eventually his desire to continue


In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, we see a good man who does great evil and pays a great price for it. Macbeth loses his power, his reputation, his mind and the love of his wife. Macbeth kills his king believing that in doing so he will become king and get the power and position he deserves. Macbeth knows he must kill anyone in his way to become king as Duncan has heirs. Macbeth began as a good man, who was widely loved and praised. He gave into doing evil to get the thing he wanted most but in doing, in the process so he lost everything he valued.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth was most highly regarded. He fought ruthlessly in the battle against the traitor Macdonald, cutting through other soldiers as if he was carving a joint. He was admired for his ferocious valour as he sliced an enemy from the ‘knave’ to the ‘chops’. In acts such as these he showed his courage, determination and power. As the play opens, we see Macbeth as unstoppable. His soldiers watch him in admiration. No one in his path could slow his stride. Word was quickly carried to king Duncan of Macbeth’s nobility and valour on the battlefield. Macbeth was celebrated as a ‘worthy gentleman’ and honoured by his king. A brave and unstoppable soldier and a loyal servant of his king, he took the lives of others to protect his king and country.

The noble Macbeth appeared to be a good man and the king trusted him completely. But the king had no idea of the many evil thoughts that where filling his friend’s mind. The witches met Macbeth after the battle and gave him great hope when they told him he would become king, but those evil thoughts were already in Macbeth’s mind. The witches told him one day he would be king and rule Scotland. On hearing this Macbeth suddenly realised that he must turn these hopes and dreams into plans. These prophecies spurred Macbeth into action. Macbeth told Lady Macbeth about the prophecies and that it seemed it was his fate to become king. Macbeth was a good man and a brave soldier but once he associated with evil he become evil. With the witches’ words tempting him and Lady Macbeth eager to help him realize his dreams, Macbeth began on a path that would take him to hell.

Macbeth embraces evil knowing full well what he is doing. Macbeth yearns for the crown but such desires he knows are ‘black and deep’. For Macbeth’s plan to kill King Duncan to work, Macbeth knows he must ‘look like the flower, but be the serpent underneath’. He must continue to seem loyal and honest, but to plot and scheme and kill. Macbeth kills the king as he sleeps. He orders the dagger into his hands with the words ‘come let me clutch thee’. Macbeth wants a quick death for his king. He wants to do one evil act and have that be the ‘be-all and end-all’. What he does not realize is that once he breaks that great bond between himself and God, there is no way that this horrible murder can be the end.


In Shakespeare’s Macbeth we saw a good man turn to evil as he strived to become king of Scotland. He then, in turn, suffered as he felt the guilt of the murders he committed. We saw Macbeth lose the respect of his peers. He lost the close relationship with his wife and most importantly he lost his peace of mind as he sank into evil.

In the beginning of the play, we saw in Macbeth a noble man respected by his peers. He was celebrated as a “worthy gentleman” by the bloodied captain as he helped win a great battle in defence of his king. It was after this, that he met up with three witches and began to believe that he deserved more rewards than the king was prepared to give him. Macbeth gradually lost his good reputation as anyone who got in his way of becoming king, bloodily and mysteriously died. People started to get suspicious and spoke about him darkly. Soon rather than calling him “brave Macbeth”, he was mocked by the thanes as a “dwarfish thief in giant’s robes”. Macbeth was a respected man with a reputation as a good man. He had a good life but he yearned for more power and suffered as he grasped for honours that were not his. His peers turned against him when he acted sinfully.

Macbeth and his Lady were very close but as Macbeth continued along his bloody path they began to drift apart. As the play opened they were almost of one mind. They spoke obscurely, so as not to arouse suspicion, but they clearly understood the other’s intent. They knew exactly what each other was thinking. After Macbeth killed Duncan things changed in this great partnership. They stopped confiding in each other. They became isolated from one another as they tried to protect one another from the great guilt and fear that both felt. Slowly they drifted apart and lost each other amongst the various bloody events of their gloomy lives. The loss of this partnership and closeness was another terrible loss for Macbeth. From this point on he had to shoulder all the guilt of his crimes without anyone to confide in.

Macbeth lost his peace of mind as he suffered great guilt for all the terrible murders he’d committed. Macbeth became fearful and suspicious that his thanes suspected him of these great sins. He heard them talking about him and imagined that they knew he had killed Duncan and many others. He knew that he was guilty and therefore he convinced himself that everyone could see the evil in him. Though Macbeth sat on the throne, he knew that it was not rightfully his. The guilt devalued his possession of the throne and he called it a “barren sceptre” and “empty crown”. With the guilt, Macbeth also suffered hallucinations. He saw Banquo, his friend and the man he had killed, all bloody with cuts. These hallucinations were a sign of Macbeth’s guilt. He knew he had done wrong. He just couldn’t stop himself as he had wanted to be king so badly even though he knew that it would cost him a very high price. He suffered and the “golden round” was no more than a hollow, metal, meaningless adornment.

Macbeth did great evil and suffered greatly for the crimes he committed. This was a sign that he was a good man and that he knew the difference between good and evil. He lost everything he ever valued and his dream turned into a nightmare. When death came, he almost welcomed it. He lost his reputation as a noble man and the respect from his peers. He lost his wife and the close relationship with her. Finally he lost his peace of mind and lived looking over his shoulder to make sure he didn’t get found out. Macbeth was a moral man who suffered greatly and as a result, at the end, his life wasn’t worth living.


Shakespeare’s Macbeth is about a courageous, respected loyal man who turns to evil and loses everyone and everything he values. In murdering his loved and respected king, in order that he may get the throne, Macbeth loses his friends, followers and his family. Macbeth, the once admired nobleman, becomes a ruthless bloody murderer laughingly dismissed as a “dwarfish thief” by those people who once respected him. Macbeth does great evil but he never completely erases the good man he once was. It could be said that it is because he is a good man he can see he has behaved with great evil.

Because Macbeth can see his own evil, he suffers enormously, realizing that he is doomed to go to hell. As the play opens we see Macbeth slaughtering his traitorous enemies. We hear how he “carved” his way thought the battlefield. Though he is capable of great brutality, we are encouraged to see him as worthy and noble. Macbeth’s battlefield murders are done in a noble cause. He acts with good intentions, killing his king’s enemies and bringing peace to Scotland. Macbeth is fighting in defence of his country. He fights for the rightful King. Macbeth is highly regarded at this early point of the play. He is seen as a “worthy” gentleman by his peers and by his King. The soldiers who saw Macbeth fight report to King Duncan that Macbeth single handedly turned the battle against the traitorous Macdonwald. As the play begins, Macbeth is praised by all and admired by all.

Macbeth is highly regarded and a loyal gentlemen but he is only human. As he is rewarded by his loyal king, he reveals to us he has had thoughts of overpowering his king and taking the throne. He asks stars to hid these evil thoughts; these “black and deep desires”. These evil thoughts were echoed by the three witches he met as he returned to camp with his friend Banquo. Macbeth was amazed at the prophesies the “weird sisters” made. Their word left him “rapt” with awe as they seemed to speak his own thoughts. In contrast, Banquo just laughed at the witches and seemed not to be tempted by what they said. In a split second Banquo saw into Macbeth’s mind and could see how ambitious his friend was. The witches’ words were like a “serpent” in Macbeth’s mind. Like the biblical “serpent” the talk of being king tempts Macbeth to turn his back on goodness and defy his God. The good, loyal feelings he has are drowned out by the evil prophesies by the witches. These words echo his evil thoughts and encourage Macbeth to have “black” thoughts.

Even though Macbeth is clearly tempted to do evil and take the throne, he soon regrets such thoughts. The evil side of Macbeth seems to wrestle with the goodness inside the man. When Macbeth tries to retreat from doing evil, his wife urges him back to the murder. She humiliates him, calling him cowardly and demanding that he shows he loves her by sticking to their plan. The good man tried to turn back from evil, but his own ambitions, his love for his wife and the words of the witches all drown out his desire to be good. Outside the king’s chamber Macbeth’s mind is balanced by thought that he must not do evil. Macbeth knows that if he gives into evil and clutches the dagger he will be doing the bidding of the devil.

Macbeth has been the smiling “flower” all his life and when he realizes that his kinsman will pass the crown on to the undeserving son Malcom, he finally decides to be the “serpent” underneath the flower and take what he deserves. Macbeth is driven to bloody, traitorous murder by desires he cannot drive away. Macbeth kills Duncan in a brutal way believing that the crown will be worth the high price he has to pay. Immediately after the murder he sees what he has done. This traitorous act brings him to his knees and as we can see Macbeth reduced to a shocked state as he wanders back to Lady Macbeth, still holding the weapons he used. This proves that Macbeth knew it was a terrible act that he had committed. His hands are bloody and he knows “evil dreams” will swamp his brain. He knows “Glamis hath murdered sleep”. He realises what he has done. He has sold his soul to the devil. These are the thoughts of a good man who can very clearly see what is good and what is evil.

Macbeth becomes king, but to stay in power, he has to kill anyone who becomes suspicious of him. Macbeth sends assassins to kill Banquo and his son Fleance as Macbeth feels they threaten him by being alive. He raves that has lost everything he values by this murder, and in the future Fleance who is not even his own son will become king. Macbeth is wild with anger and self hatred. He knows the murder of Banquo and Fleance are wrong but he has to act if he is to remain king. Macbeth’s conscience forces him to see the ghost of Banquo shaking his “gory locks” at him. This hallucination is his own guilty mind, accusing him of doing evil.

If Macbeth were an evil man, there would’ve been any nightmares or fears. By the end of the play Macbeth is reduced to ruin. He has lost everyone around him. In the final fight between himself and Macduff he knows he will lose and yet he takes up the sword, not seeming to care about the outcome. He knows he is hated, laughed at, and alone. He knows he deserves a traitor’s death and he seems to give his life up to Macduff. Macbeth is a good man who gave himself over to evil, but never lost his strong sense of what was right and what was wrong.


Macbeth is a good man and he does suffer greatly as a result of the evil he does and the sense of guilt he feels. Although Macbeth is good he does great evil. When he realises that he could be king and have the power that he yearns for, Macbeth is driven to betray and kill to get it.

When the three witches first approach Macbeth and Banquo, Macbeth thinks that maybe what they were saying is true. He knows that they have great knowledge. When the witches tell him he could be king he gets the idea that maybe he could be king and rule. When Macbeth writes to Lady Macbeth about the idea they are both excited by the idea and join to plot to kill Duncan.

Macbeth has a good heart. We see this when he tries to back out of killing King Duncan until is wife persuades him differently. Because he has a good heart Macbeth suffers and genuinely wishes that he hadn’t murdered king Duncan and brought down on his head such serious consequences. Macbeth once fought for King Duncan. He was on his side and defended him bravely on the battlefield. Although Macbeth had ambitions thoughts he never planned on betraying his king and everything he believed in by acting to realise his ambitions. But Lady Macbeth really drove him to do evil. She wanted to realise his dreams any way possible. She wanted the status that came with the crown. It was she that was the one who wouldn’t let him back down from his word. Lady Macbeth wanted the crown more than he did and because of her immorality, Macbeth committed the murders.

After Macbeth murdered Duncan he was in a state of shock. We see this when he walks out of the room after killing him with the bloody knife still in his hands. Lady Macbeth has to actually tell him to put the knife back in the room so that it can be discovered with King Duncan’s body. Macbeth is so conscious of the evil he has done that he doesn’t want to go back in there. Macbeth is in a state of traumata the killing of his king.

Macbeth feels guilt and regret. He suffers great regret and his hallucinations are the result of him feeling bad over what he has done. He knows that what he did was wrong and feels guilty and his destroyed reputation he feels like a great burden. He was once seen as a noble and brave man but he is now looked upon as a “dwarfish thief”. People start to suspect that there is something wrong when people close to Macbeth begin to die. People start to talk behind his back and drift away from him because they are afraid that they will be next to die in Macbeth’s murderous rampage. Although all of this is going on Macbeth has to pretend that everything is normal. He has to “look like the flower, but be the serpent under’t”.

Macbeth has to keep on killing in order to make himself feel “safe”. Digging the hole that he’s in, deeper, but he has gone too far and he knows that. But if he stops everyone will find out what he has done. He thinks that if he keeps killing he might have a chance. Macbeth has to live with the guilt of what he has done. But that guilt makes his life a living death.

Macbeth does commit a lot of evil acts but because of the guilt that he feels, he suffers. He knows that he is in too deep and he can’t get out of it. He knows that he can never be free and ever again have the peaceful mind of the innocent person he once was.


Macbeth is a good man, but commits evil deeds. The guilt he feels slowly reduces him to nearly nothing. Where once he yearned to be king, at the end, all he wants is the peace of death.When the nobleman Macbeth comes across three witches after a battle in which he has earned great honours, they have great prophesies for him. On hearing that he will become king he gets so caught up in what they say that his loyalty and goodness mean nothing. Macbeth follows the bait of the witches and asks them to explain how this great prophecy may happen. This is the point were the root of evil starts to grow in Macbeth. Though before he had vague hopes that he would become king, it is here with the witches that he really starts to dream and plan the actions that will destroy him and send him to hell.Macbeth and Lady Macbeth agree to murder King Duncan. Duncan was a much respected man, a loved leader and a cousin to Macbeth, yet Macbeth decided to kill him so he could take the throne. Before the murder we see Macbeth alone, and thinking over the many reasons why he shouldn’t kill Duncan. The good man in Macbeth can see that this murder will be a terrible sin. While Macbeth’s guests and the King celebrate their victory, Macbeth is planning to do exactly what the traitor Macdonald did, and betray his King.

Despite being tempted, the good man in Macbeth chooses not to murder Duncan but when Lady Macbeth hears that he doesn’t want to carry out the murder, she is enraged. She tells him he looks like a child. She makes him feel absurd. She insists that he shows his love for Lady Macbeth by being true to the plans they made. It is then that Macbeth decides to kill his king, even though he knows it to be wrong. We know Macbeth is tempted when standing in the corridor he sees a “dagger” leading him to Duncan’s chamber. In a brutal manner, Macbeth murders Duncan, but we can see that Macbeth fully understands that he has done great evil. After murdering Duncan, Macbeth carries with him the blood covered dagger. Macbeth knows that this murder has changed his life forever. He knows he will go to hell for what he has done Lady Macbeth tries to calm him down and takes the dagger back to the chambers and wipes the blood on the guards that are drunk and unconscious. She leaves the daggers next to them. Macbeth is so terrified at what he has done that he can’t go into the room where the dead king is laying. If Macbeth wasn’t a good man, this murder would have meant nothing to him. If Macbeth did not value his eternal soul, he would not have been afraid of the sight of his sin.Macbeth shows his guilt and regret when a little later he hears a traveller knocking at the gate he says “Duncan hear thy knock and awake”. Macbeth wishes he could turn back time and have Duncan alive again. Immediately after Duncan’s death, Macbeth knows that the crown is not as valuable as his peace of mind. Once Macbeth is crowned King he starts on a string of murders. Out of fear he must kill to keep himself out of danger. He sends two men to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Later he sends his men to murder Macduff’s “pretty ones” and everybody in his castle. These thanes are as dangerous as they are good men. He fears they will oppose him if they get a hint of his guilt. Though Macbeth has them murdered without another thought, because of these actions Macbeth has horrible, guilty nightmares. In waking and in sleeping he sees ghosts. He sees Banquo sitting at the table with his face covered in blood, looking right at him. At this sight Macbeth breaks down screaming and shaking. This is the fear of a good man, who realises he has sinned and deserves to be punished.In the end Macbeth loses the love of the thanes. His wife goes mad and kills herself. His peace of mind is lost because of the horrible mistakes the once noble Macbeth made. When Macbeth finally dies he seems to accept that he has destroyed everything. He can only find peace from this nightmare by being killed by Macduff. Macbeth is a good man who destroys everything by giving in to guilt, greed and the evil that tempts him.


Macbeth is a good man even though he committed great acts of evil in his time. Macbeth does a lot of evil killing innocent people and betraying his king. He suffers as he knows what he has done, and understands that he was wrong. In this play Macbeth begins, a great man but he is overcome by evil thoughts and greed. He gets what he always wanted, that is to be king of Scotland but he realises that this isn’t the valuable thing he thought he was.

At the start of this play Macbeth appears as a very good and trusts worthy person. His friends call him a “worthy gentleman”. He has a great reputation. When we see what he has done on the battlefield it seems like he single handedly destroyed MacDonald’s army. Every one knew what Macbeth had done and he was respected for saving Scotland from the traitor and the chaos he would bring. As well as being as a loyal thane, Macbeth was loyal to his wife sharing everything. They had no secrets from each other and together they were a powerful force.

We see Macbeth changing after he returns from the battlefield. He always wanted to get the crown but before the battle he knew deep own that Duncan would choose his own sons to succeed him. When the witches met him on the heath and prophecied that he would become king, greed and ambition overwhelmed him. He felt that his fate was to become king. This is when we first see Macbeth’s evil side. When he returns to King Duncan’s camp he is disappointed at the reward the king gives him. He wants to be more than Thane of Cawdor. He was devastated. Because of Macbeth’s greed and because his ambition was awakened by what he had heard from the three witches he was certain that he was going to become king. But even at this stage, Macbeth has not become completely evil. He has evil thoughts tempting him, but his actions are the actions of a good, loyal man.

When Macbeth returns to his castle and to his wife, his ambitions have faded. Lady Macbeth wants him to become king and she works hard to convince him even though he never mentions any word of a plan to her. After she works on him, Macbeth and his wife put together a plan to kill King Duncan but she seems to be the one who is determined to do evil. Lady Macbeth says to Macbeth he must “look like a flower but be the serpent beneath it”. She wants him to think evil thoughts, but to look like a good man. Macbeth didn’t like the idea but his wife forced to him to act this way by laughing at him when he tried to say he couldn’t kill the king. Finally Macbeth kills Duncan that night. The king is asleep. But as soon as he does, Macbeth knows it’s a mistake. We see this when he says “I wish Duncan would wake up” when there is a banging at the door. We can see in these words that goodness is in his heart. He regrets what he has done and wishes he could go back to the peace of mind he had before he let evil takeover him.

When Macbeth killed king Duncan he hoped that he would get the throne and would ever have to do evil again. He soon sees that he has to kill more people, because he has to stop people who think he is responsible for the king’s death from spreading their suspicions. He has to kill people who he thinks are a threat to him. We see Macbeth going on a sort of killing spree. Because he felt guilt he thought everyone who looked at him could see his guilt. First he killed the guards who might have seen him kill Duncan. Then he killed Banquo and then Banquo’s murderers. Every one was afraid of him. All his friends and peers started to avoid him as people became suspicious of him. No one wanted anything to do with him. We hear even the doctor and nurse are afraid of him. Behind his back people started to call Macbeth a “dwarf” and a “thief”. They knew that he was not the rightful king Macbeth knew that people thought of him as evil and he knew he was guilty of doing horrible, evil things but he also knew that he couldn’t stop.

Macbeth began to realise that he had lost everything that made his life valuable. He didn’t want to live anymore. Even though he got the throne, the possession he had wanted, he realised that he wasn’t happy. Lady Macbeth wasn’t happy, and in fact she suffered from having a guilty conscience. He knew his life was finished because he had committed so many evil acts in his life time that God would judge him and send him to hell.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth was a good man with good intentions. When greed took over his mind and he realised that the only way to get what he wanted was to use evil, he lost his way. Once he killed his king, once he betrayed country and his God, there was no turning back. He knew he was evil. He knew he had destroyed his life. Macbeth killed many people, hoping he would not get caught, but in his heart he knew there was no escape. Macbeth was full of goodness and that goodness made him feel awful at having lost his “jewel” or soul. At the end Macbeth dies but he knows that he deserved it. Living with his guilt is like a torture. Only a good man could feel this guilty about all the evil he has done.


Shakespeare’s Macbeth shows us a good man with a pure heart who after committing great evil suffers from all he has lost. He suffers the loss of his wife and the close bond they had. He suffers the loss of the respect, companionship and loyalty of his friends and followers. He suffers dearly with the guilt and shame. He feels horrible, having killed a good and loved king.
Macbeth who at the start of the play was a loyal and noble thane acquired a thirst for power which led him down the path of evil. The suffering Macbeth goes through suggests he is a moral man, who knows that he had done great wrong.

After Macbeth murdered King Duncan his suffering began. Macbeth was a loyal servant of the king. We saw this when he was highly praised and highly regarded by Duncan. After murdering Duncan, Macbeth felt guilt and shame above all other feelings. As soon as Macbeth murdered King Duncan he wished he could turn back time and return to a time before this terrible act of treason.

A result of feeling guilty after the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth suffered from horrible nightmares which caused Macbeth great anguish. Before Duncan was even murdered Macbeth was having evil thoughts and desires about having the crown. He calls these desires ‘black and deep’. He knows they are evil but wants the crown. He wonders if there is a way he can ‘jump the life to come’ or avoid the price of his evil acts. After the murder Macbeth realises that he has done the devils work and the understanding that he will go to hell, almost makes Macbeth crazy.

Rather than being a man who could control himself and others he becomes a man who is always talking to himself and trying to reason with himself to stay calm. Always afraid of being discovered he doubts his followers’ actions and loyalty. Macbeth used to be full of courage, but he becomes full of fear and realises he has to kill others if he is going to avoid being caught. Macbeth knows he has to kill his once great friend Banquo as Banquo knows of Macbeth’s ambitions. Macbeth sends people to murder Banquo and even his innocent young son Fleance, as Macbeth believes the witches who tell him that Fleance will take his crown at some time.

Throughout the play Macbeth wears the crown, but suffers knowing that the crown is not rightfully his. As soon as he has the crown he can see that if it is not worth having. Rather than a ‘hollow round’, he wishes he had his peace of mind. He decides, despite that, to continue to defend himself, to protect himself from thanes who might accuse him. Macbeth says that it is as much an effort to go back as it is to continue.

As Macbeth continues his bloody reign he loses everything he ever valued. He loses desire to stay King he calls the throne ‘merely a stool’. He loses the respect and love of people who hold him in high regard Macbeth knows the thanes laugh at him as a ‘dwarfish thief’. Macbeth feels shattered and almost loses the will to live. Macbeth taunts death by saying to death ‘let death be-all and end-all’ Macbeth seems to lose the will to live. Every new day is ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’. Life has lost all meaning.

The great regret Macbeth feels stems from the fact that he was a good man. He knew the difference between good and evil and he knew the shame he had brought on himself. After the murder of Banquo, Macbeth sees a ghostly image of his bloody dead friend. Banquo shakes his head at Macbeth as if to say you have sinned greatly. Macbeth knows Banquo is dead so he knows this is the work of his own mind. Macbeth was once a man of enormous courage, but know is frightened of an empty seat. Once Macbeth was afraid of no-one, but now his guilty heart makes him afraid of everyone. Even though the thanes are afraid to publicly accuse him of the evil they know he has committed. Macbeth’s own guilty conscience says the words they are afraid to say. Only a man who could clearly see a difference between good and evil could feel as guilty as Macbeth does.

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth we are asked to see Macbeth as a good and even great man, but what makes this a tragedy is that this great man is greatly flawed. Macbeth suffers from great ambition and great greed. To realise his dreams he does great evil and suffers greatly through his own intense realisation of his own guilt. We also see Macbeth crumble under the weight of his own accusations. Macbeth loses his self respect and the respect of others. He loses everything he valued and eventually he loses his head and the crown that sat on top of it.

Mark Tognolini 11B


Macbeth is a good man who suffers a great ordeal when he turns to the dark side. In the beginning, Macbeth has a peaceful soul but once he decided to turn evil we see his soul suffer and his life descend into chaos. King Duncan’s murder is always on Macbeth’s mind and the pain of guilt of his treason, his killing of a good man and kinsman is continually with him. Macbeth suffers from nightmares every time he sleeps. The evil of his acts cannot be put aside. This great sense of guilt suggests Macbeth is a good man. He sees the ghosts of people he has killed because he knows he has done unimaginable evil. If Macbeth was a bad man he would have killed without another thought. Macbeth knows the difference between good and evil and it precisely because of this that he suffers.

Banquo’s murder drives Macbeth to the point of insanity. The death of Banquo further burdens Macbeth who feels already the great guilt of his killing of his king. Banquo was more than another nobleman. He was a friend and a comrade in arms. We see Banquo speak highly of Macbeth. Despite this great bond, Macbeth sets murderers on Banquo having ordered his death, Macbeth suffers enormously. We see this happen when Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo. Macbeth’s reaction tells us that he is burdened by the deaths of those he’s killed.

The thought of the killings he has ordered, the thought of his victims’ innocence lead Macbeth to seeing ghosts. This suggests that the evil act that Macbeth has performed has made him suffer greatly. Macbeth was once a good man. He was a man much admired and greatly loved and trusted. He was a man never haunted by horrible imaginings. Now, having acted immorally and because he knows the difference between good and evil, he feels powerfully the guilt of these most horrible murders. Macbeth is driven to the point of seeing ghosts rise from the grave and accuse him with the shaking of “gory locks”.

The nightmarish images stirred up by Duncan’s murder have a great effect on Macbeth’s life. Macbeth continually sees images. Always in Macbeth’s thoughts they stop him sleeping and resting. Just after Macbeth had killed King Duncan we hear him say “Wake Duncan with thy knocking.” These words seem to suggest that he almost wishes Duncan was alive. If he could, Macbeth could turn back time and undo his actions. Macbeth clearly regrets his actions and suffers from this guilt and this guilt threatens to destroy him. Being a good man who performs evil, Macbeth is led into depression and isolation. He cannot trust anyone. He cannot discuss his fears with anyone. He draws away from everyone including his beloved wife and confidant Lady. Macbeth, trying to keep her “innocent of knowledge” he has of all the evil he has unleashed.

For Macbeth sleep is like torture. Macbeth is unable to sleep peacefully without the shouts of his murdered victims keeping him awake. For him, sleep can’t “knit up the ravelled sleeve of time.” He is unable to wake up rested. His victims, those he murdered, are continually wandering through his mind making sleep impossible for Macbeth. Sleep tortures his guilty soul. He feels he is tortured like a bear tied to the stake. Instead of feeling powerful, he feels under threat.

Macbeth turns for some hope to the creatures of the dark. He turns to the witches for help. Once Macbeth heard the prophecy that he would become King he was in their power. When these evil creatures disappear, instead of being grateful he calls them to “come back”. Macbeth lets the prophecies of the creatures of darkness guide his acts and help him to become King. He joins the creatures of the dark relying on their dark prophecies. He calls them “worst means” and so he knows he is losing his soul by going over to them. Despite that Macbeth allows greed and ambition to rule him. He knows the difference between good and evil, and knows he will go to hell. Despite everything he continues.

Macbeth is a good man, a noble man whose loyalty and courage was much admired. He was a good man who gave himself over evil when greed and ambition overwhelmed him. He suffers terribly once he murders and betrays. The re-appearing images of his victims torture his mind and take over his every thought. His ghostly victims are the product of his moral conscience, and they haunt him both day and night. It is because he is a good man that he suffers so much from the evil he does.


Shakespeare’s Macbeth is about Macbeth’s fall from grace. He was a great soldier and fought for his King well. He earned great respect from everyone for his life of courage and loyalty. Macbeth and King Duncan were great friends they were practically family. On the battlefield they were ‘brothers’. In other words they were great supportive allies. But Macbeth was an ambitious man and when his ambitions were thwarted, he allowed evil to enter his heart and mind.

The witches seeming to sense the potential for evil in Macbeth told him they had great prophecy for him. They told him in the future he would be crowned king of Scotland. This prophecy got Macbeth thinking and worse, planning. Greed and ambition swept aside all his good qualities. His loyalty to his king was forgotten as Macbeth began to think of how he could make this prophecy quickly come true. When King Duncan gave Malcolm the right to succeed him to the throne, Macbeth was greatly displeased with the decision. This became the spur to his plans for the murder of the king.

When King Duncan told Macbeth that he would show his gratitude by visiting his castle, Macbeth quickly left and rode back to his castle to plan his response. Macbeth was not that happy that the king had decided that his weak son Malcolm would be the next king. He was also thinking about the prophecy the witches had given him. When he got to the castle Macbeth told his wife (Lady Macbeth) that the king was coming to the castle to celebrate. Then he told her the witches’ prophecy. Lady Macbeth had her own little evil plans. She says to Macbeth “what if the king never leaves”. In other words she plans to assassinate, murder the king. Macbeth doesn’t like the sound of the idea even though he kept thinking about it. Macbeth is more moral than Lady Macbeth. He is tempted, but can’t bring himself to do the things he knows to be wrong.

At the celebration feast the king is feasting but Macbeth is outside thinking about the idea of killing King Duncan. His conscience makes him try to bail out but a furious Lady Macbeth tells him that he is not a ma. She says she would even grab her own son and smash his brains out rather than back away from a promise she had made to Macbeth. Macbeth listens to the voice of temptation. In a room by him self he sees the dagger leading him to kill the king. He decided to do evil when he orders the dagger to come into his hand.

Macbeth is finally crowned king but he is never the same man. He feels so guilty that he is haunted by the evil he had done. If he was a good man because he wouldn’t care about the murders, but because he knows the difference between good and evil, he is tortured by his guilt.


Even though Macbeth has killed many people and done much evil he has the instincts of a man who knows right from wrong and as a result, suffers greatly. His evil actions kill his ability to have peaceful sleep and instead nightmares fill his mind.

As soon as the vile murder of Duncan is committed, we see Macbeth regrets his actions. Having murdered the king he rushes to Lady Macbeth and tells her he is horrified by what he has done. As he does so he is disturbed by a knock at the castle door. On hearing that knocking he says he wishes that knocking could wake Duncan. He wishes he had never committed the gross murder. He wishes that Duncan could be alive to hear the pounding at the door. After Macbeth has killed Duncan he cannot go back in the room as he is frightened of what he has done. He is frightened of the consequences. He knows that he is doomed to hell for what he has done. His fear shows that he really understands what is right and what is wrong, but at the same time he knows that he has to try cover up the crime or he will suffer the same fate as the traitor Macdonald.

Guilt is the reason why Macbeth orders Banquo to be killed. Macbeth knows that Banquo is too good a man to keep quiet about Macbeth’s ambitions. Macbeth knows that if Banquo speaks everything will be exposed. Then his next great sin the murder of Banquo begins to haunt him. Macbeth’s guilt makes him see Banquo’s bloody ghost accusing him of evil and sin. Macbeth knows he does great evil and he recognises he has sinned. It is because Macbeth feels guilt that he suffers greatly.

At the start of the play, before Macbeth kills so many people, he is a noble and respected man. The king calls him “valiant cousin”. Macbeth is a good man loved by all the other thanes. During the battle Macbeth killed many of his king’s enemies. In reward of his loyalty, King Duncan gave Macbeth the title Thane of Cawdor, but knowing that he will never be king drives Macbeth to do so much evil.

After Macbeth kills King Duncan we see how regretful he is from how much he suffers. From that day onwards Macbeth never gets any sleep or has any peace. Even while Macbeth is sitting down in the safety of his castle and amongst friends, he has flashes of the bloody murder he has committed. When he does get his couple hours of sleep he isn’t in peace, as nightmares snake into his mind to make him re-live Duncan’s bloody and cruel murder. These are the nightmares of a man who knows good from evil.

We see how greatly Macbeth suffers after the evil actions he uses to get the titles, power and acknowledgement he yearns for. After he kills Duncan, Lady Macbeth tells him to go put the daggers back in the room where Duncan’s bloody body lies. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he can’t go back in there because he is scared to see what horrible murder he has committed. We see how regretful he is because even though he found a way to kill his own king, he can’t go back to the crime scene. It’s the same guilt we see, and the same suffering from the evil he has done, when Macbeth orders for Banquo to be killed. He orders Banquo to be killed because Banquo is an honest man who will turn against Macbeth if he finds out what evil Macbeth has done. When Macbeth is asked to sit down with the other thanes at the table he sees Banquos bloody ghost. That ghost is the image of his guilt and horror.

At the end of the play Macbeth shows courage and some of the never-say-never attitude that once earned him great honours and respect. All the thanes and soldiers have come for Macbeth’s head. All his friends have run away and have fled. Macbeth does not beg for mercy. He stands there ready to accept his fate.

Macbeth kills many innocent people, his best friend and his own king and in doing all this evil we see him suffer greatly throughout the play. After he kills Macbeth he does not get one minute of sleep or peace. Macbeth suffers greatly because he is a moral man who was tempted to do great evil.

By Giuseppe.


Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is an interesting tale of greed, ambition and malice. An evil man does many horrible and evil things just to become king. All his peers believe he is a good man and have much respect for him. They don’t think he could be capable of such horrific actions. Everyone is blinded by what they believe is his courage and loyalty and don’t see that Macbeth had always harboured ambitions that could not be satisfied by legitimate means. Macbeth does great evil and his actions cause him great suffering, but this does not make him a good man. Knowing what the personal, emotional and moral consequences of his actions were, he should have stopped himself. Instead, Macbeth continued down the path of evil on his way to “greatness” and by doing so deserved all the suffering he finally endured. Macbeth was an evil man who well understood the evil nature of his actions.

Macbeth was never a “good” man. At the beginning of the play many people heaped accolades on him, calling him “valiant cousin” or “worthy gentleman” but he was never these things. Macbeth was always an evil man. He managed to camouflage his evil from everyone else, displaying what many people thought of as courage, nobility and loyalty. The truth is Macbeth always harboured evil. These good impressions people had of him were just masks he’d created to hide the truly hideous thoughts that were really going through his mind. You see Macbeth’s evil when he had his first encounter with the witches. The witches give him three predictions. He would be “Thane of Glamis”, “Thane of Cawdor”, “and then King hereafter”. Instead of being surprised by this he was pleased and less than surprised. He appeared to have wanted such honours for some time. Macbeth’s response to these predictions proves how evil he was. The witches told him great things were waiting for him. However, the witches never told him he’d have to use evil to get them. If these glories were truly meant for him, nature would have found a way to make sure he came by them “without his stir”. Instead Macbeth immediately decided to kill the King. This murder was not an action he had to undertake. He was not destined to become murderer of the King. It was his choice to take the “fastest way”. Choosing this action, he had to accept everything that came with it. He gained the superficial things like titles and power but he knew the real legacy of his actions was the guilt, pain and the loss of his peace of mind. He knew he would lose his “eternal jewel”. A greedy and impatient man, Macbeth chose this future and his punishment.

Macbeth, as evil a man as he is, does suffer greatly. He does appear to feel guilty about the murders but this is not proof that he is a good man. If he truly felt that much guilt after one murder he wouldn’t have kept killing. Macbeth was not so na├»ve as to think he wouldn’t feel these horrible reminders of his guilt after each murder. Like a serial murderer, who has no conscience about the lives he ends, right to the end he kept killing.

Macbeth lost a lot of things once he became a murderer. He lost his wife, his most important supporter. She truly felt remorseful about the killings, so much so that she couldn’t live with the memory of her evil actions any longer. After the initial murder of King Duncan, the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth was shattered. They barely spoke to each other. They did not confide in each other as they had once done. At the start she was his soulmate. In the end he no longer shared his plans with her to protect her from the ill thoughts. Macbeth drove Lady Macbeth to insanity. Macbeth himself was affected by those ill thoughts. He had a lot of trouble sleeping as a result of his guilt. After he murdered King Duncan, Macbeth knew he had lost sleep for eternity.

A lot of Macbeth’s suffering though was due to his fear of getting caught. He became so fearful of everyone around him. No-one was safe anymore. If Macbeth thought someone suspected him or doubted him for a second, he killed them. If he couldn’t kill the one he feared, as was the case with Macduff, he killed their families, servants, anyone they cared about. Macbeth did suffer greatly with the loss of his wife and the loss of their very close and intimate relationship, with the fear and paranoia he felt, and with the loss of people’s respect. He lost much and suffered much but he deserved the suffering he endured.

Macbeth does do many evil things and he does suffer greatly as a result. He chooses the path of evil every time he is faced with a choice. He could have chosen between listening to the witches or walking away and ignoring them. He chose to listen to them and to give himself over to the temptation of their evil. He was given the choice between killing King Duncan or waiting and letting time bring him the rewards he earned. Instead, he chose to kill Duncan. He was then presented with the option to keep killing innocent people, people like Banquo, the guards, Macduff’s family, and many more, or to stop once he had discovered how horrible and immoral an act it was to kill innocents. Despite this he chose to keep killing. He chose to lose everything that had once mattered to him. He chose to continue killing people. He chose his path to ruin. His was not the suffering of a good man; it was the suffering of an evil man that was trying hard not to get caught.

There is no question that Macbeth suffered. Did he suffer though because he was a good man, who was trying to come to terms with a few wrong choices? Did he suffer because he was an evil man and he couldn’t stop his hunger for power? Many times he proves he is not a good man. A good man would not continue doing what he knows is wrong. Anyone can understand the difference between right and wrong but that understanding is not a sign of goodness. A good man may turn to wrong once but always comes back to what is right. An evil man ignores what is right and chooses wrong every time. Macbeth was not a good man. He was evil from the start, and his suffering was deserved. He killed kinsmen and the King himself. He killed innocent and guilty with impunity. He was a man drenched in blood and who knew nothing of love, but everything of greed. Macbeth knew the difference between right and wrong, and still did great wrong. He is, by the end of the play, not so much a man as a “butcher”.


In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, we first see Macbeth as a noble man; a man loyal to his King. He has earned respect from his King and the court and is regarded as first amongst his peers. But Macbeth falls from this highly regarded position. He commits evil acts. He kills King Duncan first, then many other innocent, good people. Macbeth continues committing evil acts, but each time Macbeth’s clear sense of what is right and wrong takes a toll on him. Though Macbeth does great evil he suffers, until he cares not whether he lives or not. He loses his “jewel”, his sense of grace and peace of mind and without this he knows that his life is worthless.

When the play opens, Macbeth is a noble, loyal man who would give his life for his King. He puts his life in great danger to save Duncan and his crown from the traitor Macdonald. Macbeth battles bravely and with honour. Macdonald had waged war against King Duncan and his kingdom and threatened Scotland’s peace. Macbeth was reported to have saved many people from capture by the enemy through his great valour. This earned him “golden opinions” from his King and other nobles. Macbeth was regarded a “worthy gentleman”; a man who should be rewarded and trusted. Macbeth was a man the King could depend on for loyalty. Macbeth is at the beginning of the play a great soldier and loyal servant to the King. His reputation for goodness and courage could not have been higher as the play opens.

A natural leader Macbeth had great ambitions and felt inadequately rewarded by his King. Macbeth knew that he could become King by use of force, but to do so would mean to break his oath of loyalty to the King. This would be an act that would condemn him to the flames of hell. Macbeth thinks often of the reasons that should prevent him from killing his King. Duncan was put on the throne by God, so if Macbeth was to kill him he would be acting against God’s will and would be doomed for all eternity to hell. Despite clearly understanding that he is acting with evil, Macbeth decides to kill Duncan. He sees a dagger floating in the air before him. The temptation is so strong that he sees the imaged actions as real. We know that he has taken the decision to act immorally when he orders the dagger to come into his hand. Macbeth’s mind is full of dark ideas. He can gain greater power and wealth. He can gain the recognition that he knows he deserves but he also knows that he will be full of sin if he does this.

Macbeth commits a gross act that most other thanes would never even think about. The Thane of Cawdor went into King Duncan’s chamber and stabbed him repeatedly. He left his King’s chamber with blood all over his clothes and hands. This is a sight that haunts him and makes him suffer enormously. His sense of guilt was so great that he feared that the King’s guards had seen him while he was committing this most ungodly act. He felt he must kill these innocent guards to keep suspicion away from him. He felt that his blood soaked hands were so guilty, they would turn the world’s oceans red and that no amount of water would be able to wash away the blood. He felt that he would be unable to remove this sin or make amends for it. Macbeth knew he would have horrific visions and thoughts for the rest of his doomed life. Macbeth committed an act that he knew would condemn him to hell.

Macbeth hopes that his gross actions will bring the matter to an end but he finds it necessary to commit more evil acts to try and protect himself. His pain is magnified by every murder he commits. Macbeth had called killing Duncan the “be all to end all” but it was not so. He finds that he must go on a murderous path if he is to escape detection. He sees his friend Banquo and his innocent son Fleance, as enemies plotting against him. Therefore he feels they must be removed from the face of the Earth, to ensure he will remain unchallenged on his throne. He sends murderers to kill Banquo and his son. They fail in killing Fleance, but succeed in killing Banquo. This throws Macbeth into a rage fuelled by fear but Macbeth’s conscience has even more punishment in store for him. Macbeth’s sense of guilt and evil makes him see visions of Banquo’s son growing up and taking the crown from Macbeth. Macbeth’s horror at the guilt of killing a good man, a close friend like Banquo, manifests itself as an illusion of Banquo’s ghost which rises from the grave to torment Macbeth’s very soul. Macbeth commits more and more evil acts in the name of self preservation and this need for self preservation springs from his sense of utter guilt.

Macbeth continues on this path until he feels his own life is so ruined, it is worthless. He keeps going but his every act digs him deeper into trouble. With every immoral act he was condemns himself further and further down into the pits of hell. He knew this and eventually he cared not if he lived or died. Macbeth had become a shell of a man, he only cared that he would die honourably in combat, so that he wouldn’t be baited and tormented like the bears caged for the people’s entertainment. Macbeth had suffered so much that to him death was a release from the misery that he had created for himself.

Macbeth does commit great evil, but for each evil act, he was tormented by his moral instincts. His good side made him suffer by showing him horrific sights and putting terrifying thoughts into his mind until he couldn’t face his life anymore. The memory of his good, noble self that was loyal to his King and God, was destroyed and this caused him more suffering than the suffering of those he hurt with his actions. Macbeth commits the most evil acts but is so tormented by his actions that he would rather die and go to hell than endure his suffering any more.


Macbeth was an evil man, because he did a lot of bad things, but because he suffers greatly, we can tell the he has a good spirit. Macbeth does a lot of evil things, but he knows that it is evil, and he knows that he is going to lose everything in the end.

Macbeth killed King Duncan and he suffered so badly. Macbeth started to have a lot of nightmares about Duncan. Macbeth knew that after he killed Duncan that he was not going to sleep anymore and that he lost the respect of all the people. He showed us this when he did the killing and came out of the murder scene with the daggers. Lady Macbeth told him to put them back in there but he said to her that he couldn’t go in there anymore. He was so frightened that the bad things he had done.

When Macbeth killed Duncan he heard knocking on the door and he said that he wished Duncan could hear the knocking and wake up. This tells us that he felt so bad after he killed his cousinK King Duncan. He wishes he could go back to a time when Duncan was still alive.

Macbeth suffered a lot after he killed Duncan but he had no chance to clean him self. There is no way that he can undo the evil. He has to continue killing and killing to try and cover up his evil.

After killing Duncan Macbeth has to kill Banquo because Banquo was the only person that heard the witches’ prophecy. Banquo knew that Macbeth might kill the king to get the golden round or crown. After killing Banquo, Macbeth starts to have nightmares of Banquo. He sees Banquo’s face covered with blood. Macbeth believes he is being followed by Banquo’s ghost. He sees him everywhere he goes. Macbeth is the only person that can see the ghost. The ghost is the face of his guilty mind.

Macbeth suffers at the way people speak about him. He suffers at being hated by the people that used to say good things about him. All the people left him by himself in the castle because they were scared of being killed by Macbeth. He knows that he can’t rely on anyone.

At the end, Macbeth knows that he can’t fight a whole army but he still doesn’t give up. He fights until he is killed. He believed in the witches but he knew that they were evil. He knew that would not tell him anything that would be good. They were the worst people to ask about the future. Once Macbeth was a good man but his evil thoughts led him to the side of the witches and the devil.

Macbeth suffered greatly because he knew that what he was doing wrong and because he had a good soul. He knew in the end that he deserved to be punished.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Circular storyline in the play

Hi guys.

Today, in discussion, it was said that the play seems to end in the same place that it began. What do you think was meant by this?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Macduff and duty

Hi year 11. Today, (Act 4 sc 3) we saw Macduff break down at the terrible news of his family's fate. Should Macduff have left his "wife, children, servants, all" , his "pretty ones" as he calls them, unprotected and fled to "young Malcolm's" side?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Hi Year 11
These images are to help you with your vote for the most convincing film version of the play Macbeth. See how to vote at the top of this blog.

Hi year 11
We have been watching the Polanski Macbeth. Polanski made the witches into real characters. We see them moving and talking. Do you think that the witches LED Macbeth to this evil path that he walks, or do you think that this is a path he would have taken anyway?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The toll of evil

Hi Year 11!
I was wondering what you thought about this question: Macbeth is a seasoned killer. Why then does the murder of King Duncan take such a toll on him? What do you think?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Is this how you see Macbeth?

Sam Worthington as Macbeth

Was the modern Australian version of Macbeth, starring Sam Worthington, convincing?

Relevance to today

Is the story of Macbeth interesting to audiences today?